Nov 032016

The Duchess was in a new brand today, wearing a frock by Self Portrait for the premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob.

©Stephen Lock / i-Images

©Stephen Lock / i-Images

Prior to the red carpet premiere Kate attended the Recovery Street Film Festival. We learn more about that event from Kensington Palace:

The Recovery Street Film Festival features films made by former addicts and their loved ones about life in recovery from addiction. The films provide real hope that people can, and do recover from addiction. 

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Video of Kate arriving.

Both of tonight’s events were benefits for Action on Addiction, one of Kate’s patronages.

Kensington Palace/Rebecca English, The Daily @RE_DailyMail

Kensington Palace/Rebecca English, The Daily @RE_DailyMail

After the Film Festival Kate attended the UK Premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob. The film is based on the best-seller of the same name, written by James Bowen. screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-4-30-16-pm Mr. Bowen was a homeless street musician when he met Bob in 2007. From The Daily Mail:

Bob – who plays himself in the film – enters the busker’s life when he appears, injured, and curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation.

 James was living a hand to mouth existence on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet, but he decided to nurse the intelligent tomcat and the pair soon become inseparable.Below, author James Bowen and the real Bob as they arrive at the theatre.

Below you see the author and Bob arriving at tonight’s premiere.

Sony Pictures UK

Sony Pictures UK

The Duchess as she arrived.

©Neil Warner / Splash News

©Neil Warner / Splash News

And meeting Bob.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

More from Richard Palmer’s story for The Express:

Sitting on a red velvet cushion perched on a plinth, Bob the cat, a red and black scarf around his neck, was more interested in the television cameras than the lady stroking his fur. “Is that purring or growling?” the Duchess asked the ginger tom’s owner, James Bowen…Bob, who is 11, seemed to enjoy having his head scratched but he was determined – like the movie star he is – to look away from the Duchess and toward the cameras for his moment in the spotlight. 

Kate wore a gown from Self Portrait’s Resort 2016 collection.

©Neil Warner / Splash News

©Neil Warner / Splash News

The dress features a bodice and sleeves of guipure-lace, a floral motif high neck, a grosgrain ribbon at the waist and full, shutter-pleated crepe skirt with a high slit.

©Pool, Splash News/i-Images, Polaris

©Pool, Splash News/i-Images, Polaris

The dress has a nude bandeau lining and it is made of 99% polyester and 1% cotton. Most recently it was priced at $640 at Shopbop.



A closer look at the lace.



Upon seeing tonight’s dress many were reminded of the Dolce and Gabbana white lace dress worn to Royal Ascot in June, and/or the See by Chloé piece worn to the children’s party in Canada. There are common elements among the three garments: the white or ivory color; fitted bodice, long sleeves and full skirt; and the lace or openworked fabric on the bodice and sleeves of all three dresses. There are other similarities, like the high necks on the Chloé and the frock worn tonight.


©Polaris/Polaris/Splash News

Kate’s dress has been worn by Paris Hilton (click here for that photo) and UK TV presenter Tamara Ecclestone (click here to see that image, with thanks to Food, Fash & Fit for that tip). A number of similar styles and color combinations are available, including a black version called the ‘Mia’ at Net-a-Porter ($410), and a red-skirted style called the Lace Military Dress at Self-Portrait (£320, about $400 at today’s exchange rates).


Self-Portrait’s founder and designer Han Chong posted his delight at seeing Kate in one of his designs on the brand’s Facebook page.

It’s a proud moment for me as designer to find Kate Middleton in one of my designs! She’s such an elegant woman and it’s a dream to see. She looks incredible!”

Self-Portrait Courtesy Photo vi Vogue

Self-Portrait Courtesy Photo vi Vogue

The brand is relatively young, founded in 2013 by Mr. Chong, who is an alumnus of the renowned Central St. Martins art and design school. (Notable graduates include Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton, Stella McCartney and Zac Posen.) More from The Telegraph:

Although actresses, musicians, It girls and royals like the Duchess have access to gowns worth ten times as much as Self Portrait, the brand has nevertheless proved a hit amongst many famous women. Kristen Stewart, Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon and Madonna are just a few of those who have chosen Chong’s feminine pieces.

Three designs from the a/w 2016 collection.

Courtesy Photos via Vogue

Courtesy Photos via Vogue

From Vogue’s review of that collection:

He launched his line in 2013 with a tightly edited selection of guipure-lace cocktail dresses, and within a year you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a celebrity or PYT wearing one. Women of all ages, sizes, and tastes gravitate toward Self-Portrait’s unfussy dresses, because they pack a punch but still leave room for interpretation.

Vogue noted in its review of the Resort 2017 collection that “You won’t find a more interesting, alluring party dress for a better price than Self-Portrait’s…”.  Below, the label’s Alora Lace Asymmetric dress ($495), Thea Maxi Dress ($615) and Floral Lace Long Sleeve shirt ($310). All are as shown at Neiman Marcus.

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

Self-Portrait was featured in a November 2015 piece by industry trade publication Business of Fashion:

The label’s intricately-detailed garments involve the kind of technical work one might expect from a luxury brand — but a Self-Portrait lace blouse costs $261, while a double crepe dress costs $492.

Jennifer Lopez was the first star to publicly step out in Self-Portrait, wearing a $262 tuxedo wrap dress from the label’s first collection, when she was a judge on American Idol in 2014. A few weeks later, model Alessandra Ambrosio was spotted in São Paulo wearing the same dress. But it wasn’t until a year later that the brand began to gain significant red carpet buzz, appearing on celebrities as diverse as Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry and Beyoncé.

If Kate’s dress struck you as a possible bridal gown, you won’t be surprised to learn there is a bridal collection.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Two bridal gowns at Matches Fashion.

Matches Fashion

Matches Fashion

In the UK the brand may be found at Selfridges and Harrods; in the US Neiman Marcus offers a good selection; online sellers include Net-a-Porter, Matches Fashion and Shopbop. Shopbop also offers the brand’s sunglass collection, a collaboration with Le Specs.

The Duchess accessorized with her Gianvito Rossi suede pumps in the bordeaux (also called Royale) colorway. We show them at My Theresa, where they seem to be available in all sizes ($675).

©Polaris / My Theresa / i-Images

©Polaris / My Theresa / i-Images

And she carried her oft-seen Mulberry Bayswater clutch wallet. (The Bayswater line is still offered but this piece is no longer available.)



We saw the Oscar de la Renta earrings return this evening, they were first noted when Kate and William had a day of engagements in Manchester.

Oscar de la Renta/Splash

Oscar de la Renta/Splash

The Duchess wore a Buckley Poppy pin from the 2013 collection. This specific piece is no longer available, but the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop has many other options.



NOTE: The post originally said Kate’s poppy was worn on Remembrance Sunday 2013, but that does not appear to be the case.


Also today, results from our two polls about what Kate wore in Canada. Here are your top three ‘favorite ensemble’ choices. 

©Canadian Heritage/Splash News/Canadian Heritage

©Canadian Heritage/Splash News/Canadian Heritage

This is how the voting looked.


And here are your three favorite earring styles worn by the Duchess in Canada.


© as Shown

The results on the earrings poll.



A brief note about the Netflix series The Crown, available starting tomorrow.



Most of the major dailies in the US have published reviews in the last few days, here is a quick list of links: 

We’ll see you in just a few days.



  103 Responses to “Kate in Self-Portrait Lace Dress for Film Festival & Movie Premiere”

  1. Hey by the way I just got this dress from for £24.00!!!!!!!!
    …and it’s exactly the same!!!!
    The waist is very very tight but I expect Kate had it altered a bit!!
    Just for your info!!!

  2. I’m actually surprised by all the comments, because I LOVED everything about this outfit. Loved the dress, hair, accessories and shoes. I found it very daring for her because of the slit. I thought she looked sexy, yet classy. I do agree the bodice could have been a bit more snug, but it’s possibly it stretched with wear. I actually purchased this dress to wear for my wedding, but after seeing all this, I’m second guessing myself lol. It just goes to show how different our taste is. I’m not a fan of everything the Duchess wears, but some outfits I think, “Wow, she looks superb!” I guess you can’t please everyone.

    • I’d also like to add that even though those earrings may be “costume”, but they are also Oscar de la Renta. Not exactly cheapo crap. He is a highly reputable designer.

  3. Kate doesn’t have the body to carry this dress! Beautiful dress but doesn’t fit Kate as we can see that the outfit looked better on the model.

  4. I agree that there is something off about this dress: the top does not fit the Duchess quite right, moving awkwardly on her. A shame, because she wears white so beautifully. I would not have chosen those burgundy accessories; I would have preferred to see her match the glam of the high slit and cut-out pattern with higher, black shoes and a sleek black clutch. I feel she tried to dress-down an evening outfit. The colours tend to age a woman with her colouring, as well.

    I don’t think Catherine has yet learned how to wear a coat with an evening dress (difficult task, to be sure!), but that’s fine — I love watching her try out looks.

    The pin was my favourite part.

  5. The dress is fairly OK, but the tiny pin looks tacky and out of place on a busy top. If she is going to contrast it with red, then I would like to see some ruby earrings and maybe a red belt. But no poppy pin!!!!

  6. I love the dress. It’s romantic and very Cathy on horseback racing towards Heathcliff. The shoes are safe and blah. The depicted barely there sandal above would have been a dream but alas the duchess is a bit toe shy

  7. I LOVE THE DRESS! But I’m also a huge fan of Mr. Self-Portrait. Looks like she was coordinating her accessories to the poppy just as her earrings match the color of her dress and the gold hardware of her clutch. The thing is her accessories are wine and the poppy is red. If I were her stylist, I’d have matched the reds, gone with satin instead of suede, and a strappy heel to go with the light feel of the dress. Then I’d ask the charity that makes the crystal poppy if they could make her a matching set of earrings. Not only would this give her a more polished look (no more mismatched jewelry) but the subsequent ‘Kate effect’ would mean more funds for veterans of the Royal British Legion.

  8. I think we can all agree that Catherine looks gorgeous 99% of the time, regardless of what she wears. And on second look, I quite like this dress. However, the dark heavy accessories with the dress strike me as odd! Dark suede shoes with white lace? To my eye, she needs more of strappy sandal in gold or silver. Ditto with the purse. And the earrings…..seriously? I’m not even a princess, but at 20 I made the decision that all jewelry I wore would be real, and I have lived by that for 25 years. Costume jewelry might have it’s place, but on the red carpet is not it.

    Catherine has good instincts and has shown she can get a look 100% right. But she often overlooks details, as she does here, that make the look seem off.

    Can’t wait to watch that Netflix series!

    • Donna, I so agree about the jewelry!

      She doesn’t have to wear massive jewels; clearly we’ve seen over the years that she prefers delicate, smaller and more subtle pieces. Which is fine! But these particular earrings…need to die in a fire. They’re awful.

      A princess shouldn’t be wearing costume jewelry!

    • Absolutely! I immediately thought of the terrible costume jewelry belonging to my grandmother. Bless her, but no young woman should still be wearing that stuff!

  9. Eh, not my favorite, but I kind of like the red accessories with the white. No doubt she wanted to highlight and coordinate with the poppy.

    She needs better evening shoes, though, especially with a high slit dress like that and her fabulous legs.

  10. I love this, quirky and … defiant, for a red carpet. I have to see that I like her more and more with this insight on personal wardrobe choices. She is really a very strong character with a unique personality.

  11. When I look at this outfit I imagine someone saying , “oh just wear some pumps and carry that bag”… it’s as if no one cared-those shoes and bag look terrible with that dress. A satin sandal or sling back would have been nice.
    The jewelry was horrible also. I would have thought there’s a pair of dangly, diamond earrings delicate in style that would have been lovely. Those faux pearls look like the 1980′s and the rhinestone poppy doesn’t coordinate.
    I just don’t get why her clothes don’t fit right and her accessories always miss.
    She’s so beautiful and always looks so happy I wish someone would help her with these important details.

  12. Sorry, plus the black belt as shown in lookbook and strappy sandals and a fun updo. Still don’t like the doily top but might have been saved with that styling and a proper fit.

  13. I must be in the minority, I liked this look. I wish the dress “flared” a little more on the bottom but that is a small point. Love the spot of color with bag & shoes

    • I’m not crazy about this dress, but it definitely looked better as soon as you could see how beautifully it moved. So billowy! It was probably much more stunning in person.

  14. Unfortunately a big miss, as many here have said. I not a fan of the dress but like others, I think Paris Hilton made it work. How? The updo was essential, and the bodice is fitted to be tight. The doily pattern is both old fashioned and overpowering so it has to be offset or even subverted by two things. 1. an edgy, tight fit as with Hilton. Instead it seems Kate’s stylists decided to make it looser which also threw off the way it fits at the waist and upsets the balance between the top and skirt. If you are going to wear such a full skirt the top has to be tighter – otherwise it looks shapeless as it does here. 2. pairing it with the red skirt – in itself an edgier, more stylist look – also rights the balance because red is such a powerful colour. It also looks much younger and fresher. The styling is, as always, off. Aside from the hair hanging down – another messy element – the shoes and clutch should have been lighter in fabric and been a statement that broke up all that white. As I have said before, she is being really badly served by her stylists. She needs a real pro, and quickly.

    • I think your comment is very interesting…after reading it I looked again at the pictures of Paris Hilton vs. the Duchess and the looseness of the bodice really does stand out. I think you make good points! I definitely think the pie-crust neckline needs an updo.

    • I agree completely.

  15. This entire look is very…strange?

    I know she likes to buy many items that are similar to one another, but this really just looks way too much like other dresses she’s worn this past year alone.

    White is a great color on her, and maybe for a Christmastime event, it would have worked with the burgundy accessories? But as is, now, it looks odd for an evening engagement in London in November. IMHO :)

  16. Some have mentioned that the styling advice the Duchess receives from her team seems a bit off.

    In the photos I’ve seen of her assistants, I’ve been struck that their own clothing choices are unflatteringly proportioned for their bodies. I wonder if this contributes to less-than-ideal recommendations — like this dress, in my opinion.

    • Dombey, I’ve thought the same exact thing! The few times we’ve seen Natasha, I’m shocked that’s who Kate looked to for style advice. It’s very bizarre!

      • I second this. I don’t generally judge people in their everyday attire, but when you are a stylist to royalty …

        • Maggie, same here. I wouldn’t criticize, for example, Rebecca Deacon’s clothing since it has nothing to do with the job she performs. But given what we know about Natasha and how she “got” this job, I think it’s relevant to the conversation.

  17. Paris Hilton rocks this dress, she nails it with her hair style, and just the over-all finished look is spot on. For some reason it does not work nearly as well on Kate. It can’t be the color as Kate frequently wears all white very successfully. Her hairstyle, for sure, was wrong. Quite frankly, it wasn’t big enough and looked messy and unkempt in most of the pictures. Loved the slit, and with Kate’s beautiful legs, those wind moments are so complimentary to her. Wish she would use a professional stylist… With the amount of interest and coverage she gets, it’s essential.

    • I wonder if the personas of the ladies in question play a role. Paris Hilton’s persona is, ahem, at times less than demure or lady-like. Her fashion choices are certainly not usually characterized by words like “conservative” or “traditional.” So, this dress on her is subversive and surprising.

      The Duchess, however, is very poised, careful, and mature. He clothing choices are modest, classic, and careful. So on her, the dress is business as usual…and a bit “meh” at that.

  18. Huh. Not a favorite. If the skirt went just to the knees it could make a nice dress for a garden party, horse race etc. They probably inserted a flesh modesty fabric (which makes sense), which unfortunately de-shapes the top. It’s like wearing a T-Shirt underneath a blouse, it just never really works. The same dress with the red skirt looks much more fun, even though it reminds me of a Pokemon ball :-)

    On another note, whish Kate would wear heels just a tad lower. She doesn’t need the extra height and I feel the super high heels break her lines. And the posture suffers also. also sometimes I feel (and I know this is a little bit OTT) it adds some extra “distance” towards others if she always has to look down on them. Carla Bruni, who is equally elongated and slim has shown how lower heels can be worn elegantly (though, of course, in her case the “need” to wear mostly flats is another story…)

    • Completely agree with her heel height. Too high and disrupts her posture. I’m sure her neck hurts from looking down all the time.

  19. Not a fan of the high slit in this skirt — sort of risky too in a wind – what to hold? The skirt or her hair since she wore it down. Would have liked the hair up better. A bit too much white lace for one year I think. But I bet we see this dress again – looks like it was comfortable to wear. Would have preferred to see her in a deep blue for this time of year. It was a bit too spring/bridal looking for me.

  20. Why is she exiting the car and immediately pulling her hair over to one side? Wouldn’t it have been better if the hairdresser styled it to leave one shoulder bare? Just one thought of many (unhappy ones) this look inspires.

  21. I really like this whole look; the dress, shoes, bag, broach and earrings.

  22. I much prefer to view the pictures of her indoors in this dress, rather than the ones outside. The skirt is everywhere and takes away from the beauty of the full dress. Once indoors, you really get to see it. I think it’s pretty, but we’ve seen two whitish dresses with lace design….. going forward, time to branch out in other colors/patterns. I’d love to see her at an event where she’s not so focused on her hair and clutch.

  23. In motion, it looks better than in still pictures. Somehow when the skirt is just hanging it looks limp and makes her look extraordinarily tall. I never thought I’d ever type this, but the dress actually looked better on Paris Hilton than on Kate.

    I do wish she had done a half up or relaxed pony tail. With her hair down it always seems like it falls forward to hide her face and details of the dress. I personally love high collars, like this dress, but to me you have to give them some space by taking the hair out of the way.

    I do love the red accessories.

    • Oh, and in a perfect world, she would have gone more daring and picked the red skirted dress, or even better the green with blue lace!

      • Yes…and in a perfect world she would stand up straight, dump her stylist who wears clothes many posters don’t like, start wearing trouser suits, never buy a piece of costume jewelry, let alone wear it in public, dump the skinny jeans as inappropriate, but make sure she always looks “edgy” and fashion forward, like the porn queen Paris Hilton…but she should always remember her position as the Duchess, and dress accordingly.
        Sorry, but there’s a lot going on in so many of these comments that don’t come across as fashion discussions, but criticisms about other things, especially her posture. It’s nasty.It’s not as much fun to read this as it used to be, which makes me sad.

        • I think that when you put all the comments together and view them as one they can look overly critical. There are many posters on this blog. Each has their own opinions and preferences. I think it is important not to see all the comments as coming from one voice, but rather as a collection of thoughts and opinions from a wide variety of people with varying backgrounds, tastes, social economic levels, education, and ages. Those commenting about posture may well like the skinny jeans, those who would like to see Kate’s hair shorter may like the high heels etc, etc.

          The one point that stands out for me is that the vast majority of posters trying admire Kate and the job she is doing and appear to truly want her to be happy and successful. The constructive criticism is really just discussion among posters as I highly doubt Kate even reads here. If she does, I certainly hope she this blog for what it is: a group of fans interested in fashion and fashion discussion.

          • Hear hear, Maggie!

            People on this site like Kate, and I don’t see malice or even nitpicking in the comments – it’s simply opinions and critiques.

            • I prefer her wearing skirts,but at the end it’s up to her.I don’t agree that a stylist needs to be perfectly dressed.They might have or gain expertise regardless of their own look.Posture is important, because it says something about attitude.Now what attitude.Now which attitude is someone in Kate’s position going to take.You can not always please the crowd.That’s for sure.

          • Constant discussion/criticisms of posture are NOT fashion, whether one labels them “opinions” or “critiques.”

  24. This dress is puzzling. I feel like I’ve seen this on her already, even though it’s new. And that slit is so dangerous. She looks like she’s trying desperately in some photos to keep the dress covering her so she doesn’t have a Marilyn moment – why wear a garment that puts you in that position? The silhouette is also surprising. As a tall women myself, I can tell you that it’s very difficult to wear something that hits you right at the top of your waist. It immediately chops you and rarely looks flattering. You have to be very careful. I think this could have been more successful with one of the color combination options. But as is, it just comes across as an ill-fitting bridal dress that could reveal more than she wants us to see. This event could have been a great fashion moment and unfortunately this is a miss

    • Yes, she’s worn at least two other dresses that are pretty similar to this in terms of material and cut (the pics above line them up for us). Totally agree re the waistline — that’s the biggest thing making this look not work for me.

    • Liz, you hit the nail on the head!

  25. I think the design elements of this outfit are OK separately, but together the creation is a big miss in my book. The high and not tailored waistline is an unfortunate look on her. The picture of the model shows a fitted waistline, so I am not sure why we are seeing it so high on Kate. I actually like the lace top with the pleated skirt, but the slit is unnecessary and looks odd with the pleats. The poppy is a given this time of the year, so the burgundy accessories work here, I just wish she wouldn’t wear these same suede pumps everywhere. This was more of a formal occasion and the long dress needed more of a formal footwear.

    All in all, not my favorite, but not a major miss either. I would have liked to see her hair away from the neckline of the dress and a more royal pair of earrings. I get that this is Oscar de la Renta, but it kills me that somebody in her position with access to the most beautiful jewelry you can dream of, would choose such cheap looking fake pearls. If she doesn’t want to overshadow the event with something from the Queen’s collection, a pair of diamond stud earrings would have worked much better.

  26. The dress is ill-fitting–especially in the waist and bust and the waist doesn’t sit properly on her. I think an updo would have helped but I truly hate that row of lace flower around the top of the collar. The pleats are all wrong and they crumpled easily and I just don’t understand pairing them with this geometric lace top. The slit is the best thing about the dress. I like that she wore red accessories but feel the poppy pin is oddly placed and should have been upon on her shoulder. Her makeup is lovely and she is a beautiful young woman with a nice thin figure but this is just not her best look.

  27. Now about this look. I think she feels comfortable with what I would call an update on 1970s glamour.She instinctively chose this kind of style in her early official sort of “coming out” dresses like the the pink evening dress for the starlight children foundation in 2008 and she wore her hair open, full…combined with the dress the result was the look i am talking about, but not evolved and still too uninspired. Even her engagement dress had elements of this style but already somewhat subdued. So to bring this particular look to the next level, what she needs is boldness, confidence, and embracing her femininity without a trace of fear. Her hair can get fuller and bigger again, her make up more sophisticated, her bearing more alluring and her attitude more powerful and relaxed. She can wear more dramatic silhouettes and show off her magnificent jewellery ( think princess Margaret in her prime!) and pair her evening dresses with gorgeous coats ( if she chooses fur it does not need to be real if she wants to be protect animal rights. She needs to be political correct. I know that)….all with a contemporary twist of course, but,translating all those codes of regal glamour into NOW. Someone mentioned the word “flashy” earlier. While normally a bad word in Kate’s case the right dose of “vulgar” might just be the injection of vitality that brings her style to life, simply because she is so much the opposite of vulgar, that in her case it would simply translate into “beautiful woman”.Not vulgar at all. Was Diana ever vulgar? Nope. Flashy? Possibly. Glittering? Probably. But vulgar? Never.
    Here are some quotes of Diana Vreeland that might be just what Kate needs in terms of style:
    “Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life. I’m a great believer in vulgarity- if it’s got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste- it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”
    “Style–all who have it share one thing: originality.”

    Or this one:“Style–all who have it share one thing: originality.”

  28. I really like her hair styled like this – a bit straighter, not so bouncy. Agree with a previous poster regarding the shoes – something a bit more edgy rather than a traditional pump would work better with this skirt. Not a fan of the high slit. So many camera angles it actually ends up looking unflattering more than anything.

    • I loved her hair as well!

      I thought it looked beautiful at this movie premiere and even prettier at her engagement the next morning.

      It feels like she’s back to 2011-12 era Kate hair and I adore it!

  29. The dress is simply fine. This is not a major Hollywood film premiere though, so I think she could’ve gotten away with something cocktail length. The suede pumps …I just don’t get it. They are totally wrong for this.

    I’m in agreement with others about her posture, carriage, and confidence. She’s the future queen consort – own it!

  30. I agree about the posture in another comment. Still very lovely but the slouching is becoming more pronounced. Wondering if the heel height of her shoes along with her height is starting to cause this. She towers over everyone and has to lean down and this looks uncomfortable. I think now that she is gaining more confidence she can do away with the very high heels. Wish she would wear more of the low heeled shoes and chunky style shoes in Canada. Also, as I stated in a previous post something has changed since trip to Canada. Everything very nice what she wore on trip and now, even though still lovely, her clothing for her latest outings are not quite right.

  31. I wish she had work the red/black color combination dress in the similar style. Perhaps that would have been considered too flashy for the event? Would have coordinated well with the poppy.

  32. I agree! I would have loved a different pair of earrings though.

  33. The dress is ok but it doesn’t seem to fit very well. This should not happen with custom gowns or at least gowns that the designer would surely alter for her. The waist is too high and her poppy broach seems lost amid the mass of white.

    • It looks like such a better fit on the model, which again makes me wonder why her dresses are so often altered to make the waistline higher. Her legs are plenty long and she has lovely proportions — she seems beautifully in proportion when just in jeans, etc. The alterations seem to make the bodices look off somehow. Which is one reason why she looks so good in sheath dresses — just a smooth line from top to bottom without the fussiness happening in the middle!

      • I don’t think the dresses are altered to make the waistline higher. The issue is that Kate is significantly longer in the waist (measurement from that bone on the back of your neck to the natural waist line) than ready to wear clothes are designed for. So even with high end clothes, if the garment is ordered by size then the proportions will be wrong for Kate. You don’t see this problem on garments that are actually custom made for her by good design houses (there are a couple of “designer” outfits she has worn where clearly the pattern makers were either not up to snuff or the garment was not actually custom and was made from a standard pattern.

        I think because other than the waist measurement Kate is probably a perfect size, the tendency may be to save time and money and just have the garment made from a standard pattern, or buy off the rack. This is fine for casual clothing or separates, but for evening wear and fitted day dresses she really needs to go custom for a good fit.

  34. It’s taken me a little while but I’m coming round to this dress. I was hit with initial underwhelm at the confusion of elements – the lace, the knife pleating, the slit – at first it looked more like one of Kate’s clumsy attempts to modify couture.

    In this case we’re not talking high-end designer and the original concept seems to have included several of Kate’s signature features, the high neck, lace, and the pleated skirt in shirtwaister style, such as the Packham Kate wore in Singapore. I don’t feel the Self Portrait has much in common with the D&G or Chloe as shown, other than uniformity of colour.

    The full-length pleats here seemed out of sync at first, and the slit seemed unnecessary, adding to the confusion. I’m delighted you found the pic of the dress with block colouring as that makes more sense of the different elements which look a bit half-hearted in the white version.

    It’s so odd to me that the top of the garment should reference Edwardian styles, on top of an ‘80s style skirt, but in the spirit of general retro mix-up that fashion is embracing right now I think it does work, in an off-beat sort of way. I thought it looked better on the blonde Paris Hilton, though I see she felt obliged to hold one side of the skirt up to better emphasise the slit. Kate had ample wind assistance in that department, with the depth of the slit well-judged to preserve modesty.

    It’s always fun to see a new label and it’s a great design for the price. I agree with others who feel Kate could easily have picked out something more interesting from the range, but she’s gone for caution as so often, preferring not to put a foot right rather than put one wrong. She wears it all well and looks graceful as ever. I like the use of the deep red accessories; nice use of a rich colour without being too heavy.

    • For me it reminded me of the Chloë given the expanse of lace covering the bodice, also the long sleeves and high neck. This all before the colour!

  35. Finally, our girl didn’t wear the nude suede shoes with white! And that’s about all this outfit has going for it, unfortunately. The bodice is extremely ill-fitting. As someone who has a figure similar to Kate’s, I stay as FAR away from this type of dress as possible; it sits too high on the waist and it not properly fitted for our bust-to-shoulder area. The slit in the skirt is nice, but the fabric does not pass the crumple test. I’ve noticed this with Kate’s clothing; it’s designer, but the fabrics seems cheap. I feel like that says something is not quite right about the global economy. I like the daisy-chain collar, but the rest of this is too safe. It’s a hard pass for me. But to end on a good note, I love the video of Kate petting the cat!

  36. It must quite quite challenging for the Duchess and her styling to strike the right balance. Considering the desire to keep the focus on the charity despite her being arguably the most famous woman on the planet. The dress has to be appropriate for the occasion, classic but with a contemporary spin, honor the Queen and Crown as all family member’s must and still suit her tastes. So with that I say well done. The thigh high slit is fabulous And her hair is flawless!

  37. Oh. Hm.

    so I was really looking forward to this event, since it was a red carpet affair, even though I figured we probably would not see something as formal and lush as the black velvet McQueen (one of my favorites of hers.) But I still had high hopes.

    This dress… When she is walking it looks okay, the skirt has a nice movement to it, but the overall look is so bland and uninteresting. Paris Hilton plays up the dress a bit with her messy updo and the diamond hair accessories, and it works much better than here, with the red shoes and clutch (which I know are to go with the poppy which is fitting for November, but still.)

    Kate has been disappointing me lately with her day looks but her evening looks have been getting better and more interesting (red Preen dress, for example) so I was really excited to see what she pulled out for tonight. This is disappointing.

    • I agree with all of this. The long hair and long lace dress (esp the picture from behind) looks like she’s in a cult circa 1970. I never thought I’d think – let alone type – this: Paris Hilton wore it better.

  38. At first glance I found the dress quite boring; the photos on the Kensington Palace Instagram make it look like a brighter version of the See by Chloé dress with a different lace pattern. But seeing it full-length now I think it is a bit more interesting. I really like the slit, and it is kept modest with the high collar and long sleeves. I’m so happy to finally see Kate using her accessories as a pop of colour rather than pairing white with nudes!

    This new designer intrigues me and I particularly like the dress Reese Witherspoon is wearing as shown in the Telegraph article. Sadly I can’t imagine Kate wearing a lot more of Self Portrait, since a lot of pieces look a bit too flashy or daring for royal duty, and I can’t see the benefit of heavily altering such lower-price garments.

    And finally, as a life-long cat person, I absolutely love that video of Kate petting Bob! You can just his typical cat reaction, he does not feel like being petted and would rather look determinedly away and swish his tail about. Adorable.

  39. Oh, goodness. The Duchess is so lovely. Would that the ensemble chosen had matched her loveliness to even the tiniest degree.
    I am sorry I have struggled to come up with a redeeming quality of this choice – neither in color nor drape nor tailoring nor integrity of design, etc. I cannot make sense of it. Linearly geometric patterned lace that resembles a molecule chart, with a pleated skirt, with a slit yet !(aarrgh!) in a color that certainly has not, in this application at least, done her justice. There is so much going on, but the paradox is vis a vis the total effect, there is a vacuum. And for such a beautiful young woman. If only the use of the lace had at least resulted in a feminine look it may have been something. The word “antimaccassar” comes to mind. But since the engagement this is in our humble opinion the first real miss. I am sorry.

    Perhaps in person this presented differently.

    • I love how you describe it as so much going on it creates a vacuum! That summed up my own initial confusion about how such opposites could hang together, linear pleats up against circular pattern floral lace. I only came round a bit having seen more pics and maybe got a bit more used to it all.

      Scrolling around in search of pics I came on other celebs out on the same evening and was struck how their outfits echoed what is going on with Kate’s. I can see there’s still a strong presence of lace and white has been designated a winter colour this year. And there’s still a mish-mash of retro styles in single garments ever since we saw the catwalk takes on attic-chic in the summer. Seems Kate isn’t so off-trend after all?!

    • I agree with everything you said except the slit (which frankly is the only interesting thing about this dress and isn’t inappropriately high or revealing).

  40. One word sums up this dress-UGLY. Looks like a longer version of the dress she wore in Canada for the childrens party. Didn’t like that on either. Enough ivory, lace and high necklines for goodness sake.

  41. I love all about this dress, except one, the slit it’s a total off to me, it really ruin the look especially with the wind blow which revealing her legs in the most unflattering way. i love the earring and the brooch, but the shoes is rather plain , it’ll be more excited if she wear something that a bit more creative, it’s a good shoes tough.

  42. Seeing the three tour looks side by side, the Packham, Preen and McQueen, I am struck by the contrast. While beautiful in all three outfits, the Packham delivers a staid matronly look, the Preen looks chic and the freshest is the McQueen.

  43. The dress was nice (nothing special).

    I think the problem was the way it was styled. I would have liked more delicate footwear with this, like strappy heeled sandals – the suede pumps were a bit heavy in my opinion. And the long hair just swamped her. While an up-do might have been too formal for this kind of engagement, perhaps a half-do with the back left long might have allowed the high neck of the dress to be seen to better advantage.

    • I agree the styling was a bit off. I do think, however that wearing her hair down was really the only option. A half up half down style combined with the high neck lace bodice I think would have read as quite juvenile, and a full updo (other than perhaps a messy top knot – which I am sure we will never see Kate do!) would have looked too formal and severe.

      When I first saw the photos I thought the accessories were black. Not what I would have done, but okay. Once again, even though red is a favourite of mine, I not sure I like it with this dress. Not sure what would be better, maybe the sparkly Jimmy Choo evening shoes?

      I like the dress although I would have left the skirt full and soft without the crispness of the pleats. They seem to jar a bit with the lace top.

    • Definitely agree that a half up style would have helped in the hair dept!

    • I agree!! At first I utterly disliked the dress, but after seeing it on paris hilton, I realize I would love it if Kate had accessorized differently. This dress just screams for some boho accessories, not dark suede pumps and clutch :(

  44. Hmmm. These high-necked lace dresses don’t work for me at all, I just find them so unflattering on the Duchess. The skirt would work well with a different bodice.

  45. I never thought I’d say this, but I find the entire look uninspired. Normally when she wears something I don’t like, I can find some component that works for me. Not tonight. She can – and has, and will again – do much better.

  46. I’m Malaysian so this is incredibly exciting! Han Chong is Malaysian-born too and I just attended his show at Singapore Fashion Week last week. Since his designs incorporate the kind of lace details Kate loves I was jus wondering if or when she would ever wear one of his dresses.

  47. I suppose I may end up in the minority here – but I LOVE this dress. A return to fashionable, modern choices that don’t read as too mature. I disagree that the accessories are predictable; I would have bet money that she’d pair this dress with black heels and a white-ish bag and if she did I’d have rued the day. However, the pop of color with the red isn’t something she goes for often and I’m so pleased to see her do it here. This look is a total win – and so is that See by Chloe dress.

    Loved learning about this label as well, thank you Susan! Wonderful job.

    • SM–
      I agree with you. I love the dress, too.Think she looks great. Like the fit, the mix of materials, the slit, and the red accessories that match the poppy. I loved the See by Chloe dress she wore in Canada, too.She looked elegant and graceful in it — especially when she bent down to the ground with a sweeping skirt, and then stood up. A timeless and gracious look, and movements, that she pulled off perfectly. Women haven’t always worn pants, whether they are upscale “trousers” or Kate’s much maligned skinny jeans.

      One other comment regarding her earrings/jewelry. Some posters continually complain about Kate’s costume jewelry and think she should be constantly wearing jewels borrowed from the Queen.Perhaps she’s not comfortable doing that. Perhaps she has some fun with costume jewelry. Perhaps she likes to let the world know that she, too, buys jewelry she likes and that most people can afford. She’s always lauded for mixing designers with inexpensive clothes, yet when it comes to jewelry, she’s supposed to be dripping in the Queen’s diamonds, so to speak. I love her big, funky faux pearl earrings — in fact, I like her in larger earrings. She can carry them. If anything, her earrings are too tiny and twee, even if they are lovely, for a tall woman with long, thick hair.
      Give her a break. Let her have some fun.

  48. Love this look! The Duchess shows respect for the formal occasion with a gown, but the simple design and accessories are very suitable for the serious topic. I enjoy her following the trend of whites/pastels in all seasons. Think it is much more fresh than always wearing dark colors in the fall/winter.
    Thank you for the very thorough post on the event and the links to others wearing this designer.

  49. I´m in loooooove with the skirt! :D
    Thanks for the post

  50. I wish we could see her, regardless of what she wears, stand up straight, shoulders back, arms loose and exuding confidence. She always looks so hunched, and tight, and holding those clutches for all they are worth like a safety blanket. I feel it distracts so much adding a very stressed appearance (at least in media) to her appearances.
    I do like the dress though.

  51. White dress, white dress
    Please may I wear it

    Over again and over again
    With lace and eyelet, too!!!

  52. I really do like this dress. She clearly loves lace and high collars and waists. I find it too light, in colour and material, for fall but that seems to be the trend with her lately. The accessories are predictable but I like them both and the high slit is a nice contrast to the high collar and long sleeves/length. I appreciate that she chose a less expensive dress, especially for meeting with former addicts. A Packham or McQueen may have come off as too much, in my opinion.
    I can’t say much else without commenting on her frame/size so I’ll have to stop there. It’s been bothering me since seeing the first pictures earlier tonight but I can’t quite pinpoint what it is exactly and this isn’t the place to work it out anyways.

  53. To me this dress is just okay…not great, not awful. Somehow the top doesn’t seem to go with the bottom, other than being the same colour. The slit in the skirt is be a bit off. The pleats are a tailored look and there is ample room to walk without a thigh high slit.

    The nod to Remembrance Day with the poppy is a nice touch. I think the poppy is a bit low and I would have put it a row higher on the lace top. I like the contrast of the burgundy colour in the purse and shoes, but would have preferred dressier, evening footwear.

    This ensemble is not memorable. It is just okay.

  54. The only thing that redeemed this dress for me was the slit. Maybe if accessorized in a more fashion-forward way (booties, big earrings, hair up?) I’d like it more but it felt too covered up and…possibly prairie…for someone as gorgeous as Kate.

    • I agree. The slit made it sexy and edgy. Otherwise, the dress is just prairie-esque, ill-fitting, and definitely way too covered up. The jewelry was terrible. Rubies with diamonds would have improved the look if she was set on wearing the burgundy shoes and bag. Diamonds, however, would have complemented the dress best (with a fancier evening shoe).

      • Speaking of burgundy accessories, she should have worn these shoes and this bag (and a belt) with the pink Kate Spade dress. They would have really completed the outfit and looked much more chic.

  55. While the Duchess looks lovely as always, I am not a fan of this dress. The waist seems high and the skirt didn’t move well. I like the slit as a change of pace and the contrasting color of shoes/bag are nice.

    • I agree. And the bottom seemed…. wrinkly? I like the top. I love the slit. And I really do not like those earrings. The pearls are ok, but I’m just not a fan of them.

  56. Yay for colored shoes!
    While it’s a movie premiere, its not a black tie affair. She looks a bit over dressed…

    NOTE: Admin Edit

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