Dec 052013

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was written before the news of Nelson Mandela’s death. Those in London watching the  Premiere of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” were told about his death as the credits were rolling. Prince William gave a brief statement following the film, saying the South African leader was “an extraordinary and inspiring man.” The statement may be seen here.

You Tube

You Tube

The couple appeared subdued as they left the theater.

Splash News

Splash News


The Duchess brought back an elegant gown by Roland Mouret for tonight’s star-studded premiere of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

PA Wire

PA Wire

The event is a benefit for the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. As you can see, there was a crowd on hand to see the stars and others arrive at the Odeon Leicester Square.


Pathe UK

The film’s stars walked the red carpet in very brisk weather. Below we see Simon Perry’s photo of Naomie Harris, she plays Winnie Mandela in the movie. On the right, Rebecca English of the Daily Mail shared this photo of Idris Elba, he plays Nelson Mandela.

Simon Perry - People Magazine/ Rebecca English - The Daily Mail & Mail Online

Simon Perry – People Magazine / Rebecca English – The Daily Mail & Mail Online

Both actors are British. Rebecca English has more on how Mr. Elba felt about the film’s London premiere in her Daily Mail story:

‘Tonight is extra special because this is my country and when the royals come out to watch a film it’s. a big deal. I feel very proud that it’s my film, really proud.’

More on the film from the CTBF:

This epic motion picture spans Mandela’s extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is the thrilling story of an ordinary man who rose to the challenge of his times and triumphed – an intimate portrait of the making of a modern icon.


Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund

Kate’s gown is the “Lombard,” inspired by actress Carole Lombard.

Splash News

Splash News

The Duchess previously wore it to the Thirty Club private dinner at Claridge’s in May of 2012.

James Whatling / Splash News

James Whatling / Splash News

Net-a-Porter continues to offer an almost identical dress, the ‘Ella.‘ The dress is an off-white wool crepe like Kate’s, and most of the design details are alike; the piece sells for $4610.



Kate accessorized with new pieces this evening, perhaps most notably, the statement necklace she had on. With thanks to Kristen on the WKW Facebook page, we can share that it is Zara’s Sparkly Crystal Bead Necklace.

Splash News/Zara

Splash News/Zara

The necklace sells for $35.90 in the US, reports on our FB page were that a Boston Zara still has a good supply of the necklaces. The Duchess did not wear any earrings, perhaps she thought they would “fight” with the strong necklace.

Kate also wore a pair of shoes we hadn’t previously noted.



The sharp-eyed team at What Would Kate Do team suggests the black suede pumps are by Prada, I think they are right.  Officially called the “Suede Round-Toe Pump,” we show them at Neiman Marcus.

Prada Suede Round Toe Pu,p at Neiman Marcus

Prada Suede Round Toe Pump at Neiman Marcus

We also saw what appears to be a new bag for the Duchess, a black clutch. Some believe it to be by Mulberry, I haven’t had time to look closely at it or compare it to suggested pieces.

Splash News

Splash News

UPDATED DEC 15, 2013:

The bag is by Mulberry, it is the brand’s Bayswater Clutch. We show it in the pink glossy goat leather as available at Selfridges (£495, about $800 USD).



The piece can be carried as either a shoulder bag (there is a detachable chain) or clutch, it has several interior sections, including a zippered pocket, and closes with that recognizeable postman’s lock.  The bag is shown as being sold out at Mulberry in black leather but available in several other leather colors. If interested in other items Mulberry does ship to the US for a £20 fee. For US shoppers, Mulberry is also carried by My Theresa. Many thanks to Ashley Marie and Anna for their ID on the  piece.

Kate’s hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail, tied with a black velvet ribbon.

As Royal Photographer Mark Stewart noted, “From Tiara to Zara for the Duchess of Cambridge this week.”


Also today, a look at what Kate wore when taking Prince George for a walk yesterday; the photos may be seen on PopSugar. The Duchess was in mostly familiar pieces:

  • Those J. Brand Skinny jeans we have seen on multiple occasions
Splash News

Splash News

  • Her trusty Ladies Defence jacket by Barbour


  • The gloves appear to be the Fownes gloves worn when she and Prince William helped launch the Saint Andrews 600th Anniversary fundraising efforts in March of 2011
PA Wire/eBay UK

PA Wire/eBay UK

  • Kate’s baseball cap is by 5.11 Tactical, a company that primarily services the military and law enforcement personnel. (The name “5.11″ comes from the Yosemite Decimal System ranking difficulty levels of rock climbing.)

    5.11 at Dick's Sporting Goods

    5.11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

  • The stroller is by Silver Cross, it is their Sleepover Elegance Pram System in navy. As one would anticipate, it is not inexpensive, prices for this pram run from . John Lewis carries Silver Cross, and they do ship to the US Silver Cross is a storied British brand, royal babies have been pushed in their prams for generations. E! Online has the company’s comments on the royals using their product:

“For many years, Silver Cross have provided royalty across the world with their prams and are delighted that the Duke and Duchess have chosen the premier British brand for Prince George,” a rep for the company says. “With over 130 years experience in manufacturing prams we are certain the Prince will enjoy his Silver Cross.” Several retailers carry the pram, in the UK John Lewis has it,

Silver Cross

Silver Cross

  • We will update with info on what appears to be an infinity scarf, as well as the sneakers Kate is wearing (we’ve seen them before, I just have to look them up)



  • Friday, Dec 6th: Kate will have tea with children and family members at the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice. She will also watch a music therapy session and meet volunteers. In addition to Kate’s interest in the children’s hospice movement, this comes under the umbrella of her EACH Patronage.


  34 Responses to “Kate in Roland Mouret’s Lombard Gown for Nelson Mandela Film Premiere”

  1. What a beautiful dress – the sort I would love to wear. The shoes, clutch, jewellery and hair style go so well. I really like the clutch – must buy one. Great.

  2. I am in the minority on this one. I adore the whole thing and especially the hair! Kate is quite often far too put together to seem approachable, she seems almost like a porcelain doll, perfectly dressed and coiffed. So this looks is like a breath of fresh air. She still looks lovely, the necklace is super fun, the hair is fun and shows off her gorgeous face and the overall look makes her comes across as a woman who is put together but likes to have fun. Love it!

  3. I was shocked to hear the sudden pass of Mandela, who has influenced the whole world for more than just one generation~ R.I.P

    As for Kate’s dress, I loved it the first time but not the second time. Somehow her shoulders look so bulky this time, almost appear out of proportion. Maybe the hair do made the difference?

  4. I’ve been thinking about this look for the past 24 hours, and I’ve decided that it’s thumbs down. Here’s why: it’s neither here nor there.

    Kate’s hair is kind of a disaster. I totally approve of pulled back hair. But I really do not like the one-strand-of-hanging-hair look. I don’t like it on film stars and I do not like it on Kate. Pull it all back, or wear it down. The hair ribbon is a little too Gigi for a 30-year-old duchess and mother of one.

    I also did not like the necklace for this occasion. It’s a fun, funky piece. Wear it for daytime, with a black turtleneck or under a suit jacket. It is too cheap to wear for a formal event. Kate has access to some of the most stunning jewels on the planet. There’s no need, for evening, to wear obvious costume jewelry.

    I really want the Queen, or Camilla, or someone to tell her to be more glamorous with her jewelry choices for formal events. Remember the story of when the East End was bombed during WWII, and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wore jewels and furs to visit the victims? She said they would have dressed up in their best to visit her, so she returned the favor.

    That’s how I feel here. Everyone in the audience has dressed up to meet William and Kate. Time for her to return the favor to them.

    • I don’t like the dress on her for the second time (loved it the first time). But I somehow found her choice of a Zara costume jewelry piece kinda refreshing. She’s young and should have fun with her clothing and jewelry, as long as she didn’t break the dress code for the occasion. I guess this might be a reason why so many women actually like her? I am not sure but for me it is the reason. :)

  5. I really liked the look the first time the Duchess wore this Roland Mouret gown with her Jimmy Choo sandals. This time I find the black shoes a stark contrast to the white/cream outfit and a tad heavy too. In my opinion something does not seem right. Also the necklace – though very pretty in itself – seems out of place with a boat neck. If the dress had a round or V-neck it would be a perfect backdrop for this necklace.

  6. What sad timing to hear of Mandela’s passing! A towering figure who will be missed the world over. Walk on, President Mandela.

    Now, to the clothes! I, for one, am in love with this look. I liked but wasn’t wowed by the gown in it’s previous outing, but I think it’s a homerun with the more interesting styling with the black accessories, hair up and statement necklace. Mixing a hugely expensive bespoke gown with a $35 necklace is a rather daring example of her high street/designer signature, I loved it (especially on the heels of a priceless tiara from her appearance earlier this week). And despite the controversy, I loved the soft ponytail look… casually elegant, seemingly effortless. The ONLY part I’m not wild about is the black ribbon in her hair… veers dangerously close to “scrunchie” territory. I would have preferred to wrap with hair if she didn’t want the holder to show.

  7. I appear to be in the minority, but I absolutely love her hair here. It looks so soft and effortless and framed her face in a most lovely way.

  8. The Zara store in Boston is sold out of the necklace! Zara stores do not ship to customers directly but if you are in NY you can still find some , don’t fret they will probably re make it again in no time :)

  9. What an absolutely adoring look! The dress, the shoes, the necklace and hair – I love everything about it; she looks radiant.

  10. I love that the Duchess chose to wear an interesting piece of inexpensive jewelry beautifully balanced with her elegant cream colored dress. Her hair is lovely, and the so-called flyaways- well, as any Mother of a newborn would know, glamour perfected is often set aside for life and reality, even for royalty, and beautiful, still.

  11. First and foremost RIP Nelson Mandela. What an extradorinary man and there will probably never be anyone like him in our time. William’s words were well spoken after the movie. I can only imagine addressing something such as a death right after watching the works of someone’s life. Job well done.

    Second, I’m a big fan of Kate’s and always have been but I honestly don’t like this look nor have I liked many of her looks she’s sported since having Prince George. I really miss her polished simple sophistication (i.e. simple clothes, slightly tanned skin and glossy hair). To me this look seems to be lacking something. It just looks messy. I loved the look when she wore it previously but I didn’t like it last night, too much going on, hair, jewelery etc. I know it’s hard to put the time into yourself when you have a baby ( believe me, I know, I have an 8 month old) but most Moms don’t have the help she has access to. I don’t know, I would just think being a public figure you would take the time to look the part but maybe she wants to spend more time the with baby and doesn’t care so kudos to her if that’s the case but I really do miss the old Kate looks. The clothes she wore on the Canadian tour have always been my favorite. She looked so pretty and chic!

  12. How sadly ironic that Nelson Mandela should have died at this moment, but in a way a relief. I rather had the impression, through weeks of stories about his declining health, that he was more than ready to go some time ago but that various people were not yet prepared to let him depart. Ave atque vale.

    It feels almost ridiculous to turn from that sobering subject to clothes, but clothes are why we are here. I loved this Mouret dress the first time I saw it and was pleased by the way the Duchess recycled it. I actually like the black accessories better than the silver bag and Jimmy Choo sandals she wore with it last time. The look is rather more sophisticated. Those black suede Prada pumps are almost identical to a pair I own, and mine are extremely versatile. You really can’t go wrong with them.

    I also love the necklace, since I feel that a simple cream dress like this needs a strong accent. I’ve been looking around for a statement necklace to wear in a few weeks with a black velvet dress I own that’s designed rather similarly to this Mouret dress, and this one might do. I’ll poke my nose into the Chicago Zara stores and see whether they have any left.

    The Duchess was wise to pull her hair back to show off the necklace, but I’m on the fence regarding the hairstyle. Looking at the pictures, I’ve changed my mind several times about whether I like it. I don’t think it’s too loose or messy in the front, as some have suggested — in fact, I appreciate the experimental, slightly unusual quality of that look — it’s the ponytail on which I can’t decide. On the whole, I think, it works, but I keep squinting at it and saying, “Hmmm.”

  13. I kind if like it but as always it does need tweaking. I think the hair worn up was good, even if the style lacked “something”. I am just glad she wore it up and away from her face because it really shows off her face and the necklace better. Too many times she has her hair in her face and covering up a pretty neckline. I love the necklace, I just think it doesn’t work at all with the bateau neckline. And I like the black accessories, she often plays it too safe or picks the wrong thing I think.

  14. I loved this dress the first time and I still like it. I have to say that this time it didn’t photograph as well on the red carpet walk (IMO it made her look thicker than she really is) but it looked great in the photographs taken inside the venue. I very much like the necklace and am asking for it for Christmas. I dont mind the messy ponytail, as I think it lets the necklace shine through. I agree with other posters that I would have worn a simple pair of diamond studs, but I dont mind the lack of earrings on the Duchess. The new shoes are great. All in all, this was a great look for the Duchess.

  15. Sheer elegance from the Duchess tonight – I love seeing this gown again and its wonderful cut which copes so well with Kate’s slim hips. I like, too, the touch of Hollywood in the name of the style, and that thigh-high slit is very A-lister.

    I also like the way such a classic gown can be re-worked with dark accessories, giving an edge of city chic, and the high-street necklace is an inspired choice. It has a quiet tribal reference not unlike the beading on her Matthew Williamson dress worn to a Tusk premiere.

    It’s wonderful, too, to see her hair in such luxuriant condition, and the simple pony tail secured with ribbon has a hint of ethnic about it. I’m not sure the stray ends at the sides were a total success, but there’s no doubt her face is beautifully framed by the style as a whole.

    And if we really have a new pair of shoes, well, I’m completely made up!

    I admired the way William was able to say a few words after the film, every inch the young monarch. Thanks so much for your excellent post.

  16. If her hair had looked a little neater, (a sleek ponytail or a bun even) I think she would have pulled off the look a little better. She has always looked amazing in literally EVERYTHING and stills looks beautiful here but not as put together. I blame it on the stress of being a new mom but seriously, her stylist could have done a better job.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I hate to keep banging the hair drum, but if her ponytail had been more polished, the whole look would have come together effortlessly. The ribbon is cute, but if she had had a stylist on hand last night, I could see a more complicated, sophisticated ponytail with the elastic and pins hidden by a wrapped piece of hair. (Does that make sense?) I do love the dress, as always, and don’t mind the necklace.

      • Yes, your description of securing a ponytail makes perfect sense and I’ve always found the manner you mention as being the most elegant way to sport a pony. However, I’m not terribly bothered by the velvet ribbon, as I think it complements the suede material of her shoes. Also, the band doesn’t recall a scrunchie to me. Instead it looks like the soft ties (examples can be seen here: that have become so popular among celebrities and are actually quite trendy at the moment.

  17. dont like the dress..
    don’t like the black shoes with the white dress…..
    don’t like the pony tail with this outfit ……
    don’t like the necklace with this outfit ……
    guess I just don’t like any of what Kate wore ……
    but up til now, liked everything else

  18. This look is such a departure for the Duchess and I’m thinking that we’re going to see some robust discussion about it.

    I am glad to see a statement necklace after making a couple of comments wishing for one.I also really like the change in hair styling though I agree with AshleyOlivia that a sleek ponytail would have worked really well and would probably have had us all in raptures.

    I will buck the comment trend though – I really do not like this dress.I find the little pleat detail at the shoulder at odds with the overall silhouette, and I think the split is far too high – just look at the Daily Mail’s sideshots and there’s more leg and thigh than you would ever want too see.

    My preference for footwear (I’d love to hear what you think, Lili) would have had the Duchess wear some type of elaborate flat sandal. I think that would have balanced out the necklace really well.

    • I’m wondering what specific sort of sandal you have in mind. I think on another woman and paired with another outfit entirely gladiator sandals might look very interesting indeed with this necklace (I say another woman because I just don’t view gladiator sandals as a shoe to which the Duchess would ever be drawn). However, if you are suggesting that she should have worn sandals last night, just think about the Duchess’s poor toes! I think it is relatively rare for it to be warm enough in Britain to wear sandals. I was there last May and sincerely regretted not bringing my winter coat. Aside from weather, I eschew sandals from late October until around March or so, even when our weather obligingly jumps into the 70s, simply because I think sandals look strange paired with winter outfits. Others might disagree, however. I’d be interested to hear other opinions.

      • Points taken, AshleyOlivia and Lili. I really wasn’t thinking about the weather or the length of the Duchess’s legs or dress. The sandal idea wasn’t a good one.

        • Oh, but I do think gladiator sandals would look really compelling with this necklace in a more casual setting and a kinder climate. Yours was an excellent suggestion considering that this blog is not merely about digesting the Duchess’s outfits, but serves a broader purpose of creating ideas for ways to adapt the Duchess’s fashion picks for our own lifestyles, figures, and climates. I might try this look myself this summer, provided Zara restocks this necklace.

    • Do you mean, a Roman-style flat sandal, perhaps laced up the leg?

      Well, that could have been an interesting look on some women, but frankly, I think that high slit really needs a long leg, meaning high heels. Her legs are short relative to her torso, and I think flat shoes wouldn’t have given her the right proportions for the dress. It would have had to be significantly shortened, for one thing.

  19. The dress is beautiful, I had actually wondered if she might wear it tonight. I like her hair also. I like the idea of a large necklace, but this one looks incredibly cheap to me. By cheap I don’t just mean inexpensive, but actually tacky. I think her Cartier necklace would have looked lovely with this dress, but there are also many better choices of costume jewelry than this piece.

    • Glad I’m not the only one thinking that necklace is ‘tacky’. It seems to my eyes just too large and clunky for Kate’s slim elegance.

      And is she sporting a pony tail???

      But what overshadows all this is that Nelson Mandela is gone. He was one amazing man. May he rest in well-deserved peace.

  20. Tonight exemplified what, for me, would be the most difficult part of being a royal: the need to respond publicly to emotionally painful events. William handled the situation with dignity and such empathy, and the Duchess as well, but I’m sure it was slightly more trying for her, as she does not have William’s years of experience dealing with events of this nature in the public eye. Of course, I feel most of all for Mandela’s daughters having to receive the news in this way.

    Despite the tragedy, I do want to comment on the clothes, as I find this outfit very interesting. “Tiara to Zara” indeed! I’m very fond of this necklace and I never would have guessed that it only cost $35. I think it complements the simplicity of the dress–which is really one of my absolute favorites–quite well. I think it was a smart move to forgo earrings, but I might have been tempted to wear a tiny pair of diamond studs myself (I’m not speaking of a known piece of jewelry in the Duchess’s collection. The Kiki McDonough Grace earrings, simple as they are, are too busy for this necklace, but I think a discreet pair of simple studs would have worked. I assume the Duchess owns a pair, even if we haven’t seen them yet). Also, I’m partial to the black heels paired with this dress, and I find the suede fabric particularly pleasing here.

    First the good, now the bad. I’m glad she wore her hair up, but I’m afraid I simply can’t get behind this ponytail. It isn’t awful, but I feel as if it is only 85% there: close but no cigar. To me, it doesn’t appear “modern”; I just see messy. I think the pieces pulled loose at the front would have worked if she had worn her hair pulled into a French twist, bun, or otherwise tightly-secured style in the back. On the flip side, if she had foregone the loose pieces in the front, I think a sleek ponytail would have been a success. However, the loose pieces alongside the ponytail just look unkempt. The hair doesn’t ruin the overall presentation for me though. I like the dress, shoe, and necklace so much that I have to classify this outing as a success.

    Speaking of success, what a wonderful off-duty outfit in the pictures where she is out walking with the pram. I truly applaud women who can master casual looks. I can put together an outfit for a casual lunch date, but if I’m just running errands I’m afraid I find it difficult to withstand the temptation to skip the makeup entirely and just don workout trousers. Then again, maybe I’d be more motivated if the paparazzi were stalking me.

    • I agree – the ponytail looks lovely from the back, but from the front it is too loose and unkempt. However I applaud her for doing something different with her hair, and overall I think she looked great tonight.

      How sad to get the news of Mandela’s death right after seeing the film. He was one of the greatest people of the 20th century and is a true inspiration. RIP.

  21. I really like this look on her. It’s different for her. The one thing I’m not super crazy about is the “ribbon” in her hair, which from some angles looks like a scrunchie *shudder*. I think if the pony tail was better executed this look would be a 10 instead of an 8.5.

    Now cue the horrid Daily Mail commenters complaining that she doesn’t look sad enough after she found out that Mandela died.

    • Dear CT it is ridiculous that the Daily Mail is saying that. Prince William and Catherine did not find out about the death of Mandela until at the end of the film premiere. So when they arrived they had no idea no one did. Once they did find out she and William look so sad and rightly so.

  22. I have been expecting Mr. Mandela to die soon since he was very, very ill and at 95, death could happen any time, so I wasn’t surprised. Too bad it happen on such a festive night and it put such a damper on the event. I read that he had seen various scenes of the movie so at least he had that. He was a great and good man.

    Anyway, the Duchess looks lovely and very sensible in that long-sleeved dress. I’ve never understood how people can stand on the red carpet to have their photos taken in really cold weather while wearing a strapless dress. Naomie must have been frozen solid!! Her black dress was lovely, though. I also love that faux diamond necklace Kate is wearing. It is the biggest neckless I’ve ever seen her wear and she looks great. Thanks for the photos. Now, I’m off to read all the tributes to Mr. Mandela.

  23. At first I wasn’t a fan of the more “punk” styling tonight, however after studying pictures for a while I decided that it is a fresh look for the Duchess and it definitely grew on me! The idea of a great pony tail to go with the outfit was not executed well, IMO. As she’s walking, she has too many “fly-aways” that can easily be secured. I was shocked to see her without earrings however agree with that choice.

    I think Nelson Mandela planned his passing with excellent timing! What better time to pass than at the exact moment they were celebrating his life! He was an incredible person and a modern hero!

  24. I am so sad that a true hero has passed. he was such an inspiration to me. I broke down when he died. May he rest in peace. I thank him for blessing the whole world for what he did for civil rights and the fight to end racism with peace. I loved the speech by William and Kate. They both look elegant however I do not like her hairstyle with her dress or that necklace.

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