Sep 062013
 

Hello and happy weekend to everyone. We have several updates to share, and they all involve boots.

We begin with the case of the UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object) Boots, something that has stymied many of us for years. The object of our confusion? The boots worn by Kate in this 2007 photo; the future Duchess is seen leaving Raffles nightclub with younger sister Pippa.

Matt Keeble/PA Wire

Matt Keeble/PA Wire

 

Identification of the boots has proven perplexing, many a search was undertaken to determine who made them and several times it was thought we had discovered the answer. At one point it seemed they might be by Hobbs, another time it looked like they could be Banana Republic, Sara Wellman did a significant amount of groundwork, contacting companies.

Fortunately, a friend from the WKW Facebook Community has finally solved the puzzle. Behold, Kate’s boots.

eBay/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

eBay/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

They are by a storied Swiss brand, Bally. Credit for resolution of the boot debate goes to Rachel Beasley Nesbit, also known as Rachel N. Wales on the WKW page. Here is another look at Kate in the boots, this time at Coworth Park for a May 2009 polo match.

SplashNews.com

SplashNews.com

While the photo enlargements are a little blurred, you can see that Rachel’s boots are the same as what Kate wore.

eBay/Splash News

eBay/Splash News

Another angle.

Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit/Splash News

Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit/Splash News

An interesting note, the boots were described as “BALLY Burgundy Dark Red Coated Leather Double Buckle” boots, I would not have pegged the color as burgundy. A look from another angle.

eBay/PA Wire

eBay/PA Wire

No doubt some readers will recognize the Bally name, the company has been around since 1851.  Bally makes shoes and accessories for both men and women. Below, an image from the brand’s fall advertising campaign, Bally continues to offer women’s boots.

Bally Facebook

Bally Facebook

The new campaigns may be beautifully staged and photographed, but some of us fondly recall the older Bally advertisements, like these.

Via Vintage Venus, Australia

Via Vintage Venus, Australia

The company did well for more than a century. In 1977 family members sold their share of the company and shortly afterward Bally encountered problems. Since then it has changed hands more than once, it is now owned by Labelux Group, the same firm that owns Belstaff and Jimmy Choo.

Back to Kate’s boots, here you see Kate wearing them at those same polo matches.

Splash News and Pictures

Splash News and Pictures

Bally has a store in Mayfair, right on Bond St., it’s possible this is where Kate purchased the boots. I doubt we’ll ever know precisely where they were bought; Bally has stores around the world, many of them in locales Kate has visited over the years. The company does mark its hardware, we show the ‘Bally’ name on a contemporary shoe alongside a clasp on the boots Rachel purchased.

Bally/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

Bally/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

Bally designs for men can be found at upscale venues like Saks, but not the women’s products; an online search shows products at Bally’s website, but also at discounters like DSW, and Sierra Trading Post. Below, an image from the Bally website.

Bally.com

Bally.com

Those familiar with Kate’s jewelry will recognize the Patrick Mavros ‘Ndoro’ earrings she is wearing in the 2009 polo photos.

Splash News/Patrick Mavros

Splash News/Patrick Mavros

The Ndoro design is a classic motif; Mr. Mavros describes its Zimbabwean history and his use of the design here. The earrings are still available at the jeweler’s website, they are approximately $235, or £150.

Kate’s top is a French Connection bird-print piece, we thank Anna and My Small Obsessions for this information.

Splash News/My Small Obsessions Facebook

Splash News/My Small Obsessions Facebook

Kate is also seen carrying her trusty Prada bag; I have not had time to look for the maker of her black jacket (sweater?), nor her jeans.

For those curious about Kate’s attire in the 2007 photo with Pippa, the blazer is by British label Fenn, Wright & Manson.

eBay CopyKate Auction via My Small Obsessions

eBay CopyKate Auction via My Small Obsessions

The silk velvet jacket is single-breasted with curved lapels and flap pockets, our thanks again to My Small Obsessions for this info, Anna also says Kate is wearing a’ Silk Grecian Style Tunic Top’ in the photo, by one of her go-to labels, Reiss.

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Our other update, involves another pair of boots, only these were identified some time ago.

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley

Russell and Bromley have re-issued Kate’s Charge-It boots, now called the Charge-It2. Here is how the boot is described:

The classic zipped riding boot in luxurious black suede is elegant and sophisticated for easy chic all day long. Multiple elastic inserts add to the detail, elongate the leg and allow for flexible width fittings. Wear over skinny trousers or with dresses for chic Winter style.

Here we show Kate wearing the boots when shopping in February, 2012 and a closeup from when she was released from the hospital in December of 2012.

Kind Permission of IKON Pictures/Splash News

Kind Permission of IKON Pictures/Splash News

The boots sell at Russell and Bromley for £275, approximately $430 at today’s exchange rates. LK Bennett has also re-issued the Darwin Shearling Jacket the Duchess is wearing above left, it now retails for £795, roughly $1250.

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Our final note today is also about boots, in this case Kate’s favorite Rhumba boots by Aquatalia, the prize in our giveaway showcasing our fundraiser for EACH, one of Kate’s patronages.  The lucky winner is….

Aquatalia

Aquatalia

Cathleen Plaza wins a pair of the Rhumba in this year’s new color, Anthracite. Our thanks to Aquatalia for their generosity in sponsoring the giveaway.

  12 Responses to “Major UFO Resolved At Last, A Favorite Boot Re-Issued & Aquatalia Boots Winner”

  1. Has anyone in the US ordered from Russell and Bromley? They say you can as long as you call the store. Seems strange that they don’t have international shipping yet… Jaeger London offers it for free and so many of our favorite “Kate” shops seem to be offering it at a more discounted rate.

  2. I have a serious addiction to boots, possessing almost too many pairs to count, and I really adore this pair. Do they count as riding boots, or does that term only apply to boots with a flat heel? Most of my tall boots have a flat heel, since tall boots with a stacked heel often look just a tad too va-va-voom for my taste. That being said, I think the Duchess looks like the epitome of good taste here, and I’m consequently rethinking my opinions. It might be time to acquire tall boots with a stacked heel for myself…

    I love wearing my skinnies tucked into boots just the way the Duchess has done in the pic from the polo match; it protects your jeans from mud splatters. Also, it is so nice to see a vintage Kate pic, even if the picture includes a less-than-flattering shot of Pippa as well!

  3. That first eBay picture on the right is really misleading – the boots are reversed right from left instead of being side by side (the outside buckles are on the insides of the pair, and the inside zippers appear on the outsides). The soles give them away. Just saying! Beautiful boots, though, I’m impressed she wore them in the grass at the polo match – I’d think the heels would sink into the earth even if chunky.

    • Oh, wow! Very good eye, Anne. I hadn’t even noticed that picture has the boots standing the wrong way! That particular picture was from the eBay auction. The seller has over 160,000 items for sale and they don’t always post the most flattering pictures of their items. Haha!

  4. I have some serious boot envy now. I guess there are great things about the end of the summer, like the start of boot season!

  5. I seem to recall Fenn, Wright, & Manson clothing being available in the US at some point. I think I may even have owned something from that label, but it would have been eons ago. Does anyone else remember this?

    • I’ so glad to see you make that comment Lili, I was thinking the same thing last night and thought I must be goofy. I didn’t go through all of their history, just scanning their ‘about’ or ‘history’ page (or its equivalent). This 2012 story in the Guardian covers the company’s bankruptcy/administration.

      • I’m not sure how widely available the brand is at traditional retailers, but I come across Fenn Wright Manson tops with some regularity at TJ Maxx and Marshalls

  6. Thanks for a great pos and, oh ,how I love Bally shoes, boots — you name it! Back in working days they were my go-to choice for winter boots. Kate looks fabulous in hers — she can make expensive things look even more expensive!

  7. Great job everyone! It’s amazing when something is ID’d after is long! I found it interesting that Kate’s bots are from Bally – we all know she shops at Bicester Village and that’s also one of the brands that is there! (Along with Reiss, Jimmy Choo, Prada, and a load of other labels she wears). I visited Bicester recently and if you’d like to see some pictures of it, head to my blog! (http://foodfashfit.com/2013/09/06/bicester-village-chic-shopping-at-bargain-prices-2/). I did find a couple of Kate items on my trip!

  8. Thanks for the update!

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