Jun 162014

For today’s Order of the Garter events Kate was in a coatdress by Scottish designer Christopher Kane.

Arthur Edwards/PA Wire

Arthur Edwards/PA Wire

The Daily Mirror’s Victoria Murphy shared a look at some of the 7000 guests gathered inside Windsor Castle, hoping to see the annual procession of Knights.

Victoria Murphy/The Daily Mirros (@QueenVicMirror)

Victoria Murphy/The Daily Mirros (@QueenVicMirror)

This is what they were waiting for, the Knights walking to St. George’s Chapel. You can see Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh in a photo posted on Twitter by the Dutch Ambassador to the UK, Laetitia van den Assum.

Laetitia van den Assum, Dutch Ambassador to the UK, Twitter Feed

Laetitia van den Assum, Dutch Ambassador to the UK, Twitter Feed

Bowed heads and curtsies as Her Majesty passes.

Michael Dunlea/IPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Michael Dunlea/IPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

A brief refresher on the Most Noble Order of the Garter:

  • It is the oldest of all British Orders of Chivalry
  • It was founded by Edward III in 1348
  • Membership is limited to only the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and not more than twenty-four other members

Kate and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, leaving after the procession and service.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Just a bit more background, from a previous Garter Day post:

The honor is determined solely by the Queen, input from Ministers and others is not required. It is HM who decided in 1987 that women should also be included in the Knighthood, Lady Margaret Thatcher is one of those so honored.

Simon Perry of People magazine posted this photo on Eye.Em showing (left to right): Prince Andrew, Prince William, Prince Edward, and Prince Charles. Behind Andrew you can see just a teeny bit of HM.

Simon Perry, People Magazine

Simon Perry, People Magazine

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge riding with the Prince of Wales after the service, our thanks to Victoria Murphy for sharing another photo from today’s events.

Victoria Murphy/The Daily MIrror

Victoria Murphy/The Daily Mirror (@QueenVicMirror)

The coat was first worn to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games, as well as a Palace Reception immediately preceding that Ceremony.

Dominic Lipinski (L) & Michael Kappeler (R)/Press Association Images

Described by the designer as a coatdress, the fitted style has multiple gores front and back, four panels per side. The silk satin piece also has a covered placket down the front, slanted pockets, self-belt, and peak lapels. The long sleeves have an invisible zipper on the seam.

Kate’s hat today is from John Lock and Co., the Sweet Delight style.

Lock and Co.

Lock and Co.

Our thanks to Anna of My Small Obsessions for her identification.

Many readers will recognize Kate’s handbag, the ‘Natalie’ from LK Bennett. (Above we noted the presence of zippers on the sleeves of the coat dress, you can just see the pulls in the photo below.)

PA Wire/LK Bennett

PA Wire/LK Bennett

The Duchess also appeared to be in a new pair of heels. The intrepid Ashley Marie believes they are another pair by Jimmy Choo, the label’s ‘Gilbert’ heels in nude kid leather. Below we show them at Jimmy Choo ($595).

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo ‘Gilbert’

The shoes have a pointed toe (also described as an ‘almond toe’), the heel is lower than many pair Kate wears, it measures about 3.5″. The Gilbert is also available at Net-a-Porter ($575), where there is a very good selection of sizes. You can also find the Gilbert at Saks ($595) as well as Neiman Marcus ($595)

PA Wire / Nunn Syndication-Polaris

PA Wire / Nunn Syndication-Polaris

With apologies for the tiny photo, we wanted to at least try and show Kate’s earrings, the diamond and topaz/aquamarine/other stone earrings.

Kate Order Garter Earrings Diamnd Drops Aqua or Topaz Center Teardrop Shaped

This was Kate’s third time attending the Order of the Garter as a senior member of the Royal Family. Below you see her wearing Katherine Hooker in 2011 and Alexander McQueen in 2012. (In 2013 she did not take part as she was so close to expecting Prince George.)

Splash News/PA Wire

Splash News/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cornwall wasn’t able to take part this year, she is reported to have a dreadful cold.


Also today, an update on the Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress worn by Kate in Australia when attending Sydney’s Royal Easter Show.

Both Photos by Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Both Photos by Stephen Lock/i-Images/www.i-Images.co

Zimmermann offers a variety of pieces in its Roamer line. Below, a Zimmermann Roamer Halter Dress ($360), also in broderie anglaise.

Zimmermann Roamer Halter Dress

Zimmermann Roamer Halter Dress

The Roamer pieces are also colorful.



And the company also offers a significant number of pieces in broderie anglaise. Below, Zimmermann’s Vivid Broderie Anglaise Cotton Beach Dress at Net-a-Porter. (Actually, it is quite a bargain, originally priced at $440, the dress is now just $220.)

Zimmermann 'Vivid Broderie Anglaise Cotton Beach Dress' at Net-a-Porter

Zimmermann ‘Vivid Broderie Anglaise Cotton Beach Dress’ at Net-a-Porter

Vogue Australia featured an interview yesterday with Nicky Zimmermann, co-founder of the eponymous Australian brand. The format is Q&A and the topic was primarily Kate and the dress she wore.

Where were you when you were first told that Kate Middleton was seen wearing your dress?
I was in the Blue Mountains for the weekend and my phone reception kept dropping in and out. Then suddenly I had all these messages and texts and found out. It was an amazing thing for us and we felt really lucky

You can read the entire story on the Vogue Australia website. The story notes the dress will start selling online and in-store tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17. Below we show the dress at Austique, the boutique has been taking pre-orders for some time.

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress via Austique

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress via Austique

Austique has the dress priced at £410 (about $700 USD, $740 Australian). From the Vogue story:

The Zimmermann Roamer day dress retails for $495. It is part of the Summer Swim collection, and drops in stores and online globally from Tuesday 17th June.

Zimmermann clearly offers a more appealing price.


The dress is now available on the Zimmermann US website. The photos have been sweetened (altered digitally) to better show the detail of the fabric.

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress

From the product description:

Roamer Day Dress, from our Summer Swim 14 collection, in white cotton broderie. Fitted waistband and fitted, elbow-length sleeve. Natural cotton cross insert trim at waist, through bodice, sleeve and hem. Dress falls to the knee. Centre back invisible zip closure. This dress is unlined and we recommend it to be worn with a slip. 100% cotton, cold gentle hand wash.

A look at the bodice, again enhanced digitally to show detail.

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress

Zimmermann Roamer Day Dress

The frock is priced at $520 on the US site (I am unable to ‘see’ the International site), as opposed to the $495 AUD mentioned above; I imagine that price point is specific only to the Australian market, but can’t definitively say that is the case. Some of our WKW Facebook friends page report purchasing the dress, one at the brand’s Soho store.  Corrie V., who bought the dress this afternoon, reminds us the garment is unlined; she believes a nude bra and half slip should do the trick, but promises to report back tomorrow.

* information and/or quotes are from the St George’s Chapel website


  39 Responses to “It’s Christopher Kane for Order of the Garter & An Update on Zimmermann Roamer Dress”

  1. I love her hat it’s gorgeous and fits her thin face perfectly.
    The outfit is so so but truly elegant.

  2. Kate looks lovely, but Sophie’s feathered dress looks silly and fits badly.

  3. It looks better than the previous time she wore it. Still, I can’t really like it because of the fabric. I just don’t like satin. Too shiny, too ”synthetic” looking and unforgiving.

  4. In regards to the curtsy, it is so interesting to me how each member of the family does it because none seem to do it quite the same. And, am I wrong, or are Catherine and Sophie putting different legs back? I have heard Sophie’s criticized for not being elegantly done, but at the same time, Kate’s crossover seems off (though her back is perfectly straight!). I wonder if they practice to make sure they can curtsy in a particular dress.

    It is nice to see her in a new shoe. I often wear heels to feel more confident and have considered that maybe those platforms, with their extra height, do the same for her? In older pictures, she often wore flats and kitten heels. Maybe this is a sign she is feeling more at ease with it all? Or it is a sign I am reading way too much into her choices. :)

    • The correct leg is back on both Sophie and Kate. Kate’s curtsy is more elegant in this case but it looks like Sophie might have been in an awkward stance beforehand. Back in the old days, a person would put their left foot behind their right and curtsy down and I still think that is done in places with royalty (most people are taught right behind left here in the States. I learned both having been in ballet.)

      • I was looking at Sophie’s feet and it appears her left foot is not behind her right, her left foot is in front, isn’t it?

  5. I’m a big fan of Kate. But I find her three recent event outfits (the Christopher Kane, the new McQueen suit, and the McQueen lace dress) very dull and not representative of her personality given the way that she dressed up until the birth of Prince George. Kate is a woman in her very early 30′s who can afford to let her youth shine through in a sophisticated way. In my opinion, the three outfits I’ve referred to here, or at least the way they were accessorized, are more appropriate for a woman in her 50′s. I agree with the previous poster who made the distinction between “conservative” and “sophisticated”. Longer hemlines do not necessitate a matronly appearance.

    As for the Zimmerman dress, I was one of the lucky ones to see Kate wearing it up close at Manly Beach during the Australia tour. I think the dress was very fresh and youthful in person, although I can see how some of that effect is lost in pictures.

    • I think it is to be expected that any woman and the duchess in particular will feel more mature with the birth of her first child and it is not surprising to me that she is dressing in a more mature way. She didn’t have to but she obviously feels like doing so.

      I didn’t think the outfits were too old for her given who she is and the events she wore them at.
      I was expecting her to wear sth a bit more light and/or floaty at the garden party, like her blossom beulah dress for example, but for the order of the garter I was surprised by how much I liked the whole look, I think she pulled it off. On a lot of women it would have looked too much.

  6. I’m the odd woman out here. The fabric is wrong – its too slick and shiny. She looks like she should be the mother of the bride. The top part of it is very ill-fitting – darts too obvious, not well constructed at all and that fabric is extremely unforgiving. As for length, I think the way she is standing makes her look gauche in the McQueen coatdress. I remember when I saw it the first time, I was blown away – finally somebody with a real sense of fashion and style. What a difference 3 years makes. If she is wearing such conservative (not sophisticated – lots of short skirts can be sophisticated) clothes at 30 what will she be wearing at 50. As for that white eyelet dress – it would be hard for a 4 year old to pull that off. She looks silly in it. Too extrmes and neither are a win.

  7. I don’t normally comment on these blogs but love reading about Catharine’s outfits and what other people think! What moved me to comment today was the picture of her in the cream Alexander McQueen 2012 outfit. This to me is a perfect example of why a shorter hemline doesn’t work. It makes the whole outfit look “juvenile’ whereas the longer hems she wears nowadays make her look far more sophisticated. Its only my opinion mind you, but I cannot see why people think she still needs to look “sexy”, “seductive”, “more exciting” etc. when she is now married, a mother, in her 30′s, future queen. Who does she need to impress? Her clothing is fabulous though – I think she’s got great classic, elegant style.

    Just a small note on Sophie’s outfit – why do most things she wears always appear ill-fitting especially around the bust/arm area? She’d look great if her clothes fitted better!

    • I thinks these pics clearly disprove that she “is wearing longer hems nowadays”. If anything the pics from the prior years show that she has worn hems of all different lengths since her wedding. Case in point: this coat is a repeat from two years ago. In fact, the only time I saw her routinely wear shorter hems was during her pregnancy.
      A review of her fashions since the wedding shows everything from several inches below to a few inches above the knee. I don’t think her hems have changed at all and I don’t believe HM has dictated longer hems.

    • I agree on your comments about the duchess 100%.
      It also comes down to personal taste, sb else in her position would have dressed differently,
      and I don’t think anybody is dictating her what to wear. I love the fact she doesn’t dress in a more trendy way (even through this might change slightly in the future), it makes her stand out. No other woman of her status dresses like her. She’s only been married for a few years and I really look forward seeing her sartorial choices in years to come.

  8. Sophie really has a pretty curtsy. Kate always manages to look pleasant in every photograph. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen her have an “off” day where she’s without her smile.

    • I thought it looked nice, too, but I have read criticism about she does it. I find the whole curtsy thing fascinating, but an online search hasn’t clarified for me what she is doing “wrong.” I agree about Kate’s smile. She just looks like a pleasant person.

  9. Thank you for another wonderful post, Susan! You have an excellent eye (as I always say) and I’m impressed by how you zeroed in on the zipper pulls of the garment’s sleeves. Seeing in detail is a remarkable talent — not everyone has it. :)

  10. Today’s outfit is everything I love about her style–absolutely gorgeous!

    I am so glad she’s lengthened her hemlines. The difference between the effect of today’s outfit and her former Order of the Garter outfits is shocking. She looks so ladylike and elegant with the longer hemline–adjectives that just can’t describe the short hemlines (in my dictionary :-) ).

  11. I thought overall she looked more radiant for this event than the Trooping of Colour.

    I adore the hat, last year I bought sth very similar from Locks the hatters for the baptism of my boys.
    It stand out while being very elegant. She suites hats of this style and i like it a lot ore than the one she wore two days ago. I usually love all her hats but that one was less architectural, lacking in oomph, I through.

    Seeing the coat dress today I actually liked it a lot more than when she last wore it. The colour shows off and with the hat it made quite a statement. Like with a few of her pieces it’s not so wearable, even if it was available for the public, but still I thought it suited her and the event very well, even though it was satin.

    Even her hair looked better, I thought, compared to two days ago. It’s amazing what a different styling can do to your look even if not so dramatic: she clearly has a lot of thick hair but this ringlet effect combined with more straight looks less flattering compared to this event where her hair looked thicker even though without curls. I only mention because I have same hair as the duchess and whenever hairdressers styled it that way was never to impressed neither was my husband who thought if I did it this way it better looked completely straight. It’s a minor observation from sb who is into hair.

  12. Sooo…..I know this is What Kate Wore but can we talk about Sophie? I actually LOVE her outfit! I think the colors are great, the hat is fabulous and the feathers around the collar just look so fun yet proper. I also like the covered platform in her shoes. I know a few have commented in the negative but I’m liking it! Anyone else like it?

    • I liked everything Sophie wore, expect that feather thing. It makes her look hot and fussy. I don’t really understand it but, overall, Sophie usually looks good in whatever she wears so I have no real complaint. The neck piece did match her hat and shoes so, there’s that.

      • I think I would have liked the feathers in the fall or winter. They are fun, but I’m not sure they go well with short sleeves. She does look lovely, though.

  13. Cool, calm and classic – the Duchess looks exquisite in her Christopher Kane. It’s a wonderfully made garment and fits like a dream, and I’m a big fan of the just-above-the-knee length

    Having said which I’ve never felt this garment quite pulled off the coat-dress combination, just a shade too outerwear for evening, and a touch slinky for church and daywear, though I think it works far better with a hat for such a ceremonial occasion as this than it did for evening drinks at the palace or the sports stadium.

    I find the hat both stylish and flattering, and beautifully worn as always, though I think it’s just a shade too wide for the overall silhouette and veers perilously close to flying saucer territory.

    And I’m twice delighted to see a snappy new pair of courts – these are gorgeous – Kate has as good an eye for courts as she usually does for coats and hats, a beautifully cut toe-line like this is so much more sexy in my eyes than all the strappy stilt-high styles sported by some. I like the minor shift here to a slightly warmer tan from the nudes as the pale outfit needs some definition down below, and am intrigued to see some lower heels being introduced for all that standing around.

    Praise be if those hard working Sledges have finally been given a rest – who says Kate doesn’t read WKW?

  14. Well, this one really did do a lot for me – the smooth material, a lovely pale blue, and a slightly bigger hat than the previous one. I think Kate looks good in ‘unfussy’ clothes.

    I’m intrigued to know what she was wearing underneath the coatdress – the first picture shows the outline of something just above her hands as they press the material into her body. When she curtsies there’s a glimpse of white. But at least we got to see the shoes today :)

    Not so gone on Sophie’s choice which draws one’s focus to the top. I assume the feathery stuff round her neck was a nod in the direction of the feathers on those gloriously archaic hats? Whether or not, it looked horribly tickly as it moved around in the breeze.

    I think a fuller skirt and larger hat might have offset the feathers…maybe?

    • I also wondered about what she wore under the Christopher Kane coat. There is no way to tell exactly, but the length and color of the fabric reminded me of the Alexander McQueen dress she wore under the matching dove-grey coat for Easter in Australia.

      I absolutely love the hat. It works very well paired with the sleek lines of the coat!

    • From that picture where she and Sophie were sitting, it might be the matching dress she was wearing on the last Easter Sunday in Australia? I am just guessing…

      Sophie’s dress wouldn’t have been so bad without those feather things on her neck…

  15. Hi Susan! Thanks for the great post. I did not know the Order of the Garter went back so far. British history is truly fascinating and I am now intrigued to learn more about Edward III. I think today’s look was a perfect hit! That shade of blue looks incredible on Catherine and I love seeing her wear it so often. I think the new shoes have a more elegant look to them for more formal events (I think the Sledge’s round toe, platform can really clash with her more elegant looking outfits). The hat/fascinator is perfect, and I wish so much that the U.S. would adapt this fashion statement! I noticed that there have been a few pics every year of Catherine and William laughing and smiling when he walks past her! I am under the assumption they are having a “giggle” about his outfit…just a theory :)

  16. Kate’s look is lovely, as usual, but a little boring. I realize that I am likely in the minority, but I liked Sopie’s outfit way more. It was a little more fun and daring.

  17. Totally off topic – but this is the only page where I see this picture of everybody bowing their heads or curtseying as the queen passes by….. EXCEPT Andrew? What’s up with that? He doesn’t have to bow to the sovereign anymore??

  18. Thanks for a great post Susan! I loved Kate’s look today, even better than when she wore it in 2012, I think the hat really made this outfit. The only thing I would have changed is her clutch, this one seems a little too casual for this outfit and event. She has a lovely gray clutch that I think would have been a better choice. The hat she wore today was perfection, the color and style worked so well with this dress/coat.

    Poor Sophie, what was she thinking?! She has such a lovely figure and does take some fashion risks but today’s choice was definitely a miss for me.

    It was lovely to see Kate and Charles chatting and smiling in their carriage. They seem to get along very well and Kate seems very comfortable with most members of the royal family. They really have seemed to learn from lessons of the past.

  19. I was happy to get a better look at this Christopher Kane coat than I think we all received in 2012. I’m somewhat on the fence about it, since I am usually quite impressed by Kane but find this coat just a little “blah”. It does have the clean lines I prefer, but nothing about the silhouette, fabric, or color really wows me. In fact, in some ways, it’s a glitzier version of the blue McQueen coat worn Down Under and recently in Normandy, though I do like the design rather better — no pockets.

    I LOVE the hat. I might mention that on an earlier post, someone commented that such sharply-tilted hats are called “percher hats,” not fascinators. I took that terminology issue to a British friend, who tells me that where she comes from, “percher hats” are considered a type of fascinator, the terms being interchangeable, since they are usually significantly smaller than other hats and often tilted and secured the same way.

    I’ve never cared for that clutch, but I’m delighted to see the Duchess wearing pointed-toe, platformless (is that a word? Probably not) pumps. I really can’t stand platform pumps.

    Alas, broderie anglaise and ethnic prints just don’t flip my switch.

    • I should add that I’ve always been interested in the Order of the Garter, since it was created by a king whose reign I consider particularly absorbing from an academic/historical point of view. It was under Edward III that English (Middle English, that is) became the official language of the court, after years of the hegemony of French, and the ascendency of English was, of course, helped along by Geoffrey Chaucer, who was a professional court employee as well as a great poet. This is a truly fascinating era in English/British history.

  20. I really like this colour on kate! I also just noticed that in the 2012 photo of the women, it looks like Camilla is wearing the same outfit that she wore at Trooping the Colour this week!

  21. I absolutely LOVED this look!!! I think that it was the perfect combination of Recycled & New pieces. I think we are going to be seeing a new staple with these new heels. In my humble opinion, being platform-less makes this a more timeless look (although I don’t think the platform trend is going to leave us anytime soon) but overall the Sledge pumps are my favorites!

  22. There is no higher royal order than the Order of the Garter. Significantly, Prince Harry is not yet a member, although Prince William has been since 2008.

    Kate seems to be in a baby blue mood. I liked this ensemble better than the Trooping of the Color suit. I am mystified why Sophie work a feather ruff in June, it seems rather overdone.

    My very favorite painting of HM, by Pietro Annigoni, shows her in her Garter robes. My mother bought a postcard of it when she was studying in England, and I think it’s very elegant.


    • As an art historian, I can tell you that the 1950′s Annigoni is widely admired. He was working in a highly romantic style at the time. Later, in the 1960′s, he did another portrait of the Queen in quite a different style and wearing her British Empire robes. Other participants here might be interested in seeing it:


      Annigoni also executed a portrait of the Duchess of Kent wearing her robes as the Chancellor of the University of Leeds and an interesting portrait of Princess Margaret that was sold by her children after her death but then bought back by Viscount Linley. See below:


    • I don’t find it all that “significant” that Harry has not received the Garter yet. From what I remember, there is a limited number of people at one time who can be in the group and someone has to die before another can replace them. Perhaps the Queen thinks Harry is young, along with being second to William, and he can wait for awhile until a spot opens up. Meanwhile, she will appoint older people who have done important things for the Crown. Personally, I doubt Harry is all that excited about walking around in those robes. He’ll get to join in a few years, I’m sure.

    • Prince William was selected to the Order MUCH earlier than he would have been otherwise in order to be the 1000th member. Without that symbolism, he likely wouldn’t be a member for years, either. Not a comment on Harry!

      Agree with other posters that this is a perfect mix of recycled and new! I love the hat.

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