Mar 092015
 

Kate was in Alexander McQueen and Jane Taylor for today’s Commonwealth Day church service at Westminster Abbey.

John Stillwell/PA Wire

John Stillwell/PA Wire

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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.

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Feb 042015
 

We are back with updates to Kate’s Calendar as well as several retail notes.

  • Thursday, February 12: In her role as Patron of the 1851 Trust the Duchess visits the town of Portsmouth. She will visit the Trust’s new headquarters located at Ben Ainslie Racing, meet students who created a giant mural at the headquarters and add her own touch to the artwork.

More about the Emma Bridgewater pottery unveiled at last November’s EACH luncheon, the reason Kate is visiting the Bridgewater factory. Below you see the Duchess with Ms. Bridgewater at that November event.

Paul Rogers/PA Wire

Paul Rogers/PA Wire

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