Feb 172014
 

Kate repeated an Alexander McQueen dress for tonight’s dramatic arts reception, as she joined the Queen in welcoming members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to Buckingham Palace.

David Crump/Daily Mail/PA Wire

David Crump/Daily Mail/PA Wire

The Queen is the organization’s patron, many of the 250 guests could be considered acting royalty. The Mirror’s Victoria Murphy shared photos of guests arriving, below we see Joan Collins and Helena Bonham Carter, the latter played the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech.

Victoria Murphy, The Mirror Twitter

Victoria Murphy, The Mirror Twitter

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Sep 062013
 

Hello and happy weekend to everyone. We have several updates to share, and they all involve boots.

We begin with the case of the UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object) Boots, something that has stymied many of us for years. The object of our confusion? The boots worn by Kate in this 2007 photo; the future Duchess is seen leaving Raffles nightclub with younger sister Pippa.

Matt Keeble/PA Wire

Matt Keeble/PA Wire

 

Identification of the boots has proven perplexing, many a search was undertaken to determine who made them and several times it was thought we had discovered the answer. At one point it seemed they might be by Hobbs, another time it looked like they could be Banana Republic, Sara Wellman did a significant amount of groundwork, contacting companies.

Fortunately, a friend from the WKW Facebook Community has finally solved the puzzle. Behold, Kate’s boots.

eBay/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

eBay/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

They are by a storied Swiss brand, Bally. Credit for resolution of the boot debate goes to Rachel Beasley Nesbit, also known as Rachel N. Wales on the WKW page. Here is another look at Kate in the boots, this time at Coworth Park for a May 2009 polo match.

SplashNews.com

SplashNews.com

While the photo enlargements are a little blurred, you can see that Rachel’s boots are the same as what Kate wore.

eBay/Splash News

eBay/Splash News

Another angle.

Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit/Splash News

Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit/Splash News

An interesting note, the boots were described as “BALLY Burgundy Dark Red Coated Leather Double Buckle” boots, I would not have pegged the color as burgundy. A look from another angle.

eBay/PA Wire

eBay/PA Wire

No doubt some readers will recognize the Bally name, the company has been around since 1851.  Bally makes shoes and accessories for both men and women. Below, an image from the brand’s fall advertising campaign, Bally continues to offer women’s boots.

Bally Facebook

Bally Facebook

The new campaigns may be beautifully staged and photographed, but some of us fondly recall the older Bally advertisements, like these.

Via Vintage Venus, Australia

Via Vintage Venus, Australia

The company did well for more than a century. In 1977 family members sold their share of the company and shortly afterward Bally encountered problems. Since then it has changed hands more than once, it is now owned by Labelux Group, the same firm that owns Belstaff and Jimmy Choo.

Back to Kate’s boots, here you see Kate wearing them at those same polo matches.

Splash News and Pictures

Splash News and Pictures

Bally has a store in Mayfair, right on Bond St., it’s possible this is where Kate purchased the boots. I doubt we’ll ever know precisely where they were bought; Bally has stores around the world, many of them in locales Kate has visited over the years. The company does mark its hardware, we show the ‘Bally’ name on a contemporary shoe alongside a clasp on the boots Rachel purchased.

Bally/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

Bally/Courtesy Rachel Beasley Nesbit

Bally designs for men can be found at upscale venues like Saks, but not the women’s products; an online search shows products at Bally’s website, but also at discounters like DSW, and Sierra Trading Post. Below, an image from the Bally website.

Bally.com

Bally.com

Those familiar with Kate’s jewelry will recognize the Patrick Mavros ‘Ndoro’ earrings she is wearing in the 2009 polo photos.

Splash News/Patrick Mavros

Splash News/Patrick Mavros

The Ndoro design is a classic motif; Mr. Mavros describes its Zimbabwean history and his use of the design here. The earrings are still available at the jeweler’s website, they are approximately $235, or £150.

Kate’s top is a French Connection bird-print piece, we thank Anna and My Small Obsessions for this information.

Splash News/My Small Obsessions Facebook

Splash News/My Small Obsessions Facebook

Kate is also seen carrying her trusty Prada bag; I have not had time to look for the maker of her black jacket (sweater?), nor her jeans.

For those curious about Kate’s attire in the 2007 photo with Pippa, the blazer is by British label Fenn, Wright & Manson.

eBay CopyKate Auction via My Small Obsessions

eBay CopyKate Auction via My Small Obsessions

The silk velvet jacket is single-breasted with curved lapels and flap pockets, our thanks again to My Small Obsessions for this info, Anna also says Kate is wearing a’ Silk Grecian Style Tunic Top’ in the photo, by one of her go-to labels, Reiss.

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Our other update, involves another pair of boots, only these were identified some time ago.

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley

Russell and Bromley have re-issued Kate’s Charge-It boots, now called the Charge-It2. Here is how the boot is described:

The classic zipped riding boot in luxurious black suede is elegant and sophisticated for easy chic all day long. Multiple elastic inserts add to the detail, elongate the leg and allow for flexible width fittings. Wear over skinny trousers or with dresses for chic Winter style.

Here we show Kate wearing the boots when shopping in February, 2012 and a closeup from when she was released from the hospital in December of 2012.

Kind Permission of IKON Pictures/Splash News

Kind Permission of IKON Pictures/Splash News

The boots sell at Russell and Bromley for £275, approximately $430 at today’s exchange rates. LK Bennett has also re-issued the Darwin Shearling Jacket the Duchess is wearing above left, it now retails for £795, roughly $1250.

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Our final note today is also about boots, in this case Kate’s favorite Rhumba boots by Aquatalia, the prize in our giveaway showcasing our fundraiser for EACH, one of Kate’s patronages.  The lucky winner is….

Aquatalia

Aquatalia

Cathleen Plaza wins a pair of the Rhumba in this year’s new color, Anthracite. Our thanks to Aquatalia for their generosity in sponsoring the giveaway.

May 112013
 

William and Kate attended a wedding today in the idyllic setting of Ewelme, in Oxfordshire. Their good friends, William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene were married, Royal photographer Mark Stewart reports that William was an usher, so Kate came to the wedding with friends.

With thanks to the generosity of Tilly Pudwell for graciously sharing her photo, you can see Kate repeated the Topshop dress first worn last month.

Kind Courtesy of Tilly Pudwell

Kind Courtesy of Tilly Pudwell

Kate had on much the same ensemble today as what she wore to the Warner Brothers Studio event April 26, seen below.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

This is the dress prompting debate as to whether it was Topshop’s Polka Dot Skater Dress (now sold out with the exception of isolated petite sizes)…

Topshop (no longer available)

Topshop (no longer available)

… or the brand’s Florence maternity dress, also sold out.

Topshop Florence Maternity Dress (no longer available)

Topshop Florence Maternity Dress (no longer available)

After loads of input via comments on the original post, Facebook comments and email, it looks like Kate is wearing the Florence. While I am a seamstress, I’ve not worn maternity apparel and it it makes sense to listen to those with more experience on the topic.

The only other polka dot Topshop dress I found in any range of sizes is a piece that is much longer, the Penny Spot Midi Dress (on sale for $50). There is a polka dot maternity piece available, the Maternity Spot Shirt ($76), it also comes in Standard sizing.

Topshop US Site

Topshop US Site

As mentioned, Kate paired the dress with her Ralph Lauren jacket from several years ago.

Kate-Ralph-Lauren-Black-Jacket-UFO

She also carried her black clutch and Episode ‘Angel’ pumps.

Splash News

Splash News

The Duchess did wear a smart new fascinator, we don’t know the maker yet, and will update if we do learn more about the piece.

UPDATED: The kind folks at Vivien Sheriff messaged me Tuesday to let me know Kate was wearing a piece they created.

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Our next item involves Kate wearing a different brand of shoes. There have been multiple posts on Twitter this past week by people who say they have seen Kate out and about in Anglesey. One such tweet was posted Friday by Matt Steele, he even noted the brand of footwear Kate was wearing.

Matt Steele Twitter Feed

Matt Steele Twitter Feed

The brand originated in Spain, the shoes are made in factory near the small town of Arnedo.

Flossy Plimsolls

Flossy Plimsolls

Initially I was taken aback someone could note a shoe label so easily, until the savvy WKW Facebook crew pointed out that it can be easy to spot Flossys, they have a distinctive tag at the heel.

Flossy Plimsolls

Flossy Plimsolls

Kate might like the pair shown above, they are done in broderie anglaise, or eyelet, a favorite fabric for her.  Some say Flossys are akin to the US-based brand TOMS: both brands are made of fabric, lightweight, and easy to slip on and off.

Flossy Plimsolls

Flossy Plimsolls

The brand is offered online in the UK, although I can’t see that they ship to the US. Office Shoes offers men’s, women’s & children’s sizes online, and they do ship to the US. Additionally, men’s style are available online at Topman in the US.

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Today’s final item involves a garment most recently seen on last year’s Jubilee Tour, worn for Kate and William’s departure from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. It turns out the piece is by Diane von Furstenberg.

CopyKate

Photos via eBay France

The frock is a classic DVF wrap dress showcasing a rich paisley pattern. Kate has had the dress for more than a decade however, she wore it to a party at St. Andrews in 2002, and again in 2005 for dinner with Prince William, a photo of the latter instance can be seen here.

The dress is 100% silk in a v-neck style with self-belt. There is pink piping at the cuffs of the three-quarter sleeves, pockets, collar and vertical front seaming detail. I believe the identification was made almost simultaneously by eBay Sellers CopyKate and Logman, many thanks to Franciele for sharing this information.

One quick reminder for those who may be pondering a donation to our Fundraiser for EACH, we would be ever-so-indebted for any small amount you may be able to give. If interested in posting one of our graphics (buttons, banners, and more), this link will show you the great selection of styles.othe giveaway over at the HRH Duchess Kate blog is still open, the winner will receive some lovely beachwear.

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