May 262017

Hello and Happy Friday to everyone. I imagine most readers are looking forward to a 3-day weekend with Monday being Memorial Day here in the US and a bank holiday in the UK. We start with an addition to Kate’s Calendar.

  • Wednesday, June 7: According to Flanders Today Kate & William will visit Mesen, Belgium to take part in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Messines. From the article: “The commemoration of the First World War battle, which took place from 7 to 14 June 1917, will involve a joint British-Irish delegation as well as groups from Australia and New Zealand. The British-Irish commemoration will take place at the Irish Peace Park on the afternoon of 7 June.”  Another Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, is reporting Kate will accompany William on the trip. There is more background info here on the event.

Thank you, Veronique, for your comment letting us know about the engagement.

Now, updates to our coverage of last Saturday’s post about Pippa Middleton’s wedding, beginning with a note about what is a major feat for this day and age: an utter lack of photos from the second reception, held at the Middleton’s Bucklebury home. I am still hoping we’ll see an exclusive magazine (People? Hello!?) cover story, but at this point, we have nary a clue about Kate or Meghan Markle’s party frocks. There has been speculation that Pippa’s second wedding gown was by Pronovias, but we’ve not heard any verification that was the case.

However, we now have the time to consider more closely some items worn by family, members of the wedding party and guests. Our first look is at the bodice of Kate’s dress, as it generated significant discussion last weekend. Several comments here and on social media referenced its similarity to the ensemble worn by Wallis Warfield Simpson when she married the Duke of Windsor in 1937. The tight waist and shirring are evocative of the Mainbocher jacket worn by Duchess of Windsor (as she was titled after her marriage). There the similarities end: the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress has a deep vee neck and no collar, while Mrs. Simpson’s jacket has a high neckline, creating a continuous line of color from her waist to the collar.  

© Polaris /Wikipedia/

© Nunn Syndication, Polaris /Wikipedia/Pool, i-Images

The ensemble was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the Duchess of Windsor. If interested in learning more about the dress and jacket click here to visit the Met site.

Wiki/Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wiki/Metropolitan Museum of Art

Next, Carole Middleton. It looks like the mother of the bride wore a hat by Juliette Botterill Millinery. More specifically, the Twist Detail Upturn style “in sinamay straw with silk abaca bow knot twists and a single ostrich feather.”

©Nunn Syndication, Polaris / Juliette Botterill Millinery / i-Images, Polaris

©Nunn Syndication, Polaris / Juliette Botterill Millinery / i-Images, Polaris

I wasn’t familiar with this brand and learned more from the designer’s website:

After gaining a masters in Fashion Design at Glasgow School of Art in 2006, Juliette worked for London milliner, Philip Treacy. Since starting her own business 4 years ago, Juliette’s hats have been worn by Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall to name but a few. 

 Many thanks to Gabi of the Catherine-Duchess of Cambridge blog for her ID work on the hat. 

One other note about Carole Middleton; all day Saturday I kept thinking her Catherine Walker coat dress looked familiar, but couldn’t figure out why.  A comment by Laura provided the answer: it is reminiscent of an Alexander McQueen maternity ensemble worn several times by the Duchess. The collar, front buttons, three-quarter sleeves and color are similar. 

©Nunn Syndication, Polaris /N

©Nunn Syndication, Polaris /Stephen Lock, i-Images

Princess Eugenie also wore a hat by Juliette Botterill. Her dress was a Paule Ka, the Open Shoulder Cotton Dress ($745 at Harvey Nichols, $468 at Farfetch); her clutch was an Anya Hindmarch ‘Crisp’ bag; her shoes were the Kurt Geiger Cobey style ($90).

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/ Polaris

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/ Polaris

Mirka Federer was in an Oscar de la Renta gold cloqué lamé cropped jacket and A-line dress (click here to see it in pink).

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

©Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Claudia Bradby wore the Suki Bias Cut Midi Dress by Rixo (£315) and carried a Chloé bag; it looks like the ‘Marcie Mini’ style ($890) in “cashmere grey.”

©James Whatling/Rixo/Saks

©James Whatling/Rixo/Saks

We knew Donna Air’s yellow dress was by Emilia Wickstead, but we never showed how it looked on the s/s 2017 runway.

©James Whatling / Emilia Wickstead

©James Whatling / Emilia Wickstead

The outstanding mysteries remain the ensembles worn by Sophie Carter and Lady Laura Meade.

©James Whatling

©James Whatling

UPDATE: The ever-fashionable-Joyce on Twitter pointed out that Sophie Carter’s dress for Charlotte’s christening bore similar design elements. You can see the cuffs in this photo from that event.

©Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

This shows a bit of the collar.

Many thanks to Michelle of Perth’s Fashion for her amazing ID skills. (If you identified pieces and I neglected to mention you, let me know so I can include you in the post.)


Many readers may have already seen these next photos, but for those who have not, there are photos of the stunning floral arrangements at the evening wedding reception.  

 via Elle Australia

Via Elle Australia

The floral designer, Djordje Varda, shared several photos on Instagram. More from Elle Australia

The floral designer, Djordje Varda, captioned the shots (which have now been deleted), “‘Let me tell you the story about a special wedding for very special and lovely people…..The Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale”.


Djordje Varda Instagram via Elle Australia

More from Elle’s piece:

The photos show a range of pink and white roses, green foliage and cherry blossom trees, which were set up inside the $173,000 glass greenhouse marquee Pippa used as a reception hall. The table decor also included green table cloths, mirrored boxes and brass candle holders.


Djordje Varda Instagram via Elle Australia

There are also photos from inside the church showing the floral decor; the Daily Mail (click here); The Sun (click here) and People (click here) all have lovely pictures.


We learned more about the tiara Pippa Middleton wore via this Vogue story.

As Robinson Pelham cofounders Zoe Benyon and Vanessa Chilton share exclusively with Vogue, the piece was meant to radiate romantic simplicity, in keeping with the wedding theme



 “It’s all about balance,” Benyon says. “You do not want the dress and tiara to fight, so one has to take a back seat.” Perhaps more importantly, they were tailored to Pippa herself. “Tiaras are like sunglasses; not every one suits every shape of face,” Benyon adds.

Thank you, Irish Sara, for pointing out the story, I had completely missed it.


Our final note involves one of the pageboys. Several readers here and on What Kate’s Kids Wore commented/messaged that one of the boys modeling Pepa & Co.’s new ‘Celebrations’ line was also in the wedding party. I *believe* this is Casimir Tatos; Pippa is his godmother.  UPDATE JUN 2: The boy modeling the Pepa & Co. clothing is William Ward, not Casimir Tatos as I originally thought. 


©Pepa & Co./Polaris/Pepa & Co.

©Pepa & Co./Polaris/Pepa & Co.

If not, then it is either Edward Sebire or William Ward.

We’ll leave you with a few photos that didn’t quite make it into either post before publishing: a smiling Prince George.

©Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

©Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

And a precious Princess Charlotte, it appears she is mimicking her mother.

©Retropix / Splash News

©Retropix / Splash News

I hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable weekend.

  70 Responses to “Pippa Wedding Wrapup Bits & Bytes”

  1. Hello Susan,
    I am pretty sure that Lady Laura Mead wore a cream jacket by Zara ( old collection, would say from 2012).
    I have the same and she already wore it at Charlotte s christening if I am not mistaken.

  2. I didn’t comment on Kate’s dress on the original post and I still don’t know what to think. At first I hated it. It’s growing on me a bit. I think the concept was good but the execution poor.

    Pippa was absolutely stunning so I’m glad the focus rightfully stayed on her during the wedding. Looking at the others’ fashions afterwards, I think Carole looked lovely, that coat is very well-tailored. I think the best dressed guest was Princess Eugenie, she looked stunning from head to toe. That crisps clutch is such a fun addition without being kitschy! Great pop of colour in the shoe as well – I love Kurt Geiger’s styles but unfortunately I doubt we’ll be seeing the Duchess in them any time soon. Such a shame!

    • I agree: I loved the colour on her and the hair/makeup/accessories, but fit in the bust was off. She’s worn variants of the style before and those dresses fit better on those occasions.

  3. I don’t know whose choice this was, but it was a fail. The color is horrible on the Duchess. The dress is matronly. The fabric holds a wrinkle. The breasts are ill fitted, and what in the world is going on with her waist? What is under the dress to make those patterns. There is one too many details – the gathered shoulder, the full sleeve, the huge cuff, the peplin, the gathered breast….I am both exhausted and bored at the same time. And Kate, please stand up straight.

    The good news is she definitely did not upstage her sister.

  4. That last picture of Catherine and Princes Charlotte is SO PRECIOUS!

    Another blogger has some details about the wedding if anyone is interested….the website is Cote de Texas.

  5. Sophie Carter’s dress – plaid dress dreary and neither midi nor anything else, and flowery collar and cuffs? No really? Neither smart nor flattering, and not a good ad for the designer whom ever it is

  6. I loved seeing another English wedding. In California, we rarely “dress” for anything anymore. My husband is usually the only guest in a suit – what a treat to see morning coats! I loved Kate’s dress but must comment on Claudia Bradby’a hat. It mismatches her dress in style so much that it is distracting. It appears she is wearing a man’s fedora with her flowy summer Goan.

  7. What most of today’s people don’t see is that Wallis’ dress itself would have come off as rather retro in 1937 as the pleating above the accentuated waist is referencing the “pigeon waist” fashionable in the first decade of the 20th century.Very old ladies sticked to them (in an increasingly milder form) well into the 1910s ( best example is the dowager countess in downtown abbey).When the straight, short and waistless sillhouette of the 1920s ruled, this look would have been seen as the epitome of old fashioned grandma style.But in 1937, when the world was in fear of a major war the “good old days” must have evoked feelings of comfort and safety.Now Wallis’ dress does NOT have a pigeon breast but it seems to have evolved from that.In combination with the high necked top and its traditional placement of the brooch, the narrow waist and the long skirt it must have looked like a retro Edwardian style back then. Kate’s dress again to me looks retro 1930s.I agree that the pleating under her bust looks a bit flawed.They should have costumized this better.But other than that I think it worked for the occasion.

    • Wow, BerlinLondon, you certainly know much about the history of fashion. We learn so much from sharing on this blog. I, of course, enjoy seeing what Kate is wearing. But I also enjoy the community of commenters and how we educate each other.

  8. Thank you for the coverage of Pippa’s wedding. It was fun to see what she and her guests were wearing.

    Whilst I would love to see pictures of the evening attire, I appreciate that they wanted this part of their wedding to be kept private and I’m pleased for the family that they achieved that. One of the many reasons, I enjoy reading this site is that we all love to see what Kate wears but understand she deserves some privacy. Thank you again!!

  9. I don’t think Kate’s outfit would work at her royal events she attends, but it certainly works here at this wedding, romantic and flowy with a vintage look to it. I think it fit the venue and occasion perfectly. I would LOVE to see what she wore for the reception party in the evening.

  10. I think Lady Laura is in the emerald knot the maxi dress from Seraphine? Love your blog, thank you much for the the amazing details. Xx

  11. Hi all – thank you so much for this amazing blog!

    Could Lady Laura Meade’s dress be by Seraphine?

    It was a dress I nearly bought to attend a wedding with a bump … but went for something else.

    • Hello Ruth, and thank you for the tip. The two really look very similar. I do not know if Lady Laura is expecting. That’s obviously not a prerequisite for wearing the dress, I know quite a few WKWers who have worn Seraphine dresses and they were *not* expecting. You have a good eye! :)

  12. Thanks for a delightful post and wedding round-up. I’m fascinated by the Duchess of Windsor comparison — I suppose she was the most slender ‘royal’ we knew before Kate came along. I’ve become more fond of Kate’s outfit as I’ve gone on looking at it and have been wowed by the amazing tailoring. It takes special skill to take a 1940s vibe and work it into a contemporary outfit.

    I’ve also come to appreciate Carole’s outfit more, I suppose there were just too many other outfits to examine to take them all in. But I like the photo you have very much, it shows the coat sitting much better on her than in others I’ve seen. And that is one tremendous hat she is sporting.

  13. I really love Donna Air’s dress, shoes, and smile! She looks great. Also love Princess Eugenie’s dress and shoes. Low key but definitely not boring!

  14. Pippa looked lovely. The Duchess dress is pretty, but more suited for a mature woman. It is way to matronly on her. She could have picked a plain outfit not to take away from the bride. This outfit was very disappointing. She really needs a stylist to advice her properly

  15. Yes, it would have been very nice to see what Pippa and Kate wore to the evening party, but I do understand the need for privacy! I’m sure they wanted to relax and enjoy the rest of the wonderful day with their family and friends.

  16. Sophie Carter’s two dresses are very similar and I think the hats are identical except the color. I really wonder who designed them. Any chance she sews herself? She has a lovely very individual style.

    • Sophie is a very pretty lady. I too wondered if she sewed her own outfits. They look unique and take me back to days in Home Economics classes.

    • But she is clearly in a shoe rut. Those darn beige patent platform pumps have got to go!

    • Home Ec is right! I find the two dresses she wore shown above to be beyond dowdy. And combined with the nude platform pumps, blech!

  17. Thank you Susan for the update on outfits, more photos and the tidbit on Wallis! I will have to get to the Met to see it. The wedding flowers were gorgeous and amazing! The photo of charlotte and doc was precious!

  18. I’m curious about the two photos of Wallis Simpson”s wedding ensemble – they seem to be different colours? Blue in the first, creamy gold in the second… Unless I’m having a “blue dress/gold dress” moment!

    • The dress was originally “Wallis” blue, but a defect in the stability of the dye made it lose color.

      I gasped when I saw those cherry blossom trees! I thought erecting a glass marquis was an brilliant idea.

      A great post, Sharon. A lovely way to start my weekend!

  19. Thanks Susan for a lovely, fun post! I was rather fascinated by many of the female guests’ outfits (thank you for identifying some of them), they seemed quite quirky and a bit of an odd assortment. Probably just me being old-fashioned and I guess that’s the sort of thing people in the know wear to weddings these days?!

    • I, too, was fascinated by the quirky ensembles of some of the female guests. Some reminded me of costumes at a carnival, especially in contrast with Kate’s dull dress.

  20. I think the other difference between the Duchess of Windsor’s outfit and Kate’s, is that the Duchess of Windsor’s was impeccably tailored, alas Kate’s was not. I still don’t understand how that bodice darting got out of the McQueen atelier. Under Lee, their tailoring was among the best in couture. On the plus side, I loved Mrs. Middleton’s hat – one of the best I’ve seen, although would have preferred to see her hair up – as shown by the model. Loved Eugenie’s dress and shoes – an example of how a couple of very simple details – the shoulder cutout, the orange flash – can give some edge and energy to an basic outfit without going over the top. Donna Air’s dress is an example of how to improve a runway design. And it was perfectly accessorized. I had no problem with the colour – its a pale cream/lemony shade which is lovely for a summer wedding. As for the flowers – staggeringly beautiful. It all made sense you were “inside a garden”. At night it would have seemed completely magical. Curious about how scented the cherry blossoms/roses were. Floral designer is a genius – I thought the floral arrangements both inside and outside the church were perfect as well. But give some credit to Pippa as she must have been involved in making the decisions about the floral design. And definitely kudos for keeping their private reception private – very classy.

  21. Lovely post! I read somewhere that Meghan was wearing a black dress, but cannot recall where
    Maybe a FB page posted it?

    Anyhow, great job! :D

    • The article in the telegraph (linked to further above) stated, that Ms. Markle wore a “stunning backless maroon gown”
      Would Black not be a strange color for a wedding?

      • Like you, Hannah, I think black is a strange colour for a wedding. Two weeks ago, however, I was at a wedding and both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom, wore black dresses. I guess today, anything goes.

        • Recently I witnessed a group of wedding guests at a private club, and most of the women were wearing black. Apparently the reception was over the cocktail hour and led into a black tie evening event so………………I guess they also wore black to the wedding, which struck me as odd, but maybe a recent trend?

      • Black is considered acceptable at most weddings nowadays. But beware of cultural differences. My MIL wore a black dress to her son’s wedding to a Vietnamese woman. She didn’t know that the Vietnamese still consider black a sign of bad luck. She got a lot of whispers and weird looks.

      • Black was worn by Catherine to some of her, or rather, Williams friends, evening wedding do’s. Maroon though is not black, it’s a mix of burgundy/brown.

  22. Thanks for the references to the decor. Extravagant and beautifully done, and I envy the parishioners coming to worship on Sunday.

    Also, I imagine the flower market will pick up after this as people mimic the decor. A boost to the economy, especially with the flower show following right behind.

  23. Kudos to Pippa and her team for keeping the evening reception totally private. Although I did read that one of the guests tried to sell the printed menu, from the dinner, on E-bay. As disappointing as it is for us not to see what Kate, Pippa and Meghan wore that evening, I certainly respect the need and wish for privacy.

    The glass marquee looked spectacular and the flowers were a masterpiece in floral design. Even though everything about the reception was over the top, it all was done in good taste with great attention to detail. Showy can be tacky, but this most certainly wasn’t.

    Thanks Susan for your work, that allows us to share the splendour of “upper crust” life.

  24. I am curious about the second wedding dress you mention. Is that common in the UK? I hadnt heahears of it before Kate’s wedding and assumed it was because the dress would be in a museum. Why would Pippa have a second wedding dress?

    • I certainly don’t think the second dress is limited to the UK, but rather it seems to be a trend with modern brides…at least ones who can afford to do this. Just tonight, while flipping through the TV channels, I happened upon “Say Yes to the Dress.” For those who don’t know the program, it is about brides choosing their wedding dresses, at an upscale NYC bridal salon, Kleinfelds. The bride being shown was selecting her second dress to be worn at the reception. Weddings are becoming more and more elaborate and more and more expensive. I would prefer to find one perfect dress and let that serve the entire day/evening. Apparently at Pippa’s wedding the guests also wore two different outfits, one to the church and one at the reception.

    • If you ever watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC, more and more brides are choosing 2 dresses, a traditional wedding gown for the church and a sexier party dress for the reception.

      • That’s been going on for the last 15 to 20 years her in the US. I can remember attending a wedding about 12 years ago when the bridge appeared in a different dress at the reception. It makes sense when the reception is several hours later than the church wedding.

    • I don’t believe that Kate had a second dress because the first would be in a museum—I believe she did it because the second dress (lighter and more casual) would be easier to dance, party and relax in and have fun with her friends.

      This is actually becoming more common here in the US—I have lately seen quite a few weddings where the bride wore a second dress to her reception–especially if the reception is in the evening.

      I suspect this is why Pippa allegedly had a second dress.

      • Kate’s evening outfit was a white strappy satin affair with a white fluffy mohair-style shrug/bolero over it.

    • Some brides change into a second dress for the reception. Kate did. I haven’t heard of such a thing in the U.S., but I don’t go to many weddings.

    • It has been common in the UK to change for the night do after the reception since the 1970s. Most people have what is termed ‘the reception’ immediately after the wedding which is usually mid-morning to mid-afternoon – usually a full 3-course meal. Guests then have the time to change into more suitable attire for the evening dance if attending that also. Those not invited to the wedding itself are free to attend the evening event, like work colleagues that are not close friends. A buffet is usually provided at the evening dance.
      I’m a bit bemused about the ‘second dress’ comments – brides can’t dance in a disco in a big Victorian dress & guests don’t want to in formal pencil-line stuff.
      Catherine’s disco outfit was a satin strappy dress with a fluffy bolero jacket.

    • Having two dresses is quite common in the US, and has been for a while. It is nice to have a fun, possibly more comfortable, dress to dance in during the reception!

  25. Love your wedding coverage.

    I think the reception flowers were a bit over the top! Just too too much.

    • The expense must have been astronomical. I think the flowers were just breathtakingly exquisite though. Although the floral budget appears to have been unlimited, I think the result was very tasteful. I have to admit that had I had that kind of budget, that is exactly what my wedding venue would have looked like. A cherry blossom fairytale, indeed.

  26. I honestly don’t think Kate’s assemble and The one on the Duchess of Winsor look a lot similar. Kate wore a more alike dress when she visited Asia in the past. It was in a sort of minty blue color. That is my opinion.

  27. I love and appreciate Kate’s pink dress more than ever. The classic conservative style is absolutely on point for this occasion. I guess I see things differently than those who call it matronly. I actually find that many times classic and demure styles are referred to using that term. This is sad. Years from now these photos will be timeless images with nothing trendy in sight.
    Thanks as always for the post Susan.

  28. Thank you, Susan, for this interesting post. I’m fascinated that nothing substantive has leaked from Pippa’s evening party, especially given that she’s been associated with Vanity Fair and has appeared often in Hello. Perhaps Kensington Palace suggested that an exclusive might not be appropriate, especially what happened with Peter Phillips’ wedding.

    As for the dresses, you’d definitely highlighted the most interesting ones. I didn’t think of Wallis Windsor’s Mainboucher wedding dress in relation to Kate. I did think about the Queen Mother’s famous white wardrobe for her trip to Paris in 1938.

    • What a great link! I have read *very* little on this, it’s a fascinating topic. :)

      • It was quite daring and really an accidenr. She had lost her mother but did not want to wear black, especially with war clouds gathering. She absolutely stunned Paris with how chic she looked. No one expected it, because she was not known for fashion.

    • It is indeed unfortunate that the word ‘matronly’ has taken a pejorative turn. It is indeed a classic look. Against the car, the wedding party, the flowers, decades from now the pictures will resonate as classic.

  29. Lovely post Susan. That last photo of Charlotte imitating Kate is priceless — and gives us a grand view of the top of Kate’s hat!

    • Thank you, happy weekend to you! :)

    • Yes! A great photograph that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    • I agree … it may be my favorite picture from the day. And, the more I see of Kate’s dress, the more I love it. It moved so well as she took care of the children. Perhaps most impressive is how well it fits – there is no gap at all at the neck when she bends over.

      • But there is a huge gap at the bustline on either side. Its almost as if the dress were made for a C cup lady and not Kate.

        • I don’t believe that there are “gaps” on either side of the bustline on Kate’s dress. What you see is pleating. It is there to add fullness and femininity to to the figure of the woman wearing the dress. It is a design feature used to enhance the figures of small breasted women, like the Duchess. But, is usually avoided like the plague by full busted women, like myself. I speak from experience.

          IMO the bodice of Wallis’ dress looked rather droopy and ill designed. Although, IMO the designer was trying to achieve the same result for the very slender Wallis.

          • Donna, I really have to disagree. If that is intentional pleating, then the designer really missed the mark and the fabric is not doing what it is supposed to do. Literally, she has puffed out fabric going out at almost a 90 degree angle from the side of the bustline. It could be pleating that has come undone but that should never have happened either.

            • I do see your point. Pun intended! LOL

              The pleats on the outside are pooched out. I can’t say why. Maybe a design flaw or maybe just that the DOC lost some weight after the last fitting???

              I don’t find it a distraction or unattractive but I appreciate that you and others might.

            • I agree with you, Donna. Furthermore, the continuous pleating across the bodice of Wallis’ dress is flattering with the tight, wide waistband, but the vee of Kate’s neckline interrupting the bodice creates two bulky pockets at her breasts, very unflattering and strange looking. I love classic looks, vintage fashion, and timeless pieces, but while Kate’s dress is ruined by that awkward bodice. I am really surprised that no one advised her to modify the dress before wearing it in public!!

            • I agree with you Faith. I can understand added some fullness to the bust area but that “pleat” sticking out as you described is just plain odd.

  30. Seems the gentlemen (guests) are better dressed then the ladies are – guess its easier to switch out waistcoats & ties and wear the same morning suit but the women have to come up with different dresses for each occassion on their social calendars!? Thnx for all your extra hard work covering Pippa & James’ wedding!

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