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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It is fashion month, we’re in the middle of NY Fashion Week right now. I’ll have more about that in other posts, but a quick note for Tory Burch fans: her show will be streaming live on her website, on Facebook and on Twitter via Periscope at 9am Tuesday morning.
Today we are delighted to introduce you to our newest sponsor, 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.
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.
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.
Two more designs from the debut collection.
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.
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.)
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.
Company founders can often be seen in the brand’s designs. Below you see Helen wearing the sleeveless Serena dress.
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.
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.
Here you see Sara in the Naomi dress, pictured with Emma Harding, a retailer carrying the brand.
“… 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.
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.
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.
There is also a quick behind the scenes video with Sara in which you can also see some of the beautiful materials Madderson uses.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two more styles for spring: the womenswear Allegra see below left, along with the Celeste coat and Sabina dress.
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.
In this look the orange is featured on the bodice, nicely contrasting with that pale aqua and white leather piping.
Below, the classic Coco maternity dress in white jacquard with French tweed trim.
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.
- Visit the Somme 2016 website here to learn more about the Battle and events surrounding the anniversary
- The Great War Centenary website is here, the organization’s Facebook page is here and Twitter feed here
- The Commonwealth War Graves Thiepval Memorial page is here, the War Graves Commission Facebook page is here, and its Twitter feed is here; the Great War website Thiepval Memorial page is here
- The Royal British Legion website is here, its page dedicated to the Somme Centenary is here
- A listing of events commemorating the Battle may be seen here