Oct 232014

The Duchess wore Temperley London for this evening’s Action on Addiction Autumn Gala.

Jeff Moore / Splash News

Jeff Moore / Splash News

The event was held at a restaurant in London’s East End, L’Anima. Kate has been the charity’s Royal Patron since January of 2012. More on the evening’s events from Richard Palmer’s story in the Daily Express:

During a pre-dinner reception the Duchess met charity supporters and heard a speech by Action on Addiction Chairman John Lloyd, followed by a performance by comedian Rory Bremner.

On her previous two engagements, she has left before a meal but tonight she was staying for dinner at the award-winning restaurant.

In a foreword for the programme tonight, Kate wrote: “During the time I have spent with clients and staff I have been privileged to see the phenomenal work which the charity undertakes to improve the lives of those affected by addiction.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

The Duchess wore a piece from Temperley London’s pre-fall 2014 collection, the brand’s Emblem Flare dress.  The frock is “inspired by stained glass ironwork and woven from a lightweight cotton-blend yarn.”

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

More on the description from the Temperley website: “Delicate panels expose the nude slip, adding an edge to this feminine piece. The design is finished with a slashed neckline and a scoop back.”
Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Interestingly, the dress has no zipper, it simply slips on over the head. The black fabric is 58% cotton, 42% rayon, and 29% elastane. The nude lining is 100% rayon. Back to Rebecca English’s story in the Mail:

Wearing a rather daring new black cocktail dress featuring slashed nude panels by Temperley London, with her long hair curled and flowing, she walked along a pink carpet as she entered the award-winning restaurant.

Jeff Moore / Splash News

Jeff Moore / Splash News

Here is a better look at the intricate weave on portions of the dress.

Splash News/Temperley London

Splash News/Temperley London

More on the look from The Daily Mirror:

It’s a marked departure from Kate’s more conservative day dresses, but the slightly edgy frock looked great on her with its “slashed neckline and scooped back”.

Justin Tallis/AFP/GoffPhotos.com

Justin Tallis/AFP/GoffPhotos.com

The style is not for everyone; many dislike the open-work detailing on the fabric. It is a look Kate appreciates, not surprising given her fondness for lace and pieces with an open-weave design. A downside for tonight’s look was the impact of very bright flash photography, revealing what appears to be the need for nude undergarments.

UPDATE: Lulu In The Palace makes a very good point in her comment, noting that “The dress comes with a full slip. The dress is low in the back. No bra shows. When you wear something black with a light colored slip, the flash of the lights makes it look much more “see through” than it is. If the slip had been black that would have defeated the whole purpose of the cutouts.”

The issue is really the dress fabric, it is a loosely woven material (see photos above), allowing more light to seep through the fabric, thereby showing the slip. 99.99% of the women wearing this frock wouldn’t have any issues whatsoever. But in last night’s setting the intensity of the photographers’ flash lights created an unusual dilemma for the Duchess.

As usually happens when Kate is seen wearing a specific garment, sales pick up. Quickly. This time is no different: the dress is now only available in XS, S and M sizes at the Temperley London website, where it retails for £595, about $795.  Harrod has the dress in M and L sizes.

Kate accessorized with a black bow at the waist, our thanks to DuchessofC2 and Ashley Marie on Twitter for letting us know about the belt.

Justin Tallis/AFP/GoffPhotos.com

Justin Tallis/AFP/GoffPhotos.com

For those fond of this particular look, Temperley also offers an Emblem Top (£325).

Temperley London

Temperley London

And an Emblem Sleeved Dress (£495).

Temperley London

Temperley London

Back to Richard Palmer’s story:

Kate also spoke to charity supporter Christopher Holder and kept mum about the gender of her new baby.

“She said she’s loving being here.

“I think there was talk of her heels and there was talk about the baby and I think someone asked the question ‘what is it going to be?’ but she didn’t answer.”

Kate carried a new handbag tonight.

Jeff Moore/Splash

Jeff Moore/Splash

It appears to have a fan motif on the flap. Two more angles.



We’ve yet to identify this piece; when we do find more information we will update the post.

The Duchess wore the deco-style diamond drop earrings we have seen previously. Below left you see Kate wearing them this evening, in the center photo at Zara Phillips wedding and on Canada Day in 2011.



We saw the return of Kate’s Jimmy Choo Cosmic heels this evening.



The black suede pumps have a 4.7″ heel with a 1.2″ platform, so they are not quite as high as they may initially appear. The shoes retail at Jimmy Choo for $695.

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

The Duchess again looked healthy and relaxed.



This was Kate’s third engagement this week.

Splash News/Splash News/i-Images - Polaris

Splash News/Splash News/i-Images – Polaris

She brought out three of her favorite designers for the three functions (l to r): Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham and Temperley London. On two of the occasions the Duchess wore styles that were a bit of a departure for her, perhaps a step out of her comfort zone. Both the Jenny Packham gown and Temperley London dress had design elements we’ve not previously seen from the Duchess: the high/low skirt on the Packham gown and scoop back of today’s Temperley dress are just a touch more daring than Kate’s normal look, representing a possible desire on Kate’s part to try slightly riskier looks.

NOTE: the post has been amended to remove a reference to Kate’s belt that said it was the same belt worn with her Temperley Amoret gown. It is not the same. That belt is velvet, today’s is more of a grosgrain or silk.



  103 Responses to “It’s Temperley London for the Duchess at Action on Addiction Autumn Gala”

  1. The Duchess looks lovely. I really had to look to notice the slip/bra. those camera flashes certainly are strong. However, at the end of the day the photographers could have colour corrected/photshopped the slip/bra issue.

  2. The Facebook button is back!! And Twitter! Sorry if I’ve been slow to notice, Susan, but thanks very much!!

  3. I prefer Rebecca Deacon’s dress (in the background in the first picture) to Kate’s dress. The chevron stripes look a bit too much and makes the dress look very busy. But, as always, the Duchess’s face is her fortune. She is a lovely looking lady.

  4. the more i look at the dress, the less i care for it….it would have been much classy if the bodice were solid leaving the cutout details just on the sleeves. i do think it’s a very good shape, though.

  5. I have a question? This concerns the Temperley dress, which I like very much. I think Kate very rarely goes wrong on her own. In this case when the dress photographs differently indoors as opposed to having 10,000,000 watts of light thrown on it, do you think there will be a discussion between Kate and the Temperley people?

    I’m pretty sure the palace is going to have plenty to say about it. First, they the situation of NO pantyhose with her beautiful evening sandals (thank you Kate) and now this. Photos of your camisole, lining, bra, slip, whatever, actually showing off your breasts. I don’t want them to beat her down over this sort of “how was I supposed to know” situation. After all, what other royal woman needs to worry about THAT many cameras. Perhaps her Majesty, then again maybe not.

    I love Kate. I admire the fact that she takes big risks: e.g. showing up without pantyhose. For all I know, the bigger risk may have been open toed evening shoes. I can’t recall seeing any other royal woman wearing them, let along without stockings. Kate is awesome. I’m so glad she’s back and better then ever. You go girl!

    • Renee,

      I’m going to help you out here. Google the “young queen elizabeth dressed up” and you will see lots of pics of the Queen with open-toed shoes. One with her meeting the pres of u.s. Wearing stockings? You can’t tell from the pics.

      I will say this…Catherine was not at an official Royal event. She wasn’t in the presence of the Queen. She wasn’t there to represent the Queen. This makes a difference in how she can choose to dress.

      In terms of showing her undergarments, I don’t think it’s a really big deal. When you consider the low-cut, off the shoulder numbers the Queen wore in her young years, and the high hemmed dresses Princess Anne wore in the 60′s, I really don’t think it’s a big deal.

      Much is made of protocol, but this is ridiculous press pronouncements. The Palace protocol is not as strict as the media would have you believe. Check out the film on YouTube taken during the Queen’s 40th year on the throne. You will see a very relaxed and humble Queen – in her own voice.

      • True she was not there on behalf of the Queen, however, being a Royal you are always representing the Queen and her household. And showing her undergarments is not the same as low cut and off the shoulder dresses. Kate still being a new royal, I am sure she is talked in regards to her outfits, both negative and positive (though I don’t think open-toed sandals are a big deal). I believe that in the Palace under formal events you have to wear tights and closed-toed heels. But in this case it didn’t matter. However, anytime there is a mess up (like skirt blowing up), Kate is talked to since she is representing the Crown.

        There are reports that when Kate and William are on tour, their people sit down with them each night and go over the events of the day and how things went. Such as on the Australia tour, there were many comments from the media about William never holding George and sure enough the next day he held George. They do pay attention. I think the Palace protocol is a little more strict then you think.

        • It really isn’t that strict, and things like holding George are not “protocol” issues, they are public relations issues. That’s what they are discussing when they go over a day’s events during a tour: how the public perceives and relates to them.

          And Kate is quite right that the Queen (and her sister, Princess Margaret) wore open-toed shoes quite a lot as a young woman. In fact, the Queen even wore open-toed satin sandals to her own wedding. There’s no prohibition on them for formal events, and when evening sandals are worn, stockings are not necessary. The Duchess has worn evening sandals now several times, including recently, so it’s clear that no one at the “Palace” has prohibited them, nor would there be any reason to do so.

          Incidentally, I’ve no doubt that the Duchess carries out trial/test wearings of garments before she goes out in them, but let’s face it: it would be impossible to reproduce exactly the conditions here, with all of the lights and flashes present, just as you can’t know in advance exactly what the conditions will be on, say, an airport tarmac and whether the winds will be so strong that even your weighted skirts will blow up. (And she does weight her skirts.)

          • Sorry Lili, but how exactly do you know she has weights in her skirts? I have never seen anything to back that up so I am really curious how you know that?? I think that is more of an assumption on your part.

    • I don’t think ‘tights or no tights’ (as we call pantyhose on this side of the pond) is a particularly controversial issue these days, even within the Royal family – I don’t see that as a risky move, and I agree that tights with open-toed sandals isn’t a good look.

  6. Hopefully this is a one time only outing for this dress – I am sure there are private events she can wear it to in the future if she feels that she needs to make it pay for itself – that fabric with a white lining is not going to look good at night with flash cameras. Other references to Halloween and the Addams Family are on the mark.

  7. Not to my taste – shape of the dress etc good but the cutouts with the white lining a fail -would have been better with a jewel colour

  8. Anyone notice Rebecca Deacon in the background of the top photo? She’s looking more glamorous than usual, and a shorter skirt and higher heels. I wonder if she gets some sort of dress allowance, because even if she is not wearing designer pieces she has to attend a lot of events and I”m sure a palace-worker’s salary doesn’t pay for an extensive wardrobe to cover all sorts of outings.

    • I’ve never seen Miss Deacon in anything that looks particularly expensive, and she tends to wear the same sorts of things all the time. I suspect she has a small wardrobe of items that will work for just about anything and also not distract from whatever it is the Duchess is wearing.

  9. Hmm. Tricky dress. Flash photography and that material. The reflectance is fairly high, already, in the stock photography shot of the dress itself.

    A pregnant bust is going to be emphasized more than a model’s flatter bust, and the hint of bra edge underneath the fabric, I wonder if Kate had chosen a more streamlined bra, there’d be less complaint about what we’re seeing. The bra edge isn’t apparent in the less flashed photos. However, those chevrons lead the eye to the cleavage area, and underline the bust area, so lots of optical illusion happening to draw our attention. Bound to provoke controversy considering her role as coat-dressed future queen-in-training.

    I wonder why Temperley didn’t fuse the slip to the dress, so that we wouldn’t be distracted by the slip hemline showing through the cut outs of the skirt. May have been a more elegant solution, befitting what is obviously a sexy fun choice for a typically elegant lady.

    Cutouts in fashion isn’t easy to do well. This is more a Temperly fail in my mind than a Kate fail. By filling in the cutouts with a stripped lacy feel looks like designer confusion, or daring. A memorable statement nonetheless.

  10. Kate looks beautiful in this black cutout dress. I love it! it’s nice to see she is dressing her age and moving away from her usual Alexander Mcqueen dresses with coats and same style dresses in different colors. love the nude undergarments as it’s accentuates all the cutouts. it’s modern, different and looks great on her!

  11. Kate has always been an athletic person and this dress’s design captures that perfectly.
    Chevron stripes and contrasting colors usually are seen on sporting gear .
    What better way to ask unwell people to get well and healthy than to lay some athletic tone on it?
    I do not care if they refer to it as ironwork inspired, it reflects a sporty look which is great for her .
    I rank it in the top five I have seen her wear.

    It is a killer beautiful dress ,and I am glad she finally could be out enjoying herself .

  12. Yay, I am thrilled to see her in something edgy and young! I think the nude lining is still tasteful and the dress is appropriate for an evening event at a restaurant. Kate still looks lovely and demure, but it’s okay to take a risk now and then. The only thing that would improve the look is an Alexander McQueen clutch with a skull clasp.

  13. I hate this dress, but I give the Duchess props for wearing something slightly edgier. I’d rather have a strong reaction, positive or negative, than another boring ho-hum outfit.

    • This really isn’t the first time Kate wore what some call “edgy” .
      Edgy was wearing the black and white cheetah/animal print maternity outfit while far along when she christened a ship . I still think she did than in an unspoken reply to the designer who said she should be bolder and go for more prints , and buy from him. Well, she got bolder, but not with his line, so good for her! She looked fantastic in that dress .

    • I think part of the problem is Kate’s natural conservatism — when she wants to experiment, she wants to do it within her own bounds, and do it safely. I sometimes think that might make for a bit of a fudge, for want of a better word! Someone like Cressida Bonas can work an off-beat look because it’s natural to her. She would clearly have problems smartening up I think — hence I see her new nickname –Messy Cressy!!

  14. This is a rare fashion miss for the Duchess, in my opinion – I’m all for her being adventurous with her fashion choices, but this is just an ugly dress. The bodice screams ‘biker chick’, and the pattern of the cut-outs is vaguely insectile. Not a flattering fit over the bust either, although. as someone pointed out, this may be due to it being originally fitted pre-pregnancy.

    Very excited by three Kate-sightings in two days, though – it’s almost as good as a Royal tour!

  15. I don’t comment very often, but I have to chime in to say that I think she looked lovely in this dress! The nude cut-outs are a bit risqué for Kate, and I’m glad to see her make a bold choice. I was getting a little concerned that we might have seen the end of anything a bit adventurous from the duchess with the rumors that the palace was insisting on longer hemlines and a more ‘mature’ look. I’m so glad to see her try something that she probably just really liked, even if it is not everyone’s cup of tea. She is a real woman and should get to pick some things just for herself. And honestly you do have to branch out and try new design elements to make a LBD more interesting, especially if you need as many cocktail dresses as she does. I don’t think this is a “worst” look by any stretch (and even her ‘worst’ looks are hardly cringe-worthy). Also, based on the countless times she has been photographed in similar red carpet-type situations, I think she is well aware of how flash photography makes her look and how it affects various fabrics. I am confident she anticipated the nude slip being more visible in flash photography and decided it was not an issue that would prevent her from wearing the dress.

  16. I am so glad to see her in something younger and more fun! Actually these last few designs harken back to a bit more of the “fun” I loved in her sartorial choices pre-wedding and I’m so happy to see it! Flash bulbs revealing a bit of her completely appropriate undergarments (slip) is a normal occurrence and doesn’t bother me at all, actually, that’s probably why she wore them as they wouldn’t be necessary otherwise. I hope she is able to continue mixing in these more on trend/fun/young/age appropriate looks. There will be plenty of time for tea length coat dresses and simple long sleeved shift dresses later. For now however, as a younger royal, I feel this is completely appropriate for her role. Nothing is showing which shouldn’t be, it is by a British designer and the length is appropriate for the event.

  17. I think she looked stunning! It’s a departure from her usual look and I think she looked great! I love the cut outs, she still made it look classy yet on trend. This is a fashion win in my book!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  18. Love this so much more than the Packham gown. I would love for her to start moving in this direction with her style. I think she has earned the right to start expressing herself through her clothes a little bit more, and taking more risks with pieces like this. And also, wearing more black!!

  19. I guess I’m in the minority because I think she looked stunningly beautiful! The dress isn’t my favorite ever, but I don’t mind it, and am sort of surprised that so many people seem to think it is “edgy” – I don’t see that at all. It’s just a LBD! :) And as Lulu and others have pointed out, the dress has nude lining so it is not her bra or bra strap that we’re seeing (I don’t think). That being said, this black fabric definitely wasn’t the best choice for lots of flash photography and hopefully she will see that “glare” in the photos and maybe not wear this dress again at night, but I don’t get all the negativity about it. Mostly I’m just glad she’s out again and we got THREE new outfits this week!

  20. I quite like this dress, especially since it is an adventurous departure from the Duchess’s usually staid look. Not that there is anything wrong with her normal aesthetic, but it’s nice to see her branch out and take some risks! What is fashion for, if not to have fun? The scoop back is an interesting detail: who knew the Duchess had such a lovely back? Some people are just blessed by the gods, I suppose.

    I do wish that she would have resisted the impulse to add the belt. The frock has an edgy feel, and the precious bow just doesn’t match the overall look, in my humble opinion. I also think the fit of the dress is ever so slightly off. On the model, the black part of the bodice entirely covers the breasts and extends down to part of the rib cage before the sheer paneling starts. On Kate, the sheer paneling rides much higher, which creates a less than flattering illusion. I would hazard to guess this dress may have been fitted pre-pregnancy, but of course there’s no way of knowing. It would be interesting to see if the bodice fits differently if she were to wear it once she’s not expecting.

    If I were to wear this dress, I think I would embrace the sophisticated rocker chic and go for a leather clutch. (Plus, strappy black sandals more in line with what the model is wearing, but I live in a climate that allows for–nay, demands–open-toed footwear most of the year.)

    One final note: while I really like this dress, I am not partial to the Emblem Sleeved Dress. The cut-outs on the back of the dress give an X-rated illusion that just isn’t too my taste. No Rose McGowan circa 1998 MTV awards lookalikes for me, thank you very much.

    • Thanks for your comments, as always. I’m finding myself being slowly persuaded to accept this dress having been uncertain from the start, though I think it was the flash photography which spoiled my initial view.

      I’m not convinced about the “edgy” quality since Kate has tried these short Temperley dresses some four or five times before with mixed results. This one is certainly the best of the bunch as far as I’m concerned. She wore one on her first post-engagement outing with William so I think it may be as much an example of Kate sticking to what she knows as a move in a fresh direction!

      I think my own initial surprise at seeing this one was the stark contrast with the pastel Packham two nights before. Always hard to judge if a reluctance to accept an outfit is down to genuine dislike or simply me getting set in my ways!

      Am ever grateful to civilised discussion on this page to help me sort out my perspective. It’s a great little dress, but Temperley can’t be worn under flashlighting of this intensity and look its best in photos.

      • While I do not find this dress objectionable, I will admit that I was much more impressed with the Tiffany blue Jenny Packham and even more with the Alexander McQueen plaid coat from earlier this week. (I really wanted to find time to post a comment, but alas, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I enjoyed reading everyone’s reactions though!)

        The silhouette and brand are certainly in keeping with the Duchess’s signature style, but the scooped back and the illusion of cut-outs were what prompted me to label the dress “edgy.” (I think that term also appears in the post somewhere, so it was prominent in my mind.) Even those these cut-outs aren’t really cut-outs, since they are revealing a nude slip and not bare skin, they do give a more daring illusion than most of the Duchess’s garments. However, I do not want to get too boggled down about adjective choices: this frock appears edgy to some, to others it is in keeping with the Duchess’s usual fashion choices, and that’s perfectly fine by me. (I would add that I had a discussion with a colleague in the office today, who also couldn’t understand why people were calling the dress “edgy.” “But it’s just a black dress!” she exclaimed.)

        • I think Kate has pulled off three remarkably different outfits in as many outings which would be nice to see as as sign of her increasing maturity of style. And I’m very happy to concede that we all use the word “edgy” in our own different ways and it’s an individual value judgement at the end of the day.

          I also see Lili has called the Dalmation spot coat Kate wore last pregnancy “cute” rather then “edgy” when at the time I had cheerfully given it the latter word!

          Separately, I find I’m tempted to add that I find the thought of Lili as Morticia a very sobering one indeed…

  21. The black knit is a horrible dress, the pattern is a “too much going on” look. The belted bow is totally out of place with the dress style. Overall… REALLY AWFUL.

  22. Of the three recent looks, I think she looks most comfortable in the blue although I disliked the cut of the short skirt… it looked too abrupt in my opinion. The grey was my favorite, and this black dress is a miss. The traditional silhouette doesn’t match well with the more contemporary-looking cutouts. It looks far too tight and the placement of the torso cutouts are higher on her than on the model, making her look wider. The bow also was a bad choice, but at least she looks happy in it.

    The tight version of the dress honestly looks like a streetwalker would wear it.. terrible.

    It’s fun to see her in new dresses, but she’s made better choices before.

  23. Don’t often leave comments, but this dress looks so awful felt like saying so. Kate’s first real dress-disaster. It is completely unsuitable. Unsuitable to her position as royalty, unsuitable for a public event, unsuitable for press-cameras which emphasise the dress’ s shortcomings. The style itself is unflattering, hard, almost ugly. Worrying, given the publicity the poor girl gets.

  24. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed …. she really need black undergarments for this dress!

  25. Kate is certainly coming up with some wardrobe contrasts after her recent health setback.
    The Temperley label and black-on-white theme is one Kate keeps returning to though I’ve tended to find the designs rather confused. I’m afraid the best I can say of this latest dress is that it’s not as bad as some of the others Kate has showcased, this one being more streamlined in shape and colouring.

    I can well see this is a very comfortable outfit for a busy evening of networking and caters for Kate’s expanding form, although the waistline is still pulled out of place. I’m no fan of Gothic and find it rather tired by now, the detailed black overlay on pale background comes across to me as morbid rather than fashion daring.

    I’ve also fallen prey to the expectations of another full-length gown so a cocktail dress was a surprise in that sense. Perhaps the sober attire was a nod to the financial and banking quarter of London where the restaurant is situated.

    One of the main problems of this black-overlay-on-white style is how poorly it fares under the barrage of flash photography.

  26. I’m usually not a fan of Temperley, but from the pictures in this post I quite like this one (haven’t checked out these harsh lighting photos yet). It reminds me of a wintery version of the Zimmermann dress, black and more form-fitting. I agree the bow doesn’t really go with the style of the dress, but I don’t mind that she’s not wearing more colour. Black seems appropriate for a restaurant event, and at least she didn’t go overboard by adding black tights.

  27. Oddly its too tight on her – makes her look fat. Cutouts and sheer dresses are tricky that way. I thought she’s put on weight, but she looks as slim as ever in the blue gown. The tightness makes it seem a bit tacky. It doesn’t look like that on the model in the designers pix.

    • Makes her look fat?! On what planet could she ever look fat no matter what she’s wearing?
      NOTE: Edited by moderator

      • I have to agree, not only does she not look thick/fat at all, this comment is even less founded when you consider she’s roughly 3 months pregnant with her second child. She looks fantastic and healthy.

    • I think I understand what you were saying even though I think you said it poorly. The dress, due to the belt, is pinching her oddly around the stomach, thus giving a little bit of roll-over (and I mean very little bit). I think it is just the belt combined with the top. But she is not fat. She is pregnant and just chose a belt that pinched her and gave some weird angles. I am assuming that is what you meant, thus making her look larger, even though she still looks great.

  28. This dress is fabulous. To my eye, its design elements are much more successful than the black cocktail Temperley dress Kate wore to last year’s SportsBall.

    And Susan, as always, what wonderful commentary! Thank you for making the connection between Kate’s love for different kinds of open-work design. I’d never considered lace that way before. :)

  29. Does anyone else think this looks like a ballet leotard? I saw someone else mention it and totally agree! It was just a black version. So tight on top like a leotard and similar looking material with a skirt over it.

  30. Gorgeous new dress. Sexy and age appropriate. The beige lining covers EVERYTHING. Who can object? That’s just mean. It even shows the tiny growing baby so many want to see. So glad she’s wearing new clothes. Must be a lift after months of barfing. BUT, I love her gorgeous hair and hope she never gets pressured to cutting it. She’s 32 and she should wear it long now and forever if she wants. I do wish she would wear it UP in dressy gowns, including a cocktail dress. Her hair hides the neckline and jewelry she ought to be wearing. Her face sparkles. She should wear the necklaces and earrings we know she has, put up her hair, and wear a tiara or others parleys in her hair, like the pearl pins she once wore in a chignon. Go all the way elegant in gowns. Dangling hair is rarely elegant. I do love this dress. I’ve admired all her maternity wear, most of which can be remade easily for regular clothes when she finishes her family. I hope HG isn’t do awful she has to sideline her dreams of a larger family, but there’s plenty of time to decide that before cutting up her fabulous clothes from George. This one is perfect and was “regular” anyway.

  31. Kate’s gone punk!

  32. Now I know why the Duchess plays it really safe with her clothes as can’t believe some of the nasty comments from posters.
    When you are all perfect dressers and get it right with your gear please leave her alone.
    I think the dress looks stunning. If there is anything that I don’t particularly like that she wears I use my manners and make no comment.

    • This is a fashion blog, and the comments are supposed to be about expressing opinions. The commenters are not required to admire unreservedly everything the Duchess wears. If they were, there would be no point to the comments section.

      • I agree with Lili. And if you read the comments, most of them say that Kate looks lovely, even if her dress is not. There is nothing mean about that. I think you and Karen are the same person-your comments are almost identical and I never really hear people use the word ‘nasty’ anymore. Please keep in mind this is a Kate fashion blog, not a Kate blog.

  33. Love this dress and it is really unusual with the cutout sand elegant design. Can’t believer that so many people are nasty about what she wears. Maybe pop a picture on facebook of yourself and let people comment.
    Have a think about it…..

    • Talking about Kate’s clothes is not ‘nasty’. And I’m sorry that you feel that way. What would be nasty is making personal attacks against Kate. Which no one does here, nor would Susan let them. This is a FASHION blog. People are suppose to be discussing what she wears and what we think about it. That is what makes it fun-reading other’s opinions. Do you want people to just love what she wears all the time? Because that is really unrealistic. If you are looking for blind praise then I would suggest not reading the comments section. But again remember you are on a fashion blog and that is why people talk about what she wears, all of which is not nasty.

  34. I noticed her assistant behind her and while other have in the past remarked how much she dresses in similar styles to Kate, I found it just weird that she would wear a black dress with cutout sleeves to this event. I have to think she knows what Kate is wearing ahead of time. I know its not the most important aspect of the event, but something I noticed in the photographs and the short film clip of Kate getting out of the car.

  35. It seems like Kate tries to dress a little edgier when she is pregnant, like to say, being a mum doesn’t make me in-sexy.

  36. I like this dress but not as much as the blue one a few days ago. I like that she seems to be branching out a bit. Nice to see different things. And she looks wonderful & healthy although I’m sure she’s still recovering from the HG.

    There is something about her in that bottom picture of the blue dress that reminds me of Princess Diana. I know, the comparisons between them are overdone, especially with fashion, but there is just something about it.

  37. Lovely dress, daring, quirky and edgy. Pity it doesn’t photograph nicely and does weird things to her bust :( Hopefully Temperley have noticed this and made the necessary amendments, keeping in mind that the Duchess is often photographed and more so with flash at night.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the lower band of cut-outs does rather focus on the bust line. There is a time to let well alone, and to my eyes that lower band is not well.

      Having said that, I think overall the dress is lovely and the low back is wonderful. It’s just the sort of thing Kate can wear and look great in. Lovely clutch bag, lovely shoes, lovely hair, lovely smile. So good to see her out and about again :) What a relief it must be for her!

  38. It looks like something Pippa would wear.

  39. Not my favorite, Looks like runs in stockings to me – added to a too sheer top that you can see her bra through and a nude lining that doesn’t match her skin tone right – the whole thing just has too many issues. She has done the black embellished dress so well in the past, this one just doesn’t measure up to the others. Also adding a pop of some kind of color with a clutch or belt or shoes would have really been the way to go – even if it was just white or cream.

  40. Gosh, I do not like this dress. Not only does it photograph badly with flashes, but I just don’t like the pretend flesh sticking through the cut-outs. It’s a jarring contrast to yesterday’s beautiful blue dress, which I loved. But I’m glad to see she’s feeling better and willing to take on engagements.

  41. I really like this dress. It’s pretty. What I don’t understand is why some commenters are calling it “edgy.” There is nothing edgy about it. It’s just a pretty black dress with cutouts. Anyway, I’m so happy to see the Duchess looking so healthy and happy AND staying for dinner. Hopefully the worse is over.

    • I think ‘edgy’ is a reasonable word for this dress because it’s not safely conventional. Think of the dress Kate wore in…was it New Zealand? That black dress with the silver fern decoration on one shoulder. Wide, fairly high neck, plain black apart from the modest fern, and it was a very decorous length – some said it was too long. Nice but very safe, very modest, and very conventional.

      That’s my take on the ‘edgy’ comment anyway :)

      • Well, just because a dress is not “conventional” doesn’t mean it’s “edgy.” There are in-betweens. But, whatever you want to think. I don’t care.

  42. The dress is great, what isn’t great is the harsh lighting under which she is photographed. In the few interior shots shown here the dress looks excellent, especially the scoop back. The detailing is flattering. She should have done without the bow belt however. It’s refreshing to see her in a more edgy contemporary look for an event at a more informal restaurant setting.

  43. Love Kate but not liking this. Looks like Spiderman 3′s costume.

  44. So much potential, but kind of blah for me. If I wore this dress for a gala, I think I would have added color to give it some pizzazz!!!

    It is too much black. I would have worn a red shoe, with a red clutch. Or keeping with the black tie event. A white pump with white clutch. She could have even matched her belt to the other color (though I really think the belt was unnecessary, and an added distraction). I just think this was kind of boring, all black. She needed something more, even if it was just jewelry.

    • She wore a black Temperley with laser-cut lace — let’s see, was it a few months after George’s birth? — and carried a red clutch. As I recall, many people thought the red had been the wrong choice. I thought something in gold would have worked better.

      • I remember that clutch and it was not only red, but had a big plush bow on it. It was just too much of everything to go with all that laser cut lace. A red or gold clutch that wasn’t so twee would have been a better choice. The sequined black clutch with the Temperley Flare and the added waist bow are styling mistakes as well. I’m not a fan of the dress, mostly because the “skin” colored modesty panels don’t come close to the color of her tan.

  45. Thanks for putting the 3 outfits together at the end. Looking at those photos it looks like Kate is more relaxed in the middle one. She seems most comfortable in the blue dress. It makes me think that is how Kate would probably dress if she were not a royal. I think she would wear a little more revealing clothes. I just get the feeling she would be a little more carefree with her clothing choices. She has a good body, and she knows it, so I think she would show it off more if she were not a royal. Being a royal, she has to dress more modestly. Tonight’s dress is a perfect example. She is trying to branch out with in the confines of her role. She tried for a more edgy look, which didn’t really work. This was not her best look sadly. That’s just my two cents worth:)

  46. Perhaps I am in the minority here, but the first thing I thought was “That dress is a hot mess”. It just has too much going on. I think it’s the panels in the sleeves as well as everywhere else. The sleeve panels take it to a whole other level. If the sleeves didn’t have the panels, then I think it would be better. Just too busy as is.

    I liked the belt because it seemed to be missing something at the waist seem on the original, but perhaps a plain band belt without the bow would have been better?

    And the stretch/sleeve version of the dress? That one says Kardashian all over it. Ugh!

    I do give her kudos for trying to be different. I am not one to get bored with her choices — I try to mimic her classic style just because it’s so timeless. This dress to me is too trendy I think. I don’t see it standing the test of time, but I am no fashion expert by any stretch of the imagination myself. Who knows, maybe the dress will grow on me. It did look better inside…

    However, the important thing is that she’s healthy and out and about. And she does look great — I didn’t get a chance to comment on last night’s look — OMG, she was STUNNING! Absolute perfection. Only complaint was that I couldn’t see the jewelry and I do so love her jewelry. But she is looking really well this week, health-wise — I wish I looked this good normally, never mind after a 6-week illness! I will say this for Kate, she really does inspire me to take better care of myself.

    • I agree, Lynn. Gorgeous woman—seriously ugly dress. Really hideous. And I also thought of Kim Kardashian, which is just appalling! What two famous brunettes could be less alike? The two-level solid blue evening dress from an earlier event was elegant and beautiful, however. I think the duchess may have gained a little weight and she looks wonderful.

  47. The lighting is misleading. The dress comes with a full slip. The dress is low in the back. No bra shows. When you wear something black with a slight colored slip, the flash of the lights makes it look much more “see through” than it is.

    If the slip had been black that would have defeated the whole purpose of the cutouts. It’s meant to give an optical illusion of seeing skin when in fact the only skin we see through the dress is her arms.

    • I fully agree.

    • Many thanks for the insight Lulu! I have updated the post to reflect your input, noting that the real issue was the loose weave of the fabric. When combined with the intensity of the flash photography it allowed the slip to show through. :)

    • I’m also sure that the dress had its own full sewn-in lining, but I think under the sheer brutality of that extent of flash lighting anything worn underneath was going to show up in outline. It’s clear that Kate is wearing the necessary support under there, and I don’t think that could be included in the dress slip without distorting the garment.

      It was just an unlucky fluke — the amount of flash, the lighter fabrics used to create in effect two contrasting dresses on top of each other, plus Kate’s fast expanding form creating a tighter fit at the bust. Given the pale underdress any undergarment would look pale in the profile created.

    • I actually have to disagree with the commenters who believe we’re seeing the slip and not the outline of her bra. If you look at the top row of cutouts (below her collarbones/above her bust) it’s the same lighter “flesh” colour as the rest of the cutouts armoured by the slip/lining. The cutouts on her arms and at the very bottom of the dress (where you can see the slip ends) are clearly showing her much darker actual skin.

      I think with both the outer material being mesh, and the slip/lining being a very thin rayon or silk the material on top of her undergarments are thin & clingy enough to at least show the hard edges of the her bra through the top two materials. And I also think her bra may be much lighter in colour than the slip/lining in order to show through so clearly.

      That said I actually really like this dress, and I like it on Kate. The silhouette is flattering and the cutouts are certainly not boring.

  48. I love that she is trying edgier styles. She looked divine! xo lulu

  49. This is a fantastic blend of edgy and elegant. Great job, Kate.

  50. Tonight’s look was stunning. Every accessory, including the bow belt, made the look entirely, uniquely Catherine. As it should be.

  51. It is a lovely dress and she looks stunning! It’s too bad the designer did not fashion a better front panel – possibly a double layer of the dress fabric just in front – to keep from slip liner from reflecting the camera flashes…. It always happens to me – outfit looks fine in mirror but in photos, the same top gets the ‘bust glare’ from too light colored of camisole under dark fabric.

    Regardless, I am happy to see her out and about again!

  52. Don’t care for the belt that much but do like the dress. The bow doesn’t ‘go’ with the style of the dress.

    • I agree! The dress is beautiful, elegant and edgy, and the bow looks like it was made for a little girl’s dress. And I think this would have been fabulous with her hair half up; the beautiful neckline would have been highlighted while still providing cover for the open back.

  53. Well, though I’ve had problems with Temperley in the past — too much embellishment — and am not normally a great fan of fit-and-flare designs, because I don’t love full skirts, I quite like this dress. The sophisticated geometric cut-out designs appeal to me far more than Temperley’s usual and elaborate floral or lacy designs and instantly reminded me of some of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s art glass — the term used more often for Arts and Crafts glasswork than “stained glass”. I couldn’t help but think of Wright’s windows for the Robie House, located near my home:


    I actually didn’t think the dress needed the bow belt, and I’m not sure it’s the velvet belt worn with the Amoret dress, but I don’t object hugely to it. Perhaps the Duchess thought the bow softened the angularity of the cut-outs.

    All in all, a very nice look, though if I were buying for myself, I’d prefer the version with the slim pencil skirt to the fuller asymmetrical effect.

    • Thanks for the link. I’m afraid the reaction I get to these Temperley black-on-white overlays is “Look out, Morticia’s back”…

      • Hehehe. Maybe Kate was trying out her Halloween costume early? :)

        **snap snap**

        • I actually wore a Morticia costume, made by my mother, to my all-time most successful Halloween party in grade school. My father ran the “haunted house” portion, dressed as Gomez Addams. (He was a HUGE Charles Addams fan and also a fan of the original Addams cartoons), so he came up with the idea for that party.

          Personally, I think the Morticia and “run stockings” complaints are hugely overdone, but as always, I love seeing the different opinions. Too fun.

          The fashion mavens seem to love this dress. I do, too, but I do understand why some people dislike it. AshleyOlivia, I prefer the slim, pencil-skirt version but NOT with the cut-outs on the derriere.

          • What a blast! I hope you had a long black wig to match the dress.

            I, too, generally prefer a more slim silhouette to the fit and flare dresses of which the Duchess is so fond. However, the Emblem does have those unfortunately placed cut-outs on the rear, and I also get the impression this would be an unflattering dress for anyone who wasn’t blessed with a slim figure.

  54. Hemline and neckline without any unnecessary skin showing, check. Diamond earrings, check, the necklace shows great bling possibilities under all the hair. But oh dear. I think she was very unaware of how LBDs photograph under lights, since the top has an unflattering cast to it. Designer “ripped jeans” look, a la Messy Cressie, isn’t becoming, even at this price. The ribbon doesn’t really add anything to an already busy dress, the purse looks like a raid on granny’s closet. 5/10.

    • My jaw dropped when I saw this dress – and not in a good way. Appropriateness aside – (those sheer cutouts earn major side-eye from me and prompted my spouse to deem the dress “Kardashian-esque”.) – this dress is just plain ugh. I understand what Temperly might have been going for here, in terms of “stained glass” concept, but execution is another matter…yeah, not working on any level.
      I can’t believe no one suggested that Kate might want to re-think the dress choice.

      Positive note: glad to see her looking well, hope she is over the worst of her illness and on the upswing.

  55. Oh my, so many things to say. First off I am happy that she was out and about, but there are so many things wrong with this dress. I know that cutouts are on trend, but it just did not seem to work on this dress. I think the cutouts would have look nicer if the bodice had just been solid and the cutouts were only on the skirt and sleeve. Sadly these remind me of a cat attacking a dress and the cat winning.

    I feel like Kate is trying to be edgy and it shows. As in, she is trying too hard, not in a good way. I liked her other two outfits this week, but this one just misses every mark. The way the top fits with the tightness combined with the low back and material just reminds me of a leotard. It looks like a leotard with a skirt pulled over it.:(

    Not mention the sheerness of the bodice. Kate had to have known it was slightly sheer when she put it on and with all her experience, I am surprised she didn’t think that with a slightly sheer material all it would take is a flash to make it totally see-through, hence why we see her bra. It is a little tacky seeing her bra at a gala event. Reminds me more of a young celebrity. I don’t know- Maybe this was on purpose with trying to be edgy? I just wish she would learn from some of these mistakes. This one seems obvious. I know it is just a bra, but it is not fitting for a royal at a gala event in my opinion.

    I wish we could see others at the Autumn Gala, because this feels awfully casual. I’m sure a cocktail dress is appropriate, however, this does not feel like a cocktail dress. It feel more like an everyday going out dress. It feels pretty casual and the cutouts do not make it feel fancier.

    Sorry for all the bad points, I just can’t believe how off this dress was. I may be in the minority since there are no other comments yet, but this was a big miss! This whole dress was just a miss in my opinion. The other two this week were beautiful. But this one was a huge disappointment.

    • I agree- it was off. Way to much going on- maybe a black lining would have been an improvement…

      • The classic rule of fashion is that you wear the dress, the dress does not wear you. This dress is so hideous I could not read Susan’s post. I had an immediate aversion to it.

        Everyone makes a mistake – there are some clunkers in Diana’s archive, too. This one would go in my jumble sale and let’s move on.

    • I love the image of the cat attacking the dress! I’m uneasy with this dress as well and that sums up some of the detailing nicely!!

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