..with numerous staged photo opportunities in the creative and commercial capital of the fashion world, the duchess used the city as a catwalk to subtly raise the bar in the art of diplomatic power dressing.
The duchess has long had her favorite British designers to wear on the global stage. But given the profile of the trip, it was hard not to think that championing some of the British female talent leading the industry charge in Paris, like Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo at Céline, or Clare Waight Keller, installed at the helm of Givenchy just last week, might have reflected a defter touch in sartorial tradecraft.
We are back with word of several new engagements for Kate, as well as a few polls. First, a look at an updated version of Kate’s Calendar:
Sunday, February 5: Kate, William & Harry will take part in a Heads Together training day for the London Marathon. They will join 150 runners who are taking part in the Marathon. “The runners are fundraising for the eight Heads Together Charity Partners or the campaign itself and there will be a session to support their efforts in raising funds for the services and support giving vital help with mental health, day in, day out.”
Monday, February 6: As part of Children’s Mental Health Week Kate and William take part in an assembly at Mitchell Brook Primary School. The event is part of the Big Assembly, Place2Be’s effort asking schools across the UK to take part in sharing a little kindness with pupils, families, and staff. The couple will also present the first Place2Be Kindness Cup to a pupil “who has shown exceptional kindness in their school community and beyond.”
Monday, February 6: The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry will attend a Guild of Health Writers conference. “The Duke and Duchess will meet members of the Guild of Health Writers, along with leaders of the Heads Together Charity Partners. After listening to the Heads Together runner speak at the conference, the Duke will give a short speech. The Duke and Duchess will then listen to the presentations of four experts on the conference theme.”
That gives us a nice segue to our next poll as it focuses on formal styles worn by the Duchess in 2016.
We begin with the Saloni London dress worn to a Palace reception in advance of the India/Bhutan tour. Kate wore the label’s Mary Flocked Chiffon gown, also called the ‘Mary Illusion Dot Dress.’ The frock featured a high ruffle neck on the front with a plunging vee in the back, nipped-in waistline, and sheer sleeves.
Victoria Murphy, The Daily Mirror / i-Images
During the spring tour of India and Bhutan, we saw several formalwear looks. The first was this hand-beaded Jenny Packham gown and matching shawl/cape worn for a gala fundraiser.
The next full-length dress we saw the Duchess wear on the tour was a Tory Burch piece. Referred to as the “Floral Mesh Gown” by Tory Burch, the style was called the “Embroidered Tulle Gown” at Net-a-Porter. The dress showcased “retro-inspired florals in shades of sky-blue, orange, green and brown,” with an embellished neckline, sheer sleeves, and a side slit.
Kate returned to a favorite label for an evening reception in Bhutan, wearing the Juliet by Beulah London. The gown showcased an abstract poppy print; the national flower in Bhutan is the Himalayan Blue Poppy.
I was really torn about including the See by Chloé dress worn to the children’s party in Canada, as well as the McQueen worn for Princess Charlotte’s christening that we saw at Trooping the Colour in June. Ultimately I decided not to include them, but I can certainly understand if some feel they should be part of this poll.
Now to our look at the new coats worn by the Duchess in 2016. The first was a distinctive Erdem design worn for the annual Commonwealth Day church service in March. The garment is a customized version of a style from the pre-fall 2015 collection.
We are back with some news and our first polls looking at Kate’s 2016 wardrobe, beginning with one of my favorite topics: shoes. First, today’s confirmation by Kensington Palace that Kate, William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be based in London starting in the autumn.
From the statement:
Their Royal Highnesses love their time in Norfolk and it will continue to be their home.
From this autumn, however, the Duke and Duchess will increasingly base their family at Kensington Palace. As they have in recent years, their royal Highnesses are keen to continue to increase their official work on behalf of the Queen and for the charities and causes they support, which will require greater time spent in London.
Prince George will begin school in London in September and Princess Charlotte will also go to nursery and eventually school in London as well.
The release also notes that Prince William will be giving up his duties as a Pilot with East Anglia Air Ambulance,
It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglia Air Ambulance. Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come.”
We will stay with the story and update as appropriate.
Before we get to the polls, a big ‘thank you’ to everyone commenting on our posts taking a broad view of Kate’s clothing last year. The first (“2016: The Year Kate Amped Up Her Working Wardrobe“) looked at styles from the many new designers/brands the Duchess patronized last year. The second post (“Designs that Packed a Punch in 2016“) focused on style statements that came from designers the Duchess had previously worn, and all of the input was terrific. It was fascinating to see what you would have included/omitted from the lists.
Now to the shoes. We saw the introduction of 18 new pairs of dress shoes last year, and five pairs that were more casual in design. It was difficult deciding how to break up the different styles, hopefully putting some in the ‘casual’ category won’t seem terribly odd. We start with the Rupert Sanderson ‘Malory’ ($675) in navy suede, worn to a February service in honor of the RAF Air Cadets.