Jan 092013

Once again we seek your votes on your most favored Kate styles from 2012. Today we look at Kate’s evening gowns as well as suits/separates worn by the Duchess in 2012.

Kate was stunning for the January premiere of War Horse, wearing what proved to be a popular dress, the ‘Amoret’ by Alice Temperley. The gown showcased French lace with a floral motif atop a nude silk lining, unlined lace sleeves, a snug fit to the hip where the skirt then flares to the floor, waist detailing with a bow, a deep vee neck and keyhole opening at the back.

Weir Photos/Splash News

There was also a short sleeved white version offered via the Temperley Bridal line, both styles now appear to be sold out.

In May we saw the Duchess in a creamy white column of a gown by Roland Mouret. It is the designer’s “Lombard” gown, inspired by the late actress and originally from a 2009 collection.

Splash News/Roland Mouret/Splash News

Kate wore another head-turning frock in May, a teal gown from Jenny Packham worn to the Greatest Team Rises dinner gala. The dress is a customized version of the designer’s Aspen gown, a design showcasing beautiful silk chiffon, light and lacy cap sleeves and an ornately embellished waist. The elegant lace bodice was embellished with Swarovski crystals and Kate carried a matching bespoke clutch.

Splash News/Jenny Packham/Splash News

During Kate and William’s Jubilee Tour the Duchess selected a custom Alexander McQueen gown for the formal State Dinner in Malaysia. The creamy white dress featured gold lame embroidery in the shape of a hibiscus, Malaysia’s official flower. Other elements included an empire waist, shirred white fabric at the bust, short, sheer sleeves and a full, flowing skirt.

James Whatling-Splash News/Mark Large-PA Wire

To assist with the awarding of honors at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year event Kate chose the Alexander McQueen Bell Sleeve Floor Length Gown, shown below. (I believe Kate’s dress is the bottle green colorway.)  The dress is wool crepe, it features “… bell-sleeves, a deep v-neck, trompe loeil belt waistband and sweeping central thigh-high slit.”

BBC Sports/Alexander McQueen

You’ve had the refresher, now it’s time to vote.

Also today, a look at the suits and coordinates seen on the Duchess in 2012. This group is broken out from dresses because at this point I’m thinking we will use the favorite selections in each category for an overall “Best Look of 2012″.

Kate joined the Queen and Prince Philip for a trip to Leicester in March as part of the Diamond Jubilee. The Duchess wore pieces by LK Bennett: the Davina Dress has cap sleeves, an asymmetrical neckline and side ruching. The Jude jacket features a deep vee neckline, nipped in waist and peplum.

Philip J Vernon/De Montfort University

Kate opted for separates by Rebecca Taylor for an April reception honoring the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole.  The pieces are from the label’s pre-fall 2012 collection, part of its ‘Sparkle Tweed’ line. The jacket features frayed trim at the multiple seams, three quarter sleeves, chiffon and sequin floral embellishment at the neck, and a grosgrain covered placket. Both pieces are made from a heavily textured melange in rich blues.

Splash News

During the Jubilee Tour Kate wore a white eyelet (Broderie Anglaise) suit by one of her favorite labels, Alexander McQueen. The Duchess chose this for engagements in Singapore. The suit featured a fitted, deeply veed top with self-belt and a full, knee-length skirt.

Left/Center: Gardens by the Bay Facebook Right: Rebecca English, The Daily Mail, Mail Online

Later that same day (September 12) the Duchess wore separates by a locally-born designer, Raoul. Both pieces featured a red and black cube print on ivory silk, the pleated skirt has a hidden side zip fastening, the top has gathered and draped short sleeves.

James Whatling-Splash News/Rebecca English, Daily Mail, Mail Online

October 10 Kate and William met with law students at Middle Temple. We saw Kate in separates by French label Paule Ka. The double breasted jacket is styled with a shawl collar, two patch pockets, slanted breast pocket and modified peplum detailing at the waist, the skirt had multiple tiers.

Chris Jackson PA Wire/Conference News




  25 Responses to “Vote For Your Favorite Formal Frock & Favorite Suit/Coordinates From 2012”

  1. Kate’s shoes are so boring now! She wore some interesting ones before she was married. A beige two-toned pair with the gold coatdress worn to the Tom -Parker Bowles wedding and a black pair with bows she wore to the Van Cutsem wedding in 2005. Does anyone know the origin of these? My apologies if this has been discussed, I came in late and am not on Facebook. I wonder if she finds the wedge ones more comfortable now, if they give more padding when she’s on her feet for a long time.

  2. The Davina and the teal Jenny Packham – breath taking!!!

    Also I didn’t know you were chosen by Time as a blog of the year ! Congrats, it is so deserved!!!

  3. This was a far easier pick for me than the coats last time. I had clear favourites in both categories — the Jenny Packam teal for evening and the LK Bennett, also teal, for day. Love ‘em both!

    Thanks so much for the post — it must be gruesome trying to pick a shortlist — you’ll never please all of us at any time, alas!

    It’s a pleasure to revise the Duchess’s outfits Funnily enough, I was rooting around in dark places of late and unearthed an old biscuit tin, complete with the cheesy engagement picture emblazoned atop. It suddenly looked quite fresh top me, when at the time I’d felt overwhelmed by the number of duplicate pictures around. I was struck by how very stable Catherine’s conservative taste is — many of her choices can survive the test of time and she could still look glamorous to another generation.

    I was interested as sometimes it’s tempting to think her a little boring, but really she has the most remarkable qualities for taking up such a unique role. Keep ‘em coming, Kate!!

  4. I liked the Roland Mouret gown best. But where is the one Kate wore on the red carpet in the U.S.?

  5. wow, what a surprise (to no one but me)

    I couldn’t choose between the Mouret and the Temperley because I found both looks to be absolutely exquisite on the Duchess in contrasting ways..

    I finally chose the black lace simply because my choice for the previous year, the barely-lilac & diamante-belted McQueen stunner, was nearly the same color as the Mouret so I thought I’d go with black, this time–

    when pictures of the teal Jenny Packham gown were posted here, I remember being in the minority, then, as well: there was something about the bodice and sleeves and yes, maybe the business of it, that surprised me as being unattractive on Kate. I say surprised because I thought an unbecoming look on her was nigh impossible–! the lacy shoulders look unflattering on her body, to me. slightly more structured shoulders, on the other hand, bring out the delicacy of her neck, arms, waist.. it’s hard to pinpoint why I don’t ‘get’ this look- and obviously not important since it’s winning by a landslide!

    the teal (different shade..) LK Bennett Davina dress and jacket are just gorgeous. the way the jacket folds just so, under the belt. the color on her. I love everything about this look. it makes the eyelet suit look too girlish- even the Paule Ka, to my eyes, because of the full, rippled skirt, strikes such a different note than this sleek, modern, oh so memorable outfit.

    and I have to chime in and agree with AshleeOlivia: my all out favorite for the entire last year was the blush McQueen (Jubilee Mass). like Kate’s wedding dress, it was perfection.

    the red McQueen (for the Thames procession) also impressed me- and for a different reason: once again, it showcased Kate’s sensitivity to the occasion. choosing that vibrant, ‘loud’ red turned out to be the unassuming, respectful choice ! her suit blended with the rich fittings of the boat in all the formal photographs– an amazinginly thoughtful, gracious young woman.

    thanks for the polls! lots of fun——–

  6. I so loved the cream Roland Mouret, and thought that it was so flattering on the Duchess. Although I loved the updo, the teal Jenny Packham just didnt do it for me. I quite liked the white and gold gown worn to the state dinner, but not better than the RM column.
    I was so torn on the suits—between the teal LK Bennett and the white McQueen but went with the teal, simply because it is more what I would choose for myself. I actually liked all the suits, and I think they suit the Duchess’ proportions better than some dresses.

  7. I voted for the Roland Mouret cream gown, which I think is truly stunning in its simple sophistication. I love the classic silhouette, and the balance between the high slit and demure sleeves. I see that the Jenny Packham Aspen was a fan favorite. I truly appreciated that overall look on the Duchess, since she was really pushing her own boundaries fashion-wise in pairing this ornate gown with an up-do; however, the gown itself just doesn’t wow me. It is overly busy for my tastes and is too obviously a custom-dyed wedding dress. The one dress that I simply cannot understand is the gold and white McQueen worn to the Malaysian state dinner. I don’t think the bustline is inappropriate, but I do think that it is bizarre and ugly.

    As for the suits, my vote went to the LK Bennett. I was torn between the LK Bennett and the Alexander McQueen eyelet suit, but in the end I just admire winter clothing more than garments made for warm weather. (Go figure. I live in the southern United States, where it is always hot.) I also really enjoy the Raoul set, simply for its casual appeal. It is flattering and appears very comfortable. It is less of a showstopper than the other suits featured, but I think that is part of the appeal for me: it would fit effortlessly into my own wardrobe.

    I just wanted to share that my absolute favorite frock and suit from 2012 are the blush Alexander McQueen dress worn to the Queen’s Jubilee Mass and the red McQueen set worn for the procession on the Thames. I don’t care if Kim K wore it before the Duchess. I refuse to let that unfortunate circumstance ruin my appreciation for the outfit! (They weren’t featured in the poll, but I don’t expect the admin to include every dress and suit the Duchess wore this year, so this certainly isn’t meant as a criticism. I love the polls! Thanks again!)

    • Agreed! The red McQueen suit worn for the river procession was gorgeous.

      • But that red item worn on the barge was a dress, was it not? Its lines and features were a bit similar to the McQueen Black Watch plaid dress, at least around the top and hip area.

  8. The formal category was nearly impossible! But I ADORE that teal Packham; probably my favorite dress Kate ever wore.

    For formals, I LOVE the white eyelet. It reminds me of the 1950s, so fresh and pretty. :)

  9. All of her gowns are beautiful, but my favorite is the Jenny Packham.

  10. If I could have, I would have split my evening gown vote between the Teal and the Black lace. I choose the Teal because I loved her hair design with that dress.

  11. wont the other temperly gown worn on the 2012 tour be counted.

  12. The formal dress voting was tough! I love nearly all of them!


  13. I wasn’t utterly thrilled by any of these dresses or suits, but the cream Mouret was closest to my own style, as was the Bennett outfit in teal, though I thought the Davina dress was too short.

    • I love this dress also. There are far more photos than we see here that really show how amazing this dress was. I like the simplicity of the lines in it.

  14. I was shocked there weren’t more formal evening gowns! In my opinion, that Jenny Packham teal gown may NEVER be topped! Obviously to me it’s perfect, and also if I had the money I would have worn the cream version as a bride! The suits/separate’s were harder for me to choose, but chose the L.K. Bennett as the color and cut are fantastic on Catherine! I also loved, loved the Raoul ivory separates with the cubed details mainly because it looks so different from her usual choices. I like when she goes a little “edgy”. haha. Thanks for the polls Susan, I can’t wait to see the results. Also, Happy Birthday to the beautiful Duchess! (It’s still her birthday here in the U.S. haha).

    • I was surprised as well! I kept thinking “Wait, that’s it?!?”

      That teal dress was absolutely perfect on her.

  15. I can’t help but vote for the Jenny Packham dress. It might have been a bit busy, but overall it was elegant, a stunning colour on Kate, and that hair!! Definitely my favourite up-do of the year. :)

    As for the suits, I was going to go for the Broderie Anglaise suit because I am one of the few who do like those cork shoes. :P The sleeves were not always very flattering in the pictures, though.. so I went with the ‘perfect’ one –the L.K. Bennett ‘Davinia’.

    So much fun! I do adore polls. ^_^

    • It seems to be the big winner – I think in large part because there is a lot to look at – she wore her hair up and when she does, those dresses are typically more favorably received. I would have loved to have seen her hair up in the column cream gown.

  16. After being a big fan of this page for forever, I’m finally commenting!! :-D

    The teal dress is lovely, and I certainly see why it is so popular. But I *L*O*V*E*D* the Rouland Mouret cream gown. I agreed with most commenters at the time — pulling her hair up and choosing a classier shoe would have highlighted the gown’s features a bit more. I’m in love with the color cream, boat necks, princess shoulders, long sleeves, sexy slits, subtle detailing…. this gown brought it all together so well! (I think it had more detailing than can be seen on the green snapshot of it.)

    The Temperely was a nice idea… but it didn’t seem to look quite right. And, as much as I love and support Kate’s style, the State Dinner dress was way off. I would have liked to seen a more old-fashioned ball gown, like the Queen would have worn in her younger years. It’s been said a million times, but I agree — the neckline was just too odd.

    • I completely agree – the teal dress was way to busy with too much going on. You want to look at the back, no the sleeves, the color, everything and oh…then you look at Kate and start to take the whole look in. The cream dress is far more of a difficult design to make and have it look as classy as it does without being boaring. The fact Kates does not use a stylist is clear by not only her goofs on shoes a whole lot of the time, to her default hair-dos time and time again. I so want to see her pull her hair up more often. She has so much hair that when it’s down she is hidden by it at many angles. I almost wonder if it’s like a security blanket thing – I know it was really hard for me to cut my long hair when I got to the age that it needed to be cut or not worn down so much for professional life. I keep thinking when she has kids she will find her long hair is very impractical – it’s in your face, dragging across the surfaces you are trying to keep really clean for the baby, not to mention how babies reach and grab on to your hair with the most powerful grips and you think they never will lt it go! So would love to see her cut even 4 inches off her hair. I think she keeps it the way she does because Wm. likes it long. Remember she wanted to do her own makeup for her wedding (and did) because she wanted Wills to recognize her??? She does cling to certain looks and needs to widen her comfort zone. I really agree with yo about the State Dinner dress was a huge goof! That dress is something for the dress-up bin! I can see little kids loving to put their Barbie doll in that kind of a dress!

  17. I am finally in majority. LOL

    • Haha, that was my first thought too! I think that we already all know which formal gown will win…and probably by a landslide!

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