Jun 222016

Kate brought back a much-loved gown for tonight’s Taste of Norfolk, a gala dinner in support of EACH.

kate taste Norfolk Richard Palmer First Pic June 22 2016

Richard Palmer, The Express @RoyalReporter

Kate and William being welcomed by Rose and David Cholmondeley, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley, they hosted tonight’s event. 

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

Many readers will recognize the frock as the Jenny Packham design first worn to a 2011 dinner benefiting ARK (Absolute Return for Kids).  Below, Kate in the gown tonight.

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

Kate has been patron of East Anglian Children’s Hospices since January, 2012. More about the charity from The Daily Mail:

The organisation currently offers care and support to more than 700 children, young people and family members. More than half of EACH’s care and support is delivered in the family home and community, in familiar and comfortable surroundings. The organisation also operates through three hospices based in Cambridge, Norfolk and Ipswich.

The function was held at Houghton Hall, not far from Anmer Hall, Kate and William’s country home. The evening was hosted by the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley, David and Rose Cholmondeley. It is a stunning setting for any event, especially something like this evening’s dinner. Below, a file photo taken at dusk.

Houghton Hall Facebook

Houghton Hall Facebook

Readers will remember Kate was at Houghton Hall in early June when she took Charlotte and George to the Houghton Hall Horse TrialsMore about this evening’s festivities from Richard Palmer’s story for The Express.

With a special five course meal prepared by five Michelin – starred chefs, the Duke of Cambridge knew his luck was in at the dinner at Houghton Hall, three and a half miles from the couple ‘s 10-bexroom country mansion at Anmer Hall on the Queen’s Sandringham estate.

“William has to put up with my cooking most of the time,” Kate, 34, told the chefs. “It’s the reason I’m so skinny,” said William.

Richard Palmer, The Express @RoyalReporter

Richard Palmer, The Express @RoyalReporter

The evening included a champagne reception, the special dinner, music and and a performance by the EACH Treehouse Choir.  

 Tonight’s function benefits The Nook Appeal, an EACH effort to raise funds for a new children’s hospice in Norfolk called The Nook.

EACH The Nook Appeal

EACH The Nook Appeal

Fundraising for the new hospice started in November of 2014 (our post on that event is here). The budget for the new hospice is £10 million; thus far EACH has donations and pledges totalling £2.5 million. The new hospice would provide more overnight accommodations, more private family support areas and treatments such as hydrotherapy.

Kate’s gown was first worn to the ARK Dinner in June 2011.  Below, Kate at the ARK function and the dress as it appeared on the runway.

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The June 2011 dinner was an important engagement: it was the first formal event Kate and William attended after their April wedding, and William delivered the evening’s keynote address. Here is how the dress was described on the Jenny Packham Facebook page in 2011:

“The Duchess selected the pearlescent rose sequin gown with Swarovski crystal from the SS11 catwalk collection”

Below, tight shots from 2011 showing the fabric used for the gown. I had forgotten how beautiful it was, shining and shimmering as it moved, the light reflecting off the crystals and sequins.

©Splash News/Splash News

©Splash News/Splash News

One store offering the gown was My Theresa. Below, the retailer’s design notes on the dress:

 “Layered mesh inserts at neckline, shoulders and sleeves. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-bar top closure. Fully lined with mesh spaghetti-strap dress lining.”

The Duchess in the dress today and in 2011.

©Splash News/Splash News

©Splash News/Splash News

You can see the back of the dress in this photo from Richard Palmer.

Richard Palmer, The Express @RoyalReporter

Richard Palmer, The Express @RoyalReporter

A closer look at the bodice this evening and 5 years ago.

©Splash News/Splash News

©Splash News/Splash News

Kate carried the same Prada clutch used in 2011.

Prada/Splash News

Prada/Splash News

And she wore the LK Bennett Agata sandals seen at the ARK dinner. Below left you see the shoe as worn in 2011, and below right, the sandal this evening.

©Splash News / LK Bennett / Splash News

©Splash News / LK Bennett / Splash News

LK Bennett has reissued the shoe, although there are distinctions between the two designs. The new style is leather, as opposed to suede; the heel is lower and the bow is wider.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Kate wore the diamond chandelier style earrings loaned to her by the Queen.

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

©Stephen Pond/WPA-Pool/Splash News

We have seen the earrings on multiple occasions, including the China State Dinner in October.

©All Splash News

©All Splash News

We also saw tonight’s bracelet at the state dinner. It is originally thought to have been a choker-style necklace worn by Queen Mary (seen below) before it was converted to a bracelet.

Kate Queen Mary Choker Necklace Made Bracelet China State Dinner EACH Taste Norfolk Fundraiser June 22 2016

A somewhat closer view of Kate’s updo .

©Splash News/Splash News

©Splash News/Splash News

When asked to list their top 5 choices from the many gowns Kate has worn this dress is on almost everyone’s list. Once again we can see why this is the case: the cut and color, the touches of tulle combined with the lavish embellishment result in an ultra-elegant design that is very flattering on the Duchess.

One more look.


We also have an update to Kate’s Calendar.

  • Wednesday, July 6:  Kate will present the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award at a dinner hosted at the Natural History Museum. From a news release: “The Art Fund Museum of the Year prize is awarded annually to one outstanding museum which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement in the preceding year. The prize of £100,000 is presented each year at an awards dinner attended by some of the UK’s leading figures in the arts and culture sector.”

We’ll see you Friday when we’ll be seeking your input on the jewelry Kate wore in the recent flurry of engagements. In the meantime be sure and vote for your favorite pieces here if you haven’t already done so.


  117 Responses to “Kate Brings Back Blush Jenny Packham Gown for Norfolk Nook Appeal”

  1. Honestly, this was never one of my faves – too square at the shoulders. But, I like it a lot better with the updo!

  2. She looks beautiful- different from before but beautiful both times. I am happy to see her wearing the diamond jewelry- I believe it makes her look more regal. And it’s interesting to see her beginning to have favorite pieces on loan. I do not think the bracelet looks heavy.

  3. I love free-flowing hair as it’s feminine but can see the sophistication Kate has with her up-dos now she’s older (I think sophistication starts at age 30 for most women – before that, one is just a beauty). I don’t think she finds it cooler, she wore her hair down in the humid far-east but she has the bone structure to carry it off & looks amazing! I have long hair myself & love the different things I can do with it (or more usually a hairdresser as I am hopeless).
    The photographs are not good, none of the British newspaper photographs are, nor is the light good, so maybe that’s why the dress looks as if Kate has rubbed against walls to rub patches off – I don’t know if it was meant to look like this.
    I bought a lovely pair of shoes in pink suede very similar to Kate’s bow ones (different make) and in silver leather later – gorgeous style.
    I liked the green dress of the other lady, reminded me of the greeny beach dress Kate wore in India.

  4. I have always loved this dress, and am so happy to see it again! I love that her hair is in an updo, and the jewels are devine. (I’m super interested in why she’s giving that side eye look to someone lol!!!!) A++ for this look!!!!!

  5. Do you have any clue about the hour that this dinner at NHM it will be held? I’ll be in London on this day and would like to try to catch a glimpse of her!

  6. Flawless…and adding the diamond jewelry took it to another level! I think the Duchess has slowly been heading into the direction of wearing more significant jewels, and appropriately so. I think she had to grow into them over time. It would have been too much for her to wear these treasures straight away after their marriage. Anyway, loving it!

    • I agree… she is becoming more and more comfortable with the trappings of her role. I so admire that she just didn’t throw herself into it and moved towards it at her own pace. So many misses could have occurred if she had wandered where she didn’t feel certain.

  7. She totally nailed it with this dress and the styling. Beautiful. I may be in the minority, but I think she looks more polished and sophisticated with her hair up. This particular design is so flattering. The long hair, although it’s pretty, just seems a bit too heavy for her slender frame. Plus, it’s probably cooler in the warm weather to wear it up. I’m betting she ponytails a lot when in private!

  8. This dress is one of my favorites. I’m happy to see it again. The updo shows off the pretty neckline, and the earrings are beautiful. Altogether, it’s a lovely look.

    Kate looks a bit different, which isn’t surprising. Before, she was a glowing bride, today she’s a sophisticated mother of two. And that’s a wonderful place to be. She and William have the family they so wanted, and the monarchy has a secure future. I’d say she’s made a great success of it.

  9. I DIE! Not only am I just thrilled to see the return of this exquisite dress, but Kate also did a perfect ten re-styling of it. Loved the up do. The loose swept back look really complimented the loose drapey look of the dress. We also got to see the dress in a new lighting, lots of sparkle from the sun. All of it, just love all of it from head to toe. Most importantly she and William look like they had wonderful time.

  10. I have never understood why people love this dress so much. The fabric looks so cheap!! Literally, it looks like parts of it are worn or rubbed off and the beading reminds me of something I could find at the mall. Packham has designed much better dresses than this. It’s a flattering silhouette but the material is just awful. The love for this dress is confusing.

    • Liz, totally respect that you don’t like the dress but I think the features you mentioned – the deviations in the fabric in particular – are exactly what makes it chic and high-end rather than uniform and mass produced.

      • Interesting. If you look at the back of the dress in the photo from Richard Palmer, doesn’t it look like there’s a hole in the gown? Or that it’s scratched off?

        • That’s simply the result of the varying ways the fabric catches the light as the wearer moves. And I agree with mocro: it’s that unusual, unexpected quality that gives the dress its chic, its very-out-of-the-ordinary edge, which you wouldn’t normally expect to see in a pink sequined evening dress.

          • Agree. I am not a sequin gown person usually but this one is designed beautifully and with that interesting edge to it. Love it.

  11. I love this dress, but mainly I’m surprised by how different the colouring looks in the light. The first time round I thought of it as being lilac, even with a hint of blue, and now in the natural sunset it looks much more blush and pink. It’s amazing how much the context and lighting can make a difference to our perceptions of a dress.

  12. Absolute perfection!! Love the dress better with the updo, love the exquisite jewelry, shoes and the clutch – all to kill for!

    I have looked at the pictures of the shoes repeatedly and I am convinced that Kate is wearing the new version of the shoes in leather. Those do not look like suede at all and even the color is closer to the new one. Though the color can be highly deceptive in pictures, the texture of the shoes is absolutely like leather than suede.

    This was a perfect choice for the evening and Kate looked stunning!

  13. I’ve been grumbling for a while about wanting to see Kate repeat one of her early gowns, and I finally got my wish! I’m so happy to see the blush pink beaded gown out again. My new wish is for Kate to obtain some rose gold jewelry. I think the borrowed diamond pendant earrings are beautiful, but she seems to rely on them quite a bit lately. I would love to see something else on her for formal occasions.

    I like the updo on her. I’ve noticed that she is putting her hair up more and it seems to be a hair change that comes with maturity. The long, loose hair she had when she first wore this dress happened when she was 29.

  14. OMG I love this dress and I am so glad she wore it again. It is simply stunning!! I noticed a lot of commenters prefer her hair down with this dress but I think both styles work well. The updo certainly shows off the dress more, especially the neckline. But I think the two different hairstyles is just a clear example of how Kate as matured.

  15. The Duchess looks particularly sassy today with the hair and makeup. I have always loved this gown and am so happy to see it again. The jewelry piece is exquisite but somehow I think the dress itself is the crown jewel for tonight. :)

  16. My family has experience of EACH’s support so I’m very pleased to see the Duchess supporting the charity and bringing attention to its fundraising.
    I like her hair up with this dress and also that it’s a slightly looser do. It’s nice to see her wearing some serious jewellery more and more. It’s an overall elegant look.

  17. I think she has found an undo she likes and is going to stick with it. It seems to be her pattern. Like with coat dresses, and certain designers. It is a very good and regal look.

    Never loved the dress, but oh how I would love the feeling of fitting into a dress from before two kids and fives years! That alone could be why she’s beaming.

    Anyone know if they are voting tomorrow and if we might get a glimpse of them doing something democratic? Maybe take the kids the way we do here in the states?

    • Ginger, with a constitutional monarchy, the Queen and her immediate heirs should be removed from politics and neutral on these matters.

    • I don’t think our royals vote, certainly not on public. I think they’re supposed to be above it all. Sorry!

    • The Royal Family, although it has the right to vote, does not vote. They represent all British people and therefore maintain a position of neutrality.

  18. I liked this dress the first time around but it has never been one of my favorites.

    However seeing it here with the sunset hitting the beading and with her hair up – I love it. Wearing her hair down really hid the pretty shoulders and neckline of the dress and I think being able to see them adds so much more to the look. It is a much “cleaner” and sophisticated look this time around in my opinion. classy and glamorous!

  19. The neckline of the dress looks different between 2011 and now. At first I thought it was an optical illusion because of the different hairstyles. But looking at the close-up shots, I’m pretty sure I’m right — in 2011, she had the little chiffon edge at the neck turned/tucked in, while yesterday it was folded out. Makes the neckline flow/blend better with the soft detailing around the shoulders, especially with her hair up. Re posture, I see that “hunch” often with taller people and I think it’s a hard habit to break, especially when she is talking with people and looking slightly downward at them.

    I think seeing this same dress five years later drives home how much more polished she looks. Yes, fair point that she also looks “older,” but what are we to expect after five years of being in the public eye and two kids …

  20. I forgot how beautiful that dress was!!! The colour is just perfection. I love that, despite the fact that it is so heavily beaded, the dress does not look heavy at all. The very light (cloud like even!) neck line is what does the trick for me. And those folds at the shoulders!!! Wow! It also probably means that is very comfortable to wear. I usually find that heavily beaded dresses are very uncomfortable under the armpits and even the neck line as the beads rub against my skin.

    I do not care so much for the updo, other than for the fact that it has allowed us to see the dress better, but that is probably because her hair just looked SO good back in 2011!

    I like the earrings a lot more this time around, but I also think, like others mentioned that the bracelet is too heavy. I think it worked better as a choker. (I have to admit that ever since I saw (a representation of) Adele Bloch-Bauer’s choker in the movie “Woman in Gold”, I have been obsessed with diamond chokers… )

    The clutch and the shoes are perfection. How does she manage to hold a glass and a clutch in the same hand without spilling it all?!?

    • I also had a question for the more knowledgeable royal watchers out there: Is it frowned upon for Royals to wear dark nail polish? For a fleeting moment when I saw the fifth picture from the top, I thought the beautiful red nails were the Duchess’.

      • No, there’s no protocol rule or disapproval. If the Duchess wanted to wear bright or dark polish, she could. She clearly prefers a natural look. I do myself.

  21. Beautiful!! I have always thought that the 2011 appearance of this dress was one of Catherine’s best looks. The gown was one of her best. I didn’t realize/notice the shoulder detail or the delicate draping around the neckline back then as it was somewhat hidden by her hair. This time around those gorgeous details are more visible thanks to the updo.
    I think she took a look that was already a complete winner and improved it with the updo and the earrings and bracelet. IMO everything about this—hair, makeup, styling—-were on point and this is a total win! The fit of this gown is perfect and she should wear this silhouette all the time.

    • I agree that this is a great silhouette on the DoC. I also loved that we could see the lovely neckline this time. What a great choice for outside at dusk. The diffused light played with all the sequins in a delightful way.

    • I’ll just say “ditto” to your comment. I almost thought the neckline had been slightly re-worked – it looked so different – but the lovely up-do reveals more detail. Gorgeous look.

  22. I think the dress looks much better with her hair up.

  23. So delighted to see this dress again, worth waiting for a special enough occasion and in another impressive switch-up. The regal bling takes it onto another level, even with shoe and clutch repeats; the superb bracelet positively sings.

    It’s wonderful to have these close-ups of fabric and embellishment. I think the neckline is worn a little differently, it seems to me there was a raw edge tucked neatly away last time, which Kate now has the courage to expose.

    It’s a pleasure to see Kate’s hair in another beautiful updo though I think the loose waves were in keeping with the youthful design. I’m a touch sorry to see the leather accessories couldn’t be refreshed, but equally quite understand growing attached to two such lovely pieces.

  24. The DoC has several gowns, quite a few beaded, and I am curious how you all think they are stored. Obviously, she is not lacking closet space, but what is the best way to store a heavily beaded gown like this one or the blue Packham from the India tour? Not only will she continue to rewear these gowns for many years, but I’m predicting they will be displayed someday in the far off future as part of an exhibit.

    Do they hang on thick, padded hangers or lay flat for the five years between wearings?

    • She probably lays the gowns flat. I have an interesting book about the Queen’s Golden Jubilee wardrobe (Dressing the Queen) and it shows long, shallow drawers for the beaded gowns. It also mentions using black tissue paper if there are gold or silver beads so that they won’t tarnish.

    • I have one beaded gown and was told when I purchased it not to put it on a hanger for any extended time. The weight of the beads can stretch the dress if it hangs too long. I store it in a box, folded accordion style with tissue between each fold so the beads aren’t snagging anywhere. It goes into the box hem first. This has worked for the 10 years I’ve owned the dress.

    • I think a gown like this would be stored flat, in a box with acid-free tissue paper. Not only is it covered with sequins and beads, those elements are sewn to rather delicate fabric. I doubt the entire garment is of the silk chiffon we see on the shoulders, but neither is it a rigid fabric throughout. I suspect elastane is in the fabric that comprises its body. Storing it on a hangar would result in it “growing” just from gravity pull.

    • That’s a very good question, and I have never really given much thought to it before now. I have no answers, but I hope someone else with more experience can give us some more info!

    • I imagine gowns like this would be stored in boxes with special paper (acid-free, etc) to prevent deterioration of fragile fabrics or pulling of seams that would happen if they were hung.

    • I store one of my beaded gowns flat and in a box, because the silk chiffon is thin and fragile, and I am anxious to avoid the damage hanging it in a closet and adjacent to other dresses might cause.

      The other is made of rather sturdier fabric, unlikely to stretch in any way. Since my dressing room offers relatively little space for flat storage (urban condos don’t; I’m lucky to HAVE a dressing room), I hang that dress on a padded hanger and in an unbleached cotton dress bag.

    • I do museum work and conservation, the dress is most certainly laid flat, in acid free tissue, or tyvek, or even unbleached muslin. Acid free box for sure. No hanging whatsoever. :) you ladies nailed it.

  25. I really, really like her hair, she should embrace the updo more.
    One of the reader comments mentioned her bad posture, I know this could be considered criticism, but its such an important factor regardless of what you are wearing.

  26. Wow I love this gown, she looks exquisite in both looks

  27. I didn’t realize how lovely the design was around the shoulders until she wore her hair up with this dress. Just gorgeous!!! I am wondering if she has a new hair stylist? Her hair looks consistently amazing lately!!!

  28. Love the dress. Like several other posters, I preferred Catherine’s hair as it was for the first wearing. Nothing wrong with the loose bun, although I find it aging. Matronly. Her hair in the first wear was in my top five looks on the DoC.

  29. YES!! The exquisite Packham — I never thought we’d see it again. Thought she was perfection the first time and I’m thrilled to see it again. It is an extraordinary dress and the perfect style and flow for her. I was blown away the first time she wore it because of how it fell on her. It seemed to be created for her, a part of her. This time it seems somehow different in the bodice — it just doesn’t sit the same way and doesn’t quite look as perfect. I agree with others — the first time she wore it she was brimming with newlywed happiness as another comment said. Her joy just couldn’t be contained. This time she wears it with the maturity that comes with experience.

    Love the updo — gorgeous — and it gives the dress a different look. Thank goodness we didn’t get one of those weird updos with the twisty random piece of hair going horizontally. This updo is perfect. The jewelry is exquisite as are the clutch and shoes.

  30. I think I am in the minority, I liked this look better the first time. Her hair was better – more luscious, more bounce. Eyebrows were not so filled in with pencil. I think she looks lovely but the side by side pictures were striking how much I liked the previous showing.

    • Yes Patty, I couldn’t agree more. If anything all this did was highlight everything that’s been lacking the last few years. The difference in her hair and makeup between then and now is crazy. I don’t understand how there could be such a huge difference. This is one of my all-time favorite dresses, but the minimal makeup and hair today was so, so aging. I don’t know what the problem has been lately. I want her to be glamorous, like she was in the beginning. It’s like she’s purposefully trying to appear older or something.

      • Clare….motherhood can be quite draining. She has two very small children. It could be as simple as that.

        • Oh yes, I definitely realize that, since I am also a mother, and there’s nothing more draining, but it’s just the choices she’s making are making her appear a lot older. The hair styles combined with the makeup. You can tell her makeup is a lot different than it was in the beginning, and she doesn’t appear to be wearing any bronzer anymore. Which is fine, but I just miss the glamorous Kate. She has PLENTY of time to dress and look matronly, imo.

          • I don’t believe her hairstyle is matronly at all. A lot of young, professional females are going out with hairstyles like this. I’ve worn a hairstyle quite close to this to a horseback riding show. I may have looked more matronly as my hair is much thinner and finer than hers. This is mostly created with a very low French braid. Then it is tucked under and pinned. It’s very fashionable. I keep mine very tight for horseback riding.

    • We are seeing Kate in much greater close-up t his time and in the evening light which slants at an angle and heightens even the smallest contrast. Great for photos of. er, romantic old ruins, but not so kind to a lady and her make-up, methinks.

  31. I loved this dress the first time out and love the look even more this time. The one thing I’ve often questioned is why doesn’t Kate wear her hair up more often and why doesn’t she avail herself to some of the royal jewels.

    Well, this time her hair is elegant, which shows off the neckline of the dress and the diamond earring and bracelet are spectacular and so fitting for a future queen. The entire ensemble is sheer perfection.

    Also, her posture in picture #2 is terrible. Still, she looks confident and happy and is such an asset to the Royal Family.
    NOTE: Edited by admin

    • I’ve seen comments elsewhere about her posture and often wondered if it really was bad in person or it just appearance this way in a few random photos. I imagine she had advice on her posture along with a hundred other things before her marriage so I doubt it’s truly bad.

      • I think that shot above has caught Kate in mid-stride, balancing a wine-glass and clutch while walking in heels across grass. Strikes me it’s miracle she hasn’t clean toppled over. Her posture elsewhere is just fine, I’m often impressed that she can stand so straight sometimes.

      • I agree Jenny. I think that anyone who was photographed as frequently as the Duchess would get caught in photos with their body in a position that isn’t perfect. Notice that she’s in motion when this photo was taken, she’s just walking forward. A second before or after this shot and her shoulders are in a different position. She doesn’t have to walk like a model on the catwalk at all times, or sit like she’s got a book on her head or is a frozen statue. IMO that’s not a reasonable expectation. I think she carries herself very well and is quite graceful.

      • Agreed.

      • She appears to be in motion in picture #2. Her right knee is bent, her foot is up under the hem in the back, and the dress is draped on the ground as it would be if she were taking a step on grass. Her posture is consistently excellent in every other shot.

        Personally, I give her high marks for working a crowd in a gown like this, on grass, with a wineglass and clutch bag in one hand!

  32. I agree with another comment, the bodice of the dress looks to be reworked from the previous wearing. I love this dress and those shoes. Amazing.

  33. I clapped with happiness when the thumbnail of this showed up in my newsfeed. So happy to see this gown again since it’s my all time favorite. Love the updo and the jewels. Since she wore her hair up, you can see the details that were lost last time. Simply gorgeous.

  34. So exciting that she wore this beautiful gown again! I love the dress and think it looks like perfection on the Duchess.

  35. I was so happy to see this dress again. It is one of my absolute favourite looks on the Duchess. I have extreme envy that she still fits into it so elegantly after 5 years and two children. Loved the up-do and jewellery choices. Thought the whole look was beautiful.

  36. She looks beautiful and the dress is lovely but I can not get over her posture. She needs to roll those shoulders back and tuck in her rump!


    • Come on. I thought there was just a whole issue about body shaming on this site and asking people to stop it.

      • I think criticising her posture is ok.

      • There is nothing wrong with commenting on posture. It is a key component in any woman’s fashion presentation and can make or break the overall look.

      • Come on yourself. Posture is important to everyone. Not just a royal. It has nothing to do with body shaming. It has to do with standing up straight and being confident and letting the person look their best. Her fold over posture in many photos throughout the years is discouraging.

      • People like to pretend they are not shaming but they are. She is not a hanger she is a person and a still picture can not convey the overall posture of a person. I think she looks exquisite! Everything pairs so well together and I am enjoying being able to see more of the gown due to the beautiful updo.

        • If we can praise her elegance and poise,we can also criticise her posture.I have seen several videos of the Duchess where she is walking and standing and based upon that I form my opinion that her posture is generally bad.

      • Well Jane I believe we are in the minority on what is appropriate to comment on in regards to people’s bodies. I hope I never run into such posture police since I physically cannot stand with “good” posture due to the permanent curvature of my spine.
        Admin Edited

  37. She is just beautiful with her hair up! This dress is a very flattering cut, in my opinion, but there is something about the fabric that doesn’t look quite right to me. To my eyes, the patches where the light catches look like the fabric has worn out… I’m thinking specifically about the big patch on the back of the dress you can see when she is walking around the back of the car. Does anyone else feel that way?

    Thanks again for all of your detailed coverage, Susan!

    • What probably happened is that the sequins on the back of her dress (where those big patches are) flipped up making it look bare. Unless those sequins were reversible, there would be a side where it would be matte and match the underside of the dress, making it look like she had two giant bare spots. This often happens in places like the legs or back, where you will be leaning against other fabrics. You often notice it at the hips too because we women will often move their hands up and down their hips or our bags catch the sequins and they reverse direction.

      It’s often as easy as discreetly brushing your hands down the gown as you leave the car, which is hard for the Duchess as all eyes are on her. It’s probably easier for her to do it in the car, but she didn’t realize it.

      • Thank you KateZena, what a great knowledge you shared about fabric.

        • The reversibility of the sequins is actually the point of this fabric. The wearer can make the garment look quite different with just a casual brush of a hand across the sequined surface. This was all the rage when Catherine wore the dress the first time. Less the rage now, but no less dramatic. Personally, I love it for its edginess.

          • The different shades caused by the shifting sequins is surely all part of the asymmetric patterns on the dress. That’s what I like so much about it, it’s within such a classic outline with a contemporary take but not overshadowed by designer gimmicks.

        • I did years of ballet (3-9.5 years old.) Sequins are basically synonymous with the sport. YEARS of experience with those little buggers. Before I went out to the stage, we all had to brush our hands down on our costumes to make sure all of the sequins were facing the right way! (A fellow ballerina did the backside.) Ah, memories.

          And now you know why I’m not fond of sequins!

    • I thought that was the odd effect sequins always have as light plays across them. The wet-look effect is exaggerated by flash photography.

    • Probably just the slant of the camera, and the sequins’ positioning not catching ligtht (or a shadow falls around that area).

  38. Two things strike me:
    I think the bodice of the dress was tailored for this wearing. It makes the neckline look better and the waist line higher; a better fit overall.
    Kate looks utterly confident. The first time she wore the dress she looked really happy and excited but I’m not so sure she looked as confident. But here she looks so comfortable, even serene.
    This dress was never my fave (I know, I’m in the minority) but she looks fantastic!

  39. I loved, loved, loved this dress the first time Kate wore it and I think that Kate’s styling of the look tonight sends a clear signal that in five years she has become important member of the Royal family.

    The dress is still beautiful but the earrings and bracelet really make her look like a princess. It is so interesting to learn that Kate’s bracelet was once Queen Mary’s choker.

    I usually like Kate’s hair down, but I think wearing it up added sophistication.

    I hope that EACH raised a lot of money for the Nook at this elegant event.

  40. Catheeine looks gorgeous in the glow of the sunset; I love how the setting sun plays off the color and shimmer of the gown. This color always looks fantastic on her! Moreover, I admire her figure after 2 children! Wow! And she looks so expressive and charming…what’s not to like?

    However, nothing can compare to when Catherine wore this the first time, when she was brimming with newlywed happiness and confidence, almost to the point where she looked triumphal.

  41. I really love Kate’s hair style here- very sophisticated – and the style looks good with the dress.

  42. I like her hair up with this dress but looking at another news site, the fit isn’t as stunning this time as it was the first time. I can’t tell if it’s the dress aging, since it must be a bit heavy with all the beading or that Kate is about a size smaller than she was the first go around.

    It looks like a fun evening and I love the detailing on the Marshioness’s dress.

  43. We finally get to really see the exquisite neck details this time around thanks to her lovely updo. It is so delicate and so gorgeous!

  44. You know, I honestly didn’t care for the dress the last time, but I really like it this time – I think it’s the up-do that makes the difference! Her hair hid the lovely shoulder details before. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that Kate’s been wearing her hair up more.

    I agree, though, that the bracelet is too heavy for the outfit.

    • I agree! I like it much better with hair up. In 2011, I think her gorgeous hair was hiding the dress and made her entire silhouette appear top heavy.

    • I know for me the updo made all the difference in my reaction to this dress. The first time she wore it I thought it was thing nothing special to phone home about.

      But my goodness, I love this look now with the sophisticated updo and pretty earrings. This is a textbook example of how much impact styling can have an outfit,

  45. Oh, I’m so pleased the Duchess wore this dress again! It suits her so well. The photos from this event give a better indication of the depth of the colors in the fabric – they’re deeper than I initially thought when she wore it in L.A., and there’s more contrast between shades as well. Likely this is due to the difference in lighting between the two events – L.A. was bright full sun, Norfolk twilight was soft, deepening light, and the fabric is reflective, so I guess that makes sense to me. This is an exquisite dress on her, and fits her perfectly – not so short waisted that it looks ill-fitting, and with the heels she looks long and lanky, and the snug fit along with the draping shoulders makes her look softly sensual rather than plain “sexy”……what a lovely, lovely look for her. The hair up allowed me to see the shoulder detail, which I missed on the first wearing – this is a complicated design that could have gone all wrong, but ended up so right – it all works to perfection (I’m running out of superlatives – apologies for the uninteresting writing!). Thank you for another great post filled with terrific information!

    • Obviously I’m an ignoramous…..I honestly thought she wore this dress for the first time in L.A.??? But no…..I think that was the lavender gown with white belt? Ugh….well, thank you all for bearing with my faux pas (and not shouting me out on it). I still stand by my comment about the lighting however – and the changes it produced in the fabric color! :-)

  46. I am THRILLED to see this dress again! Love it! My personal observations, the duchess looks alot more mature and confident then the first time.

  47. Love seeing the dress again. The up do was beautiful. I like the fact that she is experimenting with different variations. Both the bracelet and earrings add the bling that such an occasion demands.

  48. Every element: flawless.

  49. Just stunning! Loved this gown when the Duchess first wear & just as beautiful now, with the low up do. Earring and bracelet finish off things.

  50. I think we all admired this dress the first time the Duchess wore it. Even I liked it, though heavy beading always makes me hesitate. I own two heavily beaded dresses, but I really had to think long and hard before I bought them (for a couple of opera galas). My taste in evening dresses leans more to things like minimalist black velvet.

    One of the reasons all this beading and the shimmering fabric work is that the silhouette of the dress is so slim and restrained. They would be too much on a full-skirted ballgown-style dress. I realize the Duchess wore a heavily beaded and somewhat full-skirted Packham in India, but the fabric itself was matte, not catching the light with every step as this dress does. The slender column effect helps balance all that shimmer and shine.

    I’m glad to see the updo, since in my view, a column dress works better with one than with the hair worn down. And I’ve commented in the past that I really enjoy those pink sandals.

    I’m a bit disappointed in the Marchioness’s dress. It appears to be quite intricately embroidered, but all that fussy embellishment, together with the silhouette, makes it look like something from a really high end boho boutique, an effect that is only exacerbated by the Marchioness’s very unflattering hairstyle. She looks like something out of a 1970s Vogue photo spread on what to wear to dinner when you’re spending the weekend at an upscale commune.

    • I totally agree about the Marchioness’s dress. At least in photos, it looked like a terrible mishmash.

    • Hi Lili….I simply adore your comments……especially the “upscale commune”….bless you.

    • I agree with you Lilli about how the beading works because of the streamlined silhouette.It is this combination of elements which makes me adore this gown.

    • Oops, I rather liked the Marchioness’s dress, and like some of her quirky style picks. A tad more sophisticated than Kate, although the Duchess does need to play to the gallery and perhaps sparkle more.

      • Count me in as another admirer of the Valentino! Exquisite design and perfect for the venue. It calls to mind a Galliano Cate Blanchett wore one year to the Oscars. The back was sheer with a bird embroidered at the top and flowers at the base. It was striking at the time. This Valentino echoes the same notes for me. Really interesting!

        • That Galliano dress Cate Blanchett wore was an elegantly-streamlined design with very judiciously-restrained embroidery. In my view, it couldn’t have been more different from the Marchioness’s dress worn last night. Blanchett’s very simple hairstyle was also preferable, in my opinion.


          • Well, Lili, what can I say? I saw the Valentino and thought of the Galliano. They are very different dresses but have some similar elements.

        • So it was Valentino? I half-thought there’d been some McQueen designs along those lines just lately. Thanks for the ID,

          • Yes! The McQueen 2016 Resort collection has a couple gowns with floral embroidery over sheer fabric. Hard to wear but so pretty to look at, I think.

      • I also really liked Rose’s dress. She has a completely different style form Kate’s but I like both styles.

        • She actually dressed rather like the Duchess at the state dinner for the President of China. I thought her gray Temperley dress, worn with an updo and tiara, was a look the Duchess herself might well have chosen.

  51. The ARK look was already a winner but the addition of an updo and substantial jewellery takes it to the next level. No quibbles there!

    I love love love the original Agatas, so I’m a bit disappointed that the reissued version has a different bow and is made of leather, should have bought them back then!

  52. Kate looks beautiful in this dress – elegant and ‘princess’ like. Love the earrings and her hair up. Five years and two beautiful children later Kate looks even better. How does she do it!

  53. It is splendid to see this beautiful dress again. I think Kate looks summery and delightfully happy. Her hair is absolutely fantastic! In my opinion, fabulous on every point.

  54. I loved this dress the first time around, however I can’t say the same this time.
    I feel that the styling is too ‘heavy’ for such a delicate dress. I can understand wanting to wear her hair up, but it misses the mark in my opinion. Same with the heavy diamond bracelet, which is unnecessary.

    The shoes are still as lush as ever, as is the bag.

    • I have to agree that while the earrings worked, the diamond bracelet WAS heavy and unnecessary, given the glitz of the dress itself. It wasn’t a major faux-pas by any means, but I think following Chanel’s rule wouldn’t have come amiss: before you leave the house, remove one accessory.

      Or, perhaps, the Duchess could have worn a slightly less conspicuous bracelet. Possibly the one we think Prince Charles gave her, with matching earrings, as a wedding gift.

      • For all we know, Kate might have removed one accessory. For the evening honouring China, Kate wore a heavy diamond bracelet on each wrist. So maybe this look had already been edited. I do agree that the diamond bracelet from Prince Charles would have been very appropriate.

        • I had an opposite reaction to the jewelry. Thought the bracelet gorgeous, the earrings less so with the gown. The bracelet Charles gave her would have worked also.

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