We are back with some additional thoughts on Kate’s tour wardrobe, as well as our polls looking at what she wore in Poland and Germany.
We begin with thoughts from Vanessa Friedman of the NY Times in a column titled The Duchess of Cambridge and Family Refine the Art of Pantone Politics. The piece looks at the “canny use of the family’s clothing to present a coordinated picture of friendship and cultural awareness.”
But it was the two moments of arrival in each country, when the Cambridges deplaned en masse and in theme, that made the most impact. Why was that? Well, because they got the whole family involved!
Landing in Warsaw, for example, they were a symphony in (mostly) red and white, Poland’s national colors: the duchess in white Alexander McQueen; the duke in a navy suit, white shirt and red tie; Princess Charlotte in a red-and-white smocked dress and red shoes; Prince George in a red-and-blue check shirt and navy shorts.
Here is a refresher photo.
The article then covers what the Cambridges wore when leaving Poland and arriving in Berlin. Another refresher photo.
Back to Ms. Friedman’s piece.
Diplomats and politicians using their wardrobes as vehicles of communication is increasingly part of the job these days — we expect it, they plan for it.
Now, however, we seem to have reached something of a new stage.
Whether anyone heard the diplomatic niceties mumbled to the officials on the tarmac didn’t matter: The wider message, meant for anyone watching — or reading, or checking Instagram — was unmistakable from the pictures, which were singularly easy to read no matter what the platform. The individual designers mattered less than the net effect of the colors.
And the family as they leave Germany for their return to London.
The column concludes this way:
Like the themed socks of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, such calculated prismatics are an accessible approach to the diplomatic dress challenge. You don’t have to know anything about fashion to understand them.
Think of it as Pantone politics. Betcha we’ll see more of it.
The column makes sense; I do think we’ll see more of it. But it isn’t a new phenomenon for the family; they have been coordinating things on major appearances for some time. Below, the Cambridges arrive in Canada last October.
Not everyone is crazy about the coordination; this is from Australia’s News.com.
SHE’S one of the most stylish women in the world but the way the Duchess of Cambridge (and her family) have been dressing lately has left us confused. Like Kim and Kanye, Kate and Wills seem to be taking couples dressing to a new level.
And while it makes the royals perfectly styled for their flash-ready photo opportunities, is this family sartorial co-ordination becoming a bit … odd?
IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that striking a balance between a work-appropriate and summer-worthy ensemble is no simple thing. And yet the Duchess of Cambridge proved it is possible last night when she attended a garden party in Berlin wearing a red off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress.
It is also the most sartorially relaxed we’ve seen the Duchess, who has opted for tailored suits – the blue Catherine Walker & Co number worn as she arrived in Berlin yesterday, for instance – or structured separates by Erdem, which she wore on her second day in Poland.
Caitlin McBride of The Independent offers an interesting analysis:
We’re in the middle of a Midi-ssainace. Like most style icons before her, Kate Middleton has had a ‘Eureka!’ moment in which she realises evolution is the key to longevity. After 10 years of pleated midi skirt suits, pillbox hats and nude court heels, the Duchess of Cambridge is shaking it up.
When she chopped an estimated six inches off her hair, a look she debuted at Wimbledon, the fashion press went into meltdown. “Was she pregnant? Did she get botox? Are the Illuminati sending signals through her hair cut?”
As it turns out, the girl just needed a change and change did she get. It seems those extra six inches were quite literally bringing her down as we have seen a lighter and even brighter Kate over the last two weeks, in particular during the British royals’ European tour in Poland and Germany.
Kate at Wimbledon.
The story is titled How Kate Middleton updated her look to finally become a contemporary style icon.
From the moment she touched down in Warsaw in an Alexander McQueen skirt suit with a wrap top and deep V neckline, Kate has been on a veritable tour de couture.
Lorna Weightman, one of Ireland’s top tv and editorial stylists, is just as excited about her style transformation…
“It started with the haircut and now she’s been a little bit bolder with the neckline, there’s been a deeper V, and she’s wearing a lot more print. On Thursday night, she wore a beautiful Markus Lupfer dress, which is not a designer I typically thought she would go for – he typically designs sweatshirts and t-shirts.”
We return to Ms. McBride’s story:
“When she wore the Alexander McQueen dress and those Simone Rocha earrings, that red was incredible. She’s worn Bardot before but not like this, she’s showing a bit more skin. I like the bolder Kate!”
While many were quick to jump to the fact that Kate looks “10 years younger” (myself included), she is simply rather dressing her age, moving away from the wedding guest attire synonymous with British royal style.
“I don’t think it makes her look younger, I think she looks more up to date and age appropriate,” Lorna says. “She’s so tall and statuesque that she always looks beautiful, but now she looks her age.
Those are all interesting perspectives. If you would like to read the full articles, the Times column is here; the News.com story is here; the Independent column may be read here; the British Vogue story is here.
Now to our polls asking for your input on Kate’s clothing and accessories worn/carried during the tour. We begin with shoes, looking at them in chronological order. The first is the Gianvito Rossi suede pump in Praline (available in limited sizing at Net-at-Porter, as well as at My Theresa). It is a shoe that some love… and others, well…, it’s not their favorite.
With an off the shoulder Alexander McQueen dress Kate wore the Prada Scalloped Wavy Strap sandal in a color called Quartz/Quarzo (we show the shoe in black at Net-a-Porter, where it is available in very limited sizes). The Duchess also wore the style the next evening with a Markus Lupfer dress.
For engagements in Heidelberg on Thursday Kate brought back the ‘Fleur’ wedges by Monsoon.
We’re not including the Superga Cotu trainer Kate wore on Thursday; it doesn’t really fit with the dressier styles worn the rest of the trip.
Kate accessorized her blue Catherine Walker ensemble, seen as the family departed Poland and arrived in Berlin, with a new handbag. It was the Vivien clutch style by Jimmy Choo. (We show it at Selfridges, but it is also available at Farfetch and other retailers in a variety of colors.)
Kate did not carry a purse with the red Alexander McQueen dress. The next handbag we saw was at the German Cancer Research Centre engagement in Heidelberg Thursday; it looked like the customized McQueen bag Kate has carried previously.
Our final vote considers an overall look, asking which ensemble you liked the most. We begin with Monday’s Alexander McQueen coat, Jenny Packham clutch, Gianvito Rossi heels and new jewelry.
Next, the Gosia Baczyńska dress worn to Monday night’s party, accessorized by the Prada clutch, Gianvito Rossi suede heels, Balenciaga ‘Eugenia’ earrings and UFO necklace.
Tuesday’s Erdem separates, Etui handbag, Stuart Weitzman sandals, and presumed-to-be Baltic Amber jewelry.
The Catherine Walker coat, lace dress, Jimmy Choo Vivien clutch, Ginavito Rossi heels and Kiki McDonough jewelry worn when departing Poland and arriving in Germany on Wednesday.
The Alexander McQueen dress, earrings by Simone Rocha and Prada sandals worn Wednesday night at the party commemorating HM’s birthday.
Thursday’s Jenny Packham dress worn in Heidelberg, Alexander McQueen clutch, Monsoon Wedges, and Oscar de la Renta earrings.
Or Friday’s Emilia Wickstead dress, Anya Hindmarch handbag and Gianvito Rossi pumps.
As with the Superga snakers, we elected not to include the one casual outfit Kate wore in the poll.
We will do our jewelry poll later this week.
We’re just getting caught up on things, including our repliKate suggestions. We have added some ideas here for the Hugo Boss top.
As well as some for the McQueen dress here.
We have loads more to get posted in the next day or two.
And we’re just getting the Retail Roundup page updated with the latest inventory and sale news.