Apr 112016

Kate surprised many a fashion follower this evening when she stepped onto the lawn of the British High Commissioner’s residence wearing a crop top and skirt.

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The occasion was a 90th birthday party for HM, and the Duchess opted for separates by Temperley London for the occasion.

Hundreds of guests were in attendance at the High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

More on the event from The Daily Mail:

Canapes included Murg Malai Tikka, Aloo Sabutdana Ki Tikki and – for the British tastes – apple Stilton Welsh Rarebits, mini beer battered fish and chips and thin crust cheese and tomato pizza.

Much of the small talk between the couple and some of the 2,000 guests – drawn from the worlds of politics, business and the armed forces and academia – was about how she and her husband were enjoying their whirlwind trip to India.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

William delivered a brief message from the Queen and Prince Philip, followed by his own remarks. More from ITV’s coverage of tonight’s festivities:

I am incredibly lucky to have my grandmother in my life. As she turns 90, she is a remarkably energetic and dedicated guiding force for her family.

And I am so glad that my children are having the chance to get to know The Queen.

George and Charlotte, too, will discover how lucky they are to have such a wonderful great-grandmother – a role model for the rest of their lives.

William and Kate helped cut an oversize birthday cake with a very large knife (sword…?). with a cavalry sabre. A comment from Kate & Zena explains “in the military, it’s traditional for a soldier to cut the first piece of cake with his wife with his sabre.  this doesn’t look like William’s sabre; it looks more like a vintage (and very well taken care of) Indian sabre.”

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Let’s talk about Kate’s look for tonight’s party. She chose separates by Temperley London from the spring/summer 2016 collection.

Temperley London

Temperley London

The pieces are crafted from different material: the skirt is 100% silk lined in stretch silk georgette, while the top is all nylon lined in that same stretch silk. My theory on why there are two different materials: because the top and bottom have different amounts of embroidery to support, and also because the density of that embellishment differs significantly between the two garments. The top has to accommodate more embroidery in a smaller space than the skirt. If not structurally supported by a fabric that can withstand the stress on the material the piece could easily fall apart after minimal wear.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

If thinking the evening’s attire had nothing to do with India, one discovers in the product description there *is* a tie to the Tour:

The Delphia Crop Top carries the season’s theme of global curiosities with opulent embroidery motifs of Indian Chintz and lattice.

Temperley London/Robin Nunn, Nunn Syndication, Polaris

Temperley London/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

In addition to the embroidery the top features sheer sleeves and shoulders. Below, a better look at the skirt, described as having “light catching crystals and black crochet trim”.

Polaris/Temperley London/Polaris

Polaris/Temperley London/Polaris

A closer look at the embroidery detail.

Kate Temperley London Delphia Fabrics Closeups April 11 2016

The pieces are also offered at Net-a-Porter, although I think the sizes for the top are very limited. The skirt inventory seems to be equally low. The Delphia is available as a short dress (a mid-thigh length) and also in soft blue pieces.



This was quite a departure for the Duchess. While she does wear suits, be they a dress/jacket or a skirt/jacket combination, Kate primarily wears dresses. This is particularly true of her formalwear. It really was a surprise when I realized she was wearing two separate pieces of clothing, my initial reaction was that this was a ‘faux two-piece” dress. It was good to see the Duchess take a risk, especially on such a high-profile trip. When stepping onto the lawn at the British High Commissioner’s residence I thought she she almost looked anxious, as if not quite sure about this step out of her comfort zone.

A champagne toast was offered in the Queen’s name.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate’s clutch looks like another Prada style. It is a hard-sided bag with rounded corners and an ornate clasp with a faux jewel at the top of the clasp.



Many thanks to WKW friend Vera on Facebook & Lina on Twitter, it turns out they were ahead of the curve in identifying the bag. The bag is available online at the Prada store, it is £940 (about $1300).

Kate’s shoes are not yet identified, my thought is they could be this style, the Gianvito Rossi Crisscross Ankle-Wrap Suede Sandal.

Bergdorf Goodman/Polaris

Bergdorf Goodman/Polaris

Kate’s earrings remain one of our longest running UFOs (Unidentified Fashion Objects), going all the way back to at least 2007. They have been worn by both Pippa and Kate; Anna of My Small Obsessions has more on them in this blog post.



NOTE: This morning’s post on Kate’s Emilia Wickstead dress is here. I did not have time to cover the events at Gandhi Smriti/Old Birla House, they will be part of a future post. 



  89 Responses to “The Duchess Wows in Temperley Crop Top & Skirt for Queen’s Birthday Party”

  1. Now this is the Kate we know and love! I absolutely love this dress, and her hair reminds me of a younger, fresher Kate. Beautiful!

  2. Amazing dress- gorgeous and such a bold and beautiful choice!! The earrings look cheap- can someone not help her with her jewelry. Fabulous pearl chandeliers please!

  3. Absolutely lovely, this look is a triumph. Whilst the dress is elegant and regal, it showcases Kate’s femininity and at last, is fitting for a young woman in her early 30s. Kate looks fresh, relaxed and so pretty and more like the girl we know and love. Love the ice blue version too.

  4. Looking at the first two dresses for day three — what is with all the long sleeves? Isn’t is 90 there? Both of these would look much better sleeveless.

    • I agree. Add it on to the ugly red maxi from today and I’m so confused by all the long sleeves. I’d totally have swass at this point and need a built in fan and some (slightly) shorter hemlines.

      • It’s culturally appropriate. Also you’ll see many Indian women (and men) covering their arms as protection from the sun. Kate, as always, is very aware of the context and culture she’s visiting. Short hem lines and sleeveless outfits would be tone deaf in certain setting in India.

      • I feel the need to say something. I grew up living in one other country aside from the US and living in five different states. As I moved, I learned that people dressed differently, spoke differently and the same word I used to mean one thing meant something else in that state. It is important to respect the place you visit or even move to, which means learning the culture and norms.

        India is different than the West. It is a more modest society. From what I know of India (and that is precious little), women are expected to not wear revealing clothing. It is not acceptable in India to show your cleavage, bra, underwear, shoulders, knees, and upper arms and you may only show your midriff if wearing a sari. To show these places and the clothes being too tight is disrespectful and usually a sign of sexual promiscuity and you’ll be harassed endlessly by the men.

        Kate is being respectful and polite. It’s a simple thing to look up “how to dress in India.” I’m not trying to chide you, but I cannot imagine traveling to another country or another state without googling that.

  5. I love the crop top and skirt ensemble. It’s fresh and appropriate for the occasion. That top would look cute with a black pencil skirt for spring. The reason I’m commenting though, is looking at the Emilia Wickstead, I wonder why she seems to constantly alter the hemline of these dresses. I love the midi look on that dress and that’s how it was designed to be worn. It’s been shortened just enough to make it look matronly. I wish she would leave the hemlines as they were intended!!!

  6. Beautiful, as always!

    The unidentified earrings look alot like Nadri. They probably aren’t, but Nadri’s chandelier earrings make a great repliKate!

  7. Loving this look. I agree with the other comments – this outfit would be edgy in London, but I think it’s perfection for this occasion. I still would like to see Kate in a Sari, but I think this is as close as we’re going to get. And y’all are crazy if you don’t love Temperley. ;)

  8. Simply lovely! The separates are so on trend and this seems perfect for the occasion. I do agree with a previous comment about what William is wearing — strange for him to be in a bright blue suit when a nice charcoal would have complimented her dress much more beautifully!

  9. FINALLY!! So excited to have an outfit I love from this tour! She definitely is taking risks, and this one paid off. I love the separates – very trendy and a great nod towards Indian fashion. The fit is perfect, the proportions are flawless, the embroidery is gorgeous.

    Side note, I would love if Kate did an interview one day (perhaps Vogue?) and talked more about her fashion choices and the thoughts behind them. I feel like that may never happen, but I would die of happiness if it did.

  10. This lovely outfit gives the impression of a work of art…a stained glass window. And her skin tone and color of hair complement it beautifully. So nice to see the hair back so the shoulders of the top are fully visible to complete the look. Although I must say not my favorite hairdo I’ve seen on the duchess. But overall look for the event – splendid!

  11. Gorgeous!!! This is an iconic look for the Duchess and one of my favorite dresses I’ve ever seen her wear. I love the crop aspect. She can certainly pull off a crop top! The bold print is much more palatable in these neutral colors as opposed to the red McQueen from Day 1, in my opinion. This is how to rock a print.
    I love that her hair is down, but pulled back away from her face so that it doesn’t seem so heavy and it doesn’t block the neckline of the garment. I wish she would wear it like this more often.
    Overall, absolute Home Run! No question!

  12. This is so beautiful and I am shocked it is by Temperley—that label is usually far too fussy for me. Love the sleek slim fit of these two items. I don’t really think of this as a crop top as there is no midriff or other skin showing but I think that the reason it fits so great is exactly because it is two pieces and therefore accommodates the Duchess’ proportions much better. She should experiment with tops like this in the future. I would love to try the top with black cigarette pants or some other type of trouser.

    Gorgeous look and the hair and accessories were on point. This was a win!

    • I wish the look of this two-piece could be one answer as to what to wear when in draughty places. The crop top works well on her and I wonder if having that over her slim hips helps counter her shape problem, the one she keeps trying to solve with full skirts. :-/

  13. Amazing !!! The only word to describe Kate’s look.

  14. The Duchess looks lovely except she should have had her hair styled in an updo. The outfit has prints reminiscent of patterns in “rangoli” designs used outside entrance doors during Diwali to encourage the goddess Lakshmi to enter the home. It’s beautiful and eye-catching on the Duchess and befits the occasion – almost like a lehenga choli. The garden party was beautifully presented and as Rick Stein has often said “No one does posh better than India”. I’ve also noticed that William seems so much at ease in India.

  15. Wow wow wow!! She looks stunning! Love all her dressing choices of the tour so far,only some minor quibbles here and there, but overall very exciting so far! Love the open but pulled back hair. Also the updo with the blue gown was great. She can do so much with her hair and hope she will continue to have variety in her hair styling.

  16. Well, no one could accuse Temperley of being subtle. My first reaction to seeing this black on white pattern was the top looked a bit too much like a trellis (although the pale blue variation is subtle). However, this two piece fits well and the accessories, hair, and makeup work. Its the best styled look so far I think. Would have preferred to see some of the gorgeous Indian jewel tones – the essence of India is colour – but nice to see a less formal two piece – an obvious nod to the choli – although I’m surprised its considered a “risky” outfit. Its a very long “crop” top and the built in cami (front and back, unlike the original design) ensures no skin is revealed. On my pet peeve of stylists tinkering with designer outfits – they raised the top of the cami by about an inch so that instead of it following the line of the embroidery and hiding the transition between semi-sheer and opaque as the designer intended, it hits in the wrong place, becomes quite noticeable and draws one’s eye away from the embroidery. I really think they should leave well enough alone. There is a lot of thought by designers about the placement of underpanels etc to minimize rather than draw attention to them. I think the top could work well with a black or white skirt – pencil or small knife pleats, if the top and cami can be separated from the skirt.

    One last comment – what is William doing in a bright blue suit and red tie? I don’t think its best choice for this kind of event at the best of times, but don’t they make any effort to coordinate their outfits? Imagine if he had worn a black or even charcoal suit, with a white shirt and patterned tie. That would have been a WOW entrance. He seems even more conservative than she is. I know they are the future king and queen but they seem a bit uptight for their age, certainly in their sartorial choices. Charles is actually more adventurous!

  17. Her dress was lovely.

    By the way, Susan, the cake was cut with a Calvary sabre. In the military, it’s traditional for a soldier to cut the first piece of cake with his wife with his sabre. It means they are joined as one (so I’m pretty used to seeing sabres.) Because William is military, he might use a sabre to say he is one with India. However, this doesn’t look like William’s sabre; it looks more like a vintage (and very well taken care of) Indian sabre. This sabre may have come from around the times England still had India as a colony as it’s more English than Indian. India’s sabre’s a very unique in each time period.

  18. The shoes look like the Rupert Sanderson Crisscross black suede sandals, but with such a small visual, that could be wrong.

  19. Yeesh I really felt for Kate with the whole wind blowing incident and it must have rattled her a bit for the rest of the day. I agree that she looked anxious heading out for the garden party. It must be a bit of a daunting prospect going out into the throng when everyone wants to talk to you but it sounds like she handled herself really well.

  20. Perfection. This is the outfit that will be remembered from this tour. That is, unless she has something even more remarkable in those suitcases.

    I love color myself, but in this case, the black and white is sophisticated and adds to the drama of the outfit. I bet this was even prettier in person, where the crystals and embroidery would catch the light.

    The novelty of a two piece evening ensemble also is refreshing. I hope Kate enjoyed wearing this outfit as much as we enjoyed seeing it!

    On a more serious note, this is an amazing part of the world, with great beauty and great challenges. I feel it’s enlarging my world view a bit, being able to observe and follow along in a way.

  21. Home run!

  22. Perfection!! My favorite look so far! Thank you, Susan for all of your hard work! This blog is such delight, especially during these Royal Tours!

  23. My first thought upon seeing this outfit was “that seems interesting”.I didn’t notice that the outfit consisted of two seperate pieces,until you pointed it out.Anyway,I like this look,the black embroidery on the white.However,I don’t love it,because the pattern of embroidery is different on the crop top than on the skirt.I like the embroidery on the skirt better.

  24. I love this. So pretty and striking. I also like it in the soft blue. So far, I’ve liked everything the Duchess has worn on this trip.

  25. LOVE the dress. These earrings look a little cheap to me (always have) but I think they just don’t photograph well.

  26. Wow, she is really delving outside the box. Such a beautiful gown. Just wish the lining was not visible above the embroidery on the chest. Usually, I do not get very excited about Temperley but the beadwork of last night’s dress and the needlework on this set are very very pretty. Can’t wait to see what else she pulls out of her hat.

  27. Home “freakin” run! This is so beautiful. And a crop top…really? Never would have bet on that. And yes..It does not show any skin so does look like one dress…but I think if you were there in person…you would see the movement of the top separate from the skirt and totally get that it is a cropped top. So on point with the spring’s trends. Plus a nice touch to India.

    Plus ANOTHER new pair of shoes. Wow. I could not possibly asked for more from one outfit. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  28. So far, my only criticism is her jewelry and hairstyles choices, one or both. Otherwise, I have liked the clothes. I love this ensemble and it would have been gorgeous with ruby or garner bracelet and earrings. She also wore those horrible Temple of Heaven earrings with the white dress that just begged for beautiful pearl and diamond earrings, even a stud style would have been gorgeous. Or opals. Instead she wears those cheap looking,brassy ugly design earrings. I wish she would get rid of them.

  29. Kate looks exquisite. I love her 2 piece outfit. Fabric is beautiful and the way she has styled herself – hair, accessories – just makes the whole look ‘sing’. Well done Kate – you have hit a home run with this look.

  30. Absolutely gorgeous.

    I have loved every clothing choice thus far.

  31. I think this is my favorite look so far. It’s appropriate for the venue, and festive enough for a celebration. I also love her pairing of costume jewelry earrings with a designer outfit.

  32. Perfection – beautiful, confident, happy – love it!!!

  33. This look is perfection!

  34. Oh my God, Duchess! WOW. Really. Excelente choice.

    Thank you, Susan, for this wonderful coverage of this great tour. Be certain we are very thankful for all the hard work you’ve been putting into the posts.

  35. Good grief, you could identify a Temperley at 1,000 paces, couldn’t you?

    I must say, although Temperley is NOT one of my favorites of the Duchess’s regular designers, I have to award style points here for originality and a bit of risk-taking. I love the slim, sleek lines of this ensemble, and even the black and white motifs on the fabric, though I’m not quite sure I could carry them off myself. It’s not, in fact, an outfit I would wear, but it works vey well on the Duchess and in the context.

    I’m not sure, however, that I’d call that a “crop” top, given that my experience with crop tops as worn by many an undergraduate recently is that they end above the waist and show some skin. That top hits at just about the natural waist.

    I’m wondering about the significance of the name “Delphia”. Does anyone have any thoughts involving an Indian context? It made me think of Delphi, the great ancient sanctuary in Greece, and interestingly enough, this ensemble has a strong suggestion of the clothing seen on archaic Greek female statuary — kore figures. The decorative motifs may be Indian, the top may suggest a choli, and I’m certain the Duchess chose the outfit for that reason. But possibly Alice Temperley was initially thinking of Greek korai?

    I love the sandals suggested as the correct ID by our Admin, the earrings not so much — though they work reasonably well with the look. However, I’m becoming rather tired of the half-up/half-down hairstyle, which I think is not all that flattering on the Duchess and screams “schoolgirl look!” I used to wear my hair that way in my teens and 20s but abandoned the look about the time I turned 30 and felt the need to project a certain professional gravitas. With this outfit, I think another elegant updo would have worked very nicely.

  36. One word: spectacular!!!! Ok, one more: perfection!!!!!!

  37. It’s a perfect look for the tour. I doubt we will see it again, but we don’t need to. It will always be associated with this evening.

    • I like to think it would be cool if she used the skirt with a different blouse in the future. I don’t know about her, but when I get my hands on such a striking outfit, I like to wear it over and over again. Maybe something of a very rich dark green color.

  38. First, thank you for all the hard work that goes into these great posts. What a treat this tour is going to be.

    I didn’t respond yesterday as I didn’t like any of the 3 outfits in the slightest and it felt too grumpy to go so negative.

    In contrast, really liked the morning ensemble and this dress is one of my favorites on Kate EVER. It’s a nod to culture without being costume-y. It’s flattering and with her hair back the dress got a chance to shine. It’s chic and elegant without being boring. And that crop top – swooning!! Very flattering to her bust.

    But the thing I like best is that it feels young!! I often think Kate dresses WAY above her age in an effort to be cautious and this proves you can be a bit fashion-forward and not inappropriate. Home run.

  39. absolutely lovely, perfect for the occasion, and a wonderful nod to Indian culture and fashion

  40. She looks amazing!! This is by far my favorite look yet!! Hair, makeup, earrings, she looks beautiful. I am sure she is a little nervous, it must be overwhelming to be the center of attention sometimes. I am sure she is missing her kids by now, too. I can’t wait to see what she wears tomorrow

  41. Wow. I can’t decide if I like this or the blue dress the best on this tour so far. This was by far the best dress of the day. This whole outfit was a win – hair, dress, shoes, accessories. Until I read the posts, I didn’t realize it was a two piece – very interesting. Wonder if she will later use the skirt separately and make a whole new outfit out of it?

  42. Bravo!!! This dress is perfection! Who would have thought Kate would wear a cropped top! What better place to debut the style rather than India where essentially, as noted by many others, its a lehnga choli (skirt & blouse)!! Perfectly suited to the weather conditions. Extremely sensible to tie up her here… She looks really pretty!!

    The embroidery has motifs totally taken from India :) 10 on 10.

  43. Oh yes, Kate, yes!!!! Perfection.

  44. As others have said when you look at Indian Saris and separates this is so aligned with them that the first glance made me think of it. While it is monochrome the pattern is so pretty and the whole look is decadent – just what a princess should wear!

  45. A great look. I haven’t been a fan of any of her Temperley outfits in the past, but this is a definite winner. I’m a little surprised at anyone describing this as ‘edgy’ or ‘risky’, though – while technically they’re separates, the overall look is very definitely of a full-length formal dress.

  46. Absolutely gorgeous!! A++ and my favorite by far! (Insert the heart eyes emoji!)

  47. If think this look is stunning, I absolutely love it, and I’m so happy to finally be able to say that! On another note, what fantastic work you’re doing with these posts. I’m sure it’s no small endeavor to pull them together, so thank you and well done!

  48. Wow! I am so enamored with this look! It certainly is a departure for her norm but I am so glad she went with something a little edgier. I also like just the slight pulling of the hair back away from her face, very nice touch.

  49. I love it. I LOVE IT! Her hair looks especially amazing. She looks wonderful.

    • Agreed – bravo on the hair. It was nice to see it partially swept up!
      I’ve got a feeling after all the heat and humidity (and wind!!!) today that we’ll see if up tomorrow.

  50. Her best look so far!!! This dress is beautiful!

  51. WOW. WOW. WOW. Big risk and a solid grand slam, in keeping with the “home run” theme. This choice just breaks the mold and looks gorgeous on her, perfectly appropriate for the event and the cultural nod is even better. Thrilled to see this.

  52. YAAAASSSSS!!!!!!! This is perfect. She looks superb. Great choices all around. This dress is beyond incredible and the hair, shoes, accessories are all very well put together. Bravo.

  53. This dress looks perfect on her! It’s my favorite of this tour so far!

  54. The page about the earrings is mistaken. I believe, HRH wore them when she was pregnant with Charlotte (Christmas luncheon 2014, not 2015).

  55. So the ever-fussy Temperley produces the sleekest outfit of the tour so far? Well, knock me over wiv a fevva…

    Temperley, the one I can’t STAND. That very Temperley delves into all the treasures of the moguls and through monochrome and silhouette achieves a modernist take on the most ancient of cultures. Think Raj meets minimalist.

    It’s brilliant. And a two-piece at that! And the neatest of all crop-tops – the very thing so derided here on Kate’s last experiment with same – chiming perfectly with an Indian woman’s choli top. Atop a chic slim skirt giving us ethnic without yards of fabric. Love it to bits.

    Bring on the next engagement, these tour outfits are getting seriously interesting.

    • A choli top is exactly what I thought of when it was announced as a two piece. I think she’s giving nods to the culture with out being too literal. Loving it!

      • I see Raman is referring to ‘lengha choli’ above and I’m glad if you feel the reference is authentic. I’d certainly see it as a subtle suggestion rather than a direct quote :-)

        • Absolutely! And I am glad its a subtle one, I didnt like the Dupatta (Shawl) paired with the royal blue Jenny Packam, I feel it was too much & even ruined the outfit a bit :)

    • All my choli tops are as tight as a second skin. I never saw someone wear a cropped top with a sari.

      • I think there are many different kinds of choli, some more revealing than others. Those that don’t reach to the waist could still come under the heading of ‘cropped’?

  56. From a Western worldview, the cropped top/skirt combination seems trendy or daring, but I think if you look at it through an Indian lens, these cuts of clothing are not strange to see in formalwear. Just think of what Indian brides wear. Could this be a subtle nod towards that?

  57. This ensemble is EVERYTHING. Definitely one of my all-time favorite Kate looks. I’m glad she wore her hair partially back so we could see those fabulous earrings.

    Hitting a true home run often involves some risk-taking, and I hope we see more of that.

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>