May 242016

The Duchess wore Alexander McQueen for today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

This is the first time Kate and William have attended one of the parties together.

Dan Kitwood/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Dan Kitwood/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

It is also William’s first garden party at Buckingham Palace. The Prince has attended others, including at least one at Holyrood House in Scotland, but none at Buckingham Palace until today.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

The royals at attention for “God Save the Queen.”

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

HM wore a coat by Stewart Parvin and a hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

A bit more on how things work at these functions from The Daily Mail:

To the sounds of show tunes played by a military band, the Queen and members of the royal family circulate among the guests through different manned ‘lanes’, stopping randomly to speak to members of the public invited to the event.

They slowly make their way to the royal tea tent where they mingle with a small, hand-picked group of guests and dignitaries.

There is a dress code – although nowadays it isn’t strictly enforced – which requires men to wear morning dress or a lounge suit and women a day dress with a hat or fascinator.

Also attending today’s party, Getty photographer Chris Jackson, on Kate’s immediate left; you have seen his work on this site and in newspapers/magazines/online publications around the world. On Kate’s right in pale pink you see personal assistant and stylist Natasha Archer; hair stylist Amanda Cook Tucker is in the blue ensemble with an ivory or eggshell color hat. I *believe* the woman on the far right in the dark teal is Sophie Agnew, an assistant to Rebecca Deacon.  That suggestion comes via Sara on Twitter, I think she is correct. CORRECTION: The woman on the far right is not Sophie Agnew, but Katie Tucker of InStyle magazine.

Rebecca English

Rebecca English

Below you see Amanda Cook Tucker (left) and Natasha Archer (right) with Sophie Agnew (center), during the hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan.

© James Whatling/Splash News

© James Whatling/Splash News

This offers another look at the back of Kate’s outfit; I believe we also see Rebecca Deacon, Kate’s private secretary, in the navy blue on the left.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Another view from today.

©John Stillwell/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©John Stillwell/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Here is how the McQueen ensemble appeared for George’s christening in October of 2013.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

Kate’s jacket is a bespoke version of the pieces shown below; on the left, the actual RTW (ready to wear) piece that was sold for Spring 2012; Kate’s version worn for the christening; the style as it looked on the runway.

/PA Wire/

Alexander McQueen/PA Wire/Alexander McQueen

Kate accessorized with the same hat worn at George’s christening, the ‘Georgie’ style by Jane Taylor.

©Splash News/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

©Splash News/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

Ms. Taylor described the piece as a “sophisticated sinamay beret with delicate silk organza rose and classic veiling trim”. This photo offers a better look at the beret portion of the hat.

©Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

©Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Kate wore a new pair of pumps for today’s party. Katy Aldredge wondered if perhaps it might not be the Gianvito Rossi in ‘antique rose’ suede; we show the style at Net-a-Porter



Another possibility is the Gianvito Rossi in ‘praline,’ below we show it at MyTheresa.

My Theresa/Polaris

My Theresa/Polaris

UPDATE JUNE 15: The official color name is Praline; although different retailers may call it by a different name, like ‘antique rose.’ Our thanks to thanks to Tiffany C from the Facebook page, she shared some information she received from Gianvito Rossi that helped clarify things. 



Kate appeared to be wearing her Kiki McDonough hoops with the Annoushka pearl drops.

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Many felt the most interesting element of the party was the insider knowledge on the medical team for Charlotte’s birth. That information is in almost all of the articles about the party I link to below; The Telegraph and Daily Mail pieces have extensive quotes and information. Three other tidbits to quickly share:

  1. In a post last week we spoke about the latest version of the Cezanne dress by River Island. It turns out Kate owns the dress and has been seen wearing it. There are photos (not great images, but you can discern what Kate is wearing) in this Daily Mail article.
  2. In addition to attending the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday Kate also had a meeting about mental health issues for women in prison. More from The Express: “Also on Monday the Duchess of Cambridge held a behind-the-scenes meeting to learn about the support offered to women in prison. Kate met representatives from non-governmental organisations to hear about the addiction and mental health programmes helping female prisoners in the UK.”
  3. Also today, a better look at the new photo of Kate accompanying her letter to those attending the International Children’s Palliative Care Conference in Buenos Aires. It comes via E Hospice News.
E Hospice News

E Hospice News

In the letter Kate thanks the Children’s Palliative Care Network membership “for being the global advocate for children needing palliative care, and working to ensure that children and families across the world have a chance at accessing this vital lifeline.”  In the UK it is Children’s Hospice Week, Kate’s letter supporting those efforts may be seen here.     We leave you with a quick video from today’s party.



  38 Responses to “Kate in McQueen Christening Ensemble for Garden Party”

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS!!!!! I’ve grown tired of all the “repeats” lately, but we never got a good look at this suit to begin with. It’s stunning…it’s Alexander McQueen. :-)

    I don’t mind that the Duchess repeated the same hat she wore previously with this ensemble because it’s just so perfect. Her hair and makeup are lovely. And WOW, this a great shoe on Catherine. I like her in this heel height. (Privately, I miss the trusty LK Bennett nude platform pumps…always thought they looked great on her. Wish she’d repeat them!)

  2. I too thought we’d never see it again as I thought it was more of a ‘portrait/special occasion only’ style outfit but I’m glad the modern young royals do things differently. I also didn’t like it (or the colour – the ‘sickroom’ spectrum) the first time round. But I didn’t see a lot of it, the ruffle didn’t appear to look as good & the skirt was obscured in pictures. The full picture has now emerged & it looks particularly engaging from the back view, feminine, the right length for elegance & that GORGEOUS peplum! I really do like this piece now!
    I don’t understand why so many ladies want to put her in pencil skirts, a line that not only draws attention/the eye to the backside (what Americans call a** – in Britain, donkeys are asses) when a woman walks but also to the upper thigh because splits are required somewhere – this elegant line, which the Queen wore when young, shows the dress (and the eye is drawn to the whole image or the person, not the body beneath), job done!

  3. Very nice post! I love that you include videos more often now :)

  4. I adore the Christening/Garden Party dress and was thrilled to see it again! I am not a fan of 3/4 sleeves, so I love that this suit allows for the proper amount of fabric. The gentle ruffle is perfectly placed and adds so much to the ensemble.
    I have to say, regarding the official solo portrait, I was not happy with the makeup. I thought the “rouge” was taken to far down her cheek, toward her nose, and it did not enhance her innate beauty. Also, I may as well also comment on the neckline of that jacket worn for the solo portrait. The neck seems too wide and open for a piece that has a full collar. I wonder how it would look with a strand of pearls (has the duchess EVER worn pearls at her neckline?)

    All in all some interesting posts this week. I enjoyed them immensely!

  5. When I saw the ensemble for the Christening, I thought it was a heavy fabric, but you can see at the garden party it is actually quite a light filmy fabric, a pretty Spring outfit.

  6. I am so happy we get to see this outfit again—I assumed it would never be worn again after its first high profile outing. I like it better with her hair up so we can see the beautiful lines of the jacket. That McQueen tailoring is hard to beat, although it could be about an inch longer in the waist IMO.

    I think these earrings work better than the original citrine drops and her makeup is great.

    Love these shoes–especially that they are more of a rose/pink than a nude—I think it really sets of the outfit and the clutch. I will buy these shoes for myself if they are ever positively identified.

    This one was a win!

  7. In the official portrait, does she have the blue version of that blazer? The one she wore to meet the puppies in New Zealand.

  8. This may be a long shot but they could be the Jimmy Choo ‘Lovely’ heels in Powder Pink she wore with the Joseph ‘Scala’ dress also in pink when the DOC and the Queen looked at the wedding dress display on July 22, 2011.

    BTW, not a fan of this dress: Her shoulder blades are painfully sticking out in the back, the waist seems too high and her lower half is drowning in fabric. Tailored jackets with pencil skirts or coats over sheath dresses would be far more flattering on her fantastic figure.

  9. Perfect for the occasion and I like that Kate re-wears these formal outfits. They are really too good not too and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are not repeated over the years.
    The colour suits her and the I really like her shoes.
    I think she does the formal day occasion very well.

  10. I wasn’t keen on this outfit the first time it was worn, between the ruffles and the loose hair it felt a little juvenile to me. It’s massively improved by the updo today, and I like the shoes too. A win.

  11. While everyone looked lovely the Queen that stole the show! The color she wore was beautiful, the coat and hat are fabulous. No ones wears color as well as she!!.

  12. I love this outfit on Kate. She looks so elegant. It was lovely to be able to see the outfit clearly from the back – I love the peplum effect – it fits Kate to perfection. Her shoes are gorgeous but I am unsure how anyone can walk in such high heels especially on grass. I like her hair up but looking at the photos from the Christening it did look gorgeous that day too.

  13. In the post from the heads together launch (may 16th) there is a photograph of prince Harry walking with Rebecca deacon… Do we think that she is breaking in Kate’s new shoes!?

  14. I love the style of this outfit and am happy to see backside views. The pleats and peplum are wonderful details and work so well with Kate’s tall, slim figure. One observation: the skirt seems to be approximately 6 cm/2 inches shorter than at the christening. It is clearly above the knee now. A gentle shift that adds to the buoyancy of the skirt.

  15. I understand all the repeats but do they have to be the boring ones. She looks lovely all the time but if kate were ice cream she’d be vanilla!
    Loved all your views on her SHOES. I would love to have a nude shoe bonfire :) and then take that girl shoe shoppin.

  16. I think I would have liked to see a different hat on her, perhaps the one she wore to Zara Phillips’ wedding.

  17. Love the whole look! I love that we get to see the ensemble from all sorts of angles. I think it’s just smashing.

    Honestly, I know I’m in the minority, I love the long locks (probably because it’s my personal hair goal) from George’s christening, but the updo is lovely as well.

    Thanks for the detailed work!

  18. I thought this look was boring before, and it still gets a big old meh from me. I wish that she had at least experimented with a different hat…that might have given it some interest. I am also not a fan of the shoes with the dress….I don’t feel the colors go together particularly well. But they are better than her usual nude pumps, so I’d like to see them again with a more harmonious outfit.

  19. Well, I’ve commented before that I found this outfit a rather bland redaction of the original McQueen designs, and I still think it is. I was impressed by the chicly-creative McQueen jacket, with its cascading waterfall of ruffles — that is, the cream version and as worn with the straight pencil skirt — even though I’m not normally a ruffles fan. This ensemble, with its full skirt and weakened ruffle effect, looked a little too sweet and uninteresting to my eyes, especially as worn with the Duchess’s half-up/half-down hairstyle at Prince George’s christening.

    However, it works for a garden party and was given a significant boost of sophistication by the updo in place of the long locks. Bravo for that.

    I also like the shoes, which seem to comprise a slightly richer color than the usual nude pumps to which we’re all so accustomed. I like that subtle pale rose-taupe.

    • I have to agree Lili. It was a shame that the original design was reworked for the Duchess because with her height and slender frame, she could have carried it off the unaltered version with aplomb. As with many of the bespoke creations that she wears, I feel that the most interesting and fashionable features are modified right out of the design and we are left with a rather pedestrian and bland garment. For me this dress is just a busy jumble of design elements although I do admire the construction of the peplum and the coordinating folds of the skirt that is visible in the back especially.

      Unfortunately, I think this ensemble works less well in this venue than at the baptism where the full skirt was not completely visible. I hope we don’t see this again unless the skirt is reworked into the pencil that it was meant to be.

      However, the shoes are fabulous!

      • I agree with both Lili and Faith, when they say that the original McQueen outfit, with the pencil skirt and more abundant ruffles, would have had a bigger WOW factor. The good folks working for McQueen must groan when they see their splendid fashion forward designs reduced to something quite ordinary. I well see, if it is a modesty factor, concerning a revealing neckline, that adjustments should be made. But otherwise, let the design shine in its uniqueness and don’t water it down. Kate is so safe in her dress that it tends towards boring.

        We are all tired of the nude/blush,/bone,/beige/taupe/neutral shoes…another salute to boring.

        That said, Kate is so lovely. I enjoy her personality more so than her clothes. If you watch the video, although her words can’t always be heard, her sincerity and genuine interest in people shines through.

      • I’m not so sure the full original McQueen styling would have worked on Kate. Things can be made to look good on a staged studio shot or on a catwalk which don’t translate so well to everyday. McQueen has often favoured exaggeration and I wonder if the full ruffle might not be too cumbersome. The full skirt has been managed very well here and it hangs well enough not to outdo the peplum, in fact the way the pleats have been managed to complement the style quite amazes me.

        I also rather like Kate’s quiet take on style as she favours a classic look with contemporary twist rather than the full fashion-plate. I’m afraid our own constant attention to her every appearance means it’s tempting to look for fashion entertainment rather than appreciate context and Kate’s considered, respectful contribution to her royal role.

        The shoes are a real treat, though, aren’t they? The stronger pinkish shade works better than a more muted nude.

    • I can’t help but think if we are developing an ability to distinguish three-adjective variations on beige (subtle pale rose-taupe) we are all a bit tired of shoes in this spectrum.

  20. It’s a lovely choice and I’m glad that we finally got to see a good look from the back of the outfit. Fits her flawlessly and makes her stand out appropriately. I don’t think the shoes QUITE work with this ensemble, but I think we’ve come to expect that. Overall, well done.

  21. Mega Excellent post! I was just browsing your website, hit refresh and voilá! Here’s the post!
    It was a lovely surprise!
    I agree with the shoes, they seem Gianvito but the color is so difficult to detemrine because of the material and the lighting conditions!
    Thanks for the hard work and ID on the people on the photos! :D

  22. So pretty! The cream and flowing lines are perfect for the garden party. A total repeat – hat and all is fine in my opinion as this outfit is perfection! Shoes are very nice as well.
    ps nice to see Prince William in attendance as well

  23. Kate has really hit the repeat button this week – this is our third recycle in a row, and on this occasion she hasn’t even changed the hat. At least we have an updo this time around, and with a busy series of engagements I can understand reaching for the tried and tested.

    I love getting a better look at this outfit. Although I think the original on the model looked better with a straight skirt, I’m not sure how that would have worked on Kate with her slim-hips, long-torso conundrum. Some of her older styles with peplum jacket and straight skirt have tended to look as if they fade away to nothing below the waist.

    But the generous McQueen ruffles are still fine and the outfit is just right for a garden party, combining Kate’s preference for decorum with an interesting twist. The killer heels are awesome though I can’t help noticing how pronounced her calf muscles are with the strain of standing in them. I wonder if she’ll end up having to go for the Victoria Beckham option of having the bunion op and taking to flats thereafter.

  24. I do like this outfit although I’m sad to see that the glow in her skin is not apparent like it was at the Christening (which could just be attributed to hormones) but she looks more severe today (also could be the undo). I don’t mind the shoes so much since the entire ensemble is neutral and golf clap for no coat dresses.

  25. I was surprised and pleased to see Kate wearing this outfit again. I had thought we would never see it again after George’s christening…I am so glad I was wrong. This is such a lovely outfit! Although I think I prefer it when she wears her hair down, I usually like updos but I didn’t like the updo today for some reason.

    On a side note I thought the Queen looked lovely as always. I love that shade of blue. I was also surprised to read that this was William’a first garden party. I thought he would have gone to at least one by now.

  26. Romantic at heart and I love getting these “my fair lady”- vibes from Kate

    • … By the way the video posted above is nice. Kate comes off refined and graceful in private conversations.

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