Jan 152014

We are back with our annual dress poll, as well as the results of our 2013 coat poll. But first, news that a jewelry set Kate has worn several times has been identified.

The set is seen on more formal occasions has been seen just once, in December 2011 when the Duchess attended the Sun Military Awards with William and Harry. (The black velvet frock is by Alexander McQueen.)

Polaris Images/Splash News/Splash News

Polaris Images/Splash News/Splash News

A closer look at the necklace.

Splash News

Splash News

It turns out the set is by Mouawad, credit for the identification goes to Lurdes of Tesouras & Tiaras, Boryana and the HRH Duchess Kate blog. The two women had an idea the designer might be Mouawad and let Charlotte at HRH Duchess Kate know their thoughts; she wrote the company for confirmation. Mouawad responded, verifying the pieces are theirs; our thanks to all three for getting this IDed. As suspected, Kate’s necklace and bracelet are made from diamonds and rubies set in 18K white gold. Below we show another Mouawad set, somewhat similar to Kate’s.

Mouawad Jewelry

Mouawad Jewelry

I speculated in one post that perhaps the necklace could also be worn as a tiara; after seeing the pieces above and looking at Kate’s set again I no longer believe that to be the case.

Mouawad has been in business for more than 100 years. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Mouawad has stores throughout the world, including one in Los Angeles. Celebrities are often seen wearing Mouawad pieces on the red carpet. One of the company’s more notable products: the jewel-encrusted ‘Fantasy Bras’ worn on the Victoria’s Secret runway every year; Mouawad has made many of them. Below, two recent advertisements show other pieces created by the company.



Kate’s earrings are not part of the set; they are the pair first noticed when worn to the Canada Day concert during the 2011 North American Tour.

Splash News

Splash News

These earrings have a matching bracelet, this set has not yet been identified.


We move now to our annual dress poll. Per usual, I have divided pieces into one of two groups: daytime dresses and more formal looks. We begin with a 2011 wrap dress from MaxMara Studio worn on a visit to Hope House in February. The frock’s official name (as best I can tell) was “Gray Long Sleeve Dress“.

Splash News/Lyst.com

Splash News/Lyst.com

The Duchess visited the town of Grimsby in March. For that engagement she selected the ‘Cezanne’ dress from Great Plains London, French Connection’s more moderately priced company.

SplashNews.com/Great Plains London

SplashNews.com/Great Plains London

It was a simple Topshop dress that Kate wore for her engagement at the Child Bereavement Center with William. The Contrast Collar Dress is mostly polyester with 6% elastene for stretch. it originally sold for £46, approximately $75.

Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

For an appearance at an elementary school in April Kate wore Erdem, the Sophia floral print dress.  The frock is 100% silk, with a burgundy, navy and pink print; it originally sold for $1880 at Net-a-Porter.


Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

One of the more lighthearted engagements of the year was a trip to Warner Brothers Studios in late April. We debated whether Kate was wearing Topshop‘s “Polka Dot Skater Dress” or its “Florence Maternity Dress,” I would lean toward it having been the Florence. Kate also wore it to the May wedding of friends William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene.

Photos: James Whatling/Splash News

Photos: James Whatling/Splash News

For Prince George’s introduction to the world Kate wore a cornflower blue Jenny Packham dress. The silk crepe de chine frock featured cap sleeves, a gathered empire waist and self belt.

Splash news/Georgina Brewer ITV/PA Wire

Splash news/Georgina Brewer ITV/PA Wire

A photo of Kate, William and George was released mid-August. Kate wore the Knot Front dress by Seraphine Maternity in fuchsia. The center knot creates fabric gathers just under the bust; the dress also has cap sleeves and a deep v-neck front.  It remains available now for £46.

PA Wire/Seraphine

PA Wire/Seraphine

I have not included dresses we have seen Kate wear previously, nor those that we really couldn’t see Kate wearing. The latter category includes the peach dress underneath Kate’s Tara Jarmon coat, as well as several maternity styles by Seraphine.

Now for our more formal looks, starting with the custom piece by Emilia Wickstead worn to an April April event at the National Portrait Gallery. Kate’s dress was a custom piece made in a silk blend, modeled on the designer’s CZ dress from her spring/summer 2013 collection.

Splash News/Splash News/Polaris

For a church service honoring the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Cornation Kate wore a bespoke ensemble by Jenny Packham. The champagne or blush lace dress had a gathered waist, with eyelash fringe at the hem and neckline.

Sean Demspey-PA Wire/Weir Photos-Splash News

Sean Demspey-PA Wire/Weir Photos-Splash News

Kate’s first formal appearance after Prince George’s birth was at the Tusk Conservation Awards in September. She wore a Jenny Packham dress covered in pale gold sequins. The frock had a bateau neckline, empire waist, and keyhole back.

PA Wire/Splash News/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News/Splash News

For the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner Kate selected a Jenny Packham gown. The silk blue dress was an inky blue color, with gathered short sleeves and wrapped front. Stylebop is allowing customers to sign up for a waiting list, so perhaps the dress will be reissued.

PA Wire/Jenny Packham/PA Wire

PA Wire/Jenny Packham/PA Wire

When it came to Prince George’s christening the Duchess turned to a designer she favors for State occasions and formal events: Alexander McQueen. The eggshell or cream style was distinguished by the cascading ruffle on the front and peplum waist.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

Kate selected a piece by Temperley London for November’s SportsBall. The ‘Templeton’ dress is from the label’s 2012 autumn/winter collection. The most notable design element is the laser cut fabric used in the dress, while the neck and sleeves are bordered in a scallop motif.

PA Wire/James Whatling, Splash News/SportsAid Facebook

PA Wire/James Whatling, Splash News/SportsAid Facebook

And now, here is how you voted on our coat poll.


©WhatKateWore.com 2014

With almost 5500 votes in total, the Noa coat by Temperley London is the big winner.

James Whatling, Splash News/Temperley London

James Whatling, Splash News/Temperley London

The surprise for me was how closely the next three were: the teal By Malene Birger, yellow Emilia Wickstead and peach Tara Jarmon were all part of a very tight race!

NOTE: The post has been corrected to reflect that the jewelry has only been worn one time we know of, to the Military Awards. My thanks to those who pointed that out. :)

  41 Responses to “A Big Jewelry ID & Pick Your Favorite Dress Worn by Kate in 2013”

  1. I think the Inky Blue Jenny Packham look was lovely. :)
    As for a jewelry poll, that would be great! but I think I can guess what would win: her lovely, sentimental, trend-setting engagment ring! :D

  2. Thank you deeply for your wonderful work for us all.

  3. For the day dress I voted for Erdem, partly because I was able to buy it on sale at net a porter, and also because before it arrived I thought I would probably return it as I wasn’t so blown away when I saw it on line, but then I saw that it was indeed a sticking dress, with a very elegant fresh print. It does look like a classy dress which will not date.

    I also loved the Alexander McQueen christening christening outfit: I know that some prefer more tailored lines on the duchess but I think she suits the full skits with fitted waist very well and her outfit matched
    her son’s so well. I think for the formality of the event the ruffles on the bodice worked very well and I t was also nice to see the duchess wear sth a bit different but still classic.

    On the Redgrave coat worn by the duchess: when last spring I emailed customer care of the official goat site to ask about the cream coat of the duchess and if they planned to restock it, I was told she was actually wearing the nude colour (even though in a lot of the pictures it looks like she is wearing the cream).
    They assured me she has bought the nude and actually if sb googles the name in some photos you can see it’s not cream, I.e. off white but actually the the nude shade which has sold in most sizes after they restocked it. Nonetheless, the cream, as Susan suggested is still available.

  4. I voted for the contrast collar dress that she wore with the coat by Goat—I thought it was perfect for the coat and the simple lines were perfect for that stage of her pregnancy. I also had to vote for her ensemble at the christening—again, just perfect for the occasion and it photographed beautifully.
    As for the jewelry ID, I agree that the entire look at the sun military awards was her overall best to date: from shoes to hair to makeup—just a perfect all around look. While I do agree with some of the other posters that the jewelry is not my personal taste, I think it is obvious that the Duchess is not going to be wearing any more “substantial” jewelry anytime soon. I think that this is due to a number of reasons; first of all, I think that the Duchess’ personal taste runs to smaller and simpler pieces, she is not married to the Prince of Wales like Diana was, this is not the 1980′s when wearing the major bling was expected, and the sparse economic times make it less accepted for the Royals to be seen wearing obvious displays of wealth.
    For all of these reasons, I expect that the Duchess will not be seen in any of the “major” jewelry for some time to come—perhaps not ever, depending upon her personal tastes even after William is the Prince of Wales. If I were in Kate’s shoes, I would be wearing anything HM was willing to take out of the vault for me, but that seems to not be the Duchess’ style.

  5. I saw the Noa coat in person when attending the remembrance day ceremony in london. She looked stunning.

  6. I’ve only seen Kate wearing that ruby set at the Sun Military awards when she wore the black velvet McQueen dress. Where else did she wear it?

    • Copying a response to a similar comment: “You know, the more that I think about it, I don’t believe she has, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that! I will correct that in the post, thank you!” :)

  7. It was hard for me to decide on the more formal, but my #1 pick is the blue polka dot dress! What an a amazing moment, and the perfect dress.

  8. In the first daytime poll my vote goes to the Erdem print. I wavered a bit towards the MaxMara wrap, but I think that’s more in my own personal taste, and I find it a bit city-commuter for a royal visit. What I like about the floral print is the children Kate is visiting can clearly see a real princess has arrived.

    I thought the polka dress was a disaster — it’s cheap and looks it, and on top of that it blew clean up at the back. A woman who can’t take care of remaining decently covered on public outings, even without the massed ranks of royal photographers, is wearing a failed outfit in my view.

    The Lindo wing dress and the Seraphine were basically uneventful — standard maternity wear.

    As for the second poll, I had no problems here, it was the inky blue Packham for me. A superb, flattering dress, I loved it from that first picture you show, taken as Kate was coming up the stairs and her shoulders were being shown off nicely. I also thought she accessorised it perfectly for the serious company she was keeping that night. Any more bling and I think she would have come across as foolish among professional money-makers.

    Both the blue Wickstead and blush pink Packham were safe maternity choices and elegantly worn; the full-length Packham sequins were spoiled by an odd shape to the bodice; the christening McQueen means Kate practically turns into the baby’s outfit — it’s a clever style but not sure about the fit of the bodice again.

    For some reason I find myself warming more to the Templeton dress now, which seemed a little drab and heavy at the time. I often find when flicking through the couple of Kate books I have that outfits are magically transformed, both by the distance of time, and by a better picture reproduction often compensating better for flash bulb lighting.

    But the style and fit of the Jenny Packham inky blue full-length is a definite winner, along with it’s obvious versatility. It might even be a better candidate for the Mouawad set — fantastic ID by the way!! — than the frill round the black McQueen bodice which was a touch too frou-frou for me against the intricate necklace. I think that needs a space all to itself.

    Thanks so much for the post.

    • You’ve expressed perfectly my problem with the MaxMara dress: there is nothing really to critique about the dress, but it is a dress a professional woman would wear any day of the week to the office. The Duchess is dressed to deliver a Power Point presentation to the boardroom in this dress, not to make a public appearance. Which is really all to say that I just find the dress boring. Maybe with a more interesting necklace (funny that I’m suggesting this on the same blog entry where I proclaim my love of minimalist jewelry in preference towards busy pieces, but oh well, we are all full of contradictions!) and/or a more daring pair of shoes.

      • Hi Ashley Olivia! And thanks for your comments. I’m afraid I think quite a lot of Kate’s choices are PowerPoint presentation, if not by her, then by an executive hubby with her looking decorous in the background. I think maybe her former life of making it to the office in Central London plays a part, as does her upbringing in the middle-class Home Counties. And turning yourself into an infallible global style-icon would be a tall order for anyone, so I guess she can be excused for “playing safe! at times.

        I must admit I can’t see much opportunity with that MaxMara to dress it up, other than some bright coloured shoes and maybe a clutch. Thank heavens Kate can look good in most anything!

        • Yes, I do agree with you: playing it safe is the name of the game, and it definitely makes sense considering her position. Case in point is the McQueen Black Watch tartan coat; you, Lili, and myself agreed that the coat is much more appealing in the original, over-sized tartan print, but the Duchess chose to have it bespoke in the more traditional, less fashion-conscious regular-sized print. I understand the need to not seem as if she is trying to draw attention to herself. That being said, I do find the MaxMara more boring and predictable than her usual fare. I get that it is a classic fit, and of course it looks lovely on her, but it’s simply too blah in my book.

          If I were to style it, I would contrast the staid nature of the dress with the Zara Sparkly Crystal Bead necklace she wore to the Nelson Mandela premiere (though I’d have to see how it fit over the v-neckline of the MaxMara…) and a pair of playful ankle booties. And maybe sheer black tights…

  9. I think it’s interesting you included the Cezanne when we can’t really see it on her at all, and the Jenny Packham but not the peach dress. I love the polls and think a jewelry poll would be great!

    • Agreed.

    • That’s a great observation. I’m not sure what made me include the one and not the other, it’s not at all logical on my part!
      UPDATING: Now I remember why I included the dress: we could actually see what it looks like via the product photos from retail outlets selling it, something not available with the peach dress. Still a great question though, I’m glad you asked. :)

  10. 1. Congrats to those involved on the jewellery ID! In the picture of Kate wearing the necklace, it seems to have a floral motif (at least to me) but in the picture from the company it looks like hearts. Do they make slightly different versions of the piece?

    2. I love the idea of a favourite jewellery poll!

    3. While we wait for Kate to tour Down Under it might be fun to have a contest – to put together and wear Kate replica outfits and vote on who comes closest to one of her actual looks!

    • Sorry, but I think the idea of a contest like that isn’t very appropriate. Most people here are not interested in “Kate replica” outfits but merely in observing what she wears and then perhaps, occasionally, being inspired to buy something or wear something somewhat related.

      We all have our own styles and tastes and are really not into “contests” or in merely “copying” the Duchess. I think I can state that accurately, on behalf of the majority of the regular participants here.

      As for the Mouawad jewelry, the pieces worn by the Duchess in December of 2011 were floral. The heart examples were posted by the Admin merely as OTHER examples of the company’s pieces. They were NOT worn by the Duchess.

      • I don’t know that it’s a question of propriety, more an issue of practicality. :) As for “repliKates” or “copyKates,” I think there is substantial interest in that here, it’s just not been a focus of the blog, nor is it likely to be, in large part because of time constraints.

        • Although I’m in Lili’s camp of not having much desire to create repliKate looks, I suspect there are a number of individuals in the blog who are interested. It occurs to me that Facebook might be a more appropriate venue; I’m not sure about a contest, but there could be “repliKate Thursday” once a month or something to that effect and everyone interested could post a photo of themselves wearing their favorite repliKate outfit on the wall of WKW. In this way, it wouldn’t require any extra work from our favorite blog admin. Again, this is just a suggestion for Neesha and others, and of course it would be up to Susan if she wants those photos appearing on her wall.

    • As the article explained, the set given to and worn by the Duchess in December of 2011 had a floral motif. The set with the heart motif is simply another example of the company’s designs. It is not the set that the Duchess wore.

    • Yes, from what I have seen there are multiple versions of it. I answer up above about a contest, it’s something I really don’t have time to administer effectively, but a fun idea nonetheless. :)

  11. I voted for the polka dot daytime dress and the cream McQueen christening dress. But the cornflower blue Jenny Packham was absolutely perfect for the occasion, and I’m sure she’ll be remembered for it years from now.

    • See, I absolutely hate the way that blue Packham fits. The color is marvelous, but the seaming makes the fabric look like cheap polyester.

  12. To me it has to be the Tiara she wore before the Christmas. :) Oh it’s not a choice for “jewelry catagory”?

    • At this point I hadn’t thought of doing a jewelry poll. Is that something you would like to see??? Any and all feedback appreciated, regarding jewelry and/or other polls. :)

      • I will gleefully partake in any and all Duchess-related polls you are willing to put together! I would love to see a jewelry poll. Might I suggest a favorite up-do poll? Perhaps a favorite recycled look poll? I’m full of ideas. I take it that the Duchess will be making few outings before the trip to Australia, and these polls might make the wait a bit less excruciating.

      • Dearest Susan – You do all of the work, I’ll respond. I’ve found it quite fun to page down through your polls – it’s a quick view of the DoC’s style – and always brings a smile. She is striking from every angle. Some of the photographs from behind her seem to show a gait and presence which oozes style and comfort. Brava.

      • Oh, dear, I appear to be the naysayer.

        We really didn’t see much in the way of new jewelry over the past year, and that being the case, I hesitate to suggest that Susan should spend any time on creating yet another poll. I really don’t think we need one involving pieces that we’ve all seen and commented on before.

        • I think it would be a lot of fun, especially as we seem to be on a long break from public appearances. Of course, anyone who is not interested wouldn’t have to participate.

        • It’s always brave to go public on being a naysayer! I must admit I’m not usually a big fan of polls, my own support this time was based on the thin pickings we have to comment on at this time of year before a schedule of appearances begins to show up.

  13. I really do love the Erdem dress the most to be honest but the blue Jenny Packham worn at the Lindo wing was just so perfect for the event and for Kate and little George that it ended up with my vote.

  14. I’m so glad that we’ve resolved another UFO! I prefer the Duchess’s necklace vastly over the photograph of the set featuring hearts, though even the Duchess’s necklace design appears slightly too precious for my taste, with the combination of fuchsia pink and what appears to be a flower motif. Based on my lukewarm feelings toward the Mouawad necklace and the diamond earrings/bracelet set given by Prince Charles, I am afraid that I find her Kiki McDonough and Links of London pieces more attractive than these presumably more pricey pieces (not that Kiki McDonough or Links of London jewelry is cheap by any stretch of the imagination).

    After looking over the choices for daytime frock, I decided to vote for the cornflower blue Jenny Packham. I’m not usually one for polka dots, but that was a perfect frock for a perfect day. For evening wear, I chose the Jenny Packham from the Tusk Conservation Awards, which I adored, though I know it was a rather controversial dress amongst WKW commentators. However, I was hard pressed to choose between the sequins and the exquisite cream McQueen suit: the suit was gorgeous!

    • I find myself agreeing with you about that necklace, and thanks for putting it so clearly. Precious is a much better term of it than my own effort of just too “bitty! I’ve never warmed to a lot of this style of (as I see it!) “fussy” jewellery, which has been around a while. But then I fear I’m a stick-in-the-mud and out of touch with the times…

      • Eh, I think it is more just a question of personal taste than being a stick-in-the-mud! Statement jewelry became quite fashionable a year or so ago and is still very popular, but I’ve never been able to jump on that particular bandwagon. I love jewelry, but I prefer the focus to be on my clothes, thus I usually keep my jewelry more minimalist.

        • I’m a fan of statement jewellery when well placed, and it’s pretty much the order of the day in the royal order of things. I think I was trying, but failing, to describe this particular style of jewellery with a lot of smaller gems or beads on a lot of different strings or supports. More filigree in effect, maybe “boho,” or ageing hippy — I’m struggling here! Unlike the right hand of the two extra Mouawad pictures we have, which is more like the classic chunky items the Queen regularly shows off.

          • Oh, I see. The citrine and diamond Mouawad set is a much more attractive set, at least in my opinion, than the heart necklace and Kate’s version, perhaps for the reasons you mention. (I’m not crazy about lots of strings and supports because the different strings can get tangled! Both when stored in a drawer or, even worse, when around my neck.)

            However, whether the piece is heavy on filigree or classic chunky, it doesn’t seem as if the Duchess’s tastes are much inclined towards heavy jewelry. It will be interesting to see if this changes as she ages, especially after she advances in title and becomes Princess of Wales (which, I hope, will be a long time coming. I rather like Charles and Camilla, and it is my wish that Charles has the longevity of his mother).

  15. Susan, has Kate worn this necklace and bracelet any time other than the Sun Military Awards?

    • I don’t think she has.

      Moreover, while we don’t know the maker of the earrings she wore that night, or the bracelet that goes with them and that she’s worn several times, it seems to be generally accepted that they were a wedding gift from her father-in-law, Prince Charles, while the ruby and diamond set was called, by a Palace spokesperson or press release, simply a “gift from a friend”.

      I have to say that I really don’t care for the Mouawad set with the heart design and am not overly thrilled by the set she wore, with the flower design, either. Too sweet for my tastes.

      As for the dress poll, the Max Mara dress is hands down my favorite daytime dress — a simple, elegant wrap dress always works — while I loved the ink-blue Jenny Packham but am hopeful that the Duchess will wear it again, but as it was designed to be worn and without her hair obscuring the bodice. I’d like to see her with her hair up, with the sleeves of the dress worn off the shoulders, and wearing her art deco silver paste earrings, which I think would work quite well with that dress.

    • You know, the more that I think about it, I don’t believe she has, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that! I will correct that in the post, thank you! :)

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