Apr 182014
 

William and Kate had a number of engagements today, all in the greater Sydney area.

The first was the annual Royal Easter Show, showcasing agricultural exhibits, livestock, fine art and crafts, music and other activities.

Sydney Royal Easter Show

Sydney Royal Easter Show

The Show goes back to 1823. It is held at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Sydney Royal Easter Show Facebook

Sydney Royal Easter Show Facebook

Crowds were big, as was the police presence. The Duke and Duchess were joining more than 150,000 at the Show today.

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / www.i-images.co

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / www.i-images.co

Royal reporter Robert Jobson says that permission to use the word “Royal” in the Show’s name was granted by Queen Victoria.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Kate made  a new friend – that’s Fred from Wellington. Rebecca English has more in her Daily Mail story.

At the sheep arena, the couple were also introduced to Fred the fine wool merino ram, who is something of a local celebrity.

Both gave him a stroke – Kate more gingerly than William  – and laughed when Fred bowed to them by bending his front legs.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Stephen Lock / i-Images / www.i-Images.co

It turns out this isn’t William’s first time meeting Fred, in a manner of speaking.  Wool from Fred was made into a suit that was presented to the Duke at the time of his wedding.

Kate was particularly taken by this young lady.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail, The Mail Online

The Duchess wore a dress from an Australian brand, Zimmermann. (We profiled the company in this post.)

Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

It is made of one of Kate’s favorite textiles, broderie anglaise, more commonly called eyelet.

Splash News

Splash News

The motif in the material used for this dress is a floral pattern, hopefully you can see that in the photo.

Splash News

Splash News

Kate’s frock is the “Roamer Day Dress,” our thanks to Patricia on the WKW Facebook page for letting us know the style name. The dress has a round neck with no collar, elbow-length sleeves, and an exposed zipper. It is part of Zimmermann’s summer swim collection slated to be in stores sometime in June, but apparently the company is moving up the release date for the frock. Once again we saw the impact of the “Kate Effect,’ as Zimmermann’s website struggled to accommodate the traffic load. The dress is priced at AUD$495, that is about $462 USD at today’s exchange rates.

Zimmermann was started 23 years ago by sisters Nicky and Simone, they continue to run it today. Below we show the sisters last week immediately after they received the Australian Fashion Laureate award as part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia.

Zimmermann Facebook Page

Zimmermann Facebook Page

After a quick stop to see Prince George the couple headed to Bear Cottage, the only children’s hospice in all of New South Wales. The organization describes its mission this way:

Bear Cottage is a special home-like environment that provides care and support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The only children’s hospice in NSW, Bear Cottage relies almost solely on community donations to keep their doors open to families.

This dress worked well at the Easter Show, as well as for the Hospice visit. Below you see the Duchess giving a short speech while at the Hospice, seen in a photo posted by SkyNewsCam on Twitter.

Via

Via SkyNewsCam on Twitter

The Duchess accessorized her look with the Natalie handbag from LK Bennett.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

And her Stuart Weitzman Minx Espadrille Wedges.

Splash News

Splash News

The shoe has a padded footbed, slightly elastic closure, and 5″ heel on a 1″ platform, effectively you’re walking on a 4″ heel. The color Kate wears is called ‘camel laniard’.  It doesn’t appear the Stuart Weitzman website offers the Minx anymore, nor could we find them at Nordstrom.  However, we were able to find them at Zappos, and in a broad range of sizes. The shoes retail for $395.

Zappos

Zappos

Coincidentally, flash sale site RueLaLa is featuring Stuart Weitzman shoes and handbags this week; they actually have the Minx on sale, priced at just $199.99. The image below shoes all three colors offered in this sale; I’d not previously seen the dark charcoal/black color in the center of the photo below.

RueLaLa

RueLaLa

A heads-up if interested in the shoes, the sale ends on Sunday. For anyone unfamiliar with RueLala, it is a ‘members only’ (ahem) site offering flash sales of discounted merchandise. If you would like to join you can do so by going to RueLaLa.com, or using my invitation link. Full disclosure, should you end up buying something I receive a $10 credit.

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Today we have a special Tip of the Tiara. We are fortunate the WKW community has such strong international bonds, there have been a number of WKWers on scene in Australia sharing photos and information. This includes two intrepid young ladies, Rachael and Kylie. Here is one of their photos from Manly Beach.

Rachel T & Kylie W

Rachael T & Kylie W

Another one from the Manly Beach event.

Rachel T & Kylie W

Rachael T & Kylie W

The pair even had one of their photos used by Clarence House in its Storify feed.  The tenacious travelers and royal watchers have even shown up in mainstream media pictures, this is from the Herald Sun. Rachael & Kylie can be seen on the far right.

Twitter

Twitter

They also took some great photos at yesterday’s Blue Mountains engagement.

Rachel T. & Kylie W.

Rachel T. & Kylie W.

So today we have a dual Tip of the Tiara for Kylie and Rachael, with thanks for the photos they have shared.

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We’ll leave you with a few photos from the day’s events. Kate with patients and families at Bear Cottage.

Swimmers and life-saving volunteers at Manly Beach.

The Daily Telegraph Twitter

One more, this image is from Rebecca English.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail, The Mail Online

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail, The Mail Online

NEXT ENGAGEMENTS: (for Saturday, the 19th)

  • Travel to Queensland, with the first stop at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Amberley, located about an hour from Berisbane. This is the RAAF’s largest operational base, employing about 5000 people.
  • There will be an inspection of the Guard, then viewing of aircraft and their crews.
  • William and Kate will also go to the Amberley Memorial Garden, where they will plant a tree
  • The tree-planting ceremony is followed by a reception with those on active duty with the Air force, along with veterans and their families.
  • Travel to Brisbane where the first event is a reception hosted by Queensland’s Governor and Premier. The focus of the reception is young people, and the function is being held right in the city centere, there is an expectation William and Kate will be meeting some of Brisbane’s citizens and visitors

LINKAGE:

  50 Responses to “It’s an Australian Label for the Duchess at Royal Easter Show, Hospice Visit & Manly Beach”

  1. The Zimmerman dress is my favorite look of the tour. Am I sensing Cameron Diaz in Valentino’s lace dress circa May 2013? Hmmm, maybe? But whatever the “it” is Catherine’s look is pure summer and I’d feel like little Miss Sunshine in that dress. Cheers to the Australian designers for such a lovely look :)

  2. Catherine looked wonderful in Sydney but even better in Brisbane. Her hair must drive her mad in the heat and she has the good sense to have it ties back while in the tropics, I have very long hair as it is much cooler to wear it on top of your head rather than hanging round your face or on the nape of your neck.
    as for the wedges when you are on your feel all day in the heat there is nothing more comfortable. Good on her. everyone looks silly in thongs.

  3. Kate seems a little shy about how long her torso is compared with her relatively short legs. The eyelet dress’ waistline is unnaturally high, although it looks fine on her. Maybe she wouldn’t take off her high wedges because it would have spoiled the illusion of long legs which she creates with them. And with the higher waistline.

  4. I am not a fan of the eyelet dress (I never am of the style) but it does give Kate an angelic quality!

  5. Dress is cute. Love the eyelet design. Glad it wasn’t ME wearing those wedges. Getting all that sand in them. Yuck!

  6. I loved the dress also. It was perfect for the occasion and looked great on her. I like the shoes too but am not crazy about them with this dress because of the all tan color. I think her pied a Terre espadrilles would have looked better or this shoe with a tan wedge but white strap to match the dress.

  7. This is a fantastic look for Kate and really well-suited for this engagement. Cool, sweet, a flirty skirt combined with bodice and sleeves that fit. The tan wedges and small bag finish it off perfectly. Home run!

  8. Nothing can take away the fact that Will and Kate are natural “people’s persons”. The Duke and Duchess are doing a stellar job and the crowds just love them. The Zimmerman dress is lovely and was perfect for a warm autumn day but the shoes again are too clunky and I’ve never seen anyone wear wedges on the beach. The picture of her on the sand in her in high wedges looked funny. Kate could have worn the wedges up to Bear Cottage and then changed to flats. A few years ago Princess Mary (who dresses extremely well) and Prince Frederick visited Bondi Beach. Mary too wore an absolutely lovely white dress for the day with court shoes but when she visited Bondi Beach she changed to flats and had a ponytail. See http://theroyalchronicle.wordpress.com/tag/frederik/page/17/. Also it might be time Kate tied her hair or did a half-up do while making speeches because she had to keep moving her head to flick her hair from her eyes when she gave the speech at Bear Cottage. Whilst I imagine a lot of thought and work go into what she is to wear and how appropriate her clothes and choice of colour would be, I wonder why these important things have been missed.

    • I agree that her hair looks much better half up. The constant flicking/moving of her head really detracted from her speech. If she sees the tape of the event, perhaps she’ll make changes in the future. I’ve also noticed that she has a lovely speaking voice when talking to individuals, but it climbs an octave with public presentations.

    • Hi from Italy!There is not story between Kate and Mary,Kate is always fantastic!Excuse my English!

  9. This dress was a WOW for me! I really love it and I hope she’ll wear it again to other events. There are so many ways it could be styled. I like the shoes on their own, but I didn’t like them with this dress…I’m not sure what I would suggest instead, though!

  10. I loved this dress! It felt very “Kate”– and she looked well put-together (minus the shoes, but platform wedges are not my favorite look). I’m happy that, amid all the coat dresses, she found “her” style again.

    The gown designed “for her” is beautiful, but I doubt Kate will wear it. I’m still waiting to see her in those shoes that she picked from the fashion design student’s designs! (Covered so well by you here: http://whatkatewore.com/tag/dmu-shoe-design-contest/)

  11. I am loving all these pics. Thanks so much.

  12. Love, love this outfit. It kind of looks like the dress she wore to Wimbledon back in 2011. It’s so pretty and feminine and perfect for all the engagements she had today. The shoes are also beautiful. In fact, I tried on a pair when they were on sale about a year ago and my feet just didn’t look as good as Kate’s feet in these things. Besides, they were way too high for me. I think Kate is just one of those women who loves sky high shoes and refuses to wear anything else if she can help it.

  13. I would love to have this dress for myself…perfect silhouette and detailing for any body type~A navy version or coral would be sweet, too

  14. Catherine ALWAYS looks beautiful in “lace”, or in this case the border anglaise. And I always think she looks fantastic in shades of white and ivory. She is very lucky to be able to wear so many different colors. This particular dress looks youthful, fresh, and elegant at the same time.

    However, I wish she had worn her hair at least half up…I think it looks far too heavy and lank against the lightness of the dress.

  15. Sweet! Reminds me of the yellow dress she wore in Canada. I thought the waistline seemed high on both, visually, maybe more comfortable for the wearer in that cut.
    I like the incidental accessory of the bouquet against the eyelet.

  16. Lovely broderie anglais dress. Sophisticated, yet down to earth. Best eyelet dress I’ve seen, and Paris is full of other examples this spring.

  17. I LOVE this dress, count me in amongst the people who want to acquire it for their own wardrobe!

    And now, a moment of appreciation. Susan, as your tireless cheerleader, may I point out that you were the first person (this includes bloggers and traditional media) to identify fabric worked as eyelet / broderie anglaise as one of Kate’s favorite textiles. Also, I’m impressed (though not surprised) that out of the local NZ and Australian designers Kate has worn so far, you profiled them in your series of articles a few months ago. You have an incredible eye and excellent instincts as a fashion journalist!

    I would pay to read your content. Just sayin’!

  18. I’m delighted to see a new designer from Down Under finally hit the Kate jackpot, even if she has succeeded in finding the one garment which keeps her safely in her comfort zone. But then that’s what Kate does so well, consistent and elegant as ever, even running on sand in sandals! I’d find it excruciating to get sand in my shoes.

    It’s a most beautiful dress and I don’t think I’ve ever seen broderie anglaise of this quality before. It takes the outfit to a more sophisticated level than the earlier McQueen in Singapore. The large floral design of the pattern is exquisite, and the inset waistband and all the contrast lines of what I think the Zimmerman site is calling “cotton lattice lace inserts” (on another Vivid Anglaise Dress), are just wonderful. It makes a perfect summer frock.

    My own private peccadilloes are that I’m not so fond of high waistlines, as they can add bulk, but Kate has no such problem, and I’m impressed how nicely the gathered fabric hangs without bunching from the intricate waistband. The higher waist is also youthful, appropriate to the beach setting.

    Btw, I was so interested in your close-up of Kate’s shoulder in the dress. Given the number of gaps in the design of the fabric it could be quite see-through, maybe it’s lined? The Anglaise dress I’ve mentioned is described as being so.

    But on your the close-up, and on another I’ve seen somewhere, there seems to be something like a small strap hanging loose – which of course is the curse of some petticoats if Kate were wearing one. It would be wonderful to think she might have discovered such things still have their uses!

    • And I should have said thanks for another amazing post! Just hope you’re getting some sleep in as well — take care!

      Now I look again at that shoulder shot, I think what I’m seeing may be the edge of a lining sleeve, part of a through-lining on the body of the dress. Makes more sense than fighting a temperamental petticoat, especially since the lining could also be in cool cotton while a slip might be synthetic and a lot less comfortable.

    • I think this dress is perfection, but the waistline did give me momentary pause. I share your hesitancy about high waistlines; they are difficult to pull off and often call to mind Jane Austen adaptations, at least in my opinion. I’m curious: how would you classify this waistline? It appears lower than an empire, though almost too high for a natural waistline. (Almost… I keep flipping back and forth between photos showing a natural waist and this dress. I can’t decide.)

      I do love the overall look and agree with your point that the high waistline here gives a fun, youthful feeling appropriate to a day on the beach.

      • Knowing how Kate recycled dresses during the early stages of her pregnancy, I wonder if the higher waist will make this transition easier if she becomes pregnant this summer.

      • I can’t think of any other term than simply “high waistline” I’m afraid! I wonder if Eve above has hit the mark — I keep forgetting that with a long torso Kate does tend to pull waistlines up a little when she buys ready-made. Also a slightly raised waistline helps keep any bunching of the fabric clear of the waist.

        The particular cotton used for this dress has an unusual amount of drape for cotton fabric, recall how you commented on the extra body there seemed to be in the DVF wrap, so with all these crafty details combined the result is something which achieves both comfort and a touch of class. Not bad for an LWD!

        • I’m sorry, I meant to add that I would agree with you that an empire line would be closer to the bust than this.

        • Yes, I do believe Eve’s comment about the Duchess’s long torso explains the waistline’s positioning. And you also are correct: not bad for a LWD, not bad at all!

  19. I love this dress! Living in a warm climate myself, this is just the type of dress that is so appealing to me.

    Kate looked beautiful. I don’t know how she walks in those wedges but I like how they looked with the dress. William and Kate seem to really be enjoying Australia.

  20. Classic Kate! My favorite look of the Tour so far. Perfect look for the Easter and Hospice visits. How she walks around in 4″ heels all the time is beyond me – a skill I definitely could never master! It’s so wonderful to see those lovely legs again :-)

    Thank you for such an amazing blog. There’s nothing I look forward to more than sitting down with a cup of tea and reading your posts. You are so much appreciated by all of us!

  21. Hello, everyone. This is my first post and I had random thought and I figured I would ask your opinion. I love this entire look, however I immediately thought back to the other eyelet dress suit Kate wore on a previous tour (I believe in Asia). See here: <a href= "http://whatkatewore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Kate-Tour-Singapore-Gardens-by-The-Bay-White-McQueen-Eyelet-Gardens-by-Bay-FB-1-2-Rebeca-English-3-1.jpg&quot;

    Similarly, she has worn two very closely colored/cut dresses in blue, A: <a href= "http://whatkatewore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Kate-2012-Dresses-Blue-Stella-McCartney-Ridley-Strecth-NPG-Splash-Pictures-July-.jpg&quot;

    and B: <a href= "http://whatkatewore.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Kate-Arriving-Feb-14-2014-Northolt-School-Detroit-LK-Bennett-Dress-Cartier-Whatling-Splash-700-x-1000.jpg&quot;

    Judging by Princess Diana’s incredible wardrobe, it is obvious that Kate will require probably thousands of dresses over the course of her lifetime. However, for little old me in the Midwest, it seems kind of funny to buy pieces that are so similar, minus some details. In this case, I appreciate her choice of an Australian designer, however I was just wondering what you all thought about such similar pieces.

    • Hmmm. I think the Duchess has a small number of silhouettes (fit and flare or sheath dresses) and, for the most part, a general color palate of earth tones, blues, and whites that she prefers. She knows which styles work for her and sticks to them, which I think is perfectly acceptable (in fact, many stylists will offer this exact advice when assembling a wardrobe); however, it does mean that many pieces of her wardrobe appear similar. Again, the fact that two frocks resemble each other is not problematic and probably escapes the average bystander. I suspect it is only royal-watchers like us that pick up on the similarities!

      As for buying a new frock similar to one that you already have, I agree that such a purchase would be superfluous for the average woman (though I would never fault someone for buying more of the same, especially with my clutch and riding boot collection staring me in the face. No one needs this many varieties of brown leather clutches. But, ah, they speak to me.). However, I think the Duchess is navigating a much more complicated and nuanced terrain with her fashion choices than the average woman, or even the average public figure. She is a royal, and though times have changed since the days of absolute monarchy, she still needs to “dress like a royal” to a certain extent (which means designer pieces instead of velvet robes in today’s world).Yet at the same time she has to be careful not to be too extravagant in her wardrobe, especially in a faltering economy. Further, while recycling dresses is a smart move to show that she is economical, some organizations might be displeased if she chose to wear a recycled outfit to their event, which is why I think she at times chooses to wear something new, even if she already owns a similar frock. I suspect this may also be the reason why she so often recycles outfits when she goes to weddings; less chance of a personal friend getting offended that you wore a recycled outfit to their wedding (plus, she kindly minimizes the focus on her in these moments where the bride should be the star).

      That’s just my two cents!

  22. This is a fantastic dress, so feminine and spring-like. Probably my favorite from the tour so far. I love the espadrilles too.

  23. The dress was absolutely adorable, and worth the price. You cannot get detail like that in a high street store. The shoes? I understand comfort, I know there’s a lot of walking, but they are so clunky with such a sweet dress, and wedges are so over. I realize someone said Kate has short legs (?) and avoids flats, but how about a cute espadrille?

    Also: it is clear Kate did not get a pedicure although she was going to be wearing open toed shoes.
    This may just be an American versus British thing, but once it’s sandal season and even through the winter, many American women get pedicures. She doesn’t have to have OPI Red, just clean them up a tad. You can now get a no-chip pedicure that lasts through a month.

    • Are you sure that she isn’t just wearing clear polish? Her toenails look very well-maintained to me, and I suspect she may have gotten a pedicure and just opted for clear polish.

  24. Absolute perfection. Could you imagine a better dress to wear to an Easter parade? This dress is both flattering and stylistically beautiful; I’m simply gaga for the fabric. And, of course, this is such a quintessentially “Kate” look, as compared to the brightly colored coats that, while beautiful, are choices that I think are more dictated by her position as a royal than personal taste. Also, we finally have a new Australian designer that the Duchess hasn’t worn before! With the resulting website crash for the label resulting from the “Kate Effect”. I also love that she paired it with more casual espadrilles and wore her hair down. Favorite look of the tour so far for me!

    I’m still hoping she will wear another new NJ/Aussie designer I’m something that is a bit more daring fashion-wise (like when she wore the adventurous Prabal Gurung), but I’m quite content for the moment. :)

    • Oh, it’s my favorite as well! I have been searching and searching for a breezy LWD to wear this summer, and this is spot-on. I’m struck by your point that this is a “Kate” look, compared to the more formal coats and the Roksanda sheath we’ve seen her wear earlier in the tour. That easy wrap DVF dress she wore in the Blue Mountains can get stuck in the “Kate” look column, too.

      I know her wedges are controversial and evoke a lot of differing opinions, but these look adorable with the dress and strike me as particularly appropriate for the day. Think about her varied itinerary: from parade to children’s hospice to beach (!!) and the flexibility of tone and formality for each engagement, and I can’t help but be impressed. The girl’s got it.

    • I disagree that the brightly colored outfits weren’t Kate’s taste. I think she wears whatever she wants to wear and those bright outfits were perfect for the events to which she wore them. She looks good in color.

      • I think you may have misunderstood my point. I wasn’t implying that the Duchess looks unappealing in bright colors, or that brighter color choices were inappropriate for these events. Quite the contrary, actually. I think she pulls off bright colors very well–actually, I have yet to see a color that doesn’t flatter her at this point–and vibrant colors are particularly well-suited to events that have huge crowds. I simply meant that the Duchess generally seems to prefer navy, white, and earth tones. If you flip through her past history of fashion choices, you’ll see that she gravitates towards these colors, though of course there is the occasional pop of red, yellow, or the vibrant green of her Mulberry dress. Further, when I said that I suspected the brighter colors were a result of her royal position, I simply meant that she probably thought carefully about what colors would make her most visible in a crowd for high profile, well-attended events like her landing in New Zealand. I do think that she stays true to her own sense of style; her refusal to hire a stylist is case in point. However, saying that “she wears whatever she wants” seems a fairly facile statement, especially in light of her extremely public position, which requires a careful balancing act of dressing suitably “royal” but also avoiding becoming a clothes horse or appearing extravagant in light of the economic recession.

  25. I’m just impressed she can even wear those wedges on the beach….how on earth does she manage that? I would have for sure taken a tumble! Love the dress- eyelet is my favourite.

    • I think it is actually easier to walk with wedges on the beach. If you can’t/won’t wear something more casual, then go with open-toes wedges and barefoot of course. I’m sure she’d have loved to take a dip herself :)

      The dress is great and it looks great on her.

      What’s more, this blog is great, (I agree it is a 5**** site), thank you very much for all the sophisticated work, Susan from all the way from Turkey.

  26. I think this dress is particularly lovely on her. Very easter appropriate. Australian easter where it’s still hot anyway :p

  27. This dress made my heart smile. I’m far to old and fat to wear this but I thought it was perfect. Loved the shoes. I might buy those to wear with jeans. I’m totally in love with everything Kate has worn in Australia.

  28. It was great to see Kate not wearing panty hose today and open toed shoes. I do realise that being royal they have to maintain decorum at all times, but surely a change into flat sandals on the beach … this is Australia, we are a laid back, casual lot down here and it wouldn’t have been at all scandalous! Her assistant Rebecca Deacon took her shoes off.

    All negativity aside, I think Kate looked so sweet and fresh and perfectly lovely in that dress. I admire her so much.

    • I’d like to see a “What Becca Wore” section. What do you think, Susan? ; )

      • I cannot comment on what Susan would think, but I think it’s a terrible idea Stephanie.

        • It’s possible I’m mistaken, but I think Stephanie’s comment was intended to be very much tongue-in-cheek, merely a fun comment. :)

          • Lol. Yes, it was tongue-in-cheek. Becca is a private citizen and does not deserve scrutiny. Although I will say she’s been looking great this tour, and I’m so envious of her handbag!

    • It was reported on a news site that advisers at the organization advised Kate to change into flats, but she refused. So, it would have been fine decorum wise for her to put on flats. It just looked silly wearing those wedges on the beach with all the sand caked on the front of them. Also, running in them on the sand was just asking for trouble. I liked the wedges for the rest of the day, but I think she should have changed them also for the beach:)

  29. Loved the outfit, except I did think the wedges on the beach looked a bit silly! I kept hoping she would take them off, or in true Aussie style switch them for a pair of thongs.

  30. First of all a very big THANK YOU Susan for continuing this 5 ***** blog! This dress is not my cup of tea but that’s just personal taste, nothing wrong with the dress in itself and it’s nice she’s wearing an Australian designer. And nothing can beat that smile on her face :)

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