Nov 132014

The Duchess wore Diane von Furstenberg for this evening’s Royal Variety Performance.

 Jeff Moore / Splash News

Jeff Moore / Splash News

The event is a glittering affair at the London Palladium.

Ben Stevens / i-Images

Ben Stevens / i-Images

More from the Daily Mail:

The Duchess of Cambridge looked the picture of health as she and Prince William arrived to watch the Royal Variety Performance for the first time tonight – stopping to shake hands with a rather more casually dressed One Direction.

Glowing in a stunning floor length Diane von Furstenberg lace gown, and her hair in a simple up-do, Kate – who is 16 weeks pregnant – seemed to be showing the tiniest hint of a baby bump as she and William arrived at the London Palladium.

William and Kate were greeted by Harry Styles and One Direction.

Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A look at Kate’s gown from the side.

Ben Stevens / i-Images

Ben Stevens / i-Images

The Duchess wore the DVF ‘Zarita’ full-length gown in black. We show it at Net-a-Porter, where it is still available in smaller sizes ($900).



It meets most criteria for an evening frock for the Duchess: it has a fitted top/bodice, it has lace, and it also has a full skirt. The dress is a poly/nylon blend, and the lining has a touch of spandex, allowing for a more forgiving fit. The gown is also offered on the DVF UK website, where it remains available in most sizes. (The floor-length gown is not available in black on the DVF US website.)

The full-length gown is also available in navy, we show it at Matches Fashion ($900).

Matches Fashion

Matches Fashion

The Zarita is one of the label’s core pieces, offered in a variety of colors and lengths; I counted 13 variations just at the DVF site.  Below we show it in the short version in black at DVF ($348). It is also offered at Nordstrom where it is on sale, discounted to $278.

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg

The short dress is on sale at Nordstrom in 3 other colors; grey, ivory and navy.



It is a popular dress, Princess Madeleine wore it in what looks like the navy color back in 2012, click here to see a photo of her in the dress. I can’t tell from the photo if it is the long or short version of the frock. Our thanks to Nica Cornell for letting us know about this.

Kate’s bag remains a “UFO” (Unidentified Fashion Object) is a vintage piece by Magid.

Jeff Moore /

Jeff Moore /

It looks like Kate was wearing her Jimmy Choo Cosmic platform pumps this evening, they remain available at Jimmy Choo ($695), but only in limited sizing.

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

A closer look at Kate’s hair and earrings.

Ben Stevens/

Ben Stevens/

And the Kiki McDonough ‘Lola’ blue topaz circle earrings.

Kiki McDonough

Kiki McDonough


With apologies for the brevity of the post, we will be back to suplement it later this evening.


  64 Responses to “Kate Wows in Black Lace Diane von Furstenberg at Royal Variety Performance”

  1. Duchess Kate nailed it. Elegant. Classic. Flawless.
    Can we talk about the cashmere mix wrap? LOVE!

  2. this is such a lovely look for her. the dress is a good deal, it looks more expensive than the price. i wish she’d opted for the other colors though, perhaps the navy one.

  3. I actually wore the short version in navy for my sister’s wedding last year – but mine was an “off brand,” not DVF (I just pulled it out of the closet and checked the label – “Simply Liliana”). Funnily enough, I chose it because it reminded me of the Erdem dress the Duchess wore on the Canadian tour. My version was purchased for $87 at JC Penney’s. There are definitely “budget” versions out there for those interested.

  4. I think she looked beautiful. I love her hair and wish she would wear it up more often – so much more sophisticated and grown up looking. It also highlights her cheekbones.
    However…the dress was lovely, but I hated that it was black. The same dress in a dark plum or wine color would have knocked this look out of the park.
    I’d also love to see her wearing more jewelry. I feel that her jewelry choices are timid. She’s royalty now. She should wear expensive jewelry.

  5. She looks flawless… I wish I could pull off lace the way she does. Gorgeous!!

  6. Kate is glowing with health and vitality. Absolutely gorgeous and beautifully dressed.

  7. Absolutely lovely! This is one of her best evening gowns yet and she looks amazing.

  8. I really like this look; that’s a gorgeous dress!

  9. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I wonder – is it possible that Kate wore that same dress to a State dinner? I remember she wore a tiara and a white or ivory dress you could not identify, because of lack of photos. There was only a photo of her in a car and we could only see the top part of the dress.
    I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks a lot for it.

  10. Gorgeous dress, classy and elegant. Her figure is stunning. And the up-do is perfect for this look.

    The dress is quite reminiscent of the peach-coloured McQueen she wore for the National Service of Thanksgiving in June 2012, isn’t it? The neckline specifically.

  11. The Duchess absolutely nailed it tonight! I adore lace so she could wear it for every formal event and I wouldn’t get bored! The dress is so elegant and feminine, yet the fit has a bit of sexiness showing off her great figure. It’s been great seeing Catherine out again looking healthy and radiant.

  12. Am I the only one who thinks it looks too much like a frayed version of the Temperly Amoret dress? (Here’s hoping I spelled it right.. The War Horse dress!)

  13. I love seeing her hair up. It looks especially nice that way with evening wear, and the earrings are lovely. I am over the lace dresses. It is a nice look but the black and the long length are a little funereal for my taste. I much preferred the shorter dresses, but the long one would have looked better in any color but black. I know she likes lace and it is a thing with her, but something else would be a welcome surprise. It is so nice to see her healthy and happy again. At sixteen weeks you can barely see the baby bump. I always showed long before sixteen weeks and it was a definite bump every time!

    • I agree; that much black lace looks funereal on such a young woman.

    • Hi Mari,
      I also felt the same for the ‘funeral’ look of this dress, she should have selected the navy blue color. This dress looks similar to the Alice Temperley black lace over beige material she wore long back. She should experiment with something else. I got bored of seeing Kate in lace always.

  14. How adorable!!! She is honestly fit to prince Williams wife!!!

  15. Oh my, I love the dress and the hair!

    The dress is really beautiful, my only regret is that the duchess has worn lots of lace dresses in the past, and that this dress might be overlooked because of that. It is however much more beautiful than most of the previous ones.
    Buttons instead of the zip, or a more discret zip might have worked better.

    Not too keen on the clutch and the earrings, as often I must say. I would even prefer smaller but “real” gemstones, would be more regal than most of her earrings that look like cheap fancy jewellery.

    Love love love the hair, I really think she should have more updos as it suits her very well, and gives a more polished touch to her looks than her usual locks.

  16. The dress may be modest but it is certainly elegant. I like the fitted top and the fuller skirt which Kate can wear to good effect with her height. She looks good in black although the navy would no doubt look good on her too.

    Her hair is fantastic! She has it put up so infrequently that when she does, I’m more wowed by her hair than what she’s wearing :)

    Understated elegance. Very Kate, and totally appropriate for a Royal Variety Performance.

    • I agree 100%! I wish she’d wear it up more often–it looks fabulous.

      “Her hair is fantastic! She has it put up so infrequently that when she does, I’m more wowed by her hair than what she’s wearing :)”

  17. Well, it seems if you must stick to wearing floor-length black lace for evening, you’re far better doing so with DVF. I find this a much more sophisticated take than the Temperley, disfigured as it was by heavy lace seam lines under the harsh glare of flashbulb lighting.

    The lace here benefits from the classic treatment of a full black lining in the body of the dress with just sleeves left as straight lace. I love the boat neck at the front of the dress morphing into a V-neck at the back, mercifully exposed by a delightful updo. The three-quarter selves elegantly expose Kate’s slim and rightly unadorned wrists, and the skirt is beautifully cut flaring out into fluted folds below the knee – very Hollywood.

    Kate’s make-up is lovely though pale blue earrings strike me as a little egregious, not matching the sapphire engagement ring. However, the Duchess is clearly blooming once again which is the best news as far as I’m concerned.

    Thanks for a wonderful post — and thanks for restoring the “Recent Posts” section, far right!

    • Er, three-quarter sleeves? 2nd par, third sentence — oops!

    • As someone who has a nice size sapphire engagement ring all I can say is relegating her to only sapphire and diamond jewelry for the rest of her life would be terribly shortsighted and horribly boring!

      • May I offer congratulations on your having such a very fine ring! I heartily agree that Kate should feel be restricted to a particular style of jewellery — rules are made to be broken, of course they are. I’m only a bit puzzled as to why two different shades of blue. I also don’t think I’m the only one here who has commented on the choice of earrings with this dress.

  18. I like the duchess – she is obvisiouly a very pretty woman with class….

    BUT she used to wear the same type of dresses over and over again…
    In that case I dont understand why she bought a new dress even she has at least 2 dresses that are looking quite the same…

    No expectations -no surprises on her :-(

  19. Wow, I guessed wrong. I thought Kate would wear a Jenny Packham gown or even McQueen. I’ve never seen gowns by DVF.

    Whoever the designer, I thought she would wear another color besides black, given that she is a royal and should stand out. If the gown was the grey color that would’ve been very nice.

  20. It is so wonderful to see the Duchess looking so radiant. In terms of her lace choices, my hands-down favorite is the Temperley Amoret, however the DVF is lovely and just right for this occasion. I seriously do not understand the choice of blue topaz with this dress though. They don’t go with this dress nearly as well as simple diamond drops would have. Save the topaz for spring or summer, or at least something in blue. With the 3/4 length sleeves she could have added a simple bracelet as well. Perhaps she was trying to dress down a but? It’s puzzling.

    • Agree with you about those topaz earrings — did she just grab for something last minute? I find that pair too dangly and vague somehow — I don’t think I’m putting this well….Thought her mother Carole played it better with monochrome accessories.

  21. I like the dress and as we all know, at least those who have been watching for the last 3 years, lace is her signature look. Everyone has something. Maybe hers will always be lace. It’s a nice look and I see more lace items in stores and I attribute that to her.

    I wonder what she’s carrying in that clutch! It looks so flat! Cell phone, lip balm/gloss/stick, mirror, hand cream, earplugs? Doesn’t even look like there is even that much.

    • Sorry, with all due respect, I disagree. She may think wearing lace dresses of different lengths and colours, or wearing high waisted coat dresses over and over and over gives her a signature look, but it doesn’t. In fact wearing the same thing over and over again is called a fashion rut and that is were she is stuck. She has the money and the resources available to create an unforgettable signature look for herself, but I’m afraid she lacks the creativity. Signature look is what Audrey Hepburn had with the little black dress.

  22. Her hair is an absolute winner tonight. It’s so elegant and regal, and I love how it shows off the v in the back. I think the dress is nice as well. A bit matronly, but that seems to be her style. I would like to see Kate wear something other than lace at formal events. This reminds me a lot of the white dress with the lace sleeves that she wore in Australia. I agree with another comment that the black velvet she wore several years ago was more of a showstopper.

  23. She looks wonderful! The chignon is so elegant, yet slightly loose, and love the dangly earrings beside it. The gown fits her soooo perfectly – it may be a “safe” gown, but I think (I’ve said it before) it’s smart for Kate to choose something that looks good on her and that she likes. The gown fits her beautifully, which is always a sign of a well-dressed woman, I think. I guess some people always have to push fashion limits and try something daring – but they are often lampooned as well, so I guess a public figure just can’t win!

    @Allie, I went to the link and looked at Princess Mary. Her dress is a stunning color and I love the sequins, but the fit is atrocious, in my opinion, sort of bunchy through the bodice and oddly one-shouldered; unless she’s trying to mask something on top, I think she should wear something more form-fitting or cleverly draped.

  24. So, I was looking at this dress more and I do love it. I think Kate looks beautiful, mainly due to her gorgeous hair. However, I wish she would wear less lace. She wears it so often and is kind of her go to look. Especially the lace with the frayed edges (unfinished edges?). I think this is a nice dress, I just wish she would try something else. Like that gorgeous velvet strapless dress she wore her first year of marriage (it was an award show with William and Harry). That was so different for her. I know a dress like that wouldn’t work pregnant, but there are plenty of other options out there that would. No more lace:)

  25. Love.these.earrings!

  26. I thought this was a beautiful look for Kate tonight! The dress was very form fitting, not Kate’s usual style, reminds me of the black velvet McQueen she wore several years ago, sexy with a bit of va voom. Loved the updo! She really should wear her hair up more often, as it really shows off her great bone structure.

    I say pictures of Carole and she wore a similar sheet black lace dress. Her’s was mid-calf length which she paired with strappy silver sandals. I thought she looked nice as well, although the sandals were too summery for my taste. It seems that Kate and Carole like to shop together.

    • I wonder if this shoes that Kate likes it when people dress similarly to her. I know we all talked about how Rebecca wore very similar clothes…and now Carole does. I don’t think either of these women would not run their dresses by Kate.

      I know I feel good when my girlfriends are dressed similarly to myself when we go out– maybe Kate feels the same?

      • Hi Stephanie,

        I never thought about it like that, maybe. We do know that the Middleton women do like to dress alike!! I would rather have my friends/family dress the clothes that make them feel their most wonderful, irregardless of whether or not we match. Actually I’d prefer it if we didn’t :) I think Rebecca dresses the way she does so that she kind of fades into the back ground and doesn’t stand out.

      • Black lace dresses are so common that millions of women in the UK must own them. I really don’t think anyone who has one and is close to the Duchess needs to “run it by” her. Miss Deacon may choose her clothes so as to not to appear in something so different from what the Duchess is wearing as to be distracting, but I doubt Mrs. Middleton calls her daughter up and runs her every wardrobe choice past her. There’s no need.

        • Quite a few of the women there were in black and have been in previous years. No idea if there’s some sort of dress code or if it’s always held close to Remembrance events. I’ve not heard of any such link being made.

          I must admit in the case of the Middletons I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if mother and daughter did indeed confer and collude. I thought it a nice supporting touch for Kate to have her mother there as she’s been going through a tough time.

  27. The dress is very beautiful and elegant, but it’s been done before… by her. Tonight, Princess Mary of Denmark also had an event and she wore an off-the-shoulder, midnight blue, sequin gown. She looked ah-may-zing. I wish Kate would follow suit. Sometimes I feel like she plays it too safe and comes across as older than she is.

    If this is permitted, here’s a link to Mary in her dress:

    I agree with folks about her hair, though. It’s refreshing to see it up. It really shows off the pretty neckline of the dress.

    • I agree with your entire comment, Allie.

    • Hi Allie,

      I saw CP’s Mary’s dress and have to agree, she looked fantastic!!! I also loved the fact that her and Frederick held hands in the photo. As W&K are the youngest royal couple around, why do they have to be so stodgy and uptight about showing a little pda? They are married after all, it’s perfectly legal :):)

  28. So, a couple thoughts. I have seen this dress at Nordstrom in the short version. It is a decent dress, but I think we are getting to the end of the exposed zipper trend. At this point, I would not pay full price. However, the long version is beautiful and I especially like the navy version.

    I would love to see Kate borrow some real jewelry from
    The Queen for an event like this. No offense to Kiki because I love her designs, but they are what my uncle the jeweler would call “starter jewelry.” These are semi-precious stones, not gems. Perfectly okay for a suit, or a less formal occasion like a cocktail party.

    But Kate has gorgeous, stunning possibilities at her disposal. Imagine an aquamarine and diamond earring. Or the earrings from Princess Margaret’s turquoise set. Or just a beautiful diamond drop earring, like those we see on HM. I think it’s time for Kate to step it up jewel wise on occasions like this.

    • I would love to see Kate in some of the luscious Royal jewelry as well, but I don’t think she has a lot of say in that. The Queen decides when to loan out those pieces, and I suspect it would not go over well for Kate to go asking for things rather than waiting for the Queen to offer them.

      Camilla has been seen in those pieces more and more frequently, so I would guess that when she becomes Queen she will in turn start lending more of them out to Kate.

  29. I read at the Daily Fail website that the Royals hate attending this event and Charles was more than happy to give it to Kate and William. I can see why. Meeting One Direction is bad enough but to have to listen to them “sing” would be horrid.

    As usual, Kate looks lovely.. I love the dress. DVF looks good on most people and the Duchess looks fabulous. And, it’s great to see her looking so healthy.

  30. she looks gorgeous like a true princess with her hair and dress wow!! wish she dressed like this always! I love her hair like this!!!

  31. This is a beautiful dress. I love the lace and I’m glad she wore it in black, as I find the navy to be a little matronly. I’m also glad she pulled her hair back so we can see the beautiful neckline and back of the dress.

  32. Very classy – hair, shoes, gown. The Duchess nails it this time.

  33. Kate looks elegant and sweet but I really don’t understand why she has picked up another long black lacy piece…McQueen, anyone?

  34. This is a beautiful gown. It appears the Duchess saved the “wow” factor for this event. I love the sheer lace used for the sleeves, the feathering at the neckline, and the slight V at the back. The silhouette of the dress is also very nicely done, and perfection for someone blessed with Kate’s height. I’m beginning to think black is one of the Duchess’s colors.

    I suspect some will protest that this gown too closely resembles the Temporley “Amoret” gown, but I think they are just different enough. Further, I doubt the Amoret could have been altered to accommodate a pregnancy. The way the fabric forms a “v” below the waist would not be flattering for someone expecting.

    The up-do is lovely and makes one wish the Duchess would wear her hair up more often! Alas, I’m not fond of the earrings, but I can’t determine if the reason is because I don’t think they match the dress or just because I simply don’t like them…

    • It’s so interesting, AshleyOlivia, I considered a midi-length version of this DVF gown in a few colors for my sister’s wedding. Ultimately, I rejected it because I felt the combination of the three-quarter length sleeves and the eyelash-laced neckline made me look more like the MOB than the MOH!

      Dress length makes a real difference here. I find the design much better and more youthful as a full-length gown–and Kate just glows!

      Her chignon is gorgeous and I need to start styling mine similarly for events. Disagree with you on the earrings, but maybe I’d feel differently if her hair were down. Nice to see you again!

    • I kind of feel like the duchess might be feeling like she is having another baby boy due to all the blue we have been glimpsing lately!

      • Lauren, I do agree that silhouette, length, and small design elements really make a difference. I have a close family friend in her early sixties that has a dress very similar to the shorter DVF and it looks smashing on her. However, I think it might be aging on a younger woman, though I think a flirty ponytail and pumps might save the look and make it more age-appropriate. (But, you don’t want to take a chance at an event as important as your sister’s wedding!) As for the earrings, I think of blue topaz as a stone better suited to summer outings, as DianaBee pointed out, but I also just don’t like jewelry done in geometric shapes, so I may be biased.

        Chrys, that’s an interesting speculation. Personally, I’m hoping you’re wrong because my fingers are crossed for a little girl!

  35. NOOOOOO I have been waiting so patiently (almost 2 years) to buy this dress and now she goes and wears it and the prices are gonna go crazy NOOOOOOOOO

  36. I love her hair and her dress! She always looks really happy and like she’s having a lot of fun at evening events. I was suprised that the earrings were blue topaz; from the pics I had assumed diamonds. Very pretty.

  37. Can we just talk about William wearing what looks like velvet loafers??? Kate looks stunning! I love when she wears her hair up.

  38. The Duchess looks lovely.

    Black lace dresses like this, long or short, are fairly “safe,” which is why we see a lot of them on retail sites, especially at this time of year. However, they are appealing for a reason — they’re not too unusual or edgy, just feminine and pretty with a touch of sophistication. This version is quite nice, with its low back and flaring skirt, a good choice for the evening.

    However, what makes the look is the chignon hairstyle, which I think is particularly attractive with the dress. I also think the earrings were a good choice and that the bag works better with this dress than it did with the unusual Temperley short dress worn recently.

    This is a rather maturely elegant look for the Duchess, and some may find it too old (that dress could be worn well by a much older woman), but I think it works while being, admittedly, unadventurous.

    • I was puzzled by the newspaper quote suggesting that the hairstyle was “simple.” It looked fine and complicated to me, and any updo is going to involve a pretty complex number of pins with that amount of hair.

  39. Huzzah! An updo for Kate and a beautiful dress, without a budget breaking (at least a royal budget, that is) price tag to go with it.

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