Jun 292017
 

Kate chose a Gucci dress with a retro feel for today’s engagement at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

©James Whatling

©James Whatling


The occasion was the formal dedication of the V&A’s new Exhibition Road Quarter, the biggest architectural project the Museum has undertaken in 100 years. More from the V&A:

Providing a new entrance, courtyard and purpose-built gallery for temporary exhibitions, the Exhibition Road Quarter will showcase the best of contemporary design, as well as celebrating the beauty of the V&A’s existing building.

©NunnSyndication/Polaris

©NunnSyndication/Polaris

This video of Kate’s departure from Rebecca English of The Daily Mail offers a look at the courtyard.

From a CNN story:

One of the year’s most anticipated architectural endeavors, the Exhibition Road Quarter designed by Amanda Levete and her practice, AL_A, opens today at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The bold addition features the world’s first all-porcelain public courtyard, paved with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles in 15 different patterns. The tiles were manufactured by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands’ oldest registered company, established in 1572.

Below, 6-year-old Lydia Hunt presents Kate with a bouquet; Lydia’s father, Tristram Hunt, is the director of the V&A.

©Stefan Wermuth / Reuters / Splash

©Stefan Wermuth / Reuters / Splash

The Duchess greeting guests and dignitaries at the event.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

One of the design elements I love is seen in this picture shared by the always-awesome Gemma of Food Fash & Fit. We have more from her post on today’s events:

More difficult to capture with my camera was the reimagining of the Aston Webb Screen, which originally hid this area from public view on Exhibition Road, and separated the museum from its nearest neighbours, the Geological Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum. 

V&A Museum (Click photo to visit Museum site)

V&A Museum (Click photo to visit Museum site)

The photo above is from 1981. Below, Kate in front of the new screen.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

And a wide shot as seen in a video by Amanda Levete Architects.

AL_A Amanda Levete Architects

AL_A Amanda Levete Architects

Back to Gemma’s post:

Originally a shrapnel-pocked brick wall with a gate topped with the royal crest, the screen has been transformed into a see-through metal mesh that uses perforations to recall the original WWII damage, maintaining a link to one of the most important events in London’s history. 

Gemma also shared a picture of the inscribed stone adjacent to the screen that is seen above left in the video screen grab.

Food, Fash, Fit @FoodFashFit

Photo courtesy of Food, Fash, Fit @FoodFashFit

Kate in the Sainsbury Gallery, an enormous new space at the Museum.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

The Duchess unveils a commemorative marker from today’s ceremonies.

Kate Middleton Gucci Dress V&A Museum

Kensington Palace

A closer look, with thanks once again to Gemma of Food, Fash, Fit for sharing her photos with us.
Food, Fash, Fit  @FoodFashFit

Food, Fash, Fit @FoodFashFit

Here is a 35-second time lapse of the project.

We saw Kate add another label to her wardrobe today; she wore Gucci’s Grosgrain Ribbon Trimmed Tweed Mini Dress.

Pictures Kate Middleton Gucci Tweed Dress

© Zak Hussein, Splash / Net-a-Porter

The frock is from Gucci’s pre-fall collection, constructed in a black and white cotton/nylon tweed that showcases the brand’s signature grosgrain petersham ribbon (also referred to as web) in blue and red.  NOTE: Net-a-Porter refers to the dress as “Grosgrain Ribbon Trimmed,” but as Sarah and Bonnie point out in their comments, it is trimmed with petersham ribbon. To see a photo that shows the difference between the two, visit A Fashionable Stitch.

Duchess Cambridge Black White Gucci Mini Dress

©Zak Hussein

The tailored design has a round neck, short sleeves, and a concealed back zipper. From Bethan Holt’s Daily Telegraph story:

With its abbreviated length, tweed fabric and neat button and pocket detailling, the shift dress recalls the elegant look which Jackie Kennedy made her own in the early 1960s when she often wore pieces inspired by Coco Chanel’s designs. That connection makes sense for Kate who has often nodded to Kennedy’s style codes in her wardrobe choices, from her houndstooth skirt suit by Eponine London to her penchant for chic pillbox hats.

Here is a good look at the nubby tweed fabric, as well as the navy and red petersham trim.

Gucci Grosgrain Trim Webbing Closeups Mini Dress Tweed and Red with Buttons

The dress is available at Net-a-Porter ($2980) in very limited sizing, but in stock on the Gucci UK site in most sizes (£1790). (If you are in the US the link is likely to redirect you to the US site, you will need to click “Ship to the UK” in the far upper left of the site.)

Kate Middleton Gucci Web Grosgrain dress

Net-a-Porter/Zak Hussein/Gucci

There is a distinction between the dress Kate wears and the style available through Gucci; the brand’s version has a split sleeve on the back (shown lower left), with the ribbon topped by buttons. Kate’s dress does not have the additional embellishment. Our thanks to Evangelina on Twitter for her speedy ID of the dress, as well as Mary Noël and Mary Ann.

Gucci/Rebecca English The Daily Mail/Gucci

Gucci/Rebecca English The Daily Mail/Net-a-Porter

Some might not be aware “The V&A holds the national collection of fashion, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of dress in the world.” (That is from a V&A tweet today.) The Museum shared thoughts on Twitter about Kate’s look, linking to a 1966 mini dress by André Courrèges.

The Gucci dress worn today by the Duchess of Cambridge demonstrates the continuing influence of 1960s style on contemporary fashion. This dress by André Courrèges epitomises the clean lines & straight cut of the period, in display in Gallery 40.

V&A @V_and_A (Click photo to visit Museum site)

V&A @V_and_A (Click photo to visit Museum site)

The Museum also noted that “In 2015, we acquired a pair of L.K. Bennett nude ‘Sledge’ court shoes, a preferred style of the Duchess of Cambridge.”

V&A @V_and_A  (Click photo to visit site)

V&A @V_and_A (Click photo to visit site)

A red version of the dress was seen in Gucci’s pre-fall collection photos. The red version is done in a wool/silk blend that is available at Net-a-Porter ($2700) without the sleeves embellishment. It is offered at Saks with the embellishment. We also show the frock in black wool and silk, offered at Farfetch ($2700).

Gucci/Gucci/Farfetch/Farfetch

Gucci/Gucci/Farfetch/Farfetch

The Duchess wore her ‘Art’ navy pumps by LK Bennett.

©Splash / LK Bennett /

©Splash / LK Bennett / Zak Hussein

We initially saw the heels at Kate and William’s final public engagement before their wedding, a visit to Darwen Academy.

Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

Kate carried a new (to us) red handbag. It looks like the bag could be a custom version of Emmy London’s Natasha bag, minus the gold piping. Kate owns the Natasha in several colors; it could well be this style. Tiffany C. messaged to say she has three Natasha bags and she believes it is the Natasha; also, Middleton Maven says Emmy London verified Kate carried their bag.

©Zak Hussein/Emmy London

©Zak Hussein/Emmy London

And wore her Annoushka pearl drops with Kiki McDonough diamond hoops.

Kate Exhibition Road V and A June 29 2017 Annoushka Pearl Drops Kiki Hoops

©Splash News/Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kate’s hair was in a partial updo.

˙James Whatling / Zak Hussein

˙©James Whatling / Zak Hussein

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Two engagements have been added to Kate’s Calendar since our last post. One is a July 13 visit to the Natural History Museum; we have details here.

The other is at Wimbledon on Monday.   In her role as the new royal patron of the AELTC Kate will attend a match at Wimbledon. Previously, the Queen was the organization’s patron; HM started serving in that capacity in 1952 and turned over the patronage late last year. Below, the Duke and Duchess at Centre Court last July.   

Wimbledon AELTC

Wimbledon AELTC

Kate will meet ball boys and girls before the match, as well as stewards, along with medical and safety personnel. Monday is the first day of play, with first round matches for Gentlemen’s Singles and Ladies’ Singles. The matches begin at 1 pm local time, that’s 8 am EDT/5 am PDT. Here is a 1-minute Wimbledon video. 

Kate has a sizable role in a new BBC documentary about the network’s Wimbledon coverage: “Wimbledon and the BBC 1927-2017. 

BBC

BBC

From The Daily Mirror’s story about the special program:

“I was really taken by Agassi and Sampras, Ivanisevic and Steffi Graf. Those are my first memories. Roger [Federer] is my mother’s heartthrob. I don’t think she will mind me saying that! I think he probably knows that too.”

Kate also said she queued for hours to get into the tournament before joining the Royal Family, adding: “Being able to go into Wimbledon and be part of an amazing atmosphere is special.”

Many readers will recognize what Kate is wearing, the jacket and skirt by Armani Collezioni first seen in April of this year.

Kate Middleton red suit Armani Collezioni Global Academy

©James Whatling/Zak Hussein, Splash

The Duchess is also wearing her Mirabelle Lolita earrings.

©Zak Hussein / Mirabelle

©Zak Hussein / Mirabelle

Kate reveals in the program she wanted to be a tennis star. Back to The Mirror’s story:

Kate, talking in a BBC documentary to mark 90 years of coverage, also said she wanted to be a tennis star.

She said: “It inspires young people including myself. Every time Wimbledon is on I am thinking ‘Yes, I could do the same’ and get out the racket. Sadly, not the same results.”

BBC

BBC

The program airs on BBC 1 this Sunday at 5:20 pm.     

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This Saturday Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate will attend a service of rededication of the grave of Diana, Princess of Wales. Princess Charlotte and Prince George will accompany their parents to the private family ceremony.  This will be at Diana’s gravesite at Althorp House, the Spencer family estate. More from The Telegraph:

Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, and her sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Baroness Fellowes will also attend.

Kensington Palace said in a brief statement: “The service, which will fall on what would have been the Princess’s birthday, will be conducted by The Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by her family.”

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

And from The Evening Standard:

William, Kate and Harry’s visit to Diana’s grave will be a totally private event. There will be no media facility for this service.

The royals thanked the media in advance for understanding the family’s need for privacy for this event.

This summer there is a special exhibit at Althrop, “Diana: Walking in Her Shoes.”  The exhibit is done in tandem with The Diana Award, “the charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.  It is committed to fostering and developing change through practical action with young people.” The exhibit showcases the work done by 20 recipients of the Diana Award’s ‘Legacy.’

SpencerofAlthorp.com

SpencerofAlthorp.com

LINKAGE:

 

  125 Responses to “The Duchess Wears Gucci at the V&A, and Kate in a New BBC Documentary”

  1. The dress is downright ugly, I don’t care if it was made by Gucci or a WalMart distributer. In my opinion it does not look well on her at all. Her hairstyle does not accent her beautiful features either. I absolutely love her style and I own several replicas of her wardrobe in my personal collection, so this is not a bash on her at all and please do not take it that way. I just think this combination of outfit (specifically the patterns and hairstyle do not complement her well and detract from her natural beauty.

  2. Dress is very, VERY Gucci, and could have worked well on the Duchess…had it been a couple of inches longer. What happened here? A missed opportunity.

    Shoes are alright. We’re playing it ultra-safe, I guess…okay.

    And now, about that hair: you can dress it up all you want, try different little bouffant techniques, barrette placements, etc., but I can still spot the dreaded “Jan Brady” a mile away! Get rid of it…now!

  3. I LUV THIS DRESS!!!
    I want it!!!!
    The hairstyle and the style of shoes goes soo well with it!
    I’m a bit confused tho..
    …am I colour blind or is she wearing navy shoes with a black and white dress????

  4. I think Gucci can do interesting designs, but not knocked out by this one. I prefer the red version to the one Kate choose. More pop and less busy. I also think the cut of the dress makes it look like its too small for Kate. I love the shorter length but here, the whole thing looks like it was shrunk in the wash. The sleeve detailing should have been kept. Nice to see platforms although I don’t think they do much for this dress. I usually like the half updo look on Kate, but someone got carried away with a teasing comb and the result is too stiff looking. But a welcome change from white lace and flounces.

  5. I love this look on Kate. The entire outfit commands attention. I do think a black shoe might have worked better. And also, I agree that an inch added in the length of the waist (which would also have added an inch to the hem) would have been an improvement. But overall, this 60′s style suits Kate well, and when it’s done right it’s always classy.

  6. Flawless

  7. I absolutely love this look! Both the dress and heels are fantastic. I agree with the person that said she could have gone up a size, comparing the fit on the model. Kate’s hair looks nice from the front, but the back is a disaster and looks very juvenile and lumpy at the crown of her head. But… at least there is no hairnet!

    Overall, a win in my book!

  8. Have been wondering how long it would be before she wore Gucci as the more traditional/retro styles from Alessandro Michele are so obviously her aesthetic. Agree with the shoe dissenters though.

  9. Great look. So refreshing!

    May I ask – why are they “rededicating” Diana’s gravesite? I don’t understand the concept…..

    • July 1 this year would of been Diana’s 56th birthday….hence the rededication of her memorial.

      • Diana’s birthday comes every year on July 1, but the grave is not rededicated every year. I believe it is because the grave, on an island at Althorp, had become very overgrown with vegetation. Visitors to the site were complaining about the neglect and Earl Spencer was criticized. Therefore, they tidied things up and to commemorate the 20th year since Diana’s passing, rededicated the grave.

    • it was not well taken care off according some reports. Major restoration was completed in time for what would have been her 56th birthday.

  10. The building was probably pretty cool with air conditioning which would make a heavier fabric a practical choice. It’s no fun wearing a light summery dress and then being chilly.

    • On top of which our British summer has turned pretty chilly of late! I don’t blame her for wearing tweed at all under the circs, though this is a lightweight summer one and not the heavy hairy stuff that comes from the Outer Hebrides :-)

  11. I prefer the extra button version personally & I love houndstooth, but the red/navy ribbons just look like ‘flag’ or ‘medal’ ribbons to me, I can see her wearing this to some military do. I would have preferred it with just black trim & the buttons as the shift style itself always looks good on her, though it does look as if she has outgrown it.
    I confess that I am also disappointed that she is wearing winter clothes in summer when I had been looking forward to a treat of bright summery dresses. I loved the sugar-pink dress worn for Trooping the colour, but it was a wool blend. It’s more overcast in London now but the temperature is far from cold. This dress would be suitable for spring or autumn, but as we have so few weeks in the year for thin fabrics to enjoy light fabrics, why wear heavy tweed – and it being cotton does not make it less thick & wintry. She has an acid yellow shift, a cornflower blue trimmed with pink & the blue/white Taj Mahal one if she wanted a shift, or the bottle green tea dress or the green worn at RHS this year. Instead, she wore a winter fabric. It’s not as bad as keeping her coat on in blazing temperatures but it’s still high on my grumpy & disappointed scale. :(

  12. This is a great choice for the event.
    What I love most about this look is that it is timeless. I don’t consider it “Retro” in the least. A halter neck Pucci print mini-dress with go-go boots? Retro. Classic Gucci… not Retro.
    When images of the event are viewed years from now they will have that timeless quality. I think that this is what the Duchess attempts to achieve for each events outfit.

  13. Hate hate hate those shoes, they just look so elderly and scuffed, totally wrong with this dress. Dress is gorgeous, although it would have been fun for Kate to keep the sleeve detail, bearing in mind how many shots of her are from the side or back.

    • Odd. I don’t see any scuffs in any of the photos and that wouldn’t be in keeping with the care she takes with her wardrobe. Minus the Penelope Chilvers boots, which really do need to be retired. While I don’t think *navy* shoes work with this dress, the thicker heel is in keeping with the classic cut of the dress. I also love that we’re seeing more than skinny 4″ heels.

  14. I love this dress but to me, it looks like more of a fall or winter dress. I didn’t think I cared about such things, but it’s all I can think about when I look at this dress.

    I do think it fits her well and the dress photographs amazingly! The details still pop in the photos that were taken at a distance.

  15. Love this shorter , retro outfit on DOC! Red bag is fun and blue shoes are ok. She is not into matchy-matchy shoes and bag.

  16. I love the dress, but I also love the extra detailing on the sleeves and wish she had kept that element!

  17. Fabulous from head to toe.

  18. This is her best look in a long time. Love the dress, the shoes and hair.
    A matching bag would have been good.

    My issue is that the dress is too short for the style and material. Her skinny long legs look wrong coming out the bottom, especially from the back.

    She needs to have 7 cm chopped off her hair at some stage also.

  19. Very elegant look, what a huge difference with the suit worn to Darwen, it looked frumpy and unflattering compared to the Gucci outfit.

  20. One of my fave looks! Completely on point.

  21. As always, thank you for the care that goes into your cogent and interesting posts. I always am excited when there’s a new one! The links alone must take a lot of care to get right.

    Love this whole look and SO unexpected for Kate. That above-the-knee length; a blockish heel that goes perfectly with the slightly retro dress; a bag and shoes that don’t match. Swooning!

  22. Not my fav, the black and white tweed with the navy and red trim just aren’t my favorite color combos but I do not fault her for that. It personal preference. I think could also work with a blazer on top for colder months.
    I liked the hair, I love some volume in the crown. Seems like there maybe a few highlights either from.being outdoors or by a very skilled stylist.
    Glad to see a departure from florals, this is a nice way to try something different.
    I’m ready to see some new jewelry and another crown!

  23. Just a slight correction – the trim is not grosgrain, it is petersham. Grosgrain is similarly ribbed, but looking at it up close, you can see that the ribs in the trim end in loops, so it’s more flexible which allows it to curve and be manipulated around rounded seams.

    • Sarah, thank you for the information.

    • Hi Sarah, and thanks so much for your comment. I updated the post to reflect the proper ribbon description and appreciate the input. :)

      • Happy to help! I learned about the difference from American Duchess (americanduchess.com) which produces historically accurate footwear from the Renaissance through the 40s :-)

  24. Gorgeous dress. The Duchess looks good but the dress is a tad short – should have been just above knee-length.

    • Totally agree, nice dress but it would have been classier if longer.

    • Agree about the length of the skirt – seems a tad too short. But the dress is gorgeous, wish it was a size larger, but otherwise loved it!

      • I don’t think the dress is too short per se, I think the heels are too high. Kate has the legs, so show them off! Short skirts are fine with a lower heel, high heel and short skirt is too much and begins to lack class. I think a lot of her clothes could go a size up!

      • I don’t feel the needs to be up sized. I think the waist of the dress needs to be dropped to the DOC natural waist. The dress practically looks like an empire (sp?) style worn in the ’60′s. Her dresses are usually short waisted but this one is very much so. I’m long waisted so I know the look but I don’t have seamstress at my side to fit the dress properly.

      • Why does the dress need to be a size larger? Then it wouldn’t fit her and too big. People wear clothes in the size that fits their body otherwise looks ridiculous.

        • Love reading everyone’s feedback on this dress! Agreed that well fitting clothes are important. I don’t wish for her dress to be too large and ill-fitting, just thought what it might look like if the waist and hem were lower, like the proportions of other dresses she’s worn in the past. This dress just seemed a tad too small to me overall, maybe it was just the position of the waist. But I really do love the fabric and colour otherwise, really chic! :)

  25. In a word – perfection!

  26. Lovely hair and nice to see her knees once in a while.

  27. Oh man…I hate those LK Bennett sledges so much that I’m a weird combination of appalled/amused that the V&A acquired a pair. Of course they did because Kate’s dedication earned them a place. And I’d far rather see them in a museum than in royal use! : )

  28. wow, I’m so impressed with all the choices Kate made on this ensemble! Everything looks great together – her hair is youthful and bouncy, but yet elegantly pulled off her face. That dress is tailored to perfection on her and the heels are powerful enough to stand up to the strong dress. A nice mix of colors. Just very impressed.

  29. Is it my favorite look? No. Am I thankful it is not a dress coat and nude heels? Absolutely. Honestly, she looks chic and the hemline is perfect for her age and status. I like this outfit quite a bit.

  30. A bit of an unusual look for her, but nice. Love the shoes.

  31. I love that she didn’t match bag and shoes, she looks great!

    Just a word about the Victoria & Albert Museum for those who haven’t visited: it holds the most wonderful collections across all the decorative arts, glass, textiles and fashion, jewellery, ceramics, silver, medieval tapestries, Japanese carvings, it really is a treasure trove. The building itself is a joy and you’re 10 minutes in a taxi from Harrods! No vested interests, I promise, just spreading the word for anyone planning to visit London while the pound is at a low.

    • Also, the cafe is great. I think one or two of the dining rooms were designed by William Morris!

      • I don’t want to admit how often we eat at the cafe when we’re there, with the abundance of amazing restaurants! But it really is good, and also fast and reasonably priced. :)

  32. I sometimes have to wonder how often Kate and her people look into Diana’s archive for wardrobe…as I have seen a lot of “tribute”-ish likeness on quite a few choices.

  33. I love this look but wonder about the tweed for a summer look. Kate’s hair was amazing! Total perfection!

  34. Just confused over the colour of her shoes. In the pictures, they look black, but described as navy. I was wondering why she would wear navy heels with a black and white dress?

    • My guess is Kate wore them to coordinate with the navy ribbon. But that’s pure speculation. :)

      • I love the Gucci style, as this is such a cute and youthful look, but am confused as to why a black and white checked tweed would be trimmed in navy ribbon. The red ribbon makes it pop, the navy ribbon makes no sense with black. I would have preferred for Kate’s shoes to be red, rather than adding to the strange use of the navy in the dress. Clutch and earrings look great.

    • I thought the same thing, but look at the detail on the dress, the dress is actually red and navy, not black!

      • I am totally confused here, Maryam. You say the dress is red and navy, not black, which would make perfect sense with the ribbon and the shoes to be navy. But in the description on this blog it says; “The frock is from Gucci’s pre-fall collection, constructed in a black and white cotton/nylon tweed that showcases the brand’s signature grosgrain ribbon (also referred to as web) in blue and red.”

        Also Susan/admin, I’m not sure the ribbon in grosgrain, but rather web. Grosgrain would not bend/mold around the curves of the pocket flaps and neckline. Grosgrain is quite stiff and doesn’t conform to curves.

        • I was wondering that EXACT thing! I was wondering what kind of Gucci magic had been worked on grosgrain to make it bend–I thought maybe it had been woven to the exact curve of the garment and therefore each piece of ribbon was specially made for each dress. That seems unlikely though lol.

        • You’re spot-on, Bonnie! Thanks to you and Sarah, I’ve updated the post!! :)

  35. A smash hit, where her hair and accessories are working in tandem with the outfit – an increasingly rare occurrence in my opinion. The volume in her hair is giving it a retro feel that’s perfect for this dress. I typically hate these shoes but here they work and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Love it!

  36. I love this whole look. I would have really liked to see red shoes that match the clutch, because I love red, but that is just a personal preference. This is a fashionable look that is light years better than what she usually wears. THIS is what I am talking about when I say she should dress more youthfully and stylishly (as opposed to the horrified clapback I get when I make such a comment that indicates that people think that I am suggesting see-through shirts and Daisy Dukes. There is a happy medium between Grandmother of the Bride and Kardashian. And this is it. The swap for more on-trend block heels instead of her boring suede pumps is also a massive improvement. And I like her hair as well…sometimes when she pulls it half up it looks sort of juvenile (especially when she uses little clips) but this is a great style. I am hopeful that this look is a new style for her, rather than an aberration.

    • Agree! I think a red shoe would have popped but applaud the addition of navy to pull in the navy trim.

      • Yeah, normally I don’t root for matchy matchy-ness in outfits but since there is just a pop of red on the dress, red shoes would have been great with the red clutch. The blue is fine, though.

  37. Love this outfit—think the colors are great and hurray for a hemline that is not midi length! Love the makeup and want the clutch for myself. Like, but don’t love the heels. Hair from the front is lovely, but I don’t really like that odd lump at the crown/back of it.

    All in all a win!

  38. Bravo! Hair, dress, accessories all get a thumbs up. The look is a complete chic win.

  39. I love the dress, a sophisticated pick by Kate and light years from the kind of thing she wore in the early days when we first saw wore those shoes. The chic red and black piping over the tweed works perfectly and I love the faux pocket flaps and bodice front with gold buttons in a mock office style for a serious engagement.

    The skirt is short but well within what Kate can handle, showing off those enviable legs. My one small quibble was I first thought the shoes a bit heavy and wondered if the dress would look better with stiletto courts rather than the block heel. I covet the smart, non-matching red clutch

    I’ve seen comments about it all looking retro, but there’s a confusion of retro’s here as the last time I recall block heels like these was in the 1980s when skirts were heavier and hems longer. This dress speaks more to me of the skimpy ‘60s and low heels.

    Very happy to see hair prettily off face though there seems to be another odd-shaped lump at the crown again, don’t know why this keeps happening. And glad to see the dear old Kiki McDonough pearl drops, I’ve been missing them this last while – they’ve been such a constant since their debut.

    • I always enjoy reading your comments because you clearly put a lot of thought into them. My thought on the shoes is that with the shorter, straight skirt, especially one in a tweed, a heavier shoe is needed to balance the look. Lower heels with more of a late sixties/early seventies vibe would also have worked well, but given Kate’s love of heels, I doubt we will ever see that.

      I think a stiletto would have an awkward, gawky look with the short skirt. Kate tried that with a few maternity outfits when she was pregnant with George, and IMHO the look was quite odd and unsophisticated.

      I don’t see this as a retro look and the shoes are more about balance rather than being faithful to a past style or time period.

      • Thanks for your feedback. It’s funny how we all see these things differently – for me there’s a lack of balance when heels are worn with a short skirt, though I take your point about stilettos.

        I think these are overall a lovely elegant pair of courts and really work just fine :-)

        • Not sure if this is allowed, but to my eye, this shoe style would have been great with this dress:
          https://www.hobbs.co.uk/images/products/0117-DJ02-004H550-3141/0117-DJ02-004H550-3141_02_1008_1080.jpg

          I don’t think we will ever see Kate in a low heel like that so I will take the ones she wore and be happy.

          • Heartily agree with your pick of shoe there — just perfect! Kate has done one low heel before, the tweed J Crew’s worn last day of last year’s Canada trip so we may yet see her in something like the one you show here.

          • Love the shoes you picked, Maggie. In fact I’d like to see Kate wear lower heeled shoes more often. Sometimes they make the balance of the outfit look better. And really, wouldn’t she be more comfortable? Kate seems to walk in stilettos with ease, but I do wonder about what the long term outcome will be to her feet, her back and her posture.

    • Yes! I love that she went with non-matching accessories, because they perfectly matched the red/blue ribbon trim – this was my favorite feature of her look. As a major fan of high block heels, regardless of whether they’re in style or not, I love this pair, nice to see them being worn again. Fantastic look today.

      • I’m very fond of this pair of block heels too, one of the nicest I’ve seen. It’s the reason why, on balance, I think I can live with them being paired with this dress :-)

    • If you go back to the 60′s we wore minis with boots and with platform shoes. The shorter the hemline, the heavier and clunkier the shoes. Never ever with simple flats or low heels.

      • Thanks for the update, clearly my memory is at fault here! I always felt platforms came in much later than minis. When I think of the ’60s I tend to think of Twiggy in short hems often with lower heeled shoes. But you’re right, there was that weird combination of huge platform soles with tiny dresses at some stage too.

      • I don’t remember platforms in the 60s. I had my first ‘grown-up’ shoes in 1971 aged 13, a chunky purple suede pair with a 2″ heel & no platform, the shoe-style worn by most in their teens & early twenties (as well as the boots) with skirt lengths sold being 17″ long & pale pink or peach lipstick. I wouldn’t wear them out the next year, only platforms were worn by young teens, the ‘longer length’ was in for us as well as dark grape lipsticks. There was a big difference in the way teens & twenties dressed in just one year – and the more youthful look was the one I saw in magazines & boutiques of the time. I loved platforms, I could wear higher heels, unfortunately, I had a fall in them which had lasting damage; I could never wear mules or flip-flops even at the beach or run across a road, as I was afraid my ankles would fail & I cannot walk properly now. I’m glad they disappeared because of safety, but I still remember that thrill of feeling elegantly tall!

        • Sooo sorry to hear about platform shoe mishap, but thank you for mentioning it as it’s rare to see the dangers pointed out. That”s why my heart is in my mouth when Kate starts running and jumping in them.

      • You can Google platform shoes 1960s to see photos of the shoes. Also I have to add that we wore hot pants with body suits. And dresses were so short in the late 60s early 70s that they were sold with matching panties. I kept one dress and one pair of hot pants to remind myself how I dressed (sigh)

        • When I recently saw a photo from 1969 where I am in a *very* short dress I asked my mother, “How could you let me out of the house in that?!” :)

        • I think the platforms were late 60s and later than this style of quite smart mini rather than the hot pants that came later. Comiserations on having succumbed to same. The worst I recall was the nightmare of trying to wear stockings and hitching up a suspended belt before the blessed relief of tights came along.

  40. Love this dress. Looks great on Kate and looks very well made. The textured fabric is wonderful. Agree with many that the hair missed a bit, the way her stylist does this part back hair style is quite hit and miss, looks great about half the time and then somehow the proportions are a bit off the other times. Someone suggested a big blowout with this dress or very straight, I think either of those extremes might have worked better. But this is a minor quibble, loved her look and I love the shoes with it but I think the dress is so sophisticated that one could wear a variety of shoe styles.

  41. Kate looks wonderful! I love the outfit, and it fits her and the occasion perfectly. The only thing that I would have love to see is Kate wearing a red shade of lipstick. I think that with Kate’s complexion and dark hair, the right shade of red would look smashing on her; and it is such a classic look. But, red lip or not, I think Kate the Great looks fabulous once again!

  42. Absolutely love everything about Kate’s outfit and accessories today! She suits Gucci and Gucci suits her!! I hope she wears more Gucci!! It’s also kind of cool to see fashions that I saw and wore in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, in vogue again. Truly, what’s old is new again! And they do not look like costumes!! LOL Very interesting information about the history of the V & A museum and the surrounding buildings. Thank you for including that! The re-commemoration ceremony will be very difficult for William and Harry–my heart goes out to them. It’s good that Kate will be by their side.

    • I did wonder if Kate might be channelling retro as a nod to the V&A textile heritage and admin has thoughtfully backed my ponderings by quoting the museum’s own tweets above.

      It’s interesting too how classic that pattern of contrast stripes is as lines like that at shoulder seams & waist were also present on the navy and white Jaeger dress Kate wore to an America’s Cup event – and that looked bang up to the minute

  43. Oh well, I love it! I saw the photos pop up earlier and thought she looked like perfection. Absolute perfection. I love the lighter make up on her!

  44. She looks fabulous and I suspect the texture of the dress is even more lovely in person. I wish she had pulled her hair into a ponytail, I think it would have looked better. But such a minor and subjective thing. I also like the above-knee length. Show off those stems!

    One thing to note, the embellishment on the back of the sleeve isn’t shown on the dress in the Net-a-Porter photo. Apparently Gucci altered its design for some retailers and that’s the version that Kate purchased.

  45. I love this outfit. She can do 60′s and 70′s inspired clothes so well. Anything fitted on her torso and that shows off her legs always looks great on her.

  46. I love the dress, and I LOVE the shoes! I’m really digging block heel styles more and more these days. Maybe it’s because they look so much more comfortable for walking!

  47. I love all of this, and I’m pleased she’s taking a mini risk. Definitely different to her usual wardrobe. My only minor criticisms are I think it’s another example where she could’ve gone a size (or half a size) up, compare it to the model. Whilst I like the shoe (not nude stillettos – hurrah!), I think wearing a short hem, you should have a lower heel…think Jackie Onassis.

    • I think the fit is perfect, any bigger would get too blocky on her slender frame.

    • Agree that it’s too small. The waistline is in the middle of her back and the sleeves are too tight. The hem needed to be two inches longer. It gives her the appearance of a girl who outgrew her best dress.

  48. Kate can wear it again to a 1960s costume party. It looks like something from British Vogue with Jean Shrimpton on the cover. There’s a trick to making dresses your own, and it’s called accessories. A lower heel, like a Roger Vivier shoe, would have suited this much better.

    • Dear Brenda, I agree with you. The dress does remind one of a 1966 British Vogue Jean Shrimpton cover. I liked this look then and I like it now. Gucci has made it modern and it works. The Roger Vivier “Belle Vivier”patent pump (his signature 1965 pilgrim shoe designed for YSL’s 1965 infamous Mondrian color blocking dress) would have been my choice. The 45mm heel (1.8″) would suit the shorter dress length. The shoe is classic and suits the cut of this dress.

    • Thanks for the update on those pumps, I’m so glad to see informed support for a lower heel here. That whole Shrimpton look was the best. I’m struck by how classic this style of dress becomes in the hands of Gucci now, I think this is a very able contemporary update on a mini style. The two-tone piping contrast is a masterly touch.

  49. Oh, that hair.Sigh. Wonder what brand of products she uses?

  50. I love the dress, I think it looks perfect on the DoC. If today would have been September 29 and not June 29 I’d have said it was a perfect and amazing choice. As it is, though, it looks too autumny to my eyes. I know the material is a cotton/nylon blend, but it somehow looks wooly to me. But I do absolutely love the dress.

    (And BTW, I am convinced that the DoC reads this blog and responds with her fashion choices to our comments!)

    • Totally agree — this looks, at best, like an end-of-summer-beginning-of-autumn fabric and as much as I love the whole look, it just seems a bit out of place a week into the summer season.

  51. Perfection! Saw the photos earlier and came rushing over here to post. Love, love, love the shoes with this length skirt. So much better than her usual stilettos. Love the bright red bag and love the dress!!!

  52. I absolutely love this dress. It reminds me of the pink skirt suit with black buttons–can’t remember the label–that’s also quite sixties.

  53. I like this look. I appreciate that she is branching a bit from her normal look and trying something a bit different in terms of the pattern and overall style. I don’t think this is a total win (I think her hair detracts from the dress) but overall I think she looks nice.

  54. I love love love this outfit !!!!! She looks gorgeous

  55. I love her in this outfit. Retro is the way to go for a lot of her outfits.

  56. Love the dress, dislike the hair, makeup, and accessories. The hair is just too heavy and juvenile, and that is my first time saying that. She’s wearing Gucci, and she needed to have an amazing blowout with that or surprise everyone with a fresh lob. It would have been fine if it was straight and half-up, half-down, but the ringlet/unbrushed out curling iron look needs to go. I’m so excited for her that she got to do this, though!!

    • Alyssa, I agree with the hair. Lately, I haven’t really cared for Kate’s more natural makeup and hair style. I think her hair & makeup looked best when her and William were first married….circa 2011-2013. She had more color and such a wonderful hair style. Don’t get me wrong, she is gorgeous regardless, but I’d like to see a little more….perhaps a bit of bronzer?

      • I LOVED her makeup for the Heads Together video and the visit she, William, and Harry made for that earlier this spring- no bronzer, light on the brush, and a covert cat eye. I think she’s wearing way too much blush here and a peachy lipstick that clashes with her skin tone. I also hate when she puts a thick line of kohl around her eyes; she has gorgeous eyes and needs to highlight them! I do agree she had a bit more of a tan in the newlywed years and it suited her!

    • I wholeheartedly agree!!!

  57. Heads up a poker ad is appearing over the second last photo (the one of Diana’s grave). It doesn’t seem in keeping with your usual standards of etiquette on the site, so wanted to make you aware.

    • A thousand thank you’s for letting me know. I think that is because it was a Getty Images embed and they can run ads if they so choose, so I deleted it. :)

  58. Lovely post, Thank you! I think the Duchess looked wonderful today in this fresh dress. The length and fit were wonderful with her shape. It looked comfortable and easy to wear. The pop of red with the handbag also was fun to see. Would red shoes have looked to matchy matchy? Or maybe even a fun spectator with red and blue?
    I really liked the detail on the back of the sleeve shown in your post and wonder why the Duchess choose not to add this with her dress.
    Over all a win for me and love seeing her in new dresses. Looking forward to her next engagements.

    On another note, the dedication of Diana’s memorial. Still so miss her beautiful face. It still is so stunning that she died so young. Just one year ahead of William and Kate. Must be such a somber thought. My prayers are with the family.

  59. I like the coordination of her red bag and navy shoes with her new Gucci dress. I think the look is more youthful and eye-catching than what she’s been wearing lately.

  60. Kate’s handbag is not bespoke, it’s the ‘Natasha’ style by Emmy London in Lipstick. It’s available on their website for £350, if my memory is correct!

    • Hi Charlotte, thank you for commenting. I think it is different from the retail style; it doesn’t have the gold piping around the edge. I’ll keep looking for another photo that may better show whatI mean. :)

  61. Love the look on her. Love the length — Kate, you’ve got the legs, show them off! — the retro feel, the cute clutch and shoes. Usually I don’t like contrast placket and trim, but it works here because of the bold, retro look and trim styling. Her hair looks lovely. I also usually think matching bag and shoes look better, but this works because of the almost “block” color contrast of the outfit. Overall an outfit that suits the event and suits her. Love that it’s Gucci — go Kate!

    • Completely agree with regard to shorter skirt. I was excited to see her in something that showed off her great gams! It had a very youthful look.

    • Ditto! She is still young enough to do this, and she should. Love the blocky heel on the shoes– it keeps the shorter skirt from looking too daring, as a stiletto might. Great cut and fit on the dress, and her hairstyle is in keeping with the total look. Love it all.

  62. I love the dress, bag and shoes (!!!!!) but I really wish the Duchess would wear a different pair of earrings. These hoops with pearls in combination with the hairstyle make any look maitronly. Overall though,quite a nice and refreshing!

    • I agree – great dress, bag and shoes. I think the shoes are in fact black – the post says they are navy – that strikes me as odd with the black/red/white dress.

      I disagree with you about the earrings though – I don’t think matronly is the word – conservative maybe, and keeping with her personal taste. We all probably have earrings we wear “all the time” because we like them………………………

  63. Dynamite. Just love the Gucci dress. I wondered about tweed for summer, but it’s apparently a cotton tweed, so it’s meant for warm weather. I have had mixed feelings in the past when she has channeled that ladylike 1960s look, but this, for me, is how it’s done–down to the pearls, clutch, and block-heel pumps. Perfect.

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