May 112012

It was another formal affair for Kate and William tonight, they were guests of honor at the Greatest Team Rises event, something of an official launch party for Team GB and ParalympicsGB, marking the final countdown to the Games. The Duchess returned to a favorite designer for tonight’s gown, Jenny Packham.

Once royal journalists tweeted word that Kate was wearing Jenny Packham, the brilliant Anna of My Small Obsessions rapidly discovered the dress Kate’s was modeled after.


Kate is in a bespoke version of Jenny Packham’s ‘Aspen’ gown, a design showcasing beautiful silk chiffon, light and lacy cap sleeves and an ornately embellished waist. All the design traits combine for a knockout dress, this one is a head-turner.

We see another angle from the always wonderful David Wilkinson of CNN, he shared this image as Kate and William arrived.

David Wilkinson Twitter Feed

The back of the dress is exquisite, arguably prettier than the front.

This is how Jenny Packham describes the frock:

The style combines an emerald lace bodice embellished with Swarovski crystals and a pleated skirt, ribbon waisted with a crystal and flower embellishment and matching bespoke clutch bag.

Here we zoom in a bit to better show the stunning lace and shimmering crystals.

That image also shoes Kate’s elaborate updo of multiple braided sections. Below you can see a side angle of the style, as well as what appear to be new earrings for Kate, rhinestone or diamond-set dangles.

The dress is lovely, here we see it in a photo spread at Miss Bush Bridal Wear.

Photos: Eddie Judd Photography via Miss Bush Bridal Wear

Below we have another look at on model Ally Murray, she actually tweeted her delight in wearing the dress.

Ally Murray Twitter Feed

The MSRP on the Aspen gown was £2875, approximately $4620 USD at today’s exchange rates.

Kate carried a matching clutch in the same silk and lace, she also sported the glittering Jimmy Choo Vamp dress sandals.

Splash News

The shoes remain available on the Jimmy Choo website and also at Nordstrom.

Jimmy Choo

Guests signed messages of support for Olympic and Paralympic athletes on their way in to the event, below we see 5-time Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave writing well wishes, with thanks once again to CNN’s David Wilkinson for sharing his wonderful photos.

David Wilkinson/CNN Twitter Feed

More on the event from People‘s story:

Five-time gold medal-winning rower Sir Steve Redgrave escorted Kate into dinner, which included free-range chicken, lightly smoked ham-hock terrine, slowly braised British beef on spring cabbage and pancetta, and bitter chocolate mousse on shortbread, accompanied by passion fruit yogurt and freeze-dried mango and coconut.

Tonight saw the first performance of “One Vision,” the official Team GB and ParalympicsGB song, as well as other excitement, including adventurer/survivalist Bear Grylls making an aerial entry.

Team GB Twitter Feed

William addressed the crowd before dinner, Hello! magazine editor Rosie Nixon posted this photo.

Rosie Nixon, Hello! Magazine Twitter Feed (@Rosie_Nixon)

Paul Harrison of Sky News shared some of William’s remarks via Twitter.

Paul Harrison, Sky TV Twitter Feed (@SkyNewsRoyal)

The Duke also displayed his sense of humor:

Paul Harrison, Sky News (@SkyNewsRoyal)

This was an outstanding look for Kate, the gown offers a level of sophistication that very much suited her. The rich teal or turquoise (the jury is out on the precise color) enhanced Kate’s coloring, while the sheer elements of the frock provided a little va-va-voom without being inappropriate. The Duchess oozed elegance without being overpowering, a very tough combination to pull off.

As A Petite Princess pointed out, this is the second time we know that Kate has chosen a designer’s bridal gown for a formal event, Kate wore a bespoke version of a Temperley bridal dress to the War Horse premiere (more on that here) in January.

Splash News/Vogue Australia

The Telegraph’s story is here, Daily Mail’s story on the event may be found here, and a nice ITV video piece is here.

ITV News

The BBC’s story is here.

BBC News


We have a few quick updates to share as well this evening, beginning with word that Kate will be attending an upcoming garden party, Rebecca English of the Daily Mail has the exclusive story:

The Duchess of Cambridge is to notch up another major royal first when she attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace later this month.

Considered to be one of the highlights of the summer season, all eyes will be on Kate as she joins the Queen to take tea with 8,000 guests in the gardens of the royal residence, Mail Online can exclusively reveal.

Unfortunately the Duchess will have to carry out the engagement on her own as her husband, Prince William, cannot get time off from work at RAF Valley on Anglesey where he is a Search and Rescue pilot.

Rebecca reports the date hasn’t yet been disclosed because of security reasons. As soon as we know when it is we’ll be sure to let you know.

Also new since yesterday, photos of Kate on a camping trip with Lupo and some Scouts, PopSugar has the photos.

The event is part of Kate’s volunteer work with Scouting, she sported Paige Denim’s ‘Skyline Peg’ jeans (WKW Facebook friends Kerianne identified the jeans, Ashley Margot received confirmation from Paige), Le Chameau boots and an unidentified gilet.

UPDATED: Feb 2014: It turns out the vest is from UK retailer John Lewis.

The vest is shown in an eBay auction, discovered by eBay seller CopyKate. The piece is made of brown leather, with a full front zipper, interior drawstring waist and front pockets. (The vest has long been out of stock.) I have updated the original blog post, but wanted to note this is a great reminder for me: even retailers and designers can be mistaken in claiming an item is theirs, as in this instance.


One final note tonight, a quick reminder to be sure and enter the Great Kate $500 Giveaway from Shop It To Me. To learn more about the contest, read yesterday’s post. Or, scan this shortened version of things:

  1. Sign up for Shop It To Me (either at or
  2. Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite Kate-inspired clothing brand.
  3. For an extra entry, tweet this and let us know you did: Hope I win the @WhatKateWore @ShopItToMe $500 Kate Middleton-inspired shopping spree! To enter, RT and visit

Good luck!


Mar 202012
“Her Majesty, the Queen, is pleased to order that in future, upon St Patrick’s Day, all ranks of her Irish regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.”

That decree came in 1900, and this St. Patrick’s Day the Duchess of Cambridge was on hand to distribute shamrocks to 40 Irish Guard officers.

Anwar Hussein/Press Association

Kate chose a deep green Emilia Wickstead piece in what is becoming a familiar cut: fitted on top, a belted waist that flares into a full skirt.  The piece is from the a/w 2010 collection, it was an outstanding look on the Duchess.

We just wrote about Ms. Wickstead in February (in this post), here is more on the talented designer from Vogue Italy:

Born in New Zealand, her mother was a made-to-measure designer. “It’s quite funny. I grew up with my mother: as a designer, she was always working and I actually used to say to her: ‘Whatever you do, never leave me your business’”.

Fortunately Ms. Wickstead decided on a career in fashion after all, that strikes us as a very good thing. Below we share five looks form her sping/summer 2012 collection via London Fashion Week.

London Fashion Week

All five would work for Kate, although some would clearly require modification, primarily in the bodice, providing more appropriate coverage. Below styles from this fall’s collection, as shown in our previous post about the designer. It is easy to see why Kate is fond of Ms. Wickstead’s creations.

Vogue UK

Wonderful looks, many of them ‘very Kate’.

The Duchess seemed to revel in her new role, smiling and joking with the officers while also being respectful of the location and responsibilities attached to the occasion. Below you can see her touching her bouquet of shamrocks, you’ll also note she once again wore her Tiffany Diamonds by the Yard, as well as the Kiki McDonough green amethyst earrings we first saw on Christmas morning.

Anwar Hussein/Lock & Company

Our thanks to Ashish Joshi of Sky News, he tweeted word about the dress and hat designers, the chapeau was another piece by James Lock & Company, the firm’s “Betty Boop” style.  The hat is not a bespoke piece, it retails at £245, approximately $390 USD at today’s exchange rates.

The hat and shoes were both a rich brown, nicely offsetting the green in Kate’s coat. After much searching the shoes were IDed on the WKW Facebook page by super-sleuths Leisa George-Meigh and Betty Bader.

Anwar Hussein/Press Association

They are by UK brand Emmy, creators of “beautifully designed and lovingly handmade collection of shoes and accessories”. It is a label Pippa Middleton has also been seen wearing.It is easy to see why the brand is favored by both sisters, more from the company’s website:

“Emmy Scarterfield is the innovative designer behind the brand. She has worked for many of the most influential fashion houses in Italy and the UK including Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Pringle and Mulberry.”


Emmy Shoes

The designer also did a joint collection with Jenny Packham (now sold out), more proof as to why Kate would appreciate her work. You can follow Emmy on Twitter, visit the company’s Facebook page or read the blog they recently launched.

A special mention also to Kate Middleton Style blog, it was Carly’s close-up of the shoe’s sole that offered a good look at the logo, ultimately leading to the correct identification. The company confirmed to both KMSB and Betty Bader the shoes were theirs.

After presenting the shamrock sprigs Kate also joined Guardsmen in the mess hall for a toast and sip of Harvey’s Bristol Cream. We can expect to see Kate fulfilling this role many times in the future, more from the British Forces News:

It is the Duchess of Cambridge’s first solo military engagement and the start of a longstanding relationship with the Irish Guards.

Last year, she was appointed to the honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guard and on 25th June the Royal couple presented operational service medals in Windsor to the battalion for their Afghan deployment.

The gold shamrock on Kate’s lapel is the same she wore on Armed Forces Day in June, the brooch is actually owned by the regiment and loaned to those using it on occasions such as Saturday’s. Previously it was worn by the late Queen Mother, as well as Princess Anne.

Some may recall that Prince William was made Colonel of the Guards last year, it was the unit’s deep red uniform he wore on his wedding day. And last June the couple paid a ceremonial visit to the regiment on Armed Forces Day. More on the ceremonial history may be found on the British Army’s Facebook page.

The Guards have had an Irish Wolfhound as mascot since 1902, Conmael received his own shamrocks from Kate Saturday.

Irish Wolfhound Club

More on how the dogs are named from the Irish Guards’ website:

The Mascots are all named after High Kings and Legendary Chieftains of Ireland.

A note about the spelling of the Mascot’s name: several leading UK papers spell it Conmeal, but other sources, including the Herald in Ireland, use Conmael, thus our decision to use the latter.  One other note, there has been a bit of chatter about a few of the Guards who appeared to faint before the actual ceremony, more on that from The Express:

Afterwards, Captain Ed Roffe-Silvester, 27, said it was not uncommon for soldiers wearing the 7lb hats to pass out. “The bearskin is fairly heavy,” he said. “If there’s a bit of a breeze like today then you have to put it on pretty firmly and that can restrict blood flow to the head.”

To watch The Telegraph’s video on Saturday’s event, click here.

The Telegraph

This is a case where we can’t say enough good things about what Kate wore. It was a classic look exuding grace and style while retaining an understated elegance. The accessories were spot-on, enhancing the ensemble without being overly fussy or detracting from the look.


We move now to quick update on LK Bennett & the company’s plans to re-issue some of the pieces Kate has worn, we shared this on Twitter & Facebook last week but neglected to include the information in a post. (Apologies for the oversight, my brain is no longer a steel trap, more of a steel sieve, honestly.)

LK Bennett Facebook Page

The jacket will come in a new camel color, as well as the re-issued black and chocolate brown. For those not familiar with the Darwin, here is a look.

LK Bennett Press Archive

Kate has been seen on other occasions in the jacket, below we show her wearing the piece in February.

Photo used with kind permission of Niraj Tanna/IKON Pictures

It was the Davina dress and Jude jacket that Kate wore when visiting Leicester with HM and Prince Philip.

LK Bennett Press Archive

If interested in acquiring either piece, LK Bennett suggests emailing

However, the retailer is not planning to release the navy Art court shoe, the Sliver Sandal in taupe. Our thanks to WKW Facebook friend Adrienne for letting us know they are thinking about other styles to be re-issued, asking Facebook fans for input on which they would most like to see.