Apr 042017

The Duchess debuted another new label this evening at the opening night of 42nd Street at the Drury Theatre.

©Stephen Lock / i-Images

©Stephen Lock / i-Images

The opening night festivities in London’s famed West End were a fundraiser for EACH, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. Kate’s dress was by Marchesa Notte, the label’s Embellished Tulle Midi Dress.

Via 42nd Street Twitter @42ndStreetLDN

Via 42nd Street Twitter @42ndStreetLDN

From an Express story:

The stage show – which stars Grammy award-winning singer Sheena Easton – is helping to raise money for the charity as funds are required for a vital new purpose-built hospice in Norfolk called The Nook.

Kate has been the royal patron of EACH since 2012. Many readers will recall that she helped kick off the fundraising campaign for The Nook in 2014. Below, the Duchess arriving at the theatre.

There were quite a few notable names at tonight’s opening, including actor Morgan Freeman.

42nd Street London Instagram

42nd Street London Instagram

Say ‘hello’ to Ollie. He benefits from the work done at the EACH Hospice in Milton.

EACH @EACH_Hospices

EACH @EACH_Hospices

The 12-year-old was chosen to give Kate her official program for the show. More about what tonight’s event means to Ollie and his family from The Cambridge News:

This is a welcome respite to the family after years of ups and downs as parents Claire and Gavin get to grips with their sons condition after he underwent an organ transplant in 2010.  Ollie’s illness affects his breathing, feeding and use of a wheelchair often restricts Ollie to only being to walk short distances. …the one constant has been the support from the charity since Ollie first visited the Milton hospice aged just three.

EACH enables us to be a family, providing care and support for us as a whole,” said Claire. “Having a safe place for Ollie to be cared for is the most valuable gift we could ever have been given.

EACH @EACH_Hospices

EACH @EACH_Hospices

More about the 42nd Street revival production from The Daily Mail:

The show, which features classic songs We’re In The Money, Keep Young And Beautiful, I Only Have Eyes For You and Lullaby Of Broadway, returns to the theatre where it made its first UK run from 1984 to 1989, starring a then-unknown Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Here you see Kate with (from L to R): Dr. Johnny Hon, the show’s executive producer; I believe the woman to his left is his wife, Vicki. On the right, Lord Michael Grade, the producer of the London revival of 42nd Street.

42nd Street Twitter

42nd Street Twitter

The musical stars actress Sheena Easton, Tom Lister, and Clare Halse.

42nd Street London

42nd Street London

Kate with the cast after the show’s conclusion.

42nd Street London

42nd Street London

She clearly enjoyed herself.

42nd Street

42nd Street

The Duchess on stage as a presentation was made commemorating the evening.  

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

She was presented with her very own set of tap shoes.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

There was good news about the evening’s fundraising efforts. We return to The Cambridge News for a story about that; it quotes Graham Butland, the EACH Chief Executive:

Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said: “It’s fantastic we’ve already received a very generous donation and hope that during the evening the audience will help us raise even more money to make our vision a reality – it would be wonderful if, with the support of everyone, we could reach £420,000.”

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris)

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris)

Now to what Kate wore for tonight’s engagement. Her frock is the Embellished Tulle Midi Dress in ‘claret.’ The piece is part of the Marchesa Notte Resort 2017 collection.

© /Marchesa

© James Whatling/Marchesa

The nipped-in waist and very full skirt reminded some of Dior’s ‘New Look’ designs in the late 1940s.  In the photo above left you can see some of the volume in the skirt. The dress also features cap sleeves, an illusion neckline, hidden back zipper, and flexible boning. The hem is described as being “reinforced to hold its voluminous shape.”



Thoughts about tonight’s ensemble from Edward Barsamian’s Vogue story:

…a bold, eye-catching color that turned up again and again on the Fall 2017 runways and seems to have become one of her personal go-tos.

Tonight’s look, however, struck a new balance between fantasy and practicality by extending the color from head to toe.

Custom changes were made to Kate’s dress. If you look closely at the bodice and upper arm you can see that her dress had sleeves added that were a touch longer than the cap sleeves. The seam where they are attached to the bodice is difficult to see because of her hair, but it is there. Thank you to Bertie Gee on the FB page and Alissa for her comment pointing this out.

Kate Marchesa Notte Sleeve Side by Side

Net-a-Porter / Polaris

The dress features a motif described as “lattice and rosette,” better seen in these closeups.

© /Net-a-Porter

© James Whatling/Net-a-Porter

In this photo you can see the lattice pattern on Kate’s ankles created by the stage lights shining through her skirt.

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

Below you can see the unfinished hem on the frock; that is how the dress is shown on the Marchesa site and at Farfetch. In most other photos the hem is finished. (See UPDATE below related to hem and other elements of the dress.) The belt is embellished with beads and crystals.

Kate 42nd Street Marchesa Notte Belt Hem Apr 4 2017 copy

Net-a-Porter / Farfetch

Net-a-Porter / Farfetch

The dress is still available in US size 10 at Net-a-Porter and in US size 8 at Farfetch ($1195 at both retailers), with thanks to Dot for the Farfetch tip. Many thanks to Emi on Twitter for her speedy dress identification, followed quickly by the Royal Cambridges. UPDATE: Jeslyn left a comment pointing out the dresses look very different on the two websites, she is spot-on. When side by side the distinctions are obvious. Retailers will often ask for some changes in garments to distinguish them from items being offered by a competitor. Often this is done so a retailer can refer to an item as an “exclusive,” but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Hmmm.

Many were elated to see Kate in a dress that was quite a change from her lace sheaths. Below, Jessica of the Fug Girls shares her thoughts about the style:

Oh my god, I might love this. Is this what happiness feels like? I FORGOT. And, in other shocking news, it’s MARCHESA. (Specifically, Marchesa Notte, which is their less expensive [although, obviously, still pricy] arm.)  Would I have styled it slightly differently? Yes. BUT TAKE YOUR JOY WHERE IT LIVES.

In an interview with Hello! during London Fashion Week Marchesa’s co-founders spoke about their desire to see the Duchess in one of their designs:

…the designers behind the high-end label, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, want their fashion-goers to feel like the Duchess of Cambridge when they put on one of their glamorous pieces. “We love Kate Middleton’s style,” Georgina shared with HELLO!. “I think we like to think of every gown [for] someone to feel like they are her,” Keren admitted. Her co-founder Keren concurred saying, “You want to feel regal when you put on a beautiful gown.”

The Notte line is described as the ‘little sister’ label by Marchesa. It offers dresses and gowns with intricate details, as well as lower price points.  The line is carried at a variety of retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Neiman MarcusShopbop, Saks. Net-a-Porter’s discount arm, The Outnet, also offers the line.

©PA Images

©PA Images

Kate wore earrings that were probably a little out of her comfort zone, Kate Spade’s Pretty Poms Tassel Statement Earrings ($98).

©PA Images/Nordstrom/i-Images

©PA Images/Nordstrom/i-Images

More about the design from the product description:

acccording to our creative director, deborah lloyd, “tassels are the new bows.” and, in bright hues, the ultra-chic design elements are especially well-suited to jewelry. 

(Kate Spade does not capitalize in its product descriptions.) The earrings are made of silk thread and glass beads. From what I saw on the Facebook page and Twitter, these look like they will be added to the pantheon of polarizing pieces the Duchess has worn. While many loved them and thought it was great to see her in ‘statement’ earrings (interesting to see they are actually called ‘statement earrings’), others thought they looked like drapery pulls or other home decorating items. Many thanks to Melina on Twitter for her ID of the earrings.

We saw the return of the Gianvito Rossi signature pumps in Bordeaux, first noted during the China State Visit.

© /My Theresa/

©James Whatling /My Theresa/James Whatling

And Kate carried her trusty Bayswater Wallet Clutch by Mulberry.

© /Mulberry


Another look.

©Zak Hussein / Splash News

©Zak Hussein / Splash News


We’ll see you tomorrow for the ‘Service of Hope’ at Westminster Abbey starting at Noon local time, 7 am EDT / 4 am PDT.

If interested in learning more about The Nook, this 3-minute video has lots of information.


  143 Responses to “Kate Makes a Style Statement in Marchesa Notte & Kate Spade at Theater Opening”

  1. Beautiful dress.The earrings have a good colour and are ok, not great but I suspect that having access to so many real gemstones she might find wearing fake rocks in costume jewelry a little odd. But these are tassels.They are not pricey in nature.So in this way they make sense as costume jewelry. Or maybe her daughter just liked them.u

  2. I absolutely love this dress, which is surprising as the 50′s full skirt look has never been a favorite style for me! I am only 5’2″ and am a bit on the chunky side, so this style of dress just swallows me up, but on Catherine it looks gorgeous! I agree that black accessories may have worked better, but I like that she is taking a bit of a fashion risk by wearing two different shades of red AND sporting those earrings! I’m not sure how I feel about them, but they’re definitely a statement piece and we’re all talking about them so they’re doing their job. Her hair and skin look so healthy; what is her skin routine? I wonder if we’ll ever know??

  3. The dress is perfection and I don’t mind the shoes, but the purse should have been the color to change. One of her sparkle bags would have worked.

    As for the earrings, they were wrong for 2 reasons: the styling was far too casual. That look is for dinner with girlfriends or going out to drink. And they are far too big for her hair being down. A simple single solitaire or even her diamonds that I believe were a gift from Prince Charles would have worked.

    I love her hair but come on Kate, change it up. This look called for a fun simple updo, especially with those earrings. The constant tucking of the hair every handshake because it falls back over the ear is just a little, I don’t even know what word to use.

  4. I’m late to the party but I LOVE this look! I don’t know what exactly it is about the dress, maybe the volume of the skirt or the quaint sleeves (good addition) – it just seems absolutely perfect for a bit of a fancy occasion at the theatre. I don’t care for the earrings but I’m happy the Duchess chose them as a statement piece. Usually I’m not crazy about the matchy-matchy shoes and bag but I think it works in this look, maybe because of the pattern and lace on the dress that are a bit busy and require some subdued accessorizing. Her hair looks fantastic, especially against that colour. Hope we see this dress again, I particularly enjoyed the shadow it created under the stage lights!

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous dress and lovely fit for her. I like the claret shoes and clutch with the dress; I think that contrasting with black would be out of place. However, the earrings are a dreadful combination with the dress. It looks like drapery pulls combined with the rosettes and is just too much and not in keeping with the understated elegance of the dress. More simple earrings – a bit of bling and ruby would be much more fitting for an elegant early-evening dress.

  6. I think the Duchess looks great. I’m not a fan of most of what Marchesa does but this doesn’t even look like Marchesa, it’s that good! So yaaay for Marchesa! And the fit is fabulous. Of course there’s a “but”……and it’s nitpicking, but………..those simple suede pumps, while gorgeous, are better suited to daytime. Granted, the dress is fancy and needs a simple shoe so as not to compete with each other, but NOT those suede pumps. They’re becoming as ubiquitous as those darn taupe LK Bennett Sledges! I would have loved if she had worn simple luxe velvet or elegant peau-de-soie (maybe more appropriate than velvet for the time of year) shoes. They could even be pumps, but not those darn suede ones! And a perspex clutch would have been appropriate and just edgy enough to go with the dress and earrings. She’ll get there with the accessories, someday, I’m sure……………right?!

  7. beautiful dress! the whole outfit is perfect. my only critique is why wear a white bra/undergarment? a skin tone bra or even a burgandy bra would have blended in so much better

  8. FYI: The woman shaking Morgan Freeman’s hand is the actress Sarah Hadland I believe. I loved her in “Miranda”.

  9. LOVE IT! Yummy color (she is sooooo good looking in rich shades), wonderful style. I really like the finished details like the sparkly sewn on belt to add waist detail. As for the earrings, they are fun. Call them what you will, earrings can get lost under all that dynamite hair, but these flashed through in a delightful way. “Ears just wanna have fu-un, oh ears just wanna have fun!”

  10. A red lipstick would have been nice with this dress. Sometimes it is essential to break with one’s signature makeup look for a breather.

  11. It’s magic to see Kate in another new label, and thanks for the explanation of the mysterious ‘Notte’ tag as I hadn’t been able to track it down.

    This rich crimson suits Kate down to the ground – literally head-to-toe, love it! – and very regal. Another sheer bodice means the feature is becoming a bit of a theme, though variation here comes in the form of the pretty sweetheart neckline in keeping with the ‘50s vibe of the skirt.

    Clearly Kate feels midi length works for her and it makes a nice balance for a weekday evening event. This skirt looks truly swishy — with real boning! — and quite a treat to wear, especially when you’re star of the show and everyone keeps a respectful step back.

    I admire the bold choice of earrings though I’m glad they’re half hidden in hair as I fear they might be a bit much on top of all the dress detail. We seem to be as near to lace here as it’s possible for a print to be and the effect is on the busy side. Of course, the drapery cord reference in the earrings is spot on in the theatre context.

  12. That’s a lot of red! Overall I like the look, though think it would be better with the hair up and different earrings. The detail of the belt is quite lovely. And as others have mentioned, a white bra strap? Odd. . . .That can’t be what we are seeing?

    • I think the flash lighting is playing havoc with any hidden layers. It’s as if there’s a sheen caught in the lights which makes any undergarment appear in outline despite being hidden. Not easy to predict such an effect.

  13. When I first saw this, it was scrolling down. At first, I thought “hummm” because of the sleeve length – not a fan, and think it looked better as a cap sleeve, which DoC can absolutely wear. But then I saw the skirt and I think my heart actually skipped a beat! Fabulous.

    The styling though – hate the earrings (though they could work with a long and/or long sleeve black or midnight blue velvet dress in the winter), and as others have said, strappy nude or black shoes would have worked a lot better than all this red on red on red. And hair up for a dress like this!

    In saying that, this is not a bad overall look, its just those small details. Sometimes I’m surprised she used to be an accessories buyer when she does a less-than-stellar job at accessorizing!

    • I would have liked to see either of the 2 black strappy sandals we know she has: the Prada wavy suede or the Giovanti Rossi wavy suede. Then I would have switched out the red clutch for a black one. The earrings could have still worked with other black accessories, I think.

  14. It does not seem to me that the Duchess is wearing a bra. I think that there is likely support built into the dress, like a strapless type bra, but built in.
    That said, I went back and looked closely at the pictures and I do see what appears to be a white strap in the pictures of Kate, all taken when she is standing by the car. I don’t see it in any other pictures, most especially in pictures of the back of the dress. If it were a white bra strap, I believe we would see signs of it in other pictures, particularly from the back.

    I think it may be glare from a clear strap that is part of the built in support of the dress. Or, IMO probably just glare period, as wouldn’t designers like Marchesa know how to build in support without the use of clear plastic straps.

  15. Other than the custom sleeves, I’m not sure she had anything else altered here – the photos in the post are two different iterations of the dress. The Net a Porter website shows the dress with a wider band of rosettes than the Marchesa resort gallery photo – they extend nearly to the waistband and are more of a rectangle across the bodice, rather than the bandeau shaping of the rosettes. The back view from last night doesn’t appear to have a modesty panel, and I don’t believe the front did either. Additionally, the Net a Porter photos shows the skirt with the deep hem and pleating, rather than the gathered skirt without pleating, and that unfinished hemline (even the fabric seems lighter and more fragile in the resort collection photo). Lastly, the shoulder embellishment is almost non-existent in the photo on the Net a Porter website – the embellishment on last night’s dress appears to extend to the shoulder/sleeve seam and is part of the custom alteration.

    Personally, I like the version from last night – beautiful, vibrant, fresh and fun. Kate looks lovely, and happy.

    • Wow — that’s an impressive comparison of the different versions of the dress — thanks!

    • Sorry to be hogging space in the comments, but Marchesa is offering two different dresses, by the looks of things. When I look at the Farfetch and Net a Porter listings side by side, the bodice design, rosettes, even the lattice material look distinctly different. The one with the unfinished hem looks more like a fishing net, for lack of a better descriptor, while the one Kate is wearing looks less lacy – the lattice squares don’t change shape much. It is particularly noticeable through the back of the bodice.

      Weird that they seem to be advertising the same dress, but it looks very different in the two offerings…

      • And embellishments along the upper back of the bodice for one, but not the other…ok, I’ll stop now! :)

      • That is a brilliant observation, something I completely missed. Thank you for the insight! :)

        • Ah, your update photos are perfect, Susan! Seen that way, it’s a no brainer for me – if I were shelling out $1195, I’d definitely take the dress on the left; the other looks crumpled, droopy, and not as richly colored at all. I don’t like the waist embellishment on it either – good job Kate, you picked the winner!

  16. I have to agree with other comments that this is too matchy-matchy. I actually quite like the earrings — they’re fun and different — but not with the red dress AND the red pumps AND the red bag.

    The dress overall is lovely — wonderful kicky skirt and of course the Duchess looks great in various shades of red. But I do have a question about the tailoring, and it’s something I’ve noticed several times on her: The waistlines often seem awfully high, above where I would think would be her natural waist — look at the photo where she is bending at the waist to chat with the young fellow in the wheelchair. This particular dress actually looks like it’s hitting similarly on the model, so is it just that this is an on-trend look at the moment? I have to say I don’t love it.

  17. That’s a lot of red….. great dress for the occasion though. I keep looking at that white strap….. what is it???

  18. Obsessed with this look. So fun, and perfect for this show’s opening. While I love Kate Spade, I think the earrings are a bit much, even for this show. Love the overall look!

  19. BEAU-TI-FUL! so perfect for that event. I love the design, the color and the texture. However, it should have been accessorized differently. Red on red on red just doesn’t work when the shades of red are all different.
    Those earrings are just dreadful… It’s a good thing her hair covers them up!

  20. What I DO love is this dress is a departure for Kate and fun to talk about.

    First I like the color and the silhouette on her and think it was a clever nod to the play. But prefer how the dress was styled on the model – with hair back and modern, nude sandals.

    Adore the earrings, but think they’re a total fail with that dress. Like a head-scratching fail. They’d be great with a casual outfit or a sleek black jersey dress but all wrong with a feminine, retro-inspired look.

    Also, nobody has mentioned this so maybe I’m crazy but the first thing I noticed when I looked at the dress was a glimpse of a white strap in a close-up pic – bra or otherwise. Say it isn’t so and that Kate is wearing a strapless or built-in bra.

    So for me – a great start but not helped by the styling.

  21. The less-structured skirt on the model, along with strappy sandals, are perfection. I think tea length cries out for strappy shoes.

  22. Love this look, especially the length and skirt shape like the outfit she wore at the reception at Government House on the Victoria (Canada) trip. The earrings are gauche and I’m ok with that LOL.

  23. An up do would had chic and glamour to her look.

  24. I love this fun & whimsical look for the theatre. Not sure it would work at a formal, more regal occasion.

    The shoes, clutch, earrings are a lot of RED. I wonder how this would have looked with different accessories?

    Overall she sure looks like a Princess having a wonderful evening for a good cause.

  25. I love the dress. I like the tea length, the color, the way it nips in at her waist and makes her athletic figure seem a bit softer. I like that it’s not traditional lace like many of her other evening looks. It’s appropriate for the occasion. On the other hand, the shoes and clutch are dreadful. A more delicate sandal, perhaps in a metallic, would have elevated this look. As it is styled, it appears as though she kept her office shoes on from her day job and got dressed in the car on the way from work to this event. The suede pumps are all wrong. The clutch is ugly and seems slightly off as far as the color. Maybe it’s the lighting, but it seems to clash with the color of the dress. It fails to achieve the monochrome look she was apparently aiming for. There’s not much redeemable about that thing. I also wish her makeup didn’t look so washed-out, and the hair (though I normally love her hair and like when she wears it down, despite the fact that many criticize her for it) would have been better up with this dress and with those earrings. With the daytime pumps and clutch, the loose, informal hair adds to the impression that she’s at a daytime event, when she’s not. Personally, I love those earrings, but even if I didn’t I think that when you wear accessories like that you have to own them and make sure they’re visible. Hiding them behind a curtain of hair makes it seem as though she hesitated to commit to the look.

  26. I love her. She’s beautiful. I love the earrings. But this dress looks like something a little girl wears to go see the Nutcracker. It’s pretty, but (for me) just way off-brand. She’s a grown-up and a future queen, and it’s April. I know the green lace was boring for many (I myself prefer the black version from years ago), but for me that was a much more elegant look.

    • Oh good! Im not the only one disliking the dress. Its so ornate and heavy looking while unflattering on imo. Plus all the red… and the court shoes…. and the mismatched earrings. Yikes!

      • I don’t think it’s unflattering, just…juvenile. And sort of junior-pageanty. Like I said, it just looks like a little girl’s dress to me. The rosettes, the beaded waist, the full skirt, even that windowshade pattern on the tulle–that was a stock feature of little girls’ “dress-up” dresses eight or ten years ago. She looks gorgeous, but the dress is not my favorite.

  27. I think the styling makes her look like a little girl (like Alice in Wonderland)….long hair, full skirt, dark shoes.

    It’s a gorgeous dress on her though!

  28. Devine!!

  29. Yes! Finally DOC is in Red shoes.The whole outfit is Fun. I have seen the play 42nd Street. The whole point is joy and vibrancy of life. The New Look of 1947 was what my mom wore in college. LONG skirts but similar silhouette.

  30. Oh, and to add – I think one of the reasons why, when I saw this, I thought “oh, another lace dress” is because she just wore that green lace dress last week. I think had she gone with just one of the dresses, my overall reaction here would be a lot more positive.

  31. Hmmm.

    So for me, this is back to the pattern of “Kate is so close, but misses it.”

    The dress itself is gorgeous, and I do like the tea-length dresses on her, although I know many don’t. but I think it verges into doily-territory with the way she has it styled. Those shoes bring the whole look down and ruin the fashion moment that she may have had. They age the look. I also don’t love when she wears red on the red carpet. She blends.

    I like the earrings – again, I know many aren’t a fan of that style, but those types of statement earrings are very “in” right now, and I do always like seeing Kate take fashion risks, even if they are small ones. BUT I don’t think they work with the dress or with her hair down. I think her hair pulled back in a soft updo would have made the earrings stand out more.

    Different shoes and a different hairstyle would have made such a difference here. As it is….it falls flat for me.

  32. I wore a short Marchesa Notte dress for my wedding ceremony. I felt like a princess in it and have always looked to that label for special occasion dresses.

    Love her dress, but I think the monochrome scheme causes this look to fall a bit flat.

  33. This has got to be by far one of my fav ever looks (asides from Jenny Packham Teal Gown). This is so age appropriate, fun, beautiful. She looks like a true princess. Absolutely love the edgy earrings, it brings a fashion wow factor to the look. An amazing monochrome look, very hard to pull off to get all the colours to match correctly! :)

    • My thoughts exactly! You can totally do monochrome just have to add some texture, pattern and adjust the shades.

  34. Gosh, I’m obviously in a tiny minority here, but this look doesn’t work for me at all. The dress swamps the Duchess’ frame, between the awkward midi length and the high neck, and the loose hair (which is looking rather flat and tired for once) doesn’t help. It’s a beautiful colour, but not a successful ensemble for me.

    • I agree with you. The more I look at it, the less I like it. I think this is “princessy” in the WORST way…it’d be perfect for a little girl to wear, with that neckline, full skirt, and matching accessories. However, the volume of the hair and the volume of the skirt compete in a way to make the look too incompletely twee for me. She should’ve worn a chignon (especially with this neckline) or even a dignified high pony tail and some non-berry/burgundy accessories. I like the earrings…but not with this outfit. I would’ve gone with some rubies or pearls. And for heaven’s sake, I wish she’d put on a darker lip color. I dark lip would’ve been absolutely gorgeous here. I love this color on her and she looks good! But for me, the look is a 7/10.

    • Claire and Alyssa, I completely agree. I commented above under Jessica basically saying the same thing. This is such a fail in putting a look together imo.

      • I want to preface my comments by saying that the Duchess always looks beautiful and rarely makes a fashion faux pas. I guess I’m also one of those in the minority too! I thought about this for a while and couldn’t put my finger on it. I agree with most of you – the whole look is way too matchy matchy! This would have looked so much better with some strappy sandals – maybe metallic or black? I know that these earrings are on trend, but I don’t care for them and they add to the matchy matchy look. I agree with many of you this dress screamed for a chignon or some kind of up do. I agree with Claire and Alyssa – this dress absolutely drowns the Duchess. She has an amazing figure and a tiny waist, but such a full skirt would imo have looked so much better if it was ankle length.

  35. I adore this dress. It is so reminiscent of a bygone age and suits Kates style and shape perfectly.
    I love everything about it …the colour , fabric , fit and detail…all divine!
    I think the earrings are a bold choice and work well with this dress on this occasion …..not sure how or where else they could be worn though.
    If I were tall enough , slim enough oh and young enough …i’d be looking for a replikate of this dress right now :-)

  36. There’s nothing not to love here. The earrings! She looks great.

  37. One more thing. I could be wrong, but it looks like a white bra strap in some of the pictures of the bodice. This is a dress that needs a strapless bra, or one with clear straps, or the same colour as the dress. This is really basic styling.

    • Agreed. Kate does seem to need some help on proper undergarments. I’d only be wearing a strapless bra with that dress. With all those cameras and the world watching her, there shouldn’t be a hint of a bra anywhere to distract or take away from the look.

    • I noticed this too and thought, “No couldn’t be.” If others see it, then a white bra strap it must be. Such a faux pas!!!!!

    • I saw that white strap immediately. I hope it is not a bra strap but what else could it be? It’s too bad it shows like that.

    • I noticed that too, but I figured it couldn’t possibly be so I must just be seeing things.

    • I’m wondering if it is a plastic strap, and the flashing camera lights made it appear white? Or one of the loops to help hang it up?, though I can’t imagine Marchesa would put a white hanging loop in a dress of this colour. Its not like the DoC needs straps on her bras, she has a relatively small chest and so can comfortably wear a strapless bra. I hope it is not a white bra!

    • If it was a white bra, the straps should be very noticeable in the photos from the back – they aren’t.

  38. Beautiful, stunning color on her. Love everything about the dress. It’s all perfect. Don’t adore the earrings as I think some gorgeous rubies would have been jaw dropping. Kudos, however, for Kate trying something new. Loved it!!

  39. The dress as designed is gorgeous; the dress as altered – no so much. I have no idea why the sleeves were altered – Kate, with her toned arms, can certainly pull off a cap sleeve. The tiny sleeve coupled with the high waist makes the bodice look a little small for her and a bit childish, as in the first picture. Its too bad she felt she had to add the modesty panel at the front- it spoils the contrast of the see through lace and the backed lace which breaks up the all over lace look. That is echoed in the original design with the unfinished hem – allowing the lace to be see through. It is a lighter, looser look, and the skirt seems to flow. The wide hem in Kate’s version weighs the skirt down, making it stiff and making the outfit paradoxically look more conservative and older.

    As to styling, well where to start. I love tea length but the key to making it work is the shoes. The last time was the ankle strap no-no. This time its the dark shoes. In the original design the model is wearing nude shoes – in this case the strap rule doesn’t apply because they and the shoe disappear. The point is to make the most of the little bit of leg and foot that shows. But the colour of both shoe and bag are wrong for this dress. It is a rather dull colour and the darker tone pulls it down further. Nude shoes, and brighter bag and earrings that would have offset and “popped” the dress colour would have brightened the look. I like the earrings but not with this dress. There is not enough brightness about them so such a statement earring comes off as drab. They would be great with a brighter contrasting solid colour or black, of course. I don’t think she needed to wear diamonds but a brighter semi-precious stone would have worked. Amazingly I didn’t realize until about halfway through that she was wearing earrings at all. Which tells me that earrings were wrong. Plus, Kate has great hair, but she should have worn it up/back with this dress. The most beautiful part of the dress is the top of it, completely obscured by Kate’s hair as were the earrings much of the time. This is also a dress that could have benefited from rings/bracelets. And a stronger lip colour – the colour of the dress is a bit draining for her, I think.

    • I agree with you on every single point! She would be stunning in a dark lip…why won’t she wear one! It can be done conservatively.

    • I agree with everything you said too. It saves me from a lot of typing. :-)

    • I came to the comments to make the same points. Clearly she cares enough about ‘fashion’ to wear a dress like this, but then why be so matchy-matchy with the shoes and clutch? I like the idea of the earrings – big, bold statement – but not with this delicate, dreamy dress. The hair, per usual, is too much.

    • Agree with all your points monalisa. You have a great eye!

  40. I love, I just love this dress. Gorgeous and perfect all around – gorgeous color, gorgeous skirt, gorgeous bodice – really something I would love to have owned about 15 years ago when I could have carried it. I don’t understand why some think it ages her. I think it makes her look princessy.

    The earrings, though, are awful and they look even worse set against her long hair. I think the only way they would have possibly worked would have been with an off-the-face hairstyle. I’ll be passing on this trend.

  41. I love this dress – the colour, the fabric, the length and the fullness of the skirt. A really good look on Kate and perfect for the occasion.

    Well accessorised too! I think her earrings are on the right side of bonkers and show her own individuality.


  42. Love the dress. Beautiful colour and shape, so 50s. I am surprised though that you can see Kate s bra strap, i would have thought her dresser would have sorted that out !! The earrings are hideous. At best they should be worn with a very plain outfit but the dress is far too detailed

    • Is it a bra strap? I thought it might be those little things that garments have on them when they’re difficult to hang. If it is, that stylist needs to get on it! LOL!

  43. Kate looks really well here. The dress is also available on Farfetch in very limited sizes.

  44. Love the dress but would be so much better with a strappy shoe and evening bag. Cannot wear plain pumps all the time! Earrings…. terrible.

  45. Wow, what a great dress! Love it. Tassel-earrings remind me of velvet curtains at theatres, so maybe a fun nod to that? Think the more informal jewellery is fine as it is a musical and not a premiere at the Royal Opera. I have been at musical premieres and the dress choices varied much more than at traditional theatre premieres.

    Is that a clear bra strap peaking through on her right shoulder?

    ❤️ the dress !! :-)

  46. Lovely sassy 50s look. Gorgeous dress. Great shoes. And a smile to match. The only jarring note for me was the earrings. Awful. Kate has access to jewellery most of us could only dream of. Why would she go for these? Any earrings she has worn to date would have been better. At least her hair partially covered them in many of the photos :)

  47. I dont think this look is as amazing as other standouts since becoming duchess. I actually think it ages her with her hair down. She should have worn it up to show off the shape of the dress and neckline. The earrings are a strange choice as part of an evening gown ensemble, lovely on their own though.

  48. This dress certainly has the WOW factor in both the claret colour and the style. It harkens back to Dior in the ’50s. It even has a hint of the lacy look that Kate loves, but in a much more exciting execution. The red/burgundy monochromatic look in the consistent colour of the accessories works, although strappy black shoes and a black evening clutch would also have been a nice choice.

    The earrings are a miss. They are unique, funky and a bit goofy looking and might go with a more casual and plainer outfit. This dress is very elegant and elegant earrings, rather than home decor tassels would have been more complimentary.

  49. Wow! Gorgeous!

  50. Update?
    It’s a stunning, pretty dress, I like it with the cranberry shoes/bag too. I’m not a fan of the current trend for shoes to have a light sole/heel base, particularly in black with a black dress, but here I think they ‘lighten’ the outfit flatteringly. Even though I don’t like those little cap-sleeve panels as they stop on the most unflattering area of a woman’s arms, they do, with the volumised hair, balance out the fullness of the skirt. And of course, Catherine doesn’t have to worry about dinner-lady arms!
    The first picture of a model in the article seems to show a different dress; it has a raw edge, has a much smaller bandeau area under the bodice & is free-flowing, not reinforced structurally like they say. The model pictures below shows the same sleeve style but the same hem & bodice as Catherine wears, puzzling. (I looked at Notte’s website, didn’t see it, they have a sale on but most of the stuff is not nice)
    I read the Daily Mail article regarding Catherine dressing too old for her age. It was ridiculous, implying that she has copied older royals. Not only are lace dresses, satin dress-coats & double breasted coats worn by all age groups & have been around for many years, but she obviously has enough confidence to dress herself. I’m sure she has enough confidence to wear what she wants too & not what some stylist may prefer. She was a fairly conservative dresser long before she married, even if hemlines were short, a lot of the dresses she was photographed at night in seemed to be much the same style & colour, white with black or another neutral colour. No doubt she bought this dress because she loved it but it was certainly in keeping with the show’s theme.
    Actually, I thought the dress more youthful if anything. My first thought was ‘Prom Dress’ – we Brits think of 1950s school-leaving-proms when we see this style (my apologies if this is not accurate) & it is generally a style worn by teens & twenty-somethings.
    Hmm, the earrings!! They are too heavy & large for this delicate little dress. They do look like curtain ties & I would only pair those types of tassels with velvet, devore or velour – not lightweight materials; the same goes for clothing – they would look sensational with those fabrics.
    I was wondering why you have not mentioned the Temperley @ John Lewis dress Catherine wore when going to visit the parents of Pippa’s fiancé (with William)? It’s a new dress (though it’s conservative & looks like the print of another one she’s got lol). I wondered if it was because they were on a private visit but it looked like they were on a public road. She had the pony tail lots want to see too.

  51. It’s a stunning, pretty dress, I like it with the cranberry shoes/bag too. I’m not a fan of the current trend for shoes to have a light sole/heel base, particularly in black with a black dress, but here I think they ‘lighten’ the outfit flatteringly. Even though I don’t like those little cap-sleeve panels as they stop on the most unflattering area of a woman’s arms, they do, with the volumised hair, balance out the fullness of the skirt. And of course, Catherine doesn’t have to worry about dinner-lady arms!
    The first picture of a model in the article seems to show a different dress; it has a raw edge, has a much smaller bandeau area under the bodice & is free-flowing, not reinforced structurally like they say. The model pictures below shows the same sleeve style but the same hem & bodice as Catherine wears, puzzling. (I looked at Notte’s website, didn’t see it, they have a sale on but most of the stuff is not nice)
    I read the Daily Mail article regarding Catherine dressing too old for her age. It was ridiculous, implying that she has copied older royals. Not only are lace dresses, satin dress-coats & double breasted coats worn by all age groups & have been around for many years, but she obviously has enough confidence to dress herself. I’m sure she has enough confidence to wear what she wants too & not what some stylist may prefer. She was a fairly conservative dresser long before she married, even if hemlines were short, a lot of the dresses she was photographed at night in seemed to be much the same style & colour, white with black or another neutral colour. No doubt she bought this dress because she loved it but it was certainly in keeping with the show’s theme.
    Actually, I thought the dress more youthful if anything. My first thought was ‘Prom Dress’ – we Brits think of 1950s school-leaving-proms when we see this style (my apologies if this is not accurate) & it is generally a style worn by teens & twenty-somethings.
    Hmm, the earrings!! They are too heavy & large for this delicate little dress. They do look like curtain ties & I would only pair those types of tassels with velvet, devore or velour – not lightweight materials; the same goes for clothing – they would look sensational with those fabrics.
    I was wondering why you have not mentioned the Temperley @ John Lewis dress Catherine wore when going to visit the parents of Pippa’s fiancé (with William)? It’s a new dress (though it’s conservative & looks like the print of another one she’s got lol). I wondered if it was because they were on a private visit but it looked like they were on a public road. She had the pony tail lots want to see too.

    • Good heavens, I completely forgot about the Alice Temperley dress worn for that dinner, arrghh! I’m glad you mentioned it, I will try and do a quick post before heading out of town tomorrow. :)

      • It was hard to see the dress because of the poor quality of the photographs, but from the vantage point of the photographer it looks to be a pretty floral dress – I would love to know more about it please!

  52. From floor to shoulder perfection. Love it. The tea length is great for her & the fullness adds a little drama. The earrings are a miss for me. Couldn’t she get her hand on some lovely ruby candelier earrings? I will say it again (sorry to repeat do often) a stronger lip color would have been amazing!!

    • She can’t do it, unless she’s fine with a line on her face instead of a mouth. The Duchess’s lips are very thin to handle a stronger lipstick, and she is very aware of this fact.

  53. I love the dress, but hate the styling. Looking forward to a repeat to see how she changes it up.

  54. Absolutely stunning, love the colour and style and looks so regal for such a glamorous affair. The charity is also amazing that she is supporting and it does fabulous work. How could you not love this look.

  55. !What a stunning dress! I love the rosettes, the full skirt and jeweled embellishment/belt(?), and the color is just beautiful.

    I do not like any of the accessories with the dress. The earrings seem too boho for such a classically glamorous dress. And, the burgundy suede shoes and clutch seem too day wearish for the dress.

    Love the dress though!

    • Of course, the earrings are out of sync with the 50s vice which the whole dress is broadcasting — that might account for the jarring effect as you describe, of boho with classic.

  56. The dress is amazing. The accessories…not so much, just too much red with nothing to contrast.
    A pair of gold earrings would have been fabulous, using navy as the accent color would have been a nice contrast.
    This is a beautiful dress and she looks like a princess, she tried a new earring so bravo for that!

  57. This dress is fantastic. It looks as if she is about to break into dance, and it would move beautifully if she did! So graceful. There is something about a tea-length dress that is so feminine. I am not too fond of the earrings– too much red, too long, and the wrong “feel” with the dress. The shoes are fine and the delicate belt is a pretty touch. (Kate looks honestly delighted to receive the tap shoes, too!)

  58. So wonderful to see her out in a party dress that really pops! I think she looked stunning. My only complaint is the shoes. This dress screams for strippy high heel sandals. I think the pumps are too dowdy for this dress. The earrings were not for me but loved that she took the chance on them. A wonderful fun different look on her. A delight for the eyes!

  59. This is by far, my most favorite look to date in 2017. Some say it makes her look older than her age, but it’s so elegant and a beautiful shade of red on the duchess.

  60. Beautiful, just beautiful. I thought the Alexander McQueen lavender gown that she wore in Los Angeles was the most princess-y gown ever, but she’s outdone herself this time. This gorgeous dress is so reminiscent of Norman Hartnell’s 50s designs. I’ve been running through photo after photo of his designs for HM, and they all have the same lines and flounces and embellishments. I found a quite nice one that I wanted to share, so I saved the photo and then lost the link. Now I can’t find it, so I will post the dress on the WKW FB page. Ugh-technology.
    The earrings? No, Catherine, no. Just no. Please wear the Queen’s diamond earrings next time.

    • Agree with you on the earrings Elizabeth. IMO they are too casual and trendy to be paired with this elegant, timeless dress.

      Did anyone pick up on the wine theme? Her dress color was “claret” and her shoes “bordeaux”. hee-hee.

  61. It’s funny – the Daily Mail just did this article about Kate dressing too old for her age and she shows up in this and proves them right. The cut of this dress is so wrong for her. I’m not even sure she looks that great in this color. If she wanted to be a little fashion forward she could’ve at least gone for turquoise or emerald earrings. Ehhh not a winner for me


  62. Obsessed is an understatement!! I love EVERYTHIMG!!! Thank goodness she lengthened the sleeves because I have yet to see someone successfully pull them off–so unflattering on everyone. I love the tone on tone–it’s so chic! The femininity of the fit and flare midi dress is, for me, a welcome change!! Gosh I think I’m more excited about this Marchesa number than the Chanel in Paris! Didn’t think it was possible but she proved me wrong! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  63. The dress is awesome and interesting with the red accessories. I was just in Kate Spade and those earrings are irresistible and huge- I couldn’t decide which color or if I could carry off earrings that large. She really can- I’ve always thought big earrings look best with long sexy hair… bravo!

  64. Another knock out for me! I love this dress! The red is gorgeous on her and I love all the intricate details. The Dior vibe is what I love most, like we could have seen the Queen wearing something similar in her younger days.

    I am a total fan of the earrings. I think they’re fun and eccentric. I know most have said diamonds would have worked and while diamonds always do work they can be so typical. These at least were a break from the usual and added some fun. NOW, I will admit that maybe it was a tad much considering all the details of the dress. I can totally see her wearing these earrings with a sleek long sleeve black dress or a lovely cotton eyelet dress in warmer weather.

    All in all I loved the look and thought Kate looked gorgeous as always.

  65. I love tonight’s look. Truly gorgeous. The beaded belt is a lovely little addition and the earrings add bit of trendy fun. The price point is awesome even for considering the fabric details and color saturation. Love it. Great post Susan as always!

  66. I think I’m in the minority, but I don’t care at all for the change made to the sleeves. I think they either need to be about 3 inches longer, or left as they were.

  67. I don’t know what to say except: I have never desired one of Kate’s dresses SO HARD.

    The full skirt is awesome. The delicate lace is amazing. This color is… WOW.
    I understand some of you gals may think this look is a little bit… childish, but I love so very much the ladylike element of this garment, also present in other looks by the Duchess.

    Not a fan of the earrings, though. I wouldn’t buy them for me.

  68. I love the color of the dress – I think it might be my favorite shade on the Duchess. I also think her hair looks incredible, and I love the shoes. The dress itself I like, but I’m still getting used to the midi length, which Kate seems to love. I give her kudos for appearing in public wearing those earrings – I couldn’t pull them off.

    My only quibble is with the waist of the dress. She’s clearly had it customized – the sleeves are longer and it looks like she had a modesty panel added to the front of the bodice. Why, then, wouldn’t she have had the waist lowered an inch? Perhaps it’s intended to ride just a teeny bit high on the waist? Maybe it’s just me?

    • I agree–in the photo of her onstage with the cast, the high waist is quite noticeable. Modesty panel required an alteration of the bodice so why not fix the waist at that time?

    • It’s just Kate, methinks. She likes the high-waisted look.

  69. Hey! Mark Bramble isn’t in the picture where you have him listed. He is the one giving Kate the gift.

  70. For once I understand a tea-length dress. If this were shorter, it would look too full and girlie, but the length gives the super full skirt class and drama. I really love it!

  71. I love this dress! I want this dress! An evening of dancing would be so much fun in this dress. Kate looks great and the color is beautiful.

    The earrings are…on trend unfortunately.

    I would’ve loved to have seen a strappy fun shoe and an evening bag would’ve been nice.

    A bracelet would’ve been nice…

    • “the earrings are….on trend unfortunately.” Just spat out my coffee—totally agree!

      I love love love this monochromatic vintage look.

  72. Pretty dress and fantastic earrings!!! I hope someone finds a replikate of them soon. I love it when.Kate wears statement earrings.

  73. A-maze-ing! Just when you think she’s never going to get out of her very conservative rut, she pulls something like this from her closet.

  74. Such a lovely, fun dress and that color is so nice on Kate, but unfortunately the look is let down by very poor accessorizing. The shoes and bag are ok, but don’t really add to the ensemble. I think this look would have been so much better with a ponytail (to display the beautiful detailing on the shoulder area of the dress) and nicer earrings. Those earrings just don’t work and look costumey.

  75. I think the dress is beautiful and the earrings are hideous. Her shoes and bag are ok but it’s a bit matchy for my tastes but from experience seems to be typical Kate!

  76. This is another stunning dress! I love everything about the dress, shoes and clutch. Kate should really wear red more often. Those earrings those are a big miss…I am very surprised she wore them. They are not something I would have thought she would wear. Hopefully she’ll wear this dress agaim but with different earrings.

  77. This is the best I’ve seen her look in a long time – probably since her tour of India when she made bolder fashion choices. Although not entirely on board with the earrings, I think she looks gorgeous. Young, fashionable, fun. Yay!

  78. wow! I was so wowed until I saw the details of the ensemble. I think the strong lines of the dress – the dramatic full skirt and ultra-simple bodice/neckline/sleeves could have done without the busyness of the rosettes and beaded belt. Just that gorgeous texture of the tulle all over the dress would have been my preference. But still! What a departure for Kate, and I applaud her for the drama of a monochrome outfit with those (crazy) earrings. I like tassels, but not as jewelry – but I realize they’re trendy right now, so good for Kate.
    Kate looks fantastic in red. I can’t get over that gorgeous skirt, too – that graceful yet dramatic fullness.

  79. Beautiful dress; would love to see it styled in another way with different hair, earrings, bag and shoes. Katie tends to go a bit matchy-matchy and I think smoother more controlled hair would let the dress shine. She looks a bit swamped.

  80. This dress is a WOW!!!!
    this color on Kate +amazing textures+ retro silhouette= fabulous. Can’t wait to see Kate in her new tap shoes.

    Now for the bad news. Even Kates hair could not hide those esrrings. With a very simple dress maybe, but with this lovely dress they look like a craft project. Sometimes simple is better.

    • I agree! If this dress were paired with a fun pony tail and strappy sandals (and uh, different earrings) then I would be drooling. Kate and I simply do not agree on accessories, I’m afraid. I want to love these earrings but I just cannot. I love jumping on a trend but these are not even reading as clothing to me. They look like they should be part of a llama saddle in Peru. Still, she made me smile tonight and she looks lovely so a big win!

  81. Those earrings look like something that would hang on my grandmother’s dining room drapes !

  82. Interesting that Kate’s dress has regular set-in sleeves in a longer length versus the small cap sleeves that extend from the bodice in the advertising photos. It looks like Kate’s dress is custom because of this.

    I am not a fan of the busy earrings because the dress already has a lot going on. She can never go wrong with diamonds!

    • Thank you for mentioning the customization of the sleeves, I completely forgot to include it. That detail made me wonder if Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig knew Kate had purchased the dress when they were speaking to Hello!…? I don’t know why I think that might be the case, but perhaps they knew about it when they were at London Fashion Week. :)

      • I too wondered that! It seems a bit specific to mention Kate, when she’s never worn your brand before. Then again, I thought maybe Kate read the quote and thought it was kind of them and then looked for a piece. They are amazing designers and I’m surprised we’ve not seen the brand before so I say about time!

  83. This is perfection. I was disappointed with some of her Paris looks, but this is just gorgeous! I wish I could afford that dress!

  84. Wow, great look for the Duchess. So Grace Kelly-esque, at least in silhouette. Very Princess-y. Love the color on her, and the shoes and bag. Fun to see her in this length and style, with this kind of skirt — a first I think. Her skirt looks more “starched” — standing straight out whereas the model’s seems to have more fluidity … anyone else seeing that? She looks divine.

    • I noticed her skirt definitely has more “starch” than the runway model’s. The description mentions boning, which would give more structure to the pleats.

    • Yes, I noticed that too. Also that the model’s hem seems unfinished while Kate’s is clearly finished.

  85. The duchess looks great in red—-a color she should wear more often. Tonight was not a black tie event so the fun earrings were fine and didn’t leave me wanting real jewels the way the green lace last week did. I actually thought the earrings elevated the look and kept it fresh. I also thought the shoes were fine but didn’t love the clutch–it seemed heavy compared with the rest of the look. I am never going to love the midi length as I find it awkward but I thought the silhouette of this frock made it more bearable.

    This was the strangest red carpet I have ever seen—-literally everything from jeans to gowns—-I don’t now if a dress code wasn’t circulated or if some attendees simply didn’t care.

    Overall a great look for the duchess and a very worthwhile cause.

  86. I love Marchesa and Kate looks lovely in their designs. This mulberry/cranberry color is very beautiful on her. The midi length is quite flattering in this case, especially with the chosen heels.

    I love the lattice and rosette tulle. It has a beautiful and delicious texture that tantalizes the eye. I’ve always loved how Marchesa could take something like tulle (which always makes me want to itch) and make it look beautiful, delicate and a work of art.

    I’m not wholly sure if the tassels work with such a delicate gown. I think they suit Kate, but I think they would work better with her green wool coats as they are more substantial. I think something more delicate and whimsy might have worked better, perhaps in a pink or green. I applaud her in thinking out of the box. She’s never chosen Marchesa, tulle (as far as I know), and tassels!

    Marchesa would be a wonderful designer for her to add to her favored designers.

  87. I still can’t get with the midi hem length, but otherwise this dress is a knockout! The color is smashing.

  88. Oh, I love this! Gorgeous dress, a beautiful color for the Duchess. The dress has a bit of a vintage look that fits in with the theme of the show.
    I also love tea length, and have always felt it is elegant and ladylike.
    Marchesa is a wonderful brand. I’d love to see the Duchess wear more of their designs.

  89. She looks gorgeous!!!

  90. The dress is gorgeous. Stunning. And it doesn’t hurt that the silhouette is something the Queen wore when she was younger. The earrings…oh well, it is Kate Spade New York, and the show is all Broadway and New York…I guess it somewhat justifies the earrings. :-)

  91. Wow, just wow! What a stunning dress on the Duchess.

    The all-burgundy accessories are a bit much, and her hair would look better in an updo or high ponytail. But that’s just nitpicking, because this dress is absolutely fabulous. 

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