Oct 262015

Kate opted for a Jenny Packham gown for this evening’s glamorous, glittering premiere of the new James Bond film, SPECTRE.

 i-Images / Polaris

i-Images / Polaris

The Duchess was joined by the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

The film is 2015′s Royal Film Performance, a benefit for the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. The Fund helps film and television professionals, providing “support for those facing personal and career challenges of illness, injury, unemployment or finances.”

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Bond. James Bond.

Sony Pictures UK

Sony Pictures UK

This is actor Daniel Craig’s fourth time in the role.

Sony Pictures UK

Sony Pictures UK

SPECTRE is the 24th James Bond film, as well as the third time a Bond film has been chosen for the Royal Film Performance. A brief description about the plot from Sony Pictures:

…a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Actress Léa Seydoux signing autographs in a shimmering gold gown by Prada; she plays one of the Bond love interests.

Sony Pictures UK

Sony Pictures UK

Mr. Craig with both leading ladies, on the right Monica Bellucci is in a velvet Ralph and Russo dress.

James Bond Twitter (@007)

James Bond Twitter (@007)

Ephemera from tonight’s premiere, tickets to the event and a press pass.

L: Anastasias Takis Twitter R: Digital Avenue Twitter

L: Anastasias Takis Twitter R: Digital Avenue Twitter

It seems everyone was having a good time this evening, more details from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express;

Upstairs in the Royal Albert Hall, there was the bizarre sight of Prince Harry acting like a fanboy and asking Daniel Craig for his autograph. It was hard to tell who was more excited – the actors or the royals.

…astonishingly, Harry, appeared totally star struck at meeting the film’s leading man.

During an animated chat he patted Craig down as if discussing his suit or physique and then asked to borrow a reporter’s pen to get the actor to sign his programme. Asked whether it might be for charity,  a royal aide laughed and said: “No I think it is for him.”

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

This isn’t the first Royal Film Performance for William and Kate, they attended the 2013 Royal Film Performance featuring Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Kate wore a Roland Mouret gown for that premiere.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

For this evening’s engagement the Duchess went with another Jenny Packham evening gown.

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Kate’s gown is based on a dress we actually showed in a September 2012 post during the Jubilee Tour. (A big thank you to Kate’s Closet for pointing this out, once again yours truly completely forgot about posting the frock back in 2012.)

James Whatling, Splash

James Whatling, Splash

The dress has a halter-style top but with spaghetti straps at the shoulder, as opposed to the garment’s fabric going up to the neck and being tied in back. Kate’s gown also showcased a crossover top in the front and a full, multi-layer skirt.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

Perhaps the most distinctive design element is the bodice topped by a sheer overlay that is slit open on the back. The garment closes at the back neck and with a zipper in the skirt portion of the piece.



Here you see the shimmering rhinestone belt and extended row of rhinestone or crystal button/snaps at the wrist.



Kate accessorized with a clutch that was also by Jenny Packham, the miniature ‘Casa’ bag:

A miniature version of the best selling Casa, this solid frame box clutch features angular enamel and a crystal encrusted clasp. Completed with a silk cotton lining.

POLARIS/Jenny Packham

POLARIS/Jenny Packham

The miniature version measures 15cm/6″ in length, that would be consistent with the way it fits into Kate’s hand, it is £325. The larger size is 20cm, almost 8″ and it is £455. The clutch is a popular piece with the celebrity set, Taylor Swift carried the clutch to the Winter Whites gala at Kensington Palace in December of 2013. (The party where Prince William got up and sang with Ms. Swift and Jon Bon Jovi, more here.)

The Duchess wore Robinson Pelham earrings, the jeweler’s Pagoda style set with blue topaz and diamonds in white gold (£14,300, about $22,000). Anna of My Small Obsessions pointed out that Carole Middleton actually wore these earrings back in 2011, for Kate and William’s evening wedding reception.

Robinson Pelham/Various

Robinson Pelham/Various

And she wore her ‘Vamp’ platform sandals from Jimmy Choo.

Jimmy Choo/

Jimmy Choo/

We saw an updo from Kate this evening.


Stephen Lock, i-Images, POLARIS/Stephen Lock, i-Images

This offers a better look at Kate’s hair from the front.

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

This was the second film premiere of the day for Harry, Kate and William: this morning they saw the new Shaun the Sheep film, although that is a 30-minute production as opposed to a full length feature film like SPECTRE.

Kate has worn quite a few dresses in this ‘icy blue’ shade, below you see Kate in Jenny Packham at the National Portrait Gallery for an April 2013 event, wearing at a Photography Awards function in October of last year, and at tonight’s premiere, and then in tonight’s Jenny Packham frock.

Kate Three 3 Icy Blue Jenny Packham Dresses


Many thanks to those commenting and messaging with suggestions for the 4th item I was trying to remember.  worn for a Mosque visitwhile in Malaysia during the Jubilee Tour.

Today’s dress isn’t quite as rich a color, but it struck me as being very similar; I would swear there was a fourth dress in this shade for an evening engagement, but I cannot remember what the function might have been Kate would have been attending. I will keep hunting and will add it to the post if I can remember. With thanks to those commenting, messaging and emailing with ideas about the fourth piece I was trying to remember, we have another montage of Kate in the icy blue hue. When worn in the evening the color really pops as seen, as seen with the Amanda Wakeley gown worn for a 2011 reception, the Christopher Kane coat at a Buckingham Palace function and that lacy McQueen gown only seen in a vehicle heading into the Queen’s 2013 diplomatic reception. The Beulah London dress worn for a 2012 visit to a mosque in Malaysia is also done in this same blue, but in daylight it doesn’t shine the way the color does in the evening.

/Whatling Splash/Jesal Tanna Splash

Paul Burns PA Wire/Dominic Lipinski PA Wire/James Whatling Splash/Jesal Tanna Splash


We will see you shortly for Kate’s engagement with Chance UK’s mentoring program, along with her attendance at the 100 Women in Hedge funds dinner at the V & A.


  137 Responses to “It’s Jenny Packham for James Bond SPECTRE Premiere & Prince Harry the Fanboy!”

  1. I have never been a fan of this color on her save for the time she wore the headscarf. That close to her face and in natural daytime lighting, I felt that it really brightened her complexion. Otherwise, I think it tends to wash her out, particularly in a flat fabric like this chiffon. Perhaps this looks better in person and just doesn’t photograph well? I also dislike this silouhette on her. I love the movement of the skirt, but the overall look is, as others have noted, a bit droopy. I could see this working well on a tall blonde like Diana, worn with a strong eye and a fair lip, or on the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy with a neutral eye and classic red lip.

  2. I must be one of the few that love this gown, but I am one of the younger ladies that love vintage-y looking fashions. I also love ice blue because it shows off her pale complexion. I don’t believe you need a tan to wear lighter colors. The most beautiful part about Kate is that she herself is pale complected and is showing that it’s okay to be pale complected. I am very pale (to the point you can see my veins in my chest!) because I cannot go in the sun for long due to lupus and I used to get horribly teased about it; since Kate has been in the media more, I’ve been picked on less. Ice blue looks quite lovely on her.

    My favorite aspect of this outfit is the slice of skin she allows to peek through. Yes, it might be a sheer gown, but I think that’s very sexy. She’s very modestly covered, all things considered, yet she allows us to see the one slice of bare skin.

    I’d like to comment on one thing and I guess it’s because it bothers me. To see a gown/dress NEEDS this type of figure to flatter it properly is shaming a person’s body. I guess this may come from the years I hid behind too big clothes when I’m actually of a boyish frame (and quite thin) like Kate, but when someone looks at me and says, “That dress needs a curvy body,” it makes me cry, especially when I’m in it. I have a dress a bit like Kate’s (only much less formal and no sheer overlay) and I love it to bits and pieces. I’m quite sorry if I’m being oversensitive, but words like that almost damaged my eating habits irreparably and I hope we all can find a way to be a body positive community. Please talk about how her dress fits, the colors flatters her, and things like that, but can we please refrain from such absolutes as “This gown deserves a curvier body than hers?”

  3. I also don’t think this is the most flattering look I’ve seen on Kate, but I also respect her choice to wear something flowy and loose with full coverage – sometimes a gal (especially a mom of 2, even if she IS a rich mom of 2…) just wants to wear something comfortable where she can just enjoy hersef and doesn’t have to worry about whether the dress is perfectly placed at all times so as not to accidentally show boob/bum/too much leg etc! usually when Kate wears full coverage dresses they are close to the skin (ie. the marsala one she wore for the Chinese state visit).

  4. The chiffon fabric diluted the blue and washed Kate out. I am brunette myself and just can’t pull off the paler pastels. I think the stronger light blues look great on Kate. Camilla is the one who can wear the palest pastels—she looks great in them.

  5. I liked her hair and earrings, but was so disappointed by the dress. It’s quite ‘mother of the bride’ and does nothing for her figure. i would have loved to see her in something much more fitted and tailored and maybe a richer, heavier fabric.

    • I totally agree. The dress seems summery and needs to be worn by someone with more of an hour glass figure.

      • Since I possess an hour-glass figure, I think I can safely say that I could never wear such a dress as gracefully as Kate did. I’m slim, but to wear a halter-top dress you need to have an A or B cup at most, otherwise you really can’t go braless as the dress requires. Kate is more boyish-looking, so she can pull it off admirably. We 36-24-36 girls have better luck with the 50s fashion, trust me.

        As for the cut of the dress, I prefer the original shown on the model in the picture above: the uncovered shoulders make for a nymph-like look that would have been great on Kate.

  6. If the dress would have been black or a gold, It would have been PERFECTION. However, this pale blue color makes it look dowdy. I like the hair and makeup, but I think this blue dress is just not flattering. “Matronly” is the word that comes to mind.

    Ugh – I’m imagining this dress in black, and wishing it was that color! How perfect would Kate and William looked together??

    Rant Over.

  7. Disappointed. The back is sort of lovely but when turned around she looks like a woman someone threw something around to quickly cover her modesty. It feels like a compromise in order to wear a ‘daring’ creation. And it’s misfired. Wish she’d abandon this ageing hairstyle. Her updos in Australia/New Zealand for instance were works of art.

  8. I thought this was quite a glamorous look with the flowing gown, the sparkly accessories, and the updo. Like some others, it reminds me of a 1930s Hollywood gown, the blousy back bodice with the slit in particular (have seen something similar in dresses from that period). My first thought was, “This is what I wanted to see at the state dinner, something glamorous, not prim and proper like the red dress.” (I note others disagree and prefer the red dress, to each their own, I guess.)

    It’s true that a more voluptuous figure would have given this dress a bit of va-va-voom, but I don’t think that means it can’t be worn with a slender figure, like the Duchess’s, as well, the look is different but still nice. The fit is a bit loose in places, but that may be deliberate in that, if she is still breastfeeding, her measurements may change quite a bit day to day. Better to go with a dress that can accommodate that sort of variable.

    I do like the runway version with the exposed shoulders, but I wonder if, rather than it being a case of bowing to protocol, the Duchess prefers her shoulders to be covered because she often feels cold. Many quite thin people of my acquaintance run cold and prefer long sleeves (and sweaters). This may explain many of her sartorial choices–she so often wears a coat in formal appearances and tends to keep it on even when indoors. In the case of this dress, a wrap would have negated the feature of the exposed shoulders and no way could she wear a bolero over those billowy sleeves. Changing the design of the bodice to cover the shoulders is a good compromise.

    My only complaint is the earrings. I’m just not a fan of that style of earring with the three tear-drops (I’ve seen them around in much less expensive versions). I think the three strand drop earrings she wore to the state dinner or the sapphire earrings she wore for the hedge fund ‘do would have looked better.

    I wonder if those who are suggesting this look is too “mother of the bride” are perhaps a bit younger than me (and the duchess). The see-through bodice with the slit back, the halter slip-dress underneath with no bra are *not* the kind of thing a mother who is old enough to have a marriageable daughter would wear. My mother was 45 when I got married and I am certain she would dismissed this dress for the “no bra” aspect alone. ;)

    • I really doubt she is still breastfeeding. How in the world could a person prevent leaks without wearing a bra and nursing pads. I think the dress is pretty, but she should have altered the design in the back so that she could have worn a bra.

    • I’m 40 and I think this looks matronly. I like the color, but I think it was really wrong for her figure.

  9. I loved the color, the jeweled belt, the flowing skirt, and the hair, but like others I didn’t care for the top of the gown. It had the look of a belted bathrobe and none of us look elegant in a bathrobe.

  10. Not a fan of how the dress makes her shoulders look. I also think her hair is a little too informal for this particular dress. Pretty color, just not my favorite shape on her.

  11. Wow, this was an immediate, “dislike” — the top is just not flattering to her.

  12. I think her dress from her first Papyrus Tiara outing was a similar hue as well, if I’m remembering correctly…

    Something about it just seems off to me. I love her hair up, but am not a huge fan of the bangs. I love that shade of blue, but am not a huge fan of the billowy sleeves and top. I love the flow and shape to the skirt, but I have always thought those sandals look super…tacky. Just an odd look overall and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

  13. I know this isn’t ‘What Daniel Wore’, but what’s up with the fit of his suit?

  14. She looks gorgeous and the dress has a very 1930′s old Hollywood feel to it. I find that I like her bangs so much more in an updo than down. The side sweeping fringe brings fullness to her hairstyle. We have all noticed she likes the icy blue color a lot. Personally, I am not a fan, just feels kind of drab, but that’s just me. While I do love the whole look, when comparing it to the runway dress I have to say I like the original dress more. I totally get adding layers to the skirt to make it less sheer and I actually love the affect because all those layers of light fabric look absolutely decadent when she walks. But I love the cut out shoulders of the original dress rather than the fully covered look. I read an above comment or perhaps on the FB page that the cross over look is popular in the UK at the moment, so maybe that is why. I just think the original dress was edgier and would have been perfect for a Bond premier. I do love her tendency to wear the long flowing skirts for her formal looks. I think they make her legs look a mile long and as I said before the gorgeous swishing of all that fabric looks just fabulous when she walks. She looked gorgeous, always a fan of fantastic chignon and the three of them looked like they had a great time. Harry fan boying was just adorable.

    Lastly, I’m going to add a funny by my mother and I. We have noticed she wears her Jimmy Choo sandals with her formal dresses. My mother and I in very heavy mock southern accents said “Those are her goin out shoes”.

  15. This is a sweet dress, never to my personal taste, but the Duchess wore it very nicely on its first outing. I appreciate that she’s tried to look a bit different with the ponytail hairstyle.

    My one quibble is that the dress no longer seems to fit as well in the bodice, around the bust. The fabric is pulling.

    Otherwise, unusually for me, I really don’t have much to say!

    • Aren’t you commenting on the wrong outfit? This is the chain for the ice blue evening gown which is being worn for the first time. Also there’s no ponytail.

  16. Love the dress and the overlook, but I sure wish she’d pull those shoulders back and quit slouching.

  17. The hair and makeup, I like, although like other commenters, I would have done a slightly more coloured lip. The top of the dress is just awful, I thought for sure it was a wrap, and then I realized, no, it actually is part of the dress. It doesn’t flatter her at all – she needs tops that are closer fitting in order to accentuate her torso, and this just balloons over her. The back and the clutch are really great, but it just doesn’t work overall. I know she’s supposed to be more conservative now, but this is bordering on Victorian. I sincerely hope Jenny Packham does better for her next time – the signature lace is never a bad choice.

  18. Is not Rachel Wiesz holding Daniel Craig’s hand behind Prince Harry the cutest thing ever?

  19. This dress definitely has a vintage feel…the long, loose sleeves and the sheer back with a slit and neck clasps are reminiscent of 70s style. Whether that was in homage to Bond or an attempt to make this more suited to weather and royalty I don’t know (unlike others, I do not think it would’ve been appropriate for either the season or the Duchess’s status to go with a halter).
    It’s an ok look. Not my favorite, but not a tragedy.

  20. Oh dear, I don’t understand Kate’s clothes policy. She opts for looks which too often don’t appear to work. Her role requires, more than anything else, elegance, but so often she seems to choose designs which don’t work in their context.

    For example last week she wore a quintessential “cocktail dress” for a morning engagement and looked wrong. Then an unsympathetic orangey-red which jarred at a Palace banquet. Now we have this tropical-looking “holiday evening dress” for a London premiere, and wrong again in my view.

    Princess Diana, bless her, consistently demonstrated what elegance means and had an (almost) unerring eye. Please Kate, try to take a lesson !

  21. It’s amusing and interesting how divided the comments are about this outfit. I’m in the dislike half of the group. I agree with other commenters who said this is a little too elderly/mother of the bride, and that Catherine needs a structured bodice.

    I do love her hair and earrings and think they go wonderfully with the dress, but the dress does nothing for me.

  22. This is just bizarre. She looks like a child dressed up in mom’s clothes from the 1970s. Her curves just disappear in this dress. I do love the updo and the shoes, I’ll say that. The 2013 Roland Mouret was a much better movie premier look in my opinion.

  23. It’s funny – there are many design elements that I really like about this one. I think the skirt flows beautifully, esp when she walks. I love the back of the dress, from the high closed neckline to the slit just above the skirt zipper. But then I saw the front of the bodice, I just thought …?????? It did make sense to me at first, and still doesn’t now. And if such a major component of the dress doesn’t flatter the frame, what’s the point?

    I do really love the back, though.

    • I totally agree the dress must have been especially altered for her as the British protocol is against bare shoulders. Looks as if Jenny Packham quickly made an add-on to one of her halter dresses. Wonderful from the back, but the front …. well. She would have been better off with a little bolero or a pashmina shawl.

  24. This may have been answered in a previous post, but what options does Kate go with for nails? It always looks like they are bare or perhaps a french manicure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her with color on her nails. Perhaps it’s not appropriate?

  25. Kate needs a structured top and this dress just flattens her whole front. If you look at the dress that Angelina Jolie wore to the 2009 Cannes Festival, it is a similar dusty pink Versace dress and you can see what it does for Angie’s figure. Kate’s figure is quite different, and she needs a stylist who recognizes what would flatter her and steer her away from fashion misses like this one. I like that her hair is up, but she needs to take out the “bump” above the bun. The earrings are pretty, but they don’t have the kind of “presence” to add to the overall effect. I like that Kate tries some new things, but she needs someone with a better eye to help her.

    • I think you’re right…it’s the wrong dress for her body type. It swallows her. I like a lot of elements of the dress…I think it would be amazing on someone with serious curves and a darker complexion. I so wanted to like this dress when I first saw it because it does seem new for her and it has some dramatic elements…but the more I looked at her in it, I see how it’s not the right dress for her.

      But as ever, she looks beautiful. Even when I don’t feel like the dress is exactly right, I think she’s such a beautiful lady.

  26. LOVE this look—more figure flattering than the red gown worn to the state dinner (which in my opinion had too many gathers at the waist and made her look wider through the hips and waist than she is).
    I like the juxtaposition of the long sleeves and the sexy slit at the back—I feel like that kept it from looking matronly and that if the shoulders had remained bare with that back, it would have been too sexy for someone in her role.
    The earrings look great and pick up the color of the gown.

    Her hair looks great and the clutch is cute

  27. I’m afraid to say I absolutely HATE this whole thing from top to toe, well maybe not quite the shoes, but I feel they don’t go with the dress. The dress was like a chiffon wrap-over dressing gown from the front and the back did absolutely nothing for me. It is definitely not her colour, it washed her out totally. It needs a body with a really deep tan – a month in the Caribbean would of helped. I agree with an earlier poster, Catherine definitely needs a professional make up artist; and whoever is in charge of her wardrobe needs to up their game or go. The gown needed a body with curves, not Catherine’s boyish figure. I don’t normally critizice her outfits like this, but this was a 0 for me. On the other hand, Monica Belluci absolutely stole the show, she looked gorgeous. That gown was of pure vintage Hollywood, I could of imagined it at the Oscars in Hollywood’s Golden Age. I wasn’t a fan of the dress she wore earlier in the day, I think Monday was a real off day for Catherine in the wardrobe department.

    • I’ve just re read my post and realized the end is a bit misleading, I jumped from Monica Belluci to Catherine, making it sound like I was criticizing a dress Monica had worn earlier in the day. I was referring to Catherine’s Tabitha Webb dress.

    • I agree with you!

  28. I know she’s naturally thin, but looking through the pictures actually took my breath away. Perhaps it’s the dress, which swamps her, but she looks almost skeletal. Please know my intent isn’t to ‘body shame’ but rather is out of concern. Her hair and makeup look nice.

    • I was taken aback as well. I hope it is this dress, but comparing her to the movie stars pictured, you can see how much more thin she is! She looks like the size of the fashion model. I admire her so much…but am concerned.

      • I have a baby the same age as little Charlotte, and she is sucking the weight right off me due to nursing. I’m actually having a pleasantly hard time eating enough food! Not sure if Kate is still nursing or not, but a growing baby can be very demanding.

  29. I like her hair up very much
    As for her make up is she still doing her own?, more color on the lips might be nice with such a light color dress

  30. While I agree with a lot of comments about the top half of the dress I am a great fan of Jenny Packham’s dresses as I have two from her diffusion line at Debenhams. Look at the fall of the skirt, it flows beautifully and that is what I like about mine, they make you feel like a million dollars when you walk and being tall that helps even more. I think overall she looks fabulous.

  31. I like this dress a lot, quite bold I should say, something old something new. However, I don’t like the color as she has too many outfits in the same shade. She should have gone for purple or pink or fushia or even dark green but another shade of blue!! If you look in the duchess’ closet I think it’s got too many shades of blue!

    The makeup and hair look flawless! topnotch!!

    The earrings are beautiful but they remind me of the diamond and aquamarine pair of earrings that Princess Mary of Denmark wore.

  32. The Duchess looks very beautiful. I hope she – and her two handsome escorts – had a wonderful time!

    The dress is pretty, and entirely appropriate, but I can’t say it’s my favorite. It’s very pale, and overall too covered up for my taste.

    But Kate is gorgeous, every inch a princess!

  33. Ugh, I’ve been so disappointed over the last two years with Kate’s wardrobe choices. LOVED her style in 2011 going into 2012, but since then it’s become so matronly. This was a JAMES BOND premiere! This was her chance to really glam it up, and she went matronly. I don’t get it?!? She has a great body, and looks amazing with loose curls, smoky eye makeup, and a nice tan. One of my fave looks of hers was the strapless black dress she wore with a diamond and ruby set. That would have been way more appropriate and “glam” than what she wore tonight. I just wish she would have more fun with her clothes and dress her age. She’ll have plenty of time to dress “older” when she reaches that age. This is something I can see someone in their 50′s and 60′s wearing easily. I don’t know why she didn’t at least leave it like the original runway version. That would have been 10x better.

    • Well I am in my early 50′s and the same height / size as Kate, and I can assure you I would not wear this dress! Being tall and slim is great for most clothes, but you have to be really careful with this sort of flowing look. It can make you just look skinny and shapeless, unfortunately, I think that is what it does to Kate. It actually looks a size too big.

      My take on Kate is that she wants to be appropriate, but she either has very little interest in fashion, or just doesn’t want to be seen as a fashionista, or she does, but lacks the attention to detail needed to really nail the looks day in and day out. This lack of detail is always noticeable when she wears something for the second or third time. Generally the garment won’t be properly pressed or she will add odd accessories (like she did the to Roland Morland dress she wore to the last movie premier – ponytail and that weird necklace and black shoes? Compare that to the original styling for the private dinner.)

      Kate has some lovely clothes and always looks lovely. She and William are clearly a team and she seems to be enjoying her children. That, to me is important. I still love looking at and discussing her clothes, but I don’t expect to see amazing fashion forward styling from her on a regular basis.

      • Interesting, I thought her look the second time she wore the Roland Mouret was superior to the first outing for that dress. I find those sandals rather tacky and preferred the black/white contrast created by the closed-toe pumps. I also loved the sleek ponytail — unusual and interesting. Most people liked the Zara necklace, which was thought to be, with the dress, an interesting mix of high and low fashion.

    • Honestly, I mean no harm by this, but since she’s become a mother I have really disliked like 80% of the things she has worn. Around her wedding/right after it her style was impeccable. But since she’s become a mother it has been sadly most of the time down right elderly. Which makes me sad.

    • Yes, I agree that the black velvet with the beautiful necklace would have been great. I have wondered why she hasn’t repeated that gorgeous look?

  34. Kate wore an Alexander McQueen piece on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in this icy blue color in 2014.

  35. I think the Belulah dress from the Asia tour was the same colour.
    It’s a wonderful colour for her!

  36. I do like her hair, earrings, clutch and shoes.The back of the dress is very pretty with the neck, slit and waist. But overall it looks matronly (as my mother would say) and just swallows up her small frame. Just too much dress. I would like it much better in the original halter style and more sheer skirt.

  37. From reading the comments I can see that I am somewhat in the minority here, but I do not like this look at all. She looks old, she looks frumpy, the whole look is very dated. The sheer overlay, the sleeves, all combine to make her look very bulky in the shoulders, and don’t make sense with the slit in the back. I am sure that the earrings she is wearing are very nice, but I do not like the style of them, and they certainly don’t look like $22,000 jewelry. The color of the dress is also not good on her…I’m not sure if that’s due to the actual color or the fabric. I remember in the Christopher Kane satin coat she looked very tan and rosy cheeked, it was a great look. Perhaps its all the ice blue chiffon that is washing her out.

    However, I will agree with ElizaMo that she still manages to look very nice. It’s just so frustrating for me though because if she can pull this dress off imagine how good she would look in a really amazing dress. Jewel tones would look great with her hair and coloring and a dress with some structure would help to give her a few more curves up top. I would love to see Kate in something like some Oscar de la Renta or Zac Posen.

    • I think it’s time Kate started looking round for another evening designer — I’d have said she’s pretty much exhausted the possibilities from Packham.

      Thanks also for your point that the different design elements don’t make sense together. It’s a mystery to me why she should go to the trouble of shrouding her shoulders like this only to have the huge slit down the back not to mention that the wraparound skirt floats open to create a high thigh slit. The different elements seem to be at odds with each other and the whole comes over as confusion.

      • I don’t think this skirt is a wraparound – I looked at the photo you mentioned, and it appears that Kate’s “leg/thigh” is actually the shadow cast by William’s leg as they are walking. Take a second look, and notice the fall of the shadows on the carpet, then up the dress. Other photos make it quite clear that the skirt doesn’t wrap.

  38. The Duchess has also worn a Christopher Kane coat in this icy blue colour

  39. Love the colour and the back of the dress. Hate the crossover front, it looks like a bathrobe. Kate’s hair and makeup are lovely and I admire she keeps re wearing those Jimmy Choos! If it’s not broken don’t fix it.

    Earrings… wow surprised to see how much the cost, thought they were cheap paste pieces, not gold and diamonds/topaz.

    • Agree, agree, agree.

      My thought upon seeing the dress was that it looked like a caftan… And does Kate, who has an enviable figure and a beautiful face, no favors. What a shame.

  40. Don’t forget the Amanda Wakeley gown she wore to a Clarence House function (standing in for an absent Prince Charles) in the fall of 2011. She loves this icy blue color! I also like the fact that the Middleton women prefer semi-precious stones like topaz,citrine and amethyst. Her topaz circle hoops would’ve been pretty too.

    • Those topaz hoops would have been very pretty with this too!

      I adored the Amanda Wakeley dress you’re referring to, the one she wore when she stepped in for Charles that time, but I fear she will never wear it again because all of the press on that event focused on the scar visible through her hair and the entire internet was insisting she was wearing a weave, etc. She probably doesn’t want to give anyone any reason to reference that evening or post those photos ever again! And it’s a shame because that was a really lovely dress on her IMO.

  41. I quite like the color of the dress, but that is about it. I get the “look” she was going for her, but like another commented said, it comes off very mother of the bride. From the waist up it looks like a “sexy” rode you’d buy at Victoria’s Secret. And the lack of structure on the top (and bra) in my option emphasize her lack of a bust line and just how thin she is. Not exactly things you’d want to emphasize I wouldn’t think.

    • Yes! Exactly – a cheap “sexy” bathrobe. And I would tighten the entire look up on top, get rid of the “fish gills” flapping under the arms and tighten up the sleeves. I quite liked the cutout sleeves from the original version. And good lord, the back torso with the fully exposed back, sheer overlay with a slit? THAT is perfect and show-stopping on it’s own.

      Hair and makeup both perfect. The bangs are growing out nicely, I like how thick they are now and how Kate is parting them off-center now. It is very easy for fringe like this to look separate from an updo but whoever did this hairstyle worked them in nicely.

  42. Hi – love this look, beautiful gown.
    Were you thinking of the Christopher Kane Dress Coat in a similar colour. I know that’s more of a coat but it she did wear it at an evening event.
    Also her gown is almost silvery/blue in tone. The actress in the Spectre poster is wearing a silver gown, perhaps she wore a similar colour as a nod to this as she does with other dresses she wears?

  43. I think the dress is very pretty, although a little old for Kate. Helen Mirren would look amazing in this dress, for instance. I would have loved to see Kate skip the wrap top and simply wear it as a halter dress. She’s young enough to do that.

    And I have a jewelry quibble. NEVER mix real jewelry and faux jewelry. Kate got off to a great start with those beautiful aquamarine earrings. (Technically, aquas are not precious jewels, but semi-precious, but at least this was fine jewelry.)

    But a rhinestone belt? And a sparkly bag? You can feel the Queen’s eyebrows going up. I would have done a self-belt with the dress, rather than rhinestones mixed with aquas.

    This also was an excuse to borrow some really showy diamond earrings. Imagine how spectacular that could have looked against that beautiful watered blue.

    • The belt and the bag aren’t jewelry — the belt is just trim, embellishment. And I doubt the Queen would be at all fazed. She has, after all, often wore dresses with sparkling embellishment herself, and you may be sure it hasn’t consisted of real diamonds or other precious (or semi-precious) stones.

  44. Rather off topic but have we ever seen Kate where her makeup was done by a professional? I just ask because I would love to see what she’d look like with makeup done by someone who actually knows what they are doing (no offence to her but….) Anyways, it would just be nice to see what a pro would come up with for her eye shape, skin-tone ect. ect.

    • There was an event, I think just before the wedding, where Kate wore a sparkly pink gown (still one of my favourites) and the pink shoes which she later wore with the ice blue half short half long evening dress shown in this post. Anyway, at that pre marriage event it looks to me like her make up was professionally done. She has a much more polished look.

    • I was wondering earlier today if she still does it herself. It’s always been rumored that she does, but do you know if it has ever been confirmed? I can’t remember. And yes, I agree with you that it would be nice to see what a makeup artist (or a different one!) would do, but I also like the fact that Kate finds what she knows works for her and sticks with it :)

      • I truly think she does it herself still. Her makeup really has never changed and to be honest, I don’t picture a pro doing her eye makeup like this.

        I admire her for wanting to do it herself (makes her seem more “real” if you will), but there are sometimes where she just looks down right out of place with her makeup and almost like a little girl who hasn’t learned how to properly apply it.

  45. oh my GOSH this is gorgeous!!! Kate looks amazing. Such an elegant dress with that discreetly sexy back. I am surprised that she wears this icy blue so often because I don’t think it’s her best color – not with her chocolate eyes and hair, but the design of this dress with her height and beautiful figure is stunning.

  46. I’m a little surprised at the sexy back, but overall I think this is so glamorous…makes me think of Grace Kelly. Love the updo; love the clutch. The earrings aren’t my favorite and I probably would have picked a different pair, but overall I think she looks lovely.

  47. Susan, just to bring it to your attention, I think the link you have up for Anna’s “My Small Obsessions” page is not the correct one. This is her page: https://www.facebook.com/My-small-obsessions-132426196846254/

    I think what makes this dress a win for me is the sparkling belt and the sheer fabric. The bare back look is more daring for Kate. She tends to be safer with her evening dress choices. I think the draped fabric look could have gone wrong had it not been for the sheer fabric and the halter top.

    I love the glittering statement earrings. They remind me of her jewelry style before she got married. And kudos to Anna N for remembering who first wore them. Good eyes, Anna! :)

  48. It looks like I will be firmly in the minority here, but, I don’t like anything about this at all. The color just washes her out, in my opinion, much more than the icy blues did. This color looks less crisp, at least on my screen. As for the dress, it looks like it’s wearing her — just swallowing her up on top. I wish I could see what all of you who love it are seeing, but it just see a big miss, and I’m very disappointed because I’ve really been looking forward to this event.

  49. I think she wore a dress during the Asia tour in a similar shade (where she was carrying a parasol).

  50. Not a fan of this dress. Too flounsy for someone like the Duchess who has a great figure. The top half (bodice) of the dress is loose and a tad untidy in my opinion. A lovely colour though. And like someone else said – it does remind me of a “Mother of the bride” dress.

  51. It kind of looks like a robe with a negligee. Not a huge fan. But her hair looks great.

    • Exactly my reaction upon seeing the gown! And I didn’t care for the bare back either. But Kate’s hair looked lovely.

  52. I forgot to add that the sleeves in particular make her look swamped,hence my thought that if she had worn the gown as shown on the model(sleeveless),it would have looked better.

  53. I haven’t seen a Bond movie since Sean Connerly and cannot imagine sitting through two hours of one, but I guess if I were invited to a fancy soiree like this one I might go. I think the Duchess looks pretty fabulous and a perfect match for the glamorous movie stars at the premiere. That blue is such a pretty color and I love the dress design. I love that it’s kind of covered up in front but sexy in the back. Lovely, and the earrings are gorgeous. Another win for the Duchess, in my opinion.

  54. It was a revelation to me when the original Packham design came to light – until then I couldn’t make sense of Kate’s dress tonight. It looked like Packham meets Beulah via an old lady’s dressing gown.

    With the original cut-out shoulders, however, it’s quite different and edgy. It was meant to be a halter-neck and it was a mistake to cover the shoulders and end up with those oversized batwing sleeves. If the original didn’t work for Kate she probably needed to go back to square one and find another dress.

    Combined with the low-slung up-do and that fringe now hanging loose, the overall effect was of one big Droop, further underlined by cumbersome earrings. The amazing thing to my mind is how well Kate herself still manages to look in many of the photos – I assume because the colour’s not too bad on her. I love those shoes and the new clutch ain’t bad either!

    • I’m with you, ElizaMo; once the alterations go past a certain point where they change the entire gown so much, it is better to go back and just pick a different gown in the first place. The original of this was beautiful but tonight’s version was tragic.

    • I’m so curious about why she didn’t go with the original design, which likely would have been much more flattering on her and wouldn’t have swallowed her the way the modified version did. It seems like she likes to keep her shoulders (and, actually, the top portion of her arms) covered whenever possible. I can’t imagine that’s a mandate from the Firm since we’ve seen her in other strapless gowns in the past and this isn’t a conservative venue.

  55. In my opinion,unfortunately this look is clearly a miss.This simply isn’t a figure flattering gown on the very trim Duchess,who looks swamped in the upper half of the gown.Maybe if she had worn the dress as shown on the model,it would have looked better.

  56. Susan I wonder if you are thinking about the ice blue Kane coat Kate wore several times. It wasn’t an evening dress but she wore it for dressier occasions. That coat is very similar colors to this dress. Sadly I don’t think this color suits Kate. And I don’t think this dress does Kate justice. I was very underwhelmed. Her hair and earrings are gorgeous though!

  57. I’m going to come straight out and say it – I hate this dress! So matronly, and it does nothing for her chest. Whoever is dressing her at the moment is not doing a great job.

    That being said, this hairstyle is absolutely gorgeous. Possibly the best updo she has ever worn, IMO.

  58. I think the blue dress you might be thinking of is from the first time we saw the Papyrus tiara, in the family event where we only saw the very top of the dress, which was lace.

  59. Not a huge fan of this. Too bra-less.

    BUT look how sweet Daniel Craig is – holding his wife’s hand behind his back as he speaks with Prince Harry. So subtle, but so sweet for a married couple.

  60. This looks like it came from the Blanche Devereaux “Palm Beach” Spring collection.

  61. This dress is definitely growing on me. First saw and went uhhh I love the color/cut but kinda felt its not structured well or appropriate. Just wish the top was reworked, but the more I see it the more I like it. Surprised to see the Queen use to wear some revealing dresses to premieres as well so guess kate didn’t shock the system

  62. Kate/Catherine generally looks great, but I don’t think this is the best look for her. The billowing skirts look lovely and accentuate her long legs. The belt is nice, but the top part of the dress leaves much to be desired. There is too much fabric, which swamps her thin frame and makes her shoulders look very broad in proportion to her waist.

    It’s nice to see her in an updo, which works very well with the dress.

    P.S. Gotta love the DailyMail’s headline — “Daring Duchess of Cambridge goes braless …” Smh.

    P.P.S. I also love the dressed worn by Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci! They are gorgeous.

    • I agree that there’s something a bit wonky about the top half of this dress. Maybe if the sleeves were a bit more tailored (like her icy blue Beulah piece)? That’s two sleeve “misses” in the past week — did she maybe try them on before she had shed all her post-Charlotte weight?

  63. I love this look. It is understated elegance. The dress flows so beautifully and the daring back is more edgy than Kate usually selects. It is sexy but still very appropriate. The earrings are perfect in stye and colour. I do wish Kate would wear her hair in an updo more often. I usually find the long, flowing hair to be a major distraction. All in all this is a very polished look.

  64. Not a fan of this one. She looks like Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. I liked the other blue Jenny Packham, the one when she was pregnant much better. The hair is on point though. Very pretty.

  65. Princess Catherine looks absolutely ravishing!! I was so disappointed with her whole look for the state dinner and even day after, but this is the stunning Duchess I know and love!! I love everything about this look including the hair, the earrings, the make up and most of all, the beautiful floaty periwinkle dress! This is definitely Catherine’s colour. Two thumbs up!

    PS Daniel Craig doesn’t look so bad himself… lol

  66. Not a fan of this look. The dress screams “mother of the bride,” and the belt isn’t helping. It makes the whole thing look rather chintzy.

    I don’t mind the earrings, although they look like clip-ons (not my favorite), and the hair is styled nicely. Best the bangs (“fringe”) has looked.

  67. Absolutely ADORE this look!!! One of my favorites on the Duchess.

    The chiffon drapes beautifully in the blouse and the color is gorgeous. I was surprised to see such a sexy back, but it’s subtle enough to hit the right note and be still appropriate. She truly looks every inch a duchess.

    We’ve been so spoiled with all these engagements (and thus outfits) lately – love it.

    • And I should add – the dress she wore while pregnant to the National Portait Gallery remains my all-time favorite look on Kate. Guess I have a thing for these icy blue Jenny Packham pieces :)

  68. I LOVE this. She looks phenomenal. I love seeing her glammed up! As usual, excellent post, Susan! I always look forward to your posts and in-depth detail into the events. I enjoy more than just the fashion. :) Kate looks amazing, and I can see why she loves that color. However, I may be completely mistaken, but in the bottom pictures, isn’t the dress on the left that she wore while pregnant with George an Emilia Wickstead? I’m sorry if I’m wrong, but either way, that color is stunning on her! Overall, excellent look tonight, in my humble opinion!

  69. I’ve been staring at this dress for a while, trying to decide what I think of the sheer long sleeves. The dress is fundamentally beautiful, and I especially admire the design of the back and of the skirt — not too full, but rippling and flowing wonderfully with every step.

    However, the long sleeves make it look a touch “elderly,” I think. I am reminded of the long chiffon sleeves on the red Beulah dress that the Duchess wore to her first appearance at a “Women in Hedge Funds” dinner and that I truly disliked. It unfortunately harked back to the 70′s but also had that “older woman covering her arms with chiffon” look. I’m significantly older than the Duchess, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing that look for several years yet. I would have liked a sleeveless chiffon overblouse better, something a bit closer to the 2012 version of the dress pictured in the post, though of course sleeveless might not have worked well for late October.

    Here I was complaining the other day that the Duchess’s kilt-style skirt was too short — by which I meant, a bit too young looking– and now I’m suggesting that this design is a touch too old! Other commenters must think I’m never satisfied, or at least too picky.

    My other concern is the fact that I’ve always felt pale blue (and pale pink) are not all that flattering with the Duchess’s coloring. They tend to look anemic on her.

    Basically, though, the Duchess looks elegant. The earrings are not quite my favorite chandelier-style design (I prefer the earrings she wore with her red Packham to the recent state dinner), but chandelier earrings were definitely called for, and these work well with the dress.

    • I actually like the sleeves. They add interest and class to an otherwise pretty sexy dress… I love the light blue colour on her and I think it is interesting she chose this colour for fall.

    • I don’t think it’s about being picky, I think it’s that the lady herself keeps changing course! One minute going for youthful mini and the next turning up like something that just wandered out of the attic :-/ Guess she’s still just finding her feet vis-à-vis royal style. We may have more experiments to face yet.

    • Yes, you’re right…it’s the sleeves that make it look too “mother of the bride.” I do like the skirt part of it though.

    • Gracious, more confusion. At least one pic on the Mail site shows Kate and William from the back and there’s an almighty thigh slit in the skirt — it must be wraparound. So why all the demure cover-the-shoulders thing on one and the same dress? #mystified

      • But surely that’s one of the most well-known ‘rules’ for elegant dressing, ElizaMo – you can have either a plunging neckline or a revealing skirt, but never both at the same time.

        • That’s a fair point, Clare, I suppose the mix just didn’t chime with me in this particular case. I think I’m struggling with why she had the alteration made which took an interesting garment and turned it into a mixture of contradictions, part shy-spinster, part-vamp. I’m in agreement with those who think the changes to the bodice have swamped Kate :-)

    • Interesting–I loved this look on Kate because it feels like a bit of a throwback to the 60s or 70s, which feels appropriate for a Bond premiere. It helps that there’s a great updo and some serious jewelry.

      Love the men in their dapper tuxes as well, princes and spies alike!

    • Hi Lili, I feel that the sheerness of the sleeves saves it from being “old ladyish”. I think it is a stunning dress evoking the elegance of another time. The attention to detail was wonderful. Agree that a sleeveless version could have looked younger and that the other, more delicate chandeliers would have been perfect although I do love the blue topaz and diamond ones. I will say that I find this dress more interesting than the red Packham worn at the banquet.

  70. Wasn’t the blue dress she wore to the NPG in 2013 while pregnant an Emilia Wickstead? The Amanda Wakeley dress she wore in 2011 was another of the icy blue gowns http://whatkatewore.com/tag/duchess-of-cambridge-amanda-wakeley-evening-gown/

  71. Sheer (!) elegance and beauty. Love the earrings and clutch. Jenny Packham always has such beautiful swing and flow in her gowns — they fall perfectly and Kate’s height and slimness always carry it off perfectly.

  72. Oh gosh, I just love this. Beautiful colour, gorgeous style and fit. Hair looks great. A real winner, this one.

    It’s my goal that some day I’ll have an event to attend that justifies me buying a Jenny Packham dress. (From her high street collection, obviously, unless there’s a very dramatic change in my circumstances before then.) Her gowns are just fabulous.

    • Agree with you, fabulous color against the backdrop or red carpet and dark Spectre props.

      Her high street collections are lovely, wishong I could fit in them.

  73. Oh – those earrings!!!

    Dress is pretty, on the conservative side but pretty none the less. Loved the back and the clutch.

    The earrings stole the show in my opinion.

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