Jun 232015
 

We are back with a very few updates and a look at the history of a classic style the Duchess favors.

Our first update involves a very brief story in The Daily Mail reporting Kate and William will be attending Wimbledon next week. The information has not been confirmed. If it turns out to be true it’s unlikely there will be any announcement until the morning of the event. Should it be confirmed we will post on our Very Latest page, as well as adding it to Kate’s Calendar.

Next, the ‘mystery jeans’ Kate wore to the Festival of Polo on the 14th of this month. With thanks to everyone who shared input here via a comment or email, as well as on the WKW Facebook page, we are going to leave that topic as it stands, with no specific resolution. My instinct says they are by Topshop and the company simply isn’t claiming them, but it’s entirely possible they are from another brand. Since I wrote this we have an update: Topshop now ackowledges the jeans are their merchandise.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

The company confirmed this to Monique Jessen of People magazine; more from Monique’s story about the jeans:

The confusion stemmed from Kate’s cleverly disguised waistband.

“We didn’t realize that she was wearing maternity jeans,” a spokesperson for Topshop tells PEOPLE. “An older style of these maternity jeans were sent to Kate when she was pregnant with Prince George and she is re-wearing them.”

It’s nice to have that topic resolved. Our thanks to Simon Perry and Monique Jessen of People for their tenacity on this one, many an email went winging across the Atlantic as we tried to sort out whose jeans they were. A Tip of the Tiara also to Ashley Marie for noting that I used the wrong Leigh photos in the June 14th post, and for her link to the older photos of the Leigh. (She, like myself and others, believed the jeans were this Topshop pair.) 

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Next, Kate’s jeans from ME + EM. Sunday’s Telegraph has an excellent story focusing on ME + EM.

Last week, at ME+EM’s store, tucked away in chi-chi Connaught Street behind Marble Arch, the label’s founder Clare Hornby was still reeling from the ‘crazy’ impact on sales. ‘Overnight, it’s an international business – this past week 40 per cent of our sales have come from overseas; Japan, Australia, America’.

The £48 ‘Cobalt Stripe’ Breton top now has a 5k strong waiting list. The earliest dispatch date is expected to be September 23rd, but Hornby is confident her customers will wait.

Company founder Clare Hornby is also profiled in Angela Buttolph’s article. Ms. Hornby spoke about denim the Duchess has ordered from the company, the High Rise Skinny Jeans.

Hornby’s only disappointment: missing out on a head-to-toe ME+EM outfit on the Duchess. She shows me a pair of the High Rise Skinny Jeans ,‘we stitch the inside edge of pockets to the zip so they stay smooth across the front’, darker shading runs down the side of each thigh for a slimming effect.

‘She ordered these in a size 27 [inch waist]…

Below we show them in the Dark Rinse, but they’re available in a variety of colors and rinses.

ME + EM

ME + EM

The Telegraph piece also offers Ms. Hornby’s tips on “How to Dress Yourself Slim.”

One note for bargain hunters fond of ME + EM’s look: the label has an outlet page I was unaware of until today. Below we show a few items from the outlet section of the site, beginning with the Tailored Bodycon Dress in black on the left, (originally £128/$200, now £38.40/$60), then the Chunky Engineered Jumper in a cotton/cashmere blend in the middle (originally £128/$200, now £68/$100), and on the right we show ME + EM’s Fit and Flare Dress in deep peacock (originally £168/$265, now £50.40/$80).

ME + EM

ME + EM

Updating the availability of Kate’s cobalt blue Breton stripe top, the piece is now slated to ship September 25th.

ME + EM

ME + EM

Val, who has been fabulous in posting comments with updated info from her ME + EM email, notes the cobalt white version of the top is now slated for shipping on or before August 19th.

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The striped tops at ME + EM offer the perfect segueway to our quick backgrounder on the style. Believe it or not, the style was initially mandated by law back in 1858. The Navy Wear Act ordered they be worn by French Navy seamen; it was believed the shirts would make it easier to spot men in the water who fell overboard, the tops became part of the official uniform for French sailors. Initially the shirts had a specific number of stripes, 21; that is one stripe for each of Napoleon’s victories.

Saint James was the first company to manufacture the shirts. Here is the Saint James Binic II sweater, released in 1889.

Wiki Fashion

Wiki Fashion

Below, the company’s factory in 1900.

Saint James

Saint James

The design became increasingly popular over the years, migrating from a nautical standard to a fashion favorite. Below, Coco Chanel wearing a Breton stripe.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

Wikimedia Creative Commons

More about the French designer’s appreciation of the style from Wiki Fashion:

Inspired by sailors, after a visit to the French coast, Coco Chanel introduced the design to the fashion world through her nautical collection in 1917. The Breton top became a symbol of haute-bourgeois loveliness during the pre-war Riviera years.

And from blogger Carly Tati:

This must have been amusing to the sailors and workers of France to see the beautiful and stylish Chanel donning what was typically a man’s work shirt in such a fashionable way.

The style remained popular with celebrities, below you see Audrey Hepburn wearing Breton stripes in 1955.

There is a photo montage here showing Pablo Picasso, Ms. Hepburn and Coco Chanel wearing the stripe. Celebrities from James Dean to Alexa Chung have been photographed sporting the style, it remains a favorite of the fashion crowd still today.

Saint James has remained in business, more from the company’s website:

Its fame is based upon a cult item of clothing “the genuine pure new knitted woolen Breton seaman’s sweater”. Originally intended for deep sea fishermen, then adopted by known seafarers, and amateur yachtsmen.

Its pure wool, pure cotton, “seashore” lines attract a large clientele on the coast, but also in the major cities of France, and equally throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Below, Saint James tops being steamed before shipment and the crew of the 1997 America’s Cup contender Enterprise, outfitted in shirts from Saint James.

Saint James

Saint James

Back to the company’s history:

With such thick and tight knitwear, they are considered almost waterproof… Knitted very close to the body, this sweater becomes “the seafarers’ second skin”.

Saint James still offers the shirt today, in a variety of models.

Saint James USA

Saint James USA

In Women’s styles we show the brand’s Mediterranee ($109), the Etrille ($81), and the Minquiers 10 ($75).

Saint James

Saint James

Below, the Naval II ($135) and Naval II Rouge ($145), both are mens/unisex styles.

Saint James

Saint James

There is a Saint James for J Crew collection. This is the Short Sleeve Slouchy Tee ($89) and Long Sleeve Slouchy Tee ($90).

J Crew

J Crew

Below, the Nauplie wool sweater from that J. Crew collection, it is $299.

J Crew

J Crew

Other sites offering French-made nautical merchandise include the Brittany Boutique and the UK’s Nautical Company.

There is also a standard J Crew version priced at $39.99, with an additional 40% off that price through June 23rd at midnight. (Use promo code DAYTWO for the additional 40% off the price.)

J Crew

J Crew

Of course, similar items can be purchased at a lower price via a broad variety of online sites, as well as brick and mortar stores. Below, a women’s style from LL Bean, on sale for $22.46; it is the French Sailor’s Shirt, 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck, offered in good, basic colors. Our thanks to Laura for her comment noting these were available and Sarah’s suggestion as well.

LL Bean

LL Bean

The shirt also comes in colors some might consider more fashion-forward. These styles are also on sale for $22.46.

LL Bean

LL Bean

Other women’s styles in the distinctive stripe at LL Bean include a Quarter Zip Pullover ($29.96) and Textured French Terry Pullover ($33.71).

Lands’ End carries a women’s 3/4 Sleeve Button Boatneck in a thinner stripe ($19.99), Breton Stripe Top ($13.99) , and men’s Seaworn Indigo Stripe Tee ($24.99).

Lands' End

Lands’ End

The style is actually offered at quite a few retailers, with a broad range of prices. The trick is to find one with the fit you like, at a quality level you are comfortable with, in a price range meeting your budget.

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Finally today, good news from one of our favorite sponsors, Beulah London: the company is continuing its free international shipping offer for purchases £150 and above until midnight this Sunday, the 28th.  That means pieces like the Petal Shawl in blue cashmere and rayon, flower spirits blush silk chiffon and red silk chiffon (£175, about $275 at today’s exchange rates), ship free.

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are new spring and summer styes at Beulah, in soft shades of cotton candy colors. From left to right we show the Elina Sleeveless Crepe Tulip Dress (£395, about $625) and Senna Jacket, both in mint (£345, about $545); on the right it’s the Senna Boxy Jacket in Dusky Pink (£345, roughly $545) atop the Ines Notch Neck Dress (£420, about $660), also in dusky pink.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Other pieces we like: the Dahlia Skirt with Dupioni Tie in an elegant black (£450, about $700) and Belle Pleated Chiffon Skirt (£295, approximately $465).

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are many other new styles at Beulah, click here to have a look.

 Posted by at 9:01 pm
Jun 052015
 

We are back with a rather important addition to Kate’s Calendar and a look at one of Kate’s favorite fabrics.

First, the new engagement. Kensington Palace announced today Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana will be christened Sunday, July 5th, at St. Mary Magdalene Church.

princess Charlotte Leaving Hospital

SplashNews.com

The Church is located on the grounds of Sandringham, the Queen’s estate in Norfolk. This is also where Anmer Hall  is located.

The Princess will be in the same gown worn by Prince George when for his October, 2013 christening.

John Stillwell/PA Wire

John Stillwell/PA Wire

The service will be a private event; here is a reminder of how small the group was at Prince George’s christening, via this BBC story.

…christening was private, with only senior royals, four members of the Middleton family, the seven godparents and their spouses among the 22 guests.

It is expected Prince George will be on hand for the occasion.

We can look for the Duchess to be in a new ensemble.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

Likely designers include Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, who created the suit Kate wore for George’s christening, Jenny Packham and perhaps Emilia Wickstead. My guess would be a new design from Ms. Burton.

St. Mary Magdalene is a smaller, more intimate setting than the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, where George’s service was held.

Sandringham Estate

Sandringham Estate

The Telegraph reports the church was chosen because of the royal family’s connection to it, as well as its proximity to Prince William’s job as an air ambulance pilot. More from the story:

Princess Charlotte will be the most senior member of the Royal family to be christened outside a royal residence for 120 years.

The Queen’s father, George VI, was christened in the same church in 1895, but for the next three generations Royal palaces were used for the christenings of all senior members of the Royal family.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales was baptized at St. Mary Magdalene. (Diana was born on the grounds of Sandringham, at Park House; it is where her family lived for several years.)  A bit more about the church:

St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, is a country church of exceptional historic interest, with memorials to many members and relations of the Royal Family from Queen Victoria onwards.  It is used regularly as a place of worship by the Royal Family and Estate staff.

Sandringham Church is considered to be one of the finest carrstone buildings in existence, and dates back in its present form to the 16th century.

Sandringham Estate

Readers are familiar with the church; it is where HM, the Duke of Edinburgh and other royals attend Christmas services. Below we see the Duchess walking to Christmas services in 2011 with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Ian Jones/Splash News

Ian Jones/Splash News

It isn’t just Christmas Day when members of the royal family are seen at the historic church; it is Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s parish church when they are at Sandringham. Below we see HM following services this February at St. Mary Magdalene.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

Portions of the estate are open year-round to visitor, including the grounds, gardens, and parts of Sandringham House. St. Mary Magdalene church is open April through October. There is no admission fee to visit the Country Park, which is open all year.

Just as at Christmas, it is expected some members of the public will be allowed to gather at the church, although not the enormous crowds seen during the holidays. Below, Kate following last year’s Christmas service.

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

We will keep you updated on any changes to the christening plans.

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Our other topic today is a look at one of Kate’s favorite fabrics, broderie anglaise. The idea for the post came from a slide show in The Telegraph this week showcasing items made of the material.

The Telegraph Fashion

The Telegraph Fashion

We’ll get the technical element of the discussion out of the way first, starting with the definition of the term: ‘Broderie anglaise’ translates to ‘English embroidery,’ although the material is frequently referred to as eyelet. I am often asked what the difference is between broderie anglaise and lace. Perhaps the best way to describe it is that broderie anglaise is work adorning an existing fabric, whereas lace is a material created from scratch. Broderie involves making cuts into a fabric and adding decorative stitching around those cuts. Here is a look at both: the broderie is on the far left, followed by the lace and then a plain piece of cotton fabric.

Mad Mudskipper Bunting

Mad Mudskipper Bunting

The Duchess has shown a fondness for the fabric, especially when on tour. From left to right: Alexander McQueen separates worn in Singapore during the Jubilee Tour in 2012; a midnight blue dress from Mulberry, also seen on the Jubilee Tour; and the primrose yellow dress created by an “independent dressmaker,” initially worn on the Jubilee Tour, then again for a visit to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney during last year’s tour.

Andrew Parsons, i-Images

The UK in Singapore/Chris Jackson, Pool, PA Wire/Andrew Parsons, i-Images

Below we show closer shots of the material.

James Whatling Splash

©James Whatling/Splash News

Another look at those Alexander McQueen separates during the couple’s visit to Gardens by the bay in Singapore.

© The UK in Singapore

© The UK in Singapore

This image taken by Rebecca English of The Daily Mail offers a view of those McQueen separates from the back.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online

Kate’s ‘Roamer Day Dress’ by Australian brand Zimmermann also featured the material. The frock was seen at Wimbledon in July of last year, but before that we saw the Duchess wearing it in April during the Royal Tour.

Both Photos ©Andrew Parsons/i-Images

Both Photos ©Andrew Parsons/i-Images

These photos offer different angles of the dress.

Andrew Parsons, i-Images/Stephen Lock, i-Images/Stephen Lock i-Images

Andrew Parsons, i-Images/Stephen Lock, i-Images/Stephen Lock i-Images

A closer look.

©Stephen Lock, i-Images/SplashNews.com

©Stephen Lock, i-Images/SplashNews.com

A number of Kate-favored designers are using the textile in this spring’s collections, including Zimmermann. Spring and summer styles include the label’s Ceramic Broidery Dot Top ($360) and matching Dot Shorts ($295); the Ryker Broderie Day Dress in navy ($530), with a silhouette similar to Kate’s Roamer dress; and the Hyper Eyelet Flip dress ($480).

Zimmermann

Zimmermann

Erdem also has items in the textile, below we show the Victor Jacket in a dramatic geometric design as opposed to the more common floral motifs.

Erdem

Erdem

Here is a better look at the design.

Erdem

Erdem

Alexander McQueen is showing just one piece in the fabric, the Broderie Anglaise Mini Dress ($5375). It is from the pre-fall collection, in a cotton/wool/silk blend.

McQueen Broderie Anglaise Mini Dress pre Fall 2015

Alexander McQueen

This image better shows the intricacy of the embroidery.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

At Temperley London there are several styles featuring the textile. In the Caspian Long Sleeve Shirt the material is used as a bib insert (£325, about $500).

Temperley London

Temperley London

On the London Summer Shirt ($£295, approximately $450) the decorative stitching shows quite well.

Temperley London

Temperley London

It remains a popular material for children’s apparel, especially girls. But it is used in pieces for both sexes; below, the Unisex Baby Crawler with Little Collar ($33) at Kate-favored Petit Bateau.

Petit Bateau

Petit Bateau

JoJo Maman Bébé also has several items in the material, including the Broderie Anglaise Baby Sun Hats in white and pink (£10, roughly $15).

JoJo Maman Bebe

JoJo Maman Bebe

ChildrenSalon has several hats in eyelet: on the left we show the Navy Broderie Anglaise Sun Hat from Tommy Hilfiger ($29.11), on the right it is Mayoral’s Broderie Sun Hat in pink and also in white ($16.85).

Childrensalon

Childrensalon

ChildrenSalon offers this Kenzo dress for Girls sizes 4 Y to 16 Y, it is on sale for $79.67.

ChidlrenSalon

ChidlrenSalon

While not a store where the Duchess shops (that we know of), Lord & Taylor has several broderie anglaise items, including this Little Me romper ($16.80).

Little Me/Lord & Taylor

Little Me/Lord & Taylor

Nordstrom offers some Mini Boden pieces in the material, including a ‘Fifties Summer Sleeveless Cotton Dress‘ in sizes ranging all the way from toddler (1-1/2Y) to big girls (12Y), the style is $48 in all sizes. On the right we show the ‘Broderie Tunic, Bloomers and Hat‘ for baby girls size 3M to 24M, it is $44 – $48. The three-piece set also comes in white.

Mini Boden at Nordstrom

Mini Boden at Nordstrom

I expect we’ll see Princess Charlotte in the material, if not Prince George as well.

 

LINKAGE:

  • Learn more about Sandringham at the estate’s official website, visit the St. Mary Magdalene page here, see the hours various elements of Sandringham are open here, and purchase tickets to visit the estate here
  • Archbishop Justin Welby’s statement about performing the ceremony is here
  • Victoria Murphy’s story about the christening in the Daily Mirror is here, Monique Jessen’s People magazine story is hereThe Telegraph’s story from Gordon Rayner is here, and the Daily Mail’s story by Rebecca English is here.
  • A 1981 story about Broderie anglaise may be seen here,
May 142015
 

We are back with something of a ‘catch-up’ post. We begin with Children’s Hospice Week in the UK, which started Monday; the event runs through Sunday, the 17th. Together for Short Lives oversees the annual campaign.

Together for Short Lives

Together for Short Lives

As in previous years, Kate has written letters in support, this one was sent to EACH; the Duchess is Patron for the organization.

EACH (East Anglia's Children's Hospices)

EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices)

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