Feb 152016
 

We’re back with several newsbytes, along with a look at some of the spring styles from Madderson London.

First, some very quick updates:

  • William, Kate and Harry will take part in events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Lasting more than four months, this Battle was one of the deadliest in all of World War I; commonwealth forces suffered catastrophic losses. While not yet specified I believe they will be taking part in ceremonies at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in Northern France, shown below. There are several events on both June 30th and July 1st. Commemorations begin with a parade of 1916 people accompanied by 100 pipers, the formal service of commemoration, a piper’s memorial and other functions. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will join the younger royals for the July 1st activities.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • Another update to the event on Kate’s calendar for this Wednesday’s Huffington Post UK guest editing duties. The Times of London’s royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah offered more details on Twitter about her Sunday Times story.  Roya’s article notes a ‘newsroom’ of sorts has been put together in Apartment 8 at Kensington Palace, where William & Harry grew up. Her editorship has “commissioned articles, blogs, and videos from leading figures in the mental health sector. ” The Duchess will take part in a news conference about a new initiative being formally launched on Wednesday, Young Minds Matter.
  • Also today, we want to share news about the King and Queen of Bhutan; photos of the couple with their newborn son have been released.
His Majesty, the King of Bhutan

His Majesty, the King of Bhutan

  • In both images you see the King and Queen along with the baby and his grandfather, the former King. The newborn will be just about two months old when the Duke and Duchess visit in April.
His Majesty, the King of Bhutan

His Majesty, the King of Bhutan

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Today we are delighted to introduce you to our newest sponsor, Madderson London.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Many readers became familiar with the brand when Kate wore the label’s ‘Naomi’ dress in January of last year for an opening of a new Art Room at a London school.

©

©Splash News/Nunn Syndication – Polaris/Splash News

For many of us one of the delights in following Kate’s sartorial selections is learning about new brands, different designers, labels and looks we haven’t seen before. This was very much the case when perusing all of the Madderson London styles online after seeing the Duchess in her Naomi dress.

The company is the creation of Sara Madderson (seen below left wearing the Jessica Sweater) and Helen Hughes (below right in the Celeste coat); the two have been friends since they were eleven years old.

Madderson London

Madderson London

They came up with the idea for the company when both worked in large corporations; Dublin-born Sara Madderson in banking and Ms. Hughes in marketing. When they were pregnant each found themselves hunting for elegant maternity styles that fit their corporate lives; neither was able to find the sort of upscale, timeless pieces they sought. Recognizing an unfilled niche in the market for a luxury maternity label the duo launched Madderson London in 2012. Below, a style from the label’s very first collection in autumn of 2012.

Madderson London via the MDB Company

Madderson London

Two more designs from the debut collection.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Helen and Sara always planned to offer womenswear in addition to the company’s maternity styles. The initial maternity collections were so popular the womenswear debuted sooner than planned, and to great success. In fact, Kate’s Naomi dress was not a maternity style, but a womenswear version of the frock.

Madderson London/Splash News/Madderson London

Madderson London/Splash News/Madderson London

Three styles from A/W 2014: left to right we show the Camilla, Sophie and Audrey dresses. Readers will recognize the French tweed of the center dress; it was used as trim on Kate’s Naomi dress. (Savvy shoppers can even find a few of these styles in limited quantities at fabulous price points in the ‘Outlet’ section of the Madderson website.)

Madderson London

Madderson London

Womenswear pieces from last fall included the Victoria jacket in ivory, Kara dress and Leonie sleeveless silk shell.

Madderson London

Madderson London

The Aurelie houndstooth dress, as well as the Coco and Juno are among the maternity looks that were offered last fall. The Juno is actually a 2012 style that was so popular Madderson reintroduced the design.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Company founders can often be seen in the brand’s designs. Below you see Helen wearing the sleeveless Serena dress.

Madderson London Instagram

Madderson London Instagram

The Serena is one of Madderson’s most-wanted designs, included in every collection. For winter’s cooler temps the Serena comes with sleeves; it is offered in black, navy and olive.

Madderson London

Madderson London

For those fond of the design it’s perfect timing: The warm weather version of the Serena has just arrived for spring 2016, it is a burst of fresh color in pink with a chic palm print.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Here you see Sara in the Naomi dress, pictured with Emma Harding, a retailer carrying the brand.

Madderson London

Madderson London

A good characterization of the brand comes via Smallish magazine; the publication recently awarded Madderson one of its annual Design Awards, describing the firm this way:

“… floor length gowns sit alongside shift dresses with graphic prints and embellished detailing, and luxury fabrics have been used to make a contemporary range that will take you through from one pregnancy to the next, regardless of how far apart they come.

Madderson London Blog

Madderson London Blog

The company puts premium textiles as a “must’ on its list of requirements for all merchandise, with many prints designed exclusively for Madderson London by Caroline Taylor. In this blog post Ms. Taylor explains her process in creating the patterns and designs that will ultimately be translated into fabric for dresses, blouses, skirts, jackets, tops and trousers.

Some of the stunning textiles from this spring’s designs; you can see their rich textures, an element key to the company’s design aesthetic.

Madderson London Instagram

Madderson London Instagram

Sara has done a nifty blog post about sourcing some of the exceptional tweed used on the brand’s creations; you see her below at the renowned Mahlia Kent textile facility in France. Seeing all that color at the legendary French mill makes a textile freak (like yours truly) go a little gaga.

Madderson London Blog

Madderson London Blog

There is also a quick behind the scenes video with Sara in which you can also see some of the beautiful materials Madderson uses.

Madderson London You Tube Channel

The Duchess isn’t the only notable name seen in Madderson London, or the only royal; Zara Phillips wore the brand when expecting her daughter, Mia Grace. Follow the yellow arrow on the cover below and you can about just see the royal with husband Mike Tindall, she was wearing Madderson’s Coco dress on the cover of a November 2013 issue of Hello!

Hello! Magazine

Hello! Magazine

TV presenter and model Holly Willoughby wears the brand, as does actress Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars fame. She is seen below in the brand’s Ingrid jacket.

Splash News/Madderson London

Splash News/Madderson London

Model/socialite Poppy Delevingne is also fond of the Ingrid, she has been seen out and about in London wearing the jacket. Another Madderson fan: classical singing star Katherine Jenkins, OBE. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano has posted several pictures on her Instagram account of different occasions when she was wearing Madderson. Below you see her in the Poppy Annabelle Dress.

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

This spring’s collection is just launching, and it is filled with lush, luxurious fabrics in vivid colors as well as some pastel hues. Below left the Annabel maternity dress, and on the right, the Eleanor maternity style. Both feature a Caroline Taylor botanical print.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Next, this spring’s maternity version of the Naomi, and another view of the Annabel maternity style, available now.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Loads of new maternity styles are already available at the retailer.

There are also new womenswear pieces arriving.  Below you see two of the spring styles: an updated Naomi in navy with pink checked trim at the hips and hem. Also in navy and pink, the Audrey shift dress in an Italian twill with a center panel in that pretty pink and white.

Madderson London

Madderson London

A few pieces that aren’t yet in stock: the Naomi in white with yellow raffia trim, the Marisa in navy, as well as the Leonie in pink and white and the Julia in all white.

Madderson London

Madderson London

That electric yellow raffia seen above as embellishment at the hem for the Naomi is used in several other womenswear designs for spring; the sunny, exuberant trim is the key element in the Flossie skirt and Effie dress.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Two more styles for spring: the womenswear Allegra see below left, along with the Celeste coat and Sabina dress.

Maddersopn Introductory Post Spring 2016 Womenswear Allegra Dress Celeste Coat Jacket Sabina Dress

Madderson London

A closer look at the Celeste’s beautiful blue fabric and sherbet orange trim, along with the white raffia used for the piece and another leaf print by Caroline Taylor.

Madderson London

Madderson London

In this look the orange is featured on the bodice, nicely contrasting with that pale aqua and white leather piping.

Madderson London

Madderson London

Below, the classic Coco maternity dress in white jacquard with French tweed trim.

Madderson London

Madderson London

The entire Madderson London collection is available online at the brand’s website. A selection of styles is offered at Nordstrom, as well as A Pea in the Pod online and at select Pea in the Pod boutiques.

Like so many others, I wondered what it is like for a designer when the Duchess of Cambridge is seen wearing one of your dresses. Recognizing there are strong discretionary rules guiding what can be said publicly, Sara Madderson was able to share a little bit:

“We were on a photo shoot when the news hit. When I saw the first grainy photo on Twitter I cried! Then most of the team cried too. It was a very special moment for us all: The aftermath was crazy; our site was down for 12 hours due to the huge surge in traffic, and when we got it back up and running the site did 6 months’ worth of sales in a single day. The impact lasted for months, and the most meaningful legacy was that like-minded women around the world discovered our aesthetic and went on to become loyal customers.”

This is just a sampling of the spring collection, with many more styles appearing from now through May. You can follow Madderson London on Instagram, as well as Facebook, along with Twitter and Pinterest.

Madderson has a special promotion running: if you sign up for their mailing list, you will receive 10% off your first order.

We’ll see you here Wednesday for the Young Minds Matter events.

LINKAGE

Jan 082016
 

We are back with our next poll, but first, news about the Duke and Duchess visiting the tiny kingdom of Bhutan.

Bhutan Tourism Office

Bhutan Tourism Office

This morning Kensington Palace announced William and Kate will visit the country. We learn more from Victoria Murphy’s story in The Mirror:

The couple will be welcomed by the country’s Dragon King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, dubbed the “William and Kate” of the Himalayas.

Hi Majesty the King of Bhutan Facebook

Hi Majesty the King of Bhutan Facebook

Continue reading »

Jan 072016
 

We are back with the first of our annual polls, but first we make a brief detour to share the darling pictures of George on his first day of nursery school.

©HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

©HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Kensington Palace released two photos of the young Prince on Instagram and Twitter this morning, sending the interwebs into a frenzy.Kensington Palace Tweets George 1st Fisrt Day Nursery School January 6 2016 Continue reading »