Oct 242013

Kate chose a silk evening gown by Jenny Packham for tonight’s the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner at Kensington Palace. The event benefits Action on Addiction, one of Kate’s patronages.

Ian West/PA Wire

Ian West/PA Wire

This evening’s event was held in the State Apartments at Kensington Palace. Kate awarded Dame Amelia Fawcett, DBE with the 2013 European Industry Leadership Award.  From the event news release:

Each year, the organisation identifies a woman whose professional talent, business ethic, and passion for investing help define and advance the hedge fund industry’s standards of excellence.

100 Women in Hedge Funds Twitter

100 Women in Hedge Funds Twitter

Dame Amelia was born in Boston and has dual citizenship. Among her many philanthropic activities she is also Chairman of Trustees of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. Below, the Duchess with 100WHF Association and London Board members, via the group’s Facebook page.

100 Women in Hedge Funds Facebook

100 Women in Hedge Funds Facebook

More on the event from The Mirror’s live blog.

The dinner was also held at St James’s Palace where a total of £675,000 was raised.

In this photo you can better see the details on Kate’s dress.

Ian /PA Wire

Ian West/PA Wire

Kate chose an ink blue tulle gown from Jenny Packham for the event.

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

The Ink Blue Silk Dress is from the designer’s fall 2013 collection.



It is available at Stylebop for $5655 and described as having:

  • wrapped front with V-neckline
  • gathered short sleeves
  • hidden back zip
  • black velvet sash

This provides a better look at the velvet belt.

Ian West/PA Wire

Ian West/PA Wire

An interesting side note, in the Pantone Fall Color Report, where designers speak of color influences on their fall collections, Jenny Packham referenced “ink blue” as the signature color, saying “it encapsulates the deep and evocative mood of the collection.”

The was one of my favorite looks from this fall’s collection. It exudes an understated elegance, and it looked lovely on Kate from the few photos I have seen. For those in either London or New York in the next several weeks, there is an opportunity to acquire some of your own Jenny Packham if so inclined.  The London sale is October 31 and the New York sale November 14.  (The dress shown below will be available at both sales.)

Jenny Packham Facebook

Jenny Packham Facebook

Many will recall Kate wearing the red Beulah London Sari dress for this same event in 2011.

Splash News

Splash News

The Duchess wore the diamond bracelet and earrings we have seen previously.

Kate Diamond Bracelet Earrings File Pix

She did have on a new ring I’m not familiar with.

Ian West/PA Wire

Ian West/PA Wire

We’ll update with more information on the ring should we learn anything new. Below we see Kate with Amanda Pullinger and Mimi Keller Drake.

100 Women in Hedge Funds Facebook

100 Women in Hedge Funds Facebook

CHRISTENING PHOTOS NOTE: At this point none of the agencies we pay for licensing have any of the four christening photos available. If/when they are made available, I will post them. In the meantime, The Express has all four of them in this story, the BBC’s story is here. They have also been posted at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge website.


  60 Responses to “Kate Wears Jenny Packham for 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala”

  1. It was an honor to have her in 100 Women in Hedge Funds. Thanks Kate for attending the gala, hope to see you in a future function.

  2. I guess I’m in the minority-loved her look. The last picture is by far my favorite-I think its especially flattering:) I agree, an updo would’ve been lovely, but I think she looks equally lovely with her hair down in cascading waves.

  3. Hi,
    Love all the comments, agree she could have put the hair up, worn a better bit of jewelry…I guess she may have had a bad day for getting herself together that night….
    Also, I am obsessed with this beautiful dress, Kate has great taste and proved it once again…I wish I had 3000+ pounds to spend on it!

  4. The ink blue gown is just lovely!

  5. I like Kate’s understated look for this occasion. Especially in the ensemble photo she appears neither too obvious nor diminished. I agree with previous comments that this dress is going to make more appearances, dress and hair worn differently. As well I think the lighting in some of the photos was harsh, not the most flattering.

  6. I love this dress and agree with others that it should have been worn as on the runway – Diana wore plenty of off the shoulder gowns and Kate wore the black velvet McQUeen prior. The fact is she really needs to go back to her former hair stylist who did her hair for her engagement, wedding and Canadian tour. The person who is styling her hair now is not doing her any favors…her hair really does look like a spaniel. I’m sure little George is a rascal, but she can call call people over to her for help – she does not need to make appointments at salons. I love her understated look, but a nice necklace and different hairstyle would have done wonders for this gorgeous gown :)

  7. I love the new official christening photo released today. To me it is the best one yet!


  8. I really love the color! It seems to be a bit difficult to photograph, but it’s really beautiful.

    I also like the way she pulled up the sleeves more on her shoulder, although I seem to be alone in that opinion. In the pictures of the runway model, it looks like it’s falling off. If it was just strapless, you wouldn’t think about it, but with sleeves, it seems to be slipping downward. I imagine people would spend the whole evening waiting for a wardrobe malfunction. Very nerve-wracking.

    I do agree with others that an up-do would have been lovely. Even though her hair is pretty, the up-dos she has are so beautiful. I’d wear them for everyday if I were her!

    • I totally agree about the shoulders of the gown—so awkward on the runway, but lovely the way the duchess wore them. I also suspect that you are correct that the color was lovely in person, although I don’t mind that it photographed darker. I wish she would have worn an updo or at least the demi chignon (half up half down) that she has worn many times in the past.

      Also, IMO, no statement necklace is needed with this look, although as a lover of bling, I wouldn’t have minded if she worn a beautiful sapphire or diamond strand!

  9. The gown is lovely and the Kate looks good. If she had her hair in an updo then whole look would have been given some zing.

  10. I am very reticent to post my negative reaction because so many of our commenters have reacted positively to this dress, causing me to question my own opinion; however, I just do not like this look. (There. I said it!)

    To begin, I agree with the commenters that suggested the silhouette is ruined by the shoulders being pulled up so high. Originally, I didn’t notice the difference between the runway model and how the dress appears on the Duchess, though I was struck by how much more attractive the dress appears on the runway (when I first scrolled through the pictures, my initial reaction was that the runway dress was an entirely different dress). To me, with the shoulders as designed, the dress has a modern, Grecian feel; with the shoulders yanked up, the dress almost appears like a 1950s prom dress (I’m incredibly glad the Royals have largely done away with the glove tradition, if only because Kate would have really appeared to be wearing 1950s costume if she had been wearing a pair of white gloves!). I sympathize with the need to feel comfortable and unexposed, but the dress just doesn’t work with the sleeves altered this way.

    Then there is the hair. I love the Duchess’s hair usually, but this is just extraordinarily poor styling. The two curls that seem to fall on either sides of her shoulders give the style a flat feel (actually, there is a noticeable lack of volume throughout her hair, but the weather may have had a hand in this too) . And, as many have pointed out, the neckline really calls for an updo. As Lilli has already indicated, wearing the hair down this way significantly detracts from the neckline.

    Finally, the color. Blue is one of my absolute favorite colors, but this dress photographs black. I suppose this fact doesn’t really signify, as I’m sure the dress appeared that lovely shade of blue to the actual people at the event, but I think for a figure as public as Kate the way a dress photographs is important.

    Okay, I’m through being negative. After all, the important thing is that this worthy charity gains support!

    • Don’t be hesitant, AshleyOlivia! I completely agree with you. Kate always looks good, but the gown is not my favorite (though the color is smashing) and the styling too simple and bland for my taste.

      Not to toot my own horn, but I have similar hair to the Duchess’ and my immediate instinct is to always wear it down and blown out for formal occasions. It doesn’t always work with the type of dress I’m wearing, but it’s comfortable, doesn’t take too much time, and I know the end result won’t be a disaster. I can see how someone with limited time (and a newborn!) would opt for easy hair, but I tend to agree with you that an updo would’ve looked more polished with this inky Jenny Packham gown.

    • Hi AshleyOlivia — good to hear from you! and so sorry you’re suffering from not liking the outfit! This is just to say how very brave of you to come clean about it, it can be scary going against the general view. I loved everything about this outfit, and was strangely reconciled to the hair, despite having disliked the long ringlets before, but I’m really hearing what you say! Thanks for a great post.

      • You are both so kind! WKW commenters are the best; this is such a friendly community. I want to emphasize that I do like the dress, just not the look. The color is lovely in the runway and promotional photographs; I just feel as if that loveliness hasn’t carried over to the photographs of the Duchess actually wearing the dress. Further, yours truly would jump through rings of fire to have the chance to wear this frock, but if that miracle happened I would leave the sleeves as intended (just invest in some serious double-sided tape, obvi!!).

    • Well you’re not alone in not liking this look. The dress is a beautiful thing, but not styled just right. Duchess looks tired, has on way too much eye makeup, and her hair is awful. She needs to either cut about 10 inches off, or wear it up for events like this. I personally think she looks rather dreadful here.

    • AshleyOlivia,

      I agree with you on both counts: the dress doesn’t look great on Kate, and the commenters on WKW are usually friendly without being hysterically pro-Kate, like on some other sites.

      I don’t know whether it is the styling, the light, or the fact that the dress photographs black, but this is not one of my favorite looks. The first picture, where Kate is on the stairs, is particularly unflattering. I agree with all the comments about the updo, but not sure that an updo would have saved the day. I just think the neckline doesn’t suit Kate at all. What a contrast with the white McQueen she wore earlier, which was super flattering.

      And I agree that the ruby and diamond necklace wouldn’t go with the navy dress. Maybe Kate wore this dress as a hint to members of the royal family that a new necklace is in order…just saying.:-)

      I love Kiki’s jewelry on Kate, but I am always surprised that she doesn’t own more striking, expensive jewels. For example, the new ring doesn’t look super expensive to me. Don’t take me wrong, I am sure it cost thousands of dollars, and, as AshleyOlivia put it, I would jump through the hoops of fire to own a piece like that, but William is very wealthy, and he could have easily given Kate something more substantial. I am sure it is intentional, i.e., they want to be understated and avoid anything ostentatious and extravagant, but still…several strands of pearls or diamonds would make the navy dress look less severe…and given us more stuff to discuss :-)

  11. Doesn’t Kate have a necklace that’s like woven flowers made of diamonds, that she wore with a black velvet gown? Am I remembering correctly?

    I’m guessing she got home from the christening tea and photo shoot, had to hand off the baby, change, touch up the makeup, do hair, and decided to skip a necklace. A gorgeous pin
    at the waist might have sufficed, though.

    • Yes, she wore a set — necklace and earrings — of diamonds and rubies formed into small flowers. They worked very well with that black strapless screen-siren dress, but I don’t think they would have been quite suitable with this dress. Perhaps if she’d chosen to wear it off the shoulders, but as I said earlier, I really don’t think she needed a necklace with this dress, just a better hairstyle and earrings.

      For some reason, I’ve never liked the earrings she’s wearing, that go with the bracelet. I believe that set was a wedding gift from her father-in-law, and I like the bracelet, but the earrings somehow just don’t work for me. They’re ostensibly a drop style, but they seem designed with no sense of movement. I think that’s the problem. Someone once gave me a pair of garnet earrings designed that way, and I never wear them, because they hang so stiffly from my ears. I prefer drop earrings that move and catch the light as they do so.

      We never did learn who had given the Duchess the ruby and diamond set. Her office said simply, “A friend”.

      Some friend.

      • I fully agree with you about those earrings, I’ve always thought them distinctly odd and, as you say, lacking movement, especially for those beautiful stones.

        • I’m on board with both of you about those earrings. I’ve always thought them a poor waste of diamonds. Not to be too harsh, but they resemble cheap cubic zirconia costume jewelry to me, and I think that is because of the lack of movement Lilli mentioned. I’m far more partial to her Kiki McDonough jewelry; in those pieces, both the stones and the artistry displayed in their setting are remarkable.

          • It occurs to me that the art deco silver paste earrings that the Duchess wore with her silver one-shoulder Jenny Packham and also (I think) the cream Roland Mouret evening dress would probably work perfectly with this dress and with the bracelet, which also has an art deco design — not identical but with the same aesthetic. They’d have been a good alternative to extremely expensive earrings if her preference was to “dress down” a bit for this particular vent.

            Another possibility would be the clearly much more costly circular Kiki McDonough drop earrings in diamonds and blue topaz.

  12. I love the dress! I actually prefer the sleeves up on the shoulder, it gives a nice wrap-esque effect that works for me. And the color is great.

    I love the accessories, but can’t make up my mind about the hairstyle. I think it looks lovely in the first and last photos here, but in the middle it kind of reads “eh.” And I imagine the back would have looked more elegant with an updo, similar to the Olympics gala look.

  13. Bravo Duchess! This is a consummate example of how to do so much more with less, setting off a superb evening gown with minimal jewellery, simple hair and unfussy make-up. Kate looks sensational.

    The neckline is beautifully cut to work with the sleeves up or down – and as Kate has them tantalisingly just on the shoulders the effect is almost a sweetheart neckline. Those adjustable sleeves suggest tempting options for the future. Only when shoulders are on show will it be time for more bling at the throat, or maybe even on Kate’s head.

    I was a little surprised by the online retail recommendation to wear the garment with diamonds as I thought the fabulous gathering of the tulle gives a texture all its own and maybe some sleeker and more modern jewellery would work . That said, If I had a bracelet like that I wouldn’t want to keep it in its box either, and the inky blue colour is wonderful with diamonds, as well as more flattering to the wearer than all-out black.

  14. What a beautiful dress. Love the color and silk fabric. However, the duchess’s hair would have suited her so much better worn up.

  15. I love you new website – you do a fantastic job! This Canadian loves it!

    As for the dress and hair – a little dull and a little dull. The Princess needs a trim!

  16. What a beautiful dress. Love the color and fabric. Think I would have preferred the sleeves off the shoulder the way Packham intended, but it’s hard to tell.

    For me, Kate’s hairstyle really ruined it. This could have been spectacular, as Lili said, but Kate’s hair is in the way. Covering too much of the bodice. I am definitely among the group that wishes Kate would chop off a few inches and put her hair up more often. Too many beautiful necklines have been obscured by that cocker spaniel hair . . .

    I look forward to getting a better look at that new ring.

  17. Not my favorite look. Her hair desperately needs a cut and color and the dress looks very dull when it’s not worn off the shoulder, as per the runway look. I would have also done an up-do to exaggerate the cut of the dress.

  18. She looks lovely1 Thanks for the update!

  19. What a beautiful dress! I love that Kate didn’t wear a necklace: imo, this is how understated chic should be done.

  20. I think Kate looks lovely and the dress looks better with the sleeves pulled up onto her shoulders. There is no need to show so much skin. It’s fine on the runway but sometimes not practical in real life. Also, Kate obviously does not like big jewelry or too much jewelry and I think people should respect that and stop complaining that she needs a statement piece. She may think she’s yet too young to be covered in jewels. She looks just fine with the little that she wears. No need to try to compete with the Queen.

  21. The new ring reminds me of an “infinity” ring, and from the limited images we have, it looks like it matches her earrings and bracelet, so I’m guessing it’s a custom piece. I can’t wait to get more details about it or at least see a better picture!

  22. Adore this ink blue color and the gorgeous fabric of this gown. I know Kate prefers to go it alone and keep it ‘real’ but maybe for very formal events like this a little styling help is in order. I wonder that her hairdressers haven’t encouraged her to try a more sophisticated updo or the lovely nape of the neck knot she has used on a very few other occasions, or ask her to relax for half an hour and have a really good hand and nail treatment for big days like this when loads of close ups will be done. I think a Duchess confident and beautiful enough to wear skinny jeans to the grocery could bare her shoulders without causing too many raised eyebrows. Her grandmother-in law certainly had gowns with bare shoulders in those lovely 50s and 60s photographs you see of the royal family at formal events back in the day.

  23. I find this look to be very plain, but am assuming, especially at that price, there must be exquisite detailing that doesn’t show up well in these photographs. The fabric, also, must be more special than I can tell from the photos. I think an updo and a statement necklace would have helped this look tremendously.

    • OMG!! Seriously???

      • Nancy’s assessment doesn’t seem very left-field to me, why the shock? For an evening gown, it is definitely simple (but lovely), and I agree that hair up would definitely be a more gorgeous choice.

        I’m suspecting that Little Man is putting her through her paces more than she or William are letting on, and that the simple-and-down, not-recently-colored hair is evidence of that – a couple of the photos definitely look like a mom who would love a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep, however beautiful Kate is; just a thought.

  24. A beautiful, elegant dress badly let down by untidy hair and the lack of a statement piece of jewellery. Those beautiful diamonds are just lost.

  25. Kate looks lovely I like that she modified the sleeves. She was trying to look classy for a woman in her position and didnt want to show too much skin or worry that the sleeves were falling down too low all night. I agree with Lili that she should have worn her hair up in an Updo. She truly looks like a goddess that way. I think this dress was missing a necklace. I also think she is wearing too much blush. Her new bow ring is beautiful and her dress is gorgeous she does have great taste,

    I adore the new official christening photos so nice to see all the heirs to the throne in one photo. George is a doll!

  26. Love the dress and think she look great – but wish she had worn the sleeves off her shoulder as the model had and the illustrations show. I think it much more modern and fresh that way.

  27. My favorite boot style is the Rhumba!

  28. Kate looked fantastic today. I thought this was one of her all time best looks! Love the colour, the texture, the cut, everything!


  29. This is a beautiful dress, I love the elegant simplicity, the midnight/ink-blue color, and the rather Grecian pleated effect of the bodice. Truly gorgeous.

    BUT: I think it needed to be worn as Packham intended, off the shoulders, to make the right impact. I understand that the Duchess might have hesitated to show much skin, but she’s done so in other evening dresses, and I don’t think wearing the sleeves off the shoulder would have violated any unwritten rules of decorum. The Queen herself wore strapless and off-the-shoulder evening dresses as a young woman.

    Moreover, since she did choose to wear the sleeves covering most of her shoulders and upper arms, she needed at least to let people see the entire design of the bodice. Wearing her hair down prevented this, and the ringlet effect of her curls was very unflattering. I think the dress would have been set off to much better effect by an interesting updo and glittering, chandelier earrings.

    So, my verdict is: spectacular dress, poor styling. Alas.

    • I agree – beautiful dress, poor styling. Again, an updo would have looked so much more sophisticated and would show off the neckline of the dress!

    • I’m not particularly in favour of the outfit being made any more dressy as it were, by updo, extra jewellery or whatever. I thought Kate kept things sensibly low-key given the formidable financial companions she was with for the evening.

      I think the dress has plenty of potential for future — and seriously glamorous — use. I also notice that the ringlet style, which several of us have questioned before, has the advantage this time of shortening her hair nicely, which I think helped.

      In fact, by wearing the dress this way on this outing I would have thought it might give the Duchess practice wearing it — do you ever do that? Wear something to a lower-key event first off, to find out how it behaves — and then feel braced to step out in full splendour on some grander occasion?!

      • Well, we’ll simply have to agree to disagree on this, ElizaMo. I think the dress is very badly served by the hairstyle, and if she’d worn her hair up as I would have preferred, she’d have needed to wear a pair of rather more striking earrings than those she had on.

        However, I would not have wanted to see her wearing a “statement necklace,” as some have suggested. The elegant design of the bodice, sleeves, and neckline is quite enough of a statement.

        • I’m more than happy to agree that the hairstyle is an awkward one and results in some unfortunate stray ends which don’t help what you rightly term the elegant neckline.

          I think this dress could look seriously sexy to be honest, and this was a girls’ night out — if such formidable financial number crunchers could be described thus. She could wait to do smouldering updo and more sparklers in mixed company when she’s safely accompanied by hubby. He might, after all, be reluctant to let her out on her own looking that good!

      • I agree. The Duchess could easily wear this same dress at a more lavish event and it would seem new. She could pull the sleeves off the shoulder, wear a great diamond necklace, longer drop earrings with the hair up and put a diamond brooch on the velvet tie around the waist. The dress would look instantly new and different.

        I will say again, I think Kate looks lovely here and she is elegantly understated and matches well the women at this prestigious event.

        • I found this look to be inelegantly understated. The dress is outstandingly elegant, but everything else about this particular look screams ‘unfinished’.

          And I agree with Lili’s comment. If the Duchess had put her hair up and worn chandelier earrings (and they could have been simple in style), the dress would have been stylishly accessorised.

        • Personally I thought they were a seriously scary bunch of girls to be out with for the evening — and I thought Kate looked kind of nervous at times. I think a more lavish event will be the time for updo’s and statement necklaces! It’s such a lovely dress and clearly adaptable and I’d love to see it again.

  30. Gorgeous. What a classy dress.

  31. I love, love, LOVE this dress! I saw it on the runway and it grabbed me right away (I’m a blue person). It looks wonderful on Kate. Perfect.

    As much as I love that she kept her accessories simple, this dress could also handle some “important” jewelry. In other words, I hope that Kate receives more of Diana’s sapphire collection.

    • Agree about the “important” jewelry, but this particular event wouldn’t have been the place for it. I also think that the updo would have demanded more imposing earrings, which might also have been out of place for this particular evening. I hope she busts this number out again for the Australia tour, a film premiere, etc. where she could go bolder with the jewelry.

  32. Kate looks lovely as always. I am curious about her new ring. I wonder if that ring is the baby gift William gave her after giving birth to George? Just a thought.

    • I thought the same thing about the ring. I went back to the christening photos, but she’s always holding Prince George and you can’t see her hands.

      • Anna from My Small Obsessions (Facebook page) and Ayvee from Diana’s Jewels (website) have a hypothesis that the ring *might* match Kate’s diamond earrings and bracelet worn at this event. Apparently the jewels were a wedding gift from Prince Charles, and it’s possible that the gift included a ring and maybe even a tiara. This collection of matching pieces would form a parure. This is a very interesting theory, and remains a theory; but it holds water for me if we can get a better look at the ring, and if the ring’s motifs are the same as the bracelet and earrings. FABULOUS.

    • Oh, that’s a great thought! I hope you’re right, Erin. I suspect we will never know, but it’s wonderful to speculate.

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