ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Having survived the 2010 death of its founder, Lee Alexander McQueen, the fashion house is prospering under the guidance of Sarah Burton. Her talent and skill have played a vital role in the label’s continued operation. Here is McQueen on Twitter, the company’s Facebook page is here.
Clearly Alexander McQueen belongs in this category, and not just because this is the house that did Kate’s wedding gowns. Above we share three key McQueen pieces worn by the Duchess since the couple’s wedding. From left to right, the white double-breasted coat worn in June of 2011, the Sailor Dress worn on Prince Edward Island in June, 2011 during the couple’s North American tour (also the only garment that Alexander McQueen would have been involved with, it dates back to at least 2006; the others would be by Sarah Burton), and the the purple gown worn to the formal BAFTA dinner in Hollywood in July 2011.
Kate also wore the designer for several Diamond Jubilee functions. The red wool crepe dress seen for the River Pageant is modeled on a 2011 dress, the white broderie anglaise (eyelet) suit was worn in Singapore on William and Kate’s Diamond Jubilee Tour to the South Pacific and Far East.
JENNY PACKHAM: This British label celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 with Jenny Packham still designing and managing the brand. The company’s website is here, its Facebook page here, and its Twitter feed here. Ms. Packham is as well known for her bridal gowns as she is for her red carpet-ready formalwear. She is very much a favorite of the Duchess;below you see Kate wearing her designs for three important events: the Queen’s 60th Coronation Anniversary church service in 2013, the ARK Dinner in 2011 and a Team GB pre-Olympic gala in 2012.
Four different frocks by the designer worn on official tours.
LK BENNETT: Not only is Kate fond of LK Bennett footwear, she also favors LK Bennett apparel. The company’s website is here, its Facebook page is here. Below we show Kate in the brand’s Davina Dress & Jude Jacket in March, 2012.
Kate has shown her fondness for the company’s outerwear, below left we see her in the Darwin Jacket Christmas Eve 2011, on the right she wears the red Ami Coat in November 2011.
TEMPERLEY LONDON: A British fashion house, the company was founded by Alice Temperley, it encompasses bridal, Alice by Temperley and Temperley London. Below we see Kate on the far left in the Temperley Amoret lace gown, the Moraiah dress worn to Wimbledon in 2011, a blouse worn to the Calgary Stampede, another dress and Kate in another blouse by the company. The company’s website is here, Facebook page here, and Twitter feed here.
BEULAH LONDON: Founded in 2009 as an ethical fashion company, Beulah is committed to creating elegant fashions while also helping victims of India’s sex trafficking trade. The brand’s website is here, its blog may be read by clicking here, its Facebook page is here and Twitter feed is here. Below we show Kate at a 2011 function wearing the red Sarai gown; on the right she wears the Sabitri dress in powder blue silk, worn during the 2012 Jubilee Tour. Not shown, Kate in Beulah’s Blossom dress, worn to a summer 2012 wedding.
EMILIA WICKSTEAD: This New Zealand born designer is also a product of the storied Central St. Martin’s school, her tailored designs have rapidly become favorites for many in the UK’s upper class, several guests wore pieces by Ms. Wickstead to Kate and William’s wedding. Below we show the Duchess wearing a coat dress on St. Patrick’s Day for a visit to the Irish Guards, the designer’s signature pleats are seen on a dress Kate wore for both the Sovereigns’ Luncheon and a Buckingham Palace garden party, and the coat dress worn for the Order of the Thistle functions.
KATHERINE HOOKER: Referred to as a blend of “East Coast prep and contemporary English style” by the Telegraph (here), Katherine Hooker offers timeless classics in wool, cashmere, and genuine Harris Tweed. She has a shop in London, but also does trunk shows and fairs. To visit the Katherine Hooker Facebook page click here, the Twitter account is here.
Kate initially discovered the label in 2005. Below, the Alexander Jacket as seen on the Duchess in 2007 (at Cheltenham).
WHISTLES: Another UK-based retailer with almost 40 stores offering womenswear and accessories, Whistles does ship to the USA, as well as many other countries. (Check here for the list.) The Whistles Facebook page is here, its Twitter feed is here. Perhaps the most noteworthy Whistles piece worn by Kate is the blouse seen in one of the couple’s two formal engagement photos.
Other items item seen on the Duchess include the Whistles Jersey Knit Jacket (center right above) seen in February 2011, and the Bella Body Conscious Dress on the far right, worn to the Diamond Jubilee Concert in June 2011 and the Closing Ceremony for the London 2012 Games in August.
REISS: Considered a premium ‘high-street’ store (some find it comparable to DKNY or Club Monaco), Reiss offers contemporary styles with a classic influence. The British brand has multiple US stores in the NY market, as well as shops in Boston, Los Angeles and Florida. To visit the Reiss Facebook page click here, the Twitter account is here, Pinterest account is here and the retailer’s blog is here.
Many style watchers were unfamiliar with Reiss until the couple’s formal engagement photos were released, showing Kate in the “Nanette” dress (above). The dress sold out almost immediately, and was re-issued by the company, with that second lot of inventory disappearing even more rapidly than the original release.
Another headline-making Reiss piece is the “Shola” dress worn for the Kate & William’s meeting with President & Mrs. Obama in May of 2011. (For more, click here to read our original post.) The Duchess wore the brand’s “Peacock” dress in white to the Epsom Derby in June 2011, and brought back an older piece for her first speaking engagement in March 2012, wearing the rich blue “Trina” dress from 2008.
ISSA LONDON: Issa is designed by Daniella Helayel, a Brazilian-born designer. The brand is carried in many upscale shops, the brand launched its own ecommerce site in the fall of 2012. Its Facebook page is here, and Twitter feed is here.
Kate wore the brand for many years before her engagement to Prince William, although many immediately think of the iconic wrap dress worn for the engagement announcement when hearing this designer’s name. The blue silk jersey knit dress has been re-issued and is available at multiple outlets internationally, as well as in the US and also Canada.
Kate has worn the label’s knit gowns to many formal events. Below she is also seen in Issa at a friend’s wedding in October, 2010, the Bird Print dress seen the night before her wedding to Prince William (and on many other occasions) and in Canada on the Royal Tour in 2011.
Another dress re-issued by the label, the black silk V-neck Kate wore when shopping just a few days before her wedding.
It is doubtful the Duchess will be seen wearing the brand again; Camilla Fayed joined the business as Chairwoman in 2011 and now owns a controlling number of shares, Ms. Fayed’s father and the Queen are on very poor terms.