Feb 192013

For Kate’s return to public engagements this morning she chose a past season MaxMara Studio dress, opting to go coatless under London’s sunny skies. Below, Kate arriving at Hope House.

Via Robert Jobson Twitter Feed (@theRoyalEditor)

The Duchess was visiting Hope House Treatment Center in south London.  The program is part of Action on Addiction, one of Kate’s patronages, and works with women recovering from substance abuse and compulsive disorders.

Neil Warner / Splash News

Some may recall that this is actually Kate’s second visit to Hope House. She spent time there in the fall of 2011 as she was researching different groups to support as a Royal Patron. Shortly after that visit to Hope House the announcement was made that Action on Addiction would be one of those charities she would work with.

Splash News

Kate’s dress is from the 2011 collection. Officially the garment was called the ‘grey long sleeved dress,’ it was part of the MaxMara Studio fall line.

Max Mara Studio via Lyst.com

The design is one Kate favors, a v-neck wrap style with long sleeves and self belt. Kate elected to wear the belt tied in the front, as opposed to the back. A bit down in the post we share several other contemporary styles Kate could be wearing from MaxMara.

Via Action on Addiction Twitter Feed (@ActiononAddiction)

More on today’s visit from the Prince of Wales website:

During the visit, The Duchess was taken to the centre’s kitchen and watched as a lunch of chicken and bacon pasta with salad was prepared by some of the clients.

Some of the ingredients for the meal – packs of chicken and bacon and packets of brown pasta – were laid out on a table and Her Royal Highness asked one of the women who was chopping mushrooms: “Do you like the menus and do you enjoy the cooking side?”

She got the reply: “I find it very therapeutic.”

The Duchess looked rested and healthy.

Neil Warner / Splash News

Victoria Murphy of The Mirror is also pregnant and due in July. She spoke with Kate about her pregnancy.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed (@QueenVicMirror)

Kate accessorized with her Annoushka Pearl Earrings, we have a better view of them from a photo taken during the Royal Tour.

Annoushka / Splash News

She also wore her Asprey Button Pendant.

Splash News/Asprey

There has been significant discussion on Facebook and elsewhere regarding the ring on Kate’s right hand, I am adding a photo for everyone’s benefit.

Splash News

The Duchess also repeated her Episode Angel heels.

On a related note, there is word that Action on Addiction and 100 Women in Hedge Funds (one of William’s charities) will be working together on a number of initiatives to raise money for Action on Addiction. The partnership kicks off March 14 with a party at the Jimmy Choo New Bond Street boutique.  I wonder if perhaps this is a result of Kate getting to know the shoe designer when they met at the British High Commission Residence in Malaysia, that was the location for an elegant high tea party. (One FYI, neither William nor Kate are expected to be in attendance for the function on the 15th.)


Next today, news about another series of engagements being added to Kate’s calendar. Tuesday, March 5 the Duchess will spend her day in the seaport community of Grimsby in Lincolnshire.  Places Kate will visit include:

Havelock Academy

More on Kate’s visit to the community from Victoria Murphy’s story in the Mirror:

During her trip to the fire station she will meet people on a course run by her father-in-law Prince Charles’ charity The Prince’s Trust – the first time she has carried out an engagement for the cause.

In contrast to rural Berkshire where Kate, 31, grew up, Grimsby has one of the highest levels of youth joblessness in the country, with around one in three young people struggling to find work.

A reminder that you can always check for upcoming appearances by looking at the “Calendar” page up at the top of the blog.


As mentioned, we have been looking at possible non-maternity styles for Kate to wear, it happened that several we pulled are by MaxMara. Below left, the Abate dress in a poly/elastene blend that provides some stretch, the belt is optional and can be removed to provide a more forgiving fit, the boat-neck and 3/4 sleeves are accents Kate favors. We show the frock at Matches fashion ($501). On the right is the Aceto ($409), also a jersey knit, the pleated neckline is a touch Kate would like; this would obviously require a sweater or jacket if Kate were to be outside for any length of time.

MaxMara Studio ‘Abate’ and ‘Aceto’ dresses

Two more possibilities, these by Diane von Furstenberg at Matches Fashion. On the left we show the Jeanne Two ($482) in a stark chain link print, the cut is DVF’s classic wrap style in silk jersey. On the right we show the same style, the Jeanne Two, this time in a dark green grass print, Shopbop offers it at $365.

Diane von Furstenberg ‘Julian’ and ‘Jeanne Two’

There are also many pieces that would work for the next month or two by Roksanda Ilincic, a designer Kate has worn several times. Below, the Pemberton, a cut that would be forgiving, it also offers design elements Kate likes, detail at the waist, the exposed zipper, it is available in three colors including the navy we show.

Roksanda Ilincic ‘Pemberton’

Below left, Roksanda Ilincic did a Swing Coat coat ($710) exclusively for Matches Fashion. The lines are elegant, but it may be too bold for Kate. Another spring outerwear option is seen below right, Erdem’s Whitley tweed coat ($3780), a 50′s silhouette in blend of fibers. It bears a strong resemblance to Kate’s M Missoni coat, it’s unlikely anyone would have such similar pieces in their closet.

Matches Fashion

There have been statements in the media that Beulah London is making maternity wear for Kate. There are several styles they currently offer that would work, including the Ondria dress (£425, approximately $650 USD at today’s exchange rates), depending on where the waist hits Kate.

Beulah London ‘Ondria’

Other possibles include (from left to right) the Brionna, Luanne, Andra and Naomi top on the far right.

Beulah London

More reasonably priced options can be found in the Alice Temperley Somerset Collection for John Lewis.

Somerset by Alice Temperley for John Lewis

Above left we see the Navy Jersey Dress (£99, about $150 USD), on the right, the Contrast Trim Silk Top (£79, roughly $125).

We’ll see you again later this week with a look at fall styles from several of Kate’s favorite designers.


  35 Responses to “Kate in 2011 MaxMara Studio Dress for Visit to Hope House”

  1. Love tis outfit. Not the most dynamic, but still love it.

  2. It looks like she is wearing a complimentary grey camisole or slip underneath. I usually do the same when wearing a wrap style dress as I am a little more busty, and obviously with her pregnancy she is becoming more so. I wonder if it was a full slip or just a cropped camisole? I like this outfit! It looks comfy and relaxed but still feminine and put together. Also, I love the shoes!

  3. I second ElizaMo’s appreciation that the “Great Kate Drought” is over. Hurray! By the way, ElizaMo, truly first class wordplay there!! ;)

    I have to admit that I have always been suspicious of the term “pregnancy glow,” since I just assumed that back pain and swollen ankles would cancel out any potential luminescence. But, let me just say that I am now a believer. The Duchess appears healthy, ecstatic, and there is a bounce in her step discernible in still photographs. The way she protectively places her hand on her bump is a touching sight.

    On to the clothes… This outfit is exceptionally appropriate and very flattering. I’ve always lusted for the Asprey Button pendant, and I’m excited every time it makes an appearance. The way the Duchess decided to tie the bow in the front adds an unexpected element to the look. Wrap dresses are so flattering, whether one is pregnant or just feels pregnant after a night (or week) of over-consumption. I’m not sure the pattern and color is something that I would choose as I prefer a little more pizzazz and character in my wardrobe, but I’ll admit that I might be tempted to buy something very similar if I needed to attend a conservative event.

    I adore both those coats, especially the Roksanda Ilincic black and white one. It doesn’t look like something Kate would wear to me, but it would be right at home in my closet…

  4. I don’t understand the reference to her black pumps! Where can I find them?

  5. Fantastic post- love the possible maternity wear options, and love what she was wearing. She looks spectacular and truly happy!!! :)

    That is the future king or queen she’s carrying! How exciting!

  6. She looks gorgeous and glowing. Her breasts look great and so does her bump. Gorgeous gal! She looks so happy!:)

  7. I lived in stretch jersey dresses during my pregnancies, although I avoided wrap dresses as the wrap portion would fall unflatteringly on the bump instead of to the side of it as the pregnancies progressed, so I would just buy a regular dress in a size larger than normal. I can see Kate wearing the Alice dress but she seems to be carrying fairly high so the Illinic and Beulah dresses may not work for her.

  8. I just read online that Vivienne Westwood challenged the Duchess to stop buying clothes and to start wearing things more than once! Is it possible that this woman hasn’t seen or read or heard anything about Catherine since she came to the media’s attention how many years ago? How is it that anyone cannot know what it is that we all love about the Duchess – that is that not only does she love to dress well but that she does it by wearing things again and again! I’m still shaking my heading wondering just how Ms. Westwood could have said this especially at a time when any woman, Duchess or otherwise, would need to add to her closet as her body changes thru her pregnancy?!

    • I thought the same thing, too! Kate is so well-known for recycling her clothes and bringing out items that she’s worn years ago. Sure, she’ll incorporate a new outfit or accessory (don’t we all?), but it’s not like she only wears brand-new outfits every time she steps outside.

      The more I think about Ms. Westwood’s comments, the more confused I am by them. I have always thought Kate was a great example of how one can keep a favorite outfit looking fresh by incorporating different accessories, new hairstyles, etc.

      • I thought it was just someone else using Kate’s name to get publicity for themselves — a certain historical writer used her name recently, and presto! increased book sales….I suppose it’s just free publicity. Like you I’d also thought Westwood just showed her unfamiliarity with Kate’s wardrobe choices.

        • I don’t think Hilary Mantel’s book sales increased appreciably as a result of any remarks about the Duchess. She’s been a best-selling author for some time now.

    • I must confess …I’m just as baffled??!! (it all seems “green” to me)

  9. Adore the print. It’s pretty hard to pull off if you’re the slightest bit pale, but with that fresh from vacation-pregnancy glow it looks very flattering. Personally, I can’t wait for her to pull out the big punches when it comes to prints and patterns – nothing cuter than a pregnancy bump clad in some stark graphic pattern (e.g. DvF dress featured above). Though to hope for bright color and a print might be a bit presumptuous ( – like the rest of this statement isn’t. At all.)

  10. love seeing pictures of kate and she looks great! i hardly see a bump so i’m not sure what the media was making a huge deal of. are those new shoes she’s wearing–i don’t remember seeing those and i like them most of many of her heels!


  11. Praise be, the Great Kate Drought may be over. Love the dress, elegant, chic, understated – and pretty on top of it all. A flared cut is flatters her generally, and the neckline is also good on for her. I like the touch of a dark contrast at the neckline.

    Sensible jewellery, sensible shoes while all remaining elegant. And the hair looks much better for the growing out of those bangs. All-in-all, a smart inner-city, low-key outfit suitable for a visit on the serious theme of addiction.

    At the same time the way the belt rides up is simply endearing. And when did a woman ever look more delighted with herself having put on a few pounds?!!

  12. Gorgeous! This feels like the winter companion piece to the grey and white checked dress she wore to the athletic training facility last summer. And tying the belt just a bit higher and adding the camisole makes it a perfect “starting to show” proportion. Sigh. I hope I look half as good in similar circumstances!

  13. I don’t know when I’ve seen her looking more radiant. I want to look that great when I’m pregnant. This dress was the PERFECT choice for her first outing with a little baby bump.

  14. Kate’s dress is beautiful, and she looks happy and healthy. It’s a sheer delight to see her feeling and looking so well.

  15. It’s about time! has been too long! She looks gorgeous. However, the dress is not my cup of tea, neither the print nor the cut.

  16. I love this website because I like being in a place where I can squeal over her baby bump and be enamored with what a lovely person she is and not have to deal with bitter, jealous trolls who despise her for no other reason than that she’s a lovely person who has what THEY want. Kate is a well-educated, sensible, sweet, classy woman. She has such a wonderful, welcoming sense of style. I cannot get enough! She looks radiant and super cool!

    • Not everyone who dislikes Kate does so because they cannot have what she has, but I do agree that negativity never leads to anything constructive. And I adore this website myself!

    • Ann Valor,

      I agree 100% with you. The characteristics of envy and jealousy are evil because people dehumanize a person they do not know and attribute a personality to a person they do not know, have never heard speak, or read (due to no material) to make such a judgement. There is no reason other than the two you mention to dislike a person you don’t know. There is also the ruthless person (such as people who know if they say something rude about her they will gain all sorts of publicity). She cannot respond to any of her haters – not the everyday person who writes vitriol on blogs or to the famous who use her for their own purposes. She is grace and steel under the most difficult of circumstances.

      • I so agree with the above. At the risk of veering further off topic here, I’d like to add that few things seem worse to me than self-regarding academic types jumping onto a populist bandwagon in order to gain cheap publicity. The recent remarks by Hilary Mantel about the Duchess of Cambridge come across to me as no different from the tactics of a third-rate tabloid newspaper columnist.

        Historian Simon Schama tried something similar in recent months, taking Downton Abbey to task. Of course Downton’s not history; it’s a fairy-tale, stoopid.

        And the Duchess is not a plastic doll — she’s for real. Some of these types are in such a hurry to assert their imagined intellectual superiority that they end up with their own lack of judgement all over their faces and their mighty reputations well dented. I myself was thinking of moving on to the second of the Mantel trilogy but can no longer face the work of such a tasteless commentator.

        On WKW I have always found informed and intelligent comment which is perfectly capable of taking on board the cut of a dress and the detail of a seam as part of a comprehensive world view. I think it’s called being a grown-up.

        No. Hilary should leave the real world well alone. She should stick to what she does best: writing biographies of medieval civil servants.

        • Hilary Mantell did not say anything dereogatary about Catherine. I like Catherine and if she had, I’d be up there saying “Unfair”. What HM did was to deride the media for their treatment of royal women, using Catherine (among others) as the modern example. IT was a plea not to just see her as a clotheshorse, or as a production unit (my words) for the next heir. But to see her as someone with more to offer.

          The media cut and pasted HMs speech to academics and waited SIX days before they caught up with it. She pleaded with them not to be cruel and treat her like a caged animal but to let her be herself.

        • As an academic type (though I hope not a “self-regarding” one), I feel the need to stick up for Mr. Schama, whom I’ve met more than once, and to point out that Ms. Mantel’s comments may have been presented in an unfairly distorted way by such screechy rags as the Daily Mail. There’s nothing wrong with remarking that as much as we may enjoy shows like “Downton Abbey,” they are not true to life or history — young fans, in particular, can benefit from being told that. I recall once producing a high school essay comparing fictional treatments of a certain historical issue with the reality. Useful exercise.

          Hilary Mantel is an extraordinarily talented writer, and as I said, I think her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge were somewhat taken out of context. I think it was real third-rate tabloid newspaper writers who made her sound like one.

  17. I think she looks great. It is amazing- she looks so young, refreshed and less drawn than she has appeared of late. The photographs shown here resemble photographs taken of her years ago, before she became a royal, in my opinion. The vacation certainly appears to have served her well. I love the dress on her. I hate wrap dresses for myself, only because I do not have the physique that the duchess does and they do not flatter me.

    By the way, I just wanted to express what a great blog this is. I follow it very frequently, and I regret that I have not commented until now. I love jewelry-I look forward to learning the identity of the designer of the heretofore unidentified right hand ring.

  18. Cami under her dress looks exactly like this one from Banana Republic. They had this in grey a few months ago. http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=51450&vid=1&pid=850677002

  19. I thought this was a great look on the duchess–perfect for this stage of her pregnancy. The print is subtle enough to look great in photographs, and I am glad she tied the belt in front—not a huge fan of belts tied behind the back on grown women. The overall look was great. Would love to know more about the ring on her right hand, as she has previously not worn a ring other than her wedding/engagment set on official events.

  20. Can anyone tell what sort of ring she is wearing on her right hand? The only photos I have seen are too far away/blurred but it may either be a claddagh ring, or perhaps a ring with stones in a straight line?

  21. I wonder if Kate will favor outfits with patterns for the duration of her pregnancy. It’s a great way to sort of camouflage her belly.

  22. I love wrap dresses and own several (including four by Diane von Furstenberg) and am on record as being a Max Mara fan, so this look was a winner for me. Perfect for a just-starting-to-show pregnant woman, elegant and feminine but also suitable for work.

    One of my DvF dresses has a print a bit similar to this, though in taupe and white. DvF wrap dresses tend to be cut rather low in front, so I usually wear them with little camisoles underneath, as the Duchess did with her MM dress.

    I like a number of the suggested looks, even the Beulah items, though I am not normally a fan of Beulah. The Ilincic dress is great — I love the zipper effect — but it might not be flattering on women with much in the way of hips. The Erdem tweed coat is also wonderful but perhaps a touch unstructured for the Duchess.

    All in all, a good start for pregnancy looks. I look forward to seeing more.

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>