Feb 282015
 

Hello and happy weekend to all, hopefully it’s an enjoyable one.  We begin today with new engagements added to Kate’s Calendar.

  • Monday, March 9 (15:15 local time/10:15am ET): William and Kate join the Queen and other royals for a Commonwealth Observance Day service at Westminster Abbey. The Day is “Britain’s largest annual inter-faith gathering… organised with the Royal Commonwealth Society. Among the 2,000-strong congregation will be more than 1,000 children from schools and youth groups.” (This is via Westminster Abbey.) The service is roughly an hour long and will include music, readings and hymns.
  • Friday, March 13th (11am local time/6am ET): William and Kate join other senior royals at St. Paul’s for a Service of Commemoration honoring those who served in Afghanistan. “The service will pay tribute to members of the Armed Forces past and present who served on operations in Afghanistan, and all those in the UK who worked to make the country a safer more stable place.” Following the service there will be a parade through the streets of London, a flyover and a reception at the GuildHall. “Members of the public will be able to watch the parade and from next week can visit the City of London police website for more information including timings and a map of the route.” The order of service may be seen here, there are also details here.
    • Obviously a solemn occasion, the service will be attended by senior political and governmental officials, as well as “members of the Armed Forces, veterans, the next of kin of deceased personnel, representatives of military and aid charities and organisations, and the UK’s NATO allies in Afghanistan from 2001 – 2014.”
    • During/following the parade there will be “… a flypast of aircraft used in the campaign, including Chinook, Apache and Sea King Helicopters, and Hercules and Tornado aircraft will fly over the parade and Cathedral in tribute.”
    • The service and parade will be aired live on BBC One starting at 10:30am London time.

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Next on our hit parade, a look at LK Bennett’s spring collection. We begin with a frock that is arguably the most versatile of the label’s spring dress crop, the Marlene Fitted Dress ($395). This one can easily be dressed up or down, paired with a shrug, a jacket, almost anything. The colors from left to right: cyan blue, jelly bean pink and dark navy.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Mariana Fitted Dress comes in both black and blue; on the right, LKB’s Valorie Fitted dress ($425), shown in cyan.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Sophia Suit Dress in dark navy ($395) is described as “a wardrobe essential – note the cap sleeves, longer length and chic square neckline,” an apt characterization. On the right, the brand’s Maria Pleat Dress ($425) in light cream.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Two softer styles from the retailer, the Azura Full Skirt Dress in an elegant creamy white, a piece that looks tailor made for the Duchess. On the right, the Occa 50′s Style Dress. (Currently these two frocks are shown only on the LKB UK site.)

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Styles with a little personality include the Hannah Shift Dress ($345) in a delicate floral print, on the right we show the Largo Pencil Dress, almost all cotton with a touch of spandex for ease of movement.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Salmie dress ($525) is done in a wool/silk blend, with black bands at the waist and back, and “a cape-like effect.” It appears the aqua color is only available in the UK at this point.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Below, the Luchia Racer Dress ($545) in a navy cotton/silk blend, along with the Wardour Lace Overlay Dress ($525) in jelly bean pink, also offered in sloane blue.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

Takeaways after grazing at LKB’s dress collection:

  • navy is the new black – the collection shows a number of basics in navy, a nice switch from basic black
  • the brand continues to excel when it comes to updated office dress styles

For spring/summer footwear the Sledge remains part of the brand’s collection of basics, although the color palette is not as broad; from left to right, the Sledge in Clay, in Kate’s taupe, and in black.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

There are loads of colorful styles coming into the stores, like the Jenna Bucket Bag and Alma Print Sandals.

LK Bennnet via Harper's Bazaar UK

LK Bennnet via Harper’s Bazaar UK

There are some fun footwear prints this spring. On the left, the Fern Patent Leather Point Toe Pump in black polka dots ($345), and the Florete Printed Leather Point Toe Heel ($345) in a paint spatter pattern.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Hazel Suede Almond Toe pump ($325) comes in the power pink shown below left as well as blue denim and black; the Flossie Suede D’Orsay heel ($325) is offered in blue denim suede, beige trench leather and citrus patent leather.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

LK Bennett has just launched its bridal collection, offering heels and handbags. Below, the Floey Embellished Suede Point Toe heel.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

There is no shortage of glitter; from left to right: the Clemmie Glitter Slingback Platform ($375), the Fern Glitter Pointed Toe Pumps, and the Megan Glitter Suede Platform Sandal ($395).

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Palma Glitter Knit Strappy Sandal ($375) and coordinating Flo Glitter Clutch ($345).

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

The Erica Glitter Peep Toe Wedge ($360) also coordinates with the Flo clutch shown above. To see the complete lineup of shoes in the bridal collection, click here.

For those not near an LK Bennett store, Nordstrom does carry a selection of the label’s footwear. This includes a few pieces I didn’t see on the LK Bennett site, like the Elsa Espadrille ($195) and the Priya Wedge ($275).

Nordstrom

Nordstrom

There are also shoe colors that I believe are exclusive to Nordstrom in the USA.  For example, Nordstrom has the Irene Pointy-Tie Pump in red, while the LK Bennett US site does not; both Nordstrom and LK Bennett have the shoe in black patent; in the US the pink marshmallow color is available only at LK Bennett.

Nordstrom/Nordstrom/LK Bennett

Nordstrom/Nordstrom/LK Bennett

It’s always fun to look at spring styles, it makes spring’s arrival seem just a teeny bit closer.

We will see you in a few days!

LINKAGE:

Feb 102015
 

We are back with a few quick updates and a look at a brand that may be new for some readers.

William, Kate, George and the Middletons have returned from their Mustique vacation. The Duchess dived back into work today with a visit to a school in southeast London; word of the visit was shared on Twitter.

Press Association Twitter

Press Association Twitter

The Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital school caters to students who are patients at either Bethlem Royal Hospital or Maudsley Hospital; both facilities specialize in mental health services.  As the tweets above note, Kate was at the school in her role as patron of Place2Be. More from a Press Association story in The Daily Mail:

“This visit was arranged through Place2Be, of which HRH is Royal Patron, after learning about their work during the Place 2 Reflect conference last year to further develop her knowledge of the sector.”

Kate had listened to the school’s headteacher Dr John Ivens, an educational psychologist, speak at the Place2Be conference on children’s mental health in June.

Students at the school range in age from 4 years old through the teen years, up to age 19. A parent with a child attending the school shared this on Twitter:

Sam Twitter Feed (@Saml77)

Sam Twitter Feed (@Saml77)

There is an art gallery on the grounds of Maudsley Hospital, the Maudsley Long Gallery. There is also a gallery at Bethlem, the Bethlem Gallery.  More on the gallery’s ties with the hospital from the Museum’s website:

The Bethlem Gallery primarily exhibits work by artists who have had contact with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s services. One exhibition a year is dedicated to work outside of this remit that has relevance to mental health, the hospital site or our historic collection.

The Duchess has shared her belief that art can play a key role in treating a broad spectrum of illnesses. One of her patronages, The Art Room, specializes in art therapy. When looking at the varying elements, the hospitals’ mental health focus and art galleries, as well as Kate’s charitable interests, one sees how today’s school visit fits right in.

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UPDATED FEB 11:  Kate had another private engagement, this one on Wednesday, February 11th. She attended a reception on behalf of the Royal Foundation. Once again we turn to the Press Association’s Twitter account for information.

Press Association

Press Association

If additional details about the function are released we will update the post.

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Many readers may have seen the photos of the Duke, Duchess and Prince George as they boarded a British Airways flight for the trip back to London from Mustique; if not, those images can be seen here and here. There have been suggestions Kate may have been in the crochet-collar top she was seen in when expecting George, as shown on this cover of Hello! magazine. I’ve not seen photos large enough, or with high enough resolution, that allow identification of what Kate wore at the airport.

Hello!

Hello!

In the airport photos Prince William is carrying a bag by British brand Joules.

Joules Stopover Overnight Bag

Joules

Many initially thought it was a Cath Kidston piece, but that was not the case. William was carrying the Joules ‘Stopover’ in the overnight size, the pattern is called Bluposy.

The bag is sold out in that pattern, but I thought it offered a good opportunity to introduce readers unfamiliar with the brand to Joules. It’s a retailer I wrote about with some frequency when authoring a blog focused on preppy style. Joules was launched in 1989.

Joules

Joules

Initially Tom Joules sold merchandise at country shows and festivals, much the way Really Wild Clothing and others market their merchandise. It makes sense, many styles fit well in a country setting.

Joules

Joules

There’s a slideshow on the Joules website offering info on the company’s history, it is filled with some fun factoids, including this one.

Joules

Joules

Joules is long popular with some favoring a preppy style aesthetic in the US, a not-too-distant-relative to the look attributed to a British Sloane. Below, a Joules fieldcoat from the a/w 2014 line.

Joules

Joules

When asked over the years to describe the brand I usually said it was something like a blend of LL Bean and Lands’ End, with a touch of Orvis, definitely some Boden, and a good dose of local country outfitters.

Joules

Joules

Joules brand offers pieces in cottage prints, heritage tweeds, florals, and waxed cotton solids.

Joules USA

Joules USA

Several Joules coat styles have been been popular with WKW readers, especially the quilted looks. Below left we show the Marcotte, below right, the Moredale, one of our more popular ‘CopyKate Clothing’ pins (and long since sold out), a good stand-in for those seeking the look of a quilted Barbour.

Joules

Joules

The company’s wellies were part of the original product line, and then equestrian items were added to the merchandise mix. Boots remain big sellers, in the USA they’re priced anywhere from $42 to $167.

Joules

Joules

One of the nicer things about Joules is its sense of whimsy – the company doesn’t take itself too seriously. Below, sweaters in the USA outlet, now selling at $51, discounted from $120.

Joules USA

Joules USA

Spring 2015 sweaters.

Joules

Joules

There’s a knit top that looks like a splendid repliKate for the Breton strip tops worn by the Duchess…until one realizes the piece is actually a cardigan. (It looks like a splendid sweater nonetheless!)

Next.co.UK

Next.co.UK

Joules has an online outlet carrying discounted merchandise. Below we show an infant’s Zip Through Fleece Top ($32, was originally $45), women’s Bilson Cashmere Sweater (originally $154, now $102) and the Jaws Mittens (initially sold for $23, now $14).

Joules USA

Joules USA

Joules produces a broad range of handbags, totes, and luggage. Below we share 2 spring items, the Carrie Shoulder Bag and Kembry Weekend Bag, both are in the French Navy Garden design, shown at Bell Shoes.

Bell Shoes, UK

Bell Shoes, UK

Two leather styles: the Lycett (l) and the Witnell (r), both as shown at Country Attire.

Country Attire

Country Attire

The retailer has a good selection of menswear.

Joules

Joules

(That jacket is actually a look I’m not crazy about, it looks awfully short.)Below, a rugby shirt and quilted vest.

Joules

Joules

The following styles are shown at Jarrold, in Norwich (UK). The sweater in the middle is reminiscent of an iconic LL Bean piece, Bean’s Norwegian sweater.

Jarrold

Jarrold

Joules also carries clothing and accessories for the younger set, with merchandise for newborns/infants, plus baby boys and girls.

Joules

Joules

Along with regular children’s sizes.

Joules

Joules

In addition to clothing and accessories, Joules UK sells items for the home, like bedding.

Joules

Joules

The UK site also carries kitchen goods.

Joules UK

Joules UK

NOTE: While writing this post the UK, USA and Germany Joules sites went down, evidently for scheduled work. It appears the sites will all be offline until Wednesday evening. However, there is an upside to the outage: the company is offering 10% off orders from Wednesday evening until midnight Thursday. In the USA use promo code USFEB15, in the UK the code is FEB15, in Germany it is DEFEB15.

Joules

Joules

UPDATED FEB 11: The sites all appear to be back up and running, but you can still use the discount code until midnight tomorrow.

Boutique and specialty shops stock the brand, including Country Attire. It is also carried by some department stores, like House of Fraser and Next in the UK. In America the wellies are carried by Target (thanks to Sue B Do for that tip!), Nordstrom has a small sampling of wellies, the brand is also offered on Amazon in the US.

We’ll see you Thursday for Kate’s Portsmouth engagement.

LINKAGE:

 

Jan 192015
 

Kate returned to a favorite brand for today’s engagements in the London borough of Kensington, not far from her home at Kensington Palace.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

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