Feb 272017

The Duchess donned a new dress from Erdem for tonight’s Buckingham Palace reception kicking off the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture.

The Royal Family

The Royal Family

The event was hosted by HM and Prince Philip. The Queen wore a dress by Stewart Parvin in fabric with metallic thread.

The Royal Family

The Royal Family

The Year of Culture will celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence through a year-long program of events and exhibitions. More about the project from the British Council:

2017 will see an incredible programme of cultural events and activities in India organised by the British Council, and a similar programme in the UK organised by the Government of India. We believe that by experiencing the most innovative and exciting creative work from both countries and exploring our joint history, people will want to know more about each other’s countries and build deeper connections.

The Royal Family

The Royal Family

More from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:

Guests at tonight’s reception included stars of stage and screen, fashion, food, literature and sport. Among them were Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar and his model/actress wife Neha Kapur, British-Indian actress Ayesha Dharker, Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev, former England footballer Rio Ferdinand, sitar player Anoushka Shankar – daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar – and her husband, director Joe Wright.

© Nunn Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

© Nunn Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate chatting with a guest; Rebecca Deacon, her private secretary, is at her side.

© Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

© Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Here you see the Duke and Duchess looking at one of the items on display, a shawl woven by Gandhi on his loom as a gift for (then) Princess Elizabeth. 

© Pool / i-Images

© Pool / i-Images

More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:

Laid out in the palace Picture Gallery was a display of priceless artefacts from the Royal Collection including a shawl woven by Gandhi on his loom as a wedding present for Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

The shawl has the words Jai Hind – Hail India- in the centre and was accompanied by a hand-written note from Ghandi, addressed to Lord Mountbatten, then Viceroy of India, which said: ‘The little thing is made out of doubled yarn of my own spinning…. please give the bride and the bridegroom this with my blessing with the wish that they would have a log and happy life of service of man…..Yours sincerely, MK ‘

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

It looked like a wonderful event to kick off the year’s partnership.

The Royal Family

The Royal Family

Buckingham Palace was awash in Indian motifs, including a peacock, the country’s national bird.

UK in India

UK in India

Kate was in a cocktail dress by one of her favorite designers, Erdem.

© Nunn Syndication, Polaris / PA Wire

© Nunn Syndication, Polaris / PA Wire

She was in the ‘Rhona’ Metallic Floral Lace Dress.

© PA Wire / Brown's Fashion / Brown's Fashion / Rebecca English, the Daily Mail

© PA Wire / Browns / Browns / Rebecca English, The Daily Mail

The piece is midi length with a round neck, pleated bodice, and skirt, semi-sheer raglan sleeves with a button cuff, self-belt, and hidden back zipper. The story of this frock is the fabric, a metallic lace in silver. In some photos, the fabric has a pink undertone.

©PA Wire/Lyst Australia

©PA Wire/Lyst Australia

Originally $2800, the frock was also worn by Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit in November of last year. A Tip of the Tiara to Betty Wales on the Facebook page for IDing the dress, and also to Penelope E., this is a dress she posted on the Facebook page several weeks ago as one she hoped Kate would wear.

Kate’s shoes also sparkled; it looked like she wore the Platinum ‘Cabrina’ lamé heels by Oscar de la Renta. The style featured a pointed toe, 4″ heel, scalloped sides and raised back. The shoe remains available online ($690) in some sizes at Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta/PA Wire/Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta/PA Wire/Oscar de la Renta

A closer view.

©Yui Mok / WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Yui Mok / WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate’s hair was partially pulled back.

© PA Wire /

© PA Wire / PA Wire

The Palace says the earrings are by Anita Dongre, a designer worn during the India tour last spring.  We are still looking for more information on the earrings.

© Polaris / Polaris / PA Wire

© Polaris / Polaris / PA Wire

UPDATED: The earrings are from the designer’s Pinkcity line. More from The Times of India:

 I must add, I was ecstatic to see how absolutely stunning she looked in the handcrafted Pinkcity earrings we custom-designed for her. She said she loved them!

Will and Kate at UK-India Year of Culture exhibit

© Yui Mok/ Pool / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

It turns out Ms. Dongre was at last night’s reception. Thank you to Jane R from the WKW Facebook page who let me know about the designer’s Instagram post mentioning the earrings.

Was so lovely meeting The Duchess of Cambridge this evening. We chatted about our mutual love for Rajasthan and she chose to wear a pair of @anitadongrepinkcity earrings crafted by @jet_gems

The jewelry line was launched in 2013, from the Jewellery Editor:

….combines traditional jewellery techniques with Anita Dongre’s modern aesthetic. Inspired by the traditional legend of the princess who must wait for the arrival of a pink flamingo before finding her prince, the collection is a metaphor for love and commitment.

We’ll leave you with this image of some yummy cupcakes shared by Ronald McDonald House Charities UK in advance of Kate’s visit to the new Ronald McDonald House at Evelina London Children’s Hospital tomorrow. We’ll see you then.

Ronald McDonald Chairites UK

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK


  115 Responses to “The Duchess Shines in Shimmering Erdem Dress at Palace Reception”

  1. Lovely post, she looks lovely! Can you correct the spelling of Gandhi? It’s misspelt as Ghandi

  2. I really like this look. Although it’s not the word I would usually use for something with this much sparkle, I find it to be a very simple dress — nothing extreme about it. I would dearly love a closeup look at the fabric. I bet it’s amazing when you see it in person instead of just in pictures.

  3. Hmmm. Kate looks nice, however when was it fashionable to match your shoes to your outfift? I don’t like the matchy-matchy theme.

  4. This is glittery, lacy, is a decent length & is what some call ‘Beulah-esque’ – which means I wish it was in my wardrobe! I’m glad she left her knees at home, there are no embarrassing photos, it suits her & she appears to be dressed much the same as anyone else there in overall-style – not over-dressed, like turning up for a reception & people are in lumberjack shirts and/or jeans. I thought at first that the colour/style was because the attendees were Indian; I noticed that when she wore the stunning dark blue evening dress/wrap covered with glitter in India, that most of the women there were dressed in shades of beige & blush, and the room was decorated with drapes in this colour scheme too & not much sparkle was about. I thought she deliberately dressed down but I changed my mind when I saw the Queen wearing a strong purple. Her Maj wore mostly pastel sparkly dresses when younger, she’s branched out a lot more in old age, in her daywear too. Kate’s hair looked gorgeous, she is young enough to be my daughter & I still have long hair, nobody worries about Indian or Middle-Eastern women having long hair either or if they have lots of children when sporting it. I always thought Diana’s short hair didn’t suit the ballgowns that she wore in the early years, it was too modern for the voluminous fabrics. At least you can do something that suits (the wearer) with length, you can’t make it longer when dressing up.

  5. What struck me the most about this look is timeless. Close your eyes and you could picture Diana in this dress, even a young Margaret. As a royal, her photos will be archived for long after we’re gone and revisited many, many times between and after. I think it’s wonderful when she embraces fashion-forward trends just like everyone else. However, for special events like these, I think that the idea is to capture something that will not just stand out for the test of time, but in ways still be relevant years, decades later. I think that is something that Catherine is very mindful of in general. We see it in how she dresses her children and the outfits she picks for royal engagements. It’s a practiced image that sets her apart from other Royal ladies (not that their sartorial choices are any less important or poorly made. I just feel that this seems to be an English tradition more than anything) additionally; it doesn’t make her the center of attention for the engagement (especially when the engagements are meant to bring awareness to social issues, the people present and people being honored, remembrances, and so forth.) I love that she always picks one (sometimes two, but small things) that makes her look shine; be it shoes, handbag, hairstyle or jewelry, there’s a wink of her true nature in those choices.

    I agree with many other commenters about her hair. She has beautiful healthy hair. There shouldn’t be a mandate on when one cuts their hair and at what point styles become too young. I’m 39 and I have pink and purple hair. I’m no princess, and I’m certainly not young. But it makes me happy and looks perfectly fine (even as it fades, ugh, whyyyyy does it fade so quickly?) As long as Catherine is happy, why should she change it? I’d flaunt that hair all day if I could :)

    Overall, I am very impressed with the look. I do prefer the appearance when it comes across as blush as opposed to the white, but she looks comfortable and beautiful either way. I can see these shoes becoming her new Jimmy Choo (I believe it’s the Lance) silver sandal. The heel and cut are a bit more modern, and in colder months, the toe is closed and more appropriate. I don’t necessarily think they look heavy, as other commenters, but could concede that in comparison to the nature of the dress they could come across that way. Either way, I’m still exceptionally happy with the look. The silver threading is a means to match the beautiful embroidery on the traditional Indian designs worn, without outright taking over the look. Just another way Catherine is great at making her sartorial choices symbolic (I believe the Queen is also quite adept at the same nods of symbolism and loved her look last night as well!) I’m anxiously awaiting what we see in Paris now!

    • The silver threading in her shoes is to match the dress – it isn’t blush or white, it is actually silver, but the yellow lights make the colour look warmer. (your hair sounds very interesting, you have years left yet, I’m 58 & still with purple hair, a deep blackcurrant; somewhat toned down now though, the brighter violets & magenta’s are in my happy-memories-drawer along with my leather trousers & pirate boots, lol) :)

  6. This is a look that can seem covered-up and staid, but I think that with the amount of shimmer in the dress and the shoes it works well. The dress really reminds me of the blush Jenny Packham– feminine, with a subtle texture. I think the Queen looks great too!

  7. Kate, please stand up straight!

    Quick admin edit.

    • I feel like a broken record at this point (as I’ve continually pointed this out to people who say it), but since you mentioned it in a previous comment below comparing her to the Queen of Spain, I’ll comment here: Kate is standing up straight, with her shoulders back and relaxed. The photos you see in which you are probably accusing her of slouching is where she is talking to people, in which it is rude to look over a person’s head. She is very tall, three inches taller than the Queen.

      She does lean back, but realize in those photos it is when she is talking to people. This is how we, as people (even royalty to some extent), converse. She was perhaps telling a particularly touching tale of her children by the way she’s holding herself. We talk with our bodies. We lean back we hear of horror or when we try to show something huge or particularly touching in some respect. We lean in closer when we’re utterly fascinated. I guess as someone with Autism I notice these things more as I don’t understand them until I ask my “safe person” (my mom) why people do these things with their bodies when they are talking to each other, but this is normal. Even Letizia does it in photos when she is talking to people.I feel like Kate gets so much flack for it when it’s so normal.

  8. I like the whole ensemble! Very princess-y as she sparkles from head to toe. I’m not a fan of the lace design when close-up but I love the shimmering effect at a distance when all the lights and flashbulbs are hitting the fabric. Like the hair pulled back on the sides to show her earrings while still hanging down the back to show her youth. Wonder what clutch she brought to go with the heels? Not sure why some say she upstaged the Queen when they are both in ladylike dresses. It’s not like the DOC showed up in a ball gown while the Queen wore a dress! That (lol) would have been awkward!

  9. I really like this look for this particular reception and venue covered up, dignified, soft and shimmery, regal. It’s a winner.

    I could see it not working however at other types of events.

    Shoes are gorgeous!

    • I agree completely; at first I wasn’t blown away by the look but it is very appropriate to the occasion, especially when seen among all the other guests and their dresses.

      The shoes are a nice sparkly addition and I absolutely LOVE those earrings!

  10. This is one of the first mid-length dresses that Kate has worn that I liked. I love this look!

  11. The sparkles of the dress look wonderful in the glow of the light. I think it looks just right for the event given that it was a reception and not a cocktail party.

  12. Dazzling ! Now that I have come to terms that she is very conservative and predictable, and that her stylist should not be called a stylist, I can appreciate her / their choices better.
    Is this look conservative? Yes. Is it predictable? Yes. But she looks dazzling in it and radiant because she is comfortable in these choices. Would I have picked that for her? Never.
    I don’t think she is interested in fashion and style. Queen Letizia from Spain clearly is. And so are other royals like Queen Maxima from the Netherlands. And it’s ok that Catherine is not. Sometimes she does nail it! Sometimes she is way off!

  13. I adore this dress! Love all of the sparkle. The shoes are a step up from the usual, too.
    I find it interesting that the dress photographs as almost gold toned in some pics and silver in others.
    Either way, she looks gorgeous in it – and it seems perfect for the event.

  14. I think Kate is beautiful, and dresses appropriately for her position and the occasion more often than not. My question with this particular look is this: does anyone know why she ALWAYS favors a nude lip? It would seem to me that if she is wearing a monotone light colored look such as this one, that she could add a pop of color with her lipstick (especially at an evening event) to prevent her from looking washed out. Just a personal observation. :)

    • and by monotone, I meant monochromatic… that’s what happens when you try to type and keep up with a four year old at the same time, ha!

    • I’ve often wondered myself about her lack of lipstick. She doesn’t really seem to wear colour on her lips. Maybe she doesn’t like lipstick or doesn’t like colour on her lips, but I agree with you that the right shade might be a more flattering look with an outfit like this one.

  15. I love this look, there is something very ‘princess’ about the shimmer and shine. Also how amazing that she met Anita Dongre at the event http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/anita-dongre-duchess-of-cambridge-kate-middleton-buckingham-palace-lifest/1/893184.html

  16. I like this dress and think it’s a very good choice of shoe to go with it. I differ from the negative comments as I think Kate’s nailed an appropriate and showy look!

  17. Frumpy, matronly look that completely washes the Duchess out.

  18. The dress looks comfortable…which, in my experience (and I think here too), means it does nothing to highlight your figure.

  19. bland and blah.

  20. I really like this sparkly dress and I have no problem with the length, the shoes, the hair, or the earrings. As others have said, I too suspect that it is more dazzling in person and that photos don’t do it justice. Sleeves are very appropriate–almost everyone in the photos I’ve seen have long sleeves. Kate looks lovely and is enjoying herself. She struck the right note on not upstaging the Queen. If she would have chosen a jewel tone dress, that would have drawn attention from the Queen. It can’t be easy to have to be mindful of that, even though one is young and might want to dress differently and more colorfully. But Kate does a good job of not upstaging the Queen. At the same Kate pulled in bits of bling that paid homage to the event. I don’t understand why people have to carp about her hair all the time. She has lovely healthy hair and why not have long hair while you can? And whether it is clipped or pinned back, or in a chignon, or has curly, ringlets, what’s the big deal? It’s clean and in styles she likes and that’s what really matters at the end of the day. This was a special evening celebrating 70 years of India’s independence. It says a lot about Great Britain and India, that after colonialism, wars, and much turmoil, the 2 nations can share and celebrate together.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly! I too think she nailed it – hair, makeup, dress and shoes. I think she looks lovely and suspect that the photos do not do justice to the dress.

    • Totally agree about her hair. I feel like so many commenters are stuck in antiquated rules about style based on totally arbitrary things like age or whether or not one has children. That nonsense is long gone and well it should be. You don’t have to cut off healthy long hair because of your birth year or because you have children or don’t have children or because of what your children may or may not be when they grow up.

    • I agree — LOVE this whole look!

  21. I have such mixed views on this dress and I think it is all due to lighting. When I first saw the (far off) twitter shots and it looked like a pale, pinkish-gold color, I thought it was gorgeous. But it photographs as a much brighter white up close and the metallic threads go from elegant to not-so-elegant IMO. I normally don’t care for Erdem because it is so fussy but again this looks good from far away but gets fussier up close and the lace looks less expensive up close IMO. I think a few inches shorter hemline would have elevated this entire look.

    I think her hair was fine (not great but fine) and the earrings are a lovely nod to the guests. I like the shoes but not necessarily with this dress—a little too matchy matchy for me—but I hate the shoes that were styled on the model in the product shot.

    Loved seeing the interaction between the duchess and Prince William—they are lovely together.

  22. I think this dress was probably more impressive in person. Sparkly fabric doesn’t shine as brilliantly in photos, so it’s probably coming off as less interesting as it was. However, I do think she may have purposefully chosen a simple look so she wouldn’t upstage the Queen. I have no problem with the dress but my, is it ever time for a hair cut. I SO wish she would try out a medium length bob, or even a long bob (lob). I think a sleek look like that would compliment and elevate any outfit.

  23. Dump the sleeves! Any other kind of sleeve would work better.

  24. I really like Kate’s dress, it is very elegant a great choicce.. I am glad her hair is away from her eyes, but it could have been styled in a more interesting way.

    What bothers me though is the shoes. They maybe Oscar de la Renta, but they look very heavy. There are many sparkly, silver sandles and shoes she could have chosen instead. These said “beauty pagent” contestant, they are just too heavy. Which is shame I normally love her shoes, especially the even ones. Quite possibly she didn’t want open toed even in a pump, but I do think she could have made a better choice. They weigh down the look.

  25. I think the earrings are of kundan and pearl

  26. She looks absolutely amazing here. Love the dress and shoes. Wouldn’t be able to wear such a look but she carries it off so well.
    This style of dress seems to be in at the moment , just look at the Oscars red carpet where some similar styles were worn. So although some people may think it’s dowdy it’s clearly on trend!

  27. The combination of the pinned back long ringlets and that matronly dress makes her look like a schoolgirl wearing her mother’s – no make that grandmother’s – dress from decades ago.

    Sorry, but its time for Kate to get a real stylist to give her some real adult woman’s (and I don’t mean old lady) style. I also think that it is time to cut her hair much shorter – that could also give her a more youthful as in edgy, not juvenile, appearance.

  28. I really like the dress, although much, much more in the photos in which it seems to have a rose tint to it than in the ones where we see it’s really white. I didn’t love that sort of tea-dress style when Kate wore it to daytime engagements but I think it’s perfect for this occasion. She looks princessy, sparkly and just right. Love the shoes, of course.

    I would have preferred blingier earrings – I don’t think it would have been over the top, despite the sparkly dress and shoes – but wearing an Indian designer’s product was a good diplomatic move and Kate was right to do it.

    (And I noticed in the last thread that there is a second Sara commenting – with opinions that sometimes contradict my own, which must seem strange to anyone who noticed! – so I hope it’s okay that I changed my name here.)

  29. The fabric of the dress is exquisite. It sparkles, but not in a flashy/trashy sort of way. The style, however, is a bit too conservative. At least the neckline could have been a little lower. The shoes match nicely but I’d prefer a more open, strappy look.

    Nobody has yet commented on the blotchy look of Kate’s skin, in the close up of the shoes. Has she used a spray on, or rub on, tanning solution, that has been applied unevenly?

    The earrings look like costume jewellery, when so many pretty “real” gems are available. Also, the metal on the earrings is yellow gold. With such a slivery dress and shoes, a silver metal would have been the choice of most of us. But then again, Kate often mixes metals and seems just fine with it.

    • I thought the blotchiness was an effect of light and shadow.

      • Yes, I believe that is the case. Someone on the FB page made a comment about the fake tanner being applied with a trowel and stopping at the ankles, so I pointed out that it was the effect of the shadows of the pleated, lacy dress. I am glad someone else figured it out properly too!!

  30. I love the simplicity of the dress – it is perfect for the occasion in that she is not overshadowing the Queen, yet the subtle sparkle and her own natural vivacity ensure she doesn’t blend into the background either. I think the length is elegant for her age and appropriate for a cocktail event. Far more flattering than the mini she wore the other day.

    Am glad she ditched the belt.

    The shoes are unexpected for Kate but in a good way and their delicacy works with the dress. Wish I had a pair! These will no doubt be seen again – they are a great addition to her evening shoe wardrobe.

    I also liked the symbolism of the Indian earrings. Kate is always thoughtful in how she dresses.

    My only quibble (minor) is her hair. It is a pretty style but an updo would have given it more of a wow factor. Her hair when she wore the red Preen dress in Canada was a standout for me.

  31. Well I love this dress and the sparkly shoes are such a fun addition! I also think Kate looks much nicer than the model. Gorgeous as per usual

  32. I am SO HAPPY that she is not wearing her nude shoes. SO SO HAPPY. When I saw her dress I braced myself for them and was pleasantly surprised. And these shoes are great. It almost distracts me from the fact that this dress is very mother-of-the-bride at an evening wedding. I have never really cared for Erdem because it is usually too busy. This fabric I actually like quite a bit, but the dress itself is, as others have said, too matronly. There are so many beautiful clothes in the world that are also appropriate, and with her figure she can wear most anything, so I don’t know why she is constantly wearing things better suited to her mother or Camilla.

  33. I prefer the dress on Kate than the model. I think the lighting at the event has really made the best of the fabric as it’s shimmer is much more noticeable. I don’t really like the very modest pale lace look that Kate seems to favour but the sparkle brightens it up a little.
    The shoes are beautiful, so beautiful that I’ve just ordered a pair but I think the dress could do with less matchy accessories. Kate certainly has a eye for beautiful things she just doesn’t always put them together so well.
    I imagine an event with the Queen is tricky as you wouldn’t want to outshine her but equally want to look your best.

  34. I knew people would say she looks matronly. The poor girl just can’t get it right, can she? Well, that’s life, you can’t please everyone. I think she looks absolutely lovely.

    Strange thing: the shoe is definitely the de la renta one mentioned here, but why kate’s pair seems to be missing that little thing where the heel touches the floor? I don’t know the word for them, in Brazil we call it “virola”.

    • Agree with your comment about not pleasing everyone. I think she does get it right for the events and herself. It’s just that lots of people have opinions and they are all different. I saw the princess Di exhibit yesterday and it was a reminder that the royals are dressing for something bigger than fashion. And I think the British royals are dressing for a much bigger stage than royals in other countries.

  35. Forget the dress, shoes(to die for) hair etc. The carpet in the close up of the shoes looks so soft and lush. Makes me want to snuggle up for a nap on it.

  36. Finally! She wears a dress that I picked out from the collection.

    Love this one for a New Year’s Eve party. Those shoes are perfect too!

  37. I think it may be due to my age but this dress does not look at all “new and fresh” to my eyes. It very distinctly brings back images of cheap curtains from the 1960′s.

    • I’ll try again, administration.
      What do cheap curtains from the 60s look like?
      There’s always a comment or two about an outfit looking like curtains from the 60s or 70s. And I have no idea what’s being said, other than something negative, or what is in the mind of the person commenting. I’d really like to know. Having been a teen in the 60s and in my 20s during the 70s, I’m rather flummoxed.

  38. Her dress is very similar to Isabelle Huppert’s at the Oscars except for the length. Isabelle is a lot older than Kate and I think the dress suited her more. It’s a beautiful dress but maybe not for Kate, I think the colour washed her out a bit.

  39. The elegant and fun, stylish and ever-so-slightly mischievous duchess (she likes to poke fun at herself and her husband) has done it again! i wish we could see her shimmering along in video. In the shot where she tenderly has her hand on William;s back it looks as if she has just been good-naturedly teasing him again.
    I think Kate has customized this dress to be a few inches longer, creating an more elegant silhouette than the original. Kate has such a great eye for design and proportion. Of course, her beautiful smile, concern for others, readiness to laugh, dutiful, modest sense of propriety and graceful presence add the most to any look.

  40. I really really liked the look. I already covet those shoes!! My small quibble, I wish the neck line was a little lower.

  41. Shoes = Fabulous
    The dress is very pretty as well. Love all the sparkle!

  42. Love love love the shoes.
    But the dress looks like something Camilla might wear. I get that she needs a longer hemline around the Queen but this outfit ages her and is just dowdy,

  43. Recently I’ve been looking at Thr Spainish Queen’s fashion. She is light years ahead of the DOC. The fabric of this dress is beautiful but the style looks very matronaly. She has a wonderful figure, why where a sack? The Queen of Spain wears fitted clothes, lower necklines, pants, etc and always looks professional, edgy and appropriate.

    • I love Queen Letitzia’s style and like you, have been following her. She always looks elegant, appropriate and contemporary. I would like to see Kate wear separates like Letitzia, particularly tailored trousers. As for this dress, once again Kate has gone for a dress that is very covered, giving it a dowdy feel.

    • She is too predictable and boring, imo. Looks just like any other socialite in the magazines.

    • I follow queen Letizia’a style too and I was wondering if it’s the difference between British and Spanish designers that reflect in Catherine and Letizia’s dressing. Are Spanish designers more stylish than British ones. One more thing I noticed is Letizia’s updos and make up are generally better than Catherine so too. Case in point the updo Kate sported when visiting Netherlands made her look older whereas Letizia’s hair and make up makes her look younger

    • It’s not that she is light years ahead of Kate; it’s that she has been royalty longer and her career before being royal was in front of a camera. Before being royal, Kate wasn’t in front of a camera, so she had no need to dress for the camera. A lot of people who watch both Kate and the Queen of Spain – both of whom were “commoners” before royalty – fail to think about this. This deeply impacts how you dress. Kate, yes, was hounded by cameras, but only due to her relationship with William. No William? No cameras. Letizia was a news anchor; she commonly dressed for the cameras all the time.

      Letizia is also in a very fast-paced, fashionable country where curves, well-fitted clothes and lower necklines are in. Spain is known for being a bit more daring in fashion while England remains more conservative in nature; therefore, the influence in fashion is there too. These two women are influenced geographically as much as they are by their past lives. Kate is very much Kate; the Queen of Spain is very much the Queen of Spain. Their fashion is their own and thus I feel like comparing them is like comparing the beautiful UK dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin’s style to American Laura Grave’s. Their styles are all their own and beautiful in their own ways.

  44. Despite all the sparkle, this look is pretty drab to me. The shoes would be fun with another dress, but I hate how they match. Would have expected something a bit more colorful here.

  45. So glad she pulled her hair back – her face looks so much better without the hair falling over and hiding details of her outfit. For me her half-ups and relaxed pony-tails are my favorite on her…especially for outdoor events when wearing her hair down can go really crazy. I wish she’d experiment with some fun braids.

    This dress reminds me very much of a gown that Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars a couple of years ago. That one struck me as very matronly then – this one is not quite so matronly, but still on that end of the spectrum. All in all, not a bad look. Not terribly attention grabbing – like the one the queen is wearing. Kate manages to carry it off with her attitude and gorgeous smile.

    The shoes are gorgeous.

  46. So sparkly! I love it, especially her shoes :)

  47. I don’t care for the style of this dress. It is too old for Catherine. The color makes her look too pale. I do love the earrings and shoes.

  48. She has great hair, that’s for sure, but time for a new style? Everyone needs to freshen-up their look, even the Royals. Not fringe…I mean a haircut!

    I think the dress was frumpy and the length was awkward.

  49. She’s finally not carrying a clutch in front of her!!!!!! I think this is a good look. She seems happy and she looks put together. And it’s a new dress!!

  50. This dress is probably incredibly frumpy on nearly everyone, including the Erdem model, BUT it is beautiful on Catherine. I like her entire look. She’s not the star, but looks very lovely. I’m happy to see something new, especially the sparkly shoes.

  51. The gorgeous fabric makes the straightforward and simple style of this dress really special and I think it is a really flattering look on Kate. I love the shoes! And, rather unexpectedly, I think they work great with the dress!

    If she had worn her hair up with maybe some pearl clips or combs . . . I think it would have been a homerun for me. That hair-half-pulled-back look is too mundane for this very simple but glamorous outfit. It kind of drags the look down.

  52. Maybe an updo with some special earrings would have added a bit more wow to this look. It is such a demure dress. Everything does coordinate well together and overall I think she looks pretty. I do very much like the shoes!

  53. I’m not crazy about the color, which seems drab to me, but I like the style and the sparkle on her. I do wish it was knee or floor-length…I just can’t get on board with the midi.

    This way of partially pulling back her hair is better than the Wales engagement, IMHO, but I agree that it doesn’t look as good as at other times she’s done a partial pull-back. Maybe a bad hair day.

    The Queen looks spectacular. I would love to see Kate’s dress in the same color as the Queen’s…but then I suppose she could upstage the Queen.


  55. I think there was some symbolism to this dress. Silver and gold are colors that are often see in Indian fabrics. There is a style of embroidery called Zardozi that makes ample use of metallic thread (zar means gold and dozi means embroidery). It is often coupled with beads and sequins.


    Rather than wear an actual Indian design, Kate chose a designer she liked who echoed one of the frequently seen threads in Indian embroidery.

    Perhaps we (including me) thought it was understated, but it may be that she was paying homage to Indian craftsmanship, which was very considerate.

    • Good observations, Brenda – I would add that she also took into consideration, rather significantly, Indian conservatism in dress. This choice was definitely made with a lot of thought, and regard for those who would be attending. Of course fashion is supposed to be fun, but “diplomatic fashion” is a very different animal. I would love to be a fly on the wall during the discussions of what to wear for events such as this one, and the sourcing, etc. It would be very interesting!

  56. At first this dress reminded me of a 70s cocktail dress and I wasn’t a fan. But the more I look at it the more I like it. I imagine it was very pretty in person especially as she walked about the room. I think her hair looks nice, certainly better than last week in Wales.

    I’m torn on the shoes. They are gorgeous but match the dress a little too well. Oh well. I’m just glad she went for something new!

    So overall this look ends up being a win for me.

  57. beautiful, looks like a gold shimmer colour in some pictures and silver in others.

  58. She is of course beautiful but her overall look is not a go for me. The hair is not flattering to her the way it is styled tonight. Don’t know if she needed more puff in the front but it just was not working while at other times the partial pull back is very sophisticated. Maybe she did it herself. The dress is passable, not a fan of sparkly shoes, not a fan of the earrings. With the cost of her dress and shoes a more elegant real gold and stone/pearl earring would have been better. However, she did look entirely appropriate for the event.

  59. This look did not “wow!” me. The pleats with the lace with the sparkle with the midi length with the sleeves… It is all too much. Is it just me, or does anybody else think if the front of the top of the dress was structured and tailored like it is in the back of the dress, it would be a huge improvement?

    I do love the little show of affection with her hand on the Prince’s back as he was looking at the shawl. We rarely see public displays of affection from them.

    • I agree with you, Heather, that I would prefer a more structured bodice with this dress, since it already has so much going on (lace, metallic, pleats, oh my!). I like it still though, and I love those earrings. She looks great, though not a ‘wow’!

  60. I like this overall look. The sparkle on the shoes is a little much for me, but that’s very personal and could just be how they show up in the photo. I also prefer her hair pulled back in this style as opposed to other times when those butterfly clips have been used. The clips always make her hair look like it’s about to fall out at any moment, whereas this version her hair looks very much in place and anchored.

  61. This dress is working for her – the DOC is wearing the dress and not the other way round. The shimmer looks lovely in the low light of the room. Best of all, she looks comfortable in it.
    The shoes are fun but I would have saved them for a sexy little black dress. Not sure they compliment this dress. Hope to see them again.

  62. Love the fabric and sparkle, would kill for the shoes. But the style of the dress looks just like what we wore to semi-formal college dances in the 80s and today it just looks too old and conservative on her. I’m glad we didn’t have cell phones back then so there are only a few photos to remind us of what we looked like. I think she should ditch the whole midi trend. This sparkle in a different style would have been lovely. Still longing for her old Canadian tour hair stylist … :( That said, I simply love her to pieces, love the good she does, and her smile and kindness outshine anything she wears. She is always beautiful.

    • I totally agree about her former hair stylist. She never had a bad look. Can we bring him or her back?!

      • Agree also—I miss her hair from the Canada tour—if she cannot rehire that stylist, then I wish she would fire the current stylist and hire a new one.

  63. I think the dress is pretty and appropriate for the event. I am not personally a fan of the shoes but they are fine. Her hair looks as if she’s going to the salon tomorrow and is in need of a blowout and restyle. As of late the pulled back look hasn’t really looked so great perhaps someone different is doing her hair? The earrings look cheap and faux. Why didn’t she wear the beautiful ones on lian we saw her wearing earlier this year if she wanted a pearl drop?? The Queen looks so fabulous

    • After seeing the updated information on the earrings I am regretful about my comment. I think it is SO nice that she wore a gift she was presented and I think I did not appreciate them in the photos.

      Very thoughtful of her to wear them on this occasion.

  64. She looks very pretty and everything matches perfectly.

  65. Nice! It is a super shiny dress and look, and still it looks so classy and fun!
    She did great on choosing a Canadian designer (with links to France, you French-Canadian :p ) + a very shiny fabric that is so India (or am I thinking too much into it?)

    Good job!

  66. Lovely dress and fabulous shoes. Particularly nice metallic shade. She simply glitters in the light. Not a particularly nice hair style, however. Looks as if she forgot to have her hair done for an evening event. Also, the earrings are unremarkable. Would have preferred any of the pearl/diamond drops that she has worn previously other than these.

  67. I am loving all the sparkle! I very much enjoyed this look and I think it was perfect for the event. Right amount of glamour, right amount of casual, no upstaging the Queen(who looked lovely in that shade of purple). I think the dress fit her perfectly and I may be in the minority, but I do like the style. Always a fan of sleeves and I feel the pleats are subtle enough to where they don’t feel granny-ish. It feels like a more tailored version of a late 70′s early 80′s style. Like I can imagine Diana wearing something like this back in the day, only with more shoulder pads. Of course the shoes are to die for! They definitely will get my vote at the end of the year poll! Her hair looks immaculate, I am really liking the added volume, but that may be the Texas girl in me talking. And of course, what brings her whole look together is her lovely smile. She just looks like she is truly enjoying herself and that makes the whole look perfect.

  68. My first reaction to this outfit was how matronly and boring it is. If I didn’t know better I would think that Catherine is being punished and was forced to wear this dress to make up for the extremely short skirt she wore in Wales recently. She’s too old for mini’s yet too young for this look. If she wanted to fade into the background, this the outfit to make that possible. I almost always love what she wears. This just really surprised me.

    • Of course she’s not being punished. This was the Queen’s evening, and she takes center stage, while William and Kate were there to support her.

      Actually, I wish Kate had worn a deep jewel tone like HM. This is probably very pretty in person, but it doesn’t read well on camera. The shoes were fun, however.

  69. This look is growing on me. I think it’s pretty and appropriate for this type of event and setting. The shoes are to die for, and I love the earrings too.

    My only quibble is her hair. In the past, when she’s worn more demure dresses with jewel necklines (I’m thinking of several looks from the Singapore tour) she’s worn some of her most elaborate updos. I wish, given the neckline, she’d pulled her hair all the way up, like the time she wore the pearl bobby pins.

  70. Excellent article, thank you. Kate was perfectly dressed for the event and her position.

  71. As I’m not a fan of this style of dress I feel tired of seeing Kate in it. This and the various Beulah versions she has favoured remind me too much of an earlier fashion period I’d sooner forget.

    But what’s old to me may seem new to her and there are points in favour of this one. The complex intricacy of lace, pleating and metallic thread diplomatically reflect the rich tradition of Indian textiles, plus, of course, the style works well as a full cover-up in keeping with further Eastern custom.

    The shoes are very elegant though particularly when seen in close-up I can’t help thinking there’s a shade of overkill in the sparkle department. But then that’s in keeping with Bollywood I guess.

    As an outfit it feels much like the white D&G lace Kate wore to Ascot, very princessy and appropriate and very much in her comfort zone. I was interested to see the edgy contrast with Princess Eugenie’s black and white dress at the same event.

    • I’m not a fan of the midi length Beulahesque dresses either but the sparkle of this Erdem won me over. The light is literally reflecting right off the metallic thread work. Without that element, this would have been more of the same old, same old.

      • I have to say the dress is growing on me – it’s definitely in keeping with the glitz of a royal palace. What helps as ever is Kate’s wonderful figure keeping that waist well tucked in.

        Unlike others I’m quite happy with the hair, always good to see it away from her face and I like the semi-updo’s.

        The earrings are a non-event but it would be tricky to add yet more sparkle and these keep up the India theme. I’d agree with others who prefer the on-loan pearl drops but they don’t have the same diplomatic weight.

        • ElizaMo, what about the Bahrain Pearl Drops or the Queen’s diamond earrings that Kate wore to the Place2Be awards?

        • Oh my goodness, you are so clever to remember those Bahrain drops! I think you could be right, they might go very well indeed. Perhaps Kate was looking for a more direct link with India and maybe her tour there.

          I’d begun wondering if something in gold might work for earrings, given there’s a lot of white & sparkly going on already. But it’s possible the whole sparky thing dictates more of the same.

          • Yes, I’m sure she was looking to incorporate something Indian but can’t help but dream about a more striking pair of earrings. I think that when all that sparkle is going on, one should just go all the way 100%, and the Bahrain drops would do the trick. However, that just may be my over the top opinion.

    • This was exactly my reaction, ElizaMo – whenever I see Kate in a Beulah dress I want to shout “Tear the sleeves off!”, and that was exactly what I thought when I first saw this Erdem – it’s just too much fabric for such a young, slim woman. But it’s growing on me. I’d say it’s a really striking dress when seen ‘in the flesh’ and in motion, and the hair and shoes work for me.

      • I find this Erdem version is growing on me as well. I like how some of the fullness of the bodice is countered by the underslip and how it uses a raglan sleeve to bring two lines up to the neck and not out to the shoulders — if that makes any sense!

        And I definitely agree with seeing Kate’s outfits in motion. It took me a while to pause long enough to look at the little video clips but it’s paid off many times. I can have my view turned right around. In this case the dress seems less bulky and more fluid with movement. The camera sometimes adds bulk where there is only very fine fabric.

  72. I’m feeling lukewarm on this look. It’s workable, but it feels like she still doesn’t have a firm handle on reception looks.

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