We are back with another fabulous giveaway to share. It is from our friends and sponsors at Links of London. The response to our previous contests with this incredible jeweler have been so positive it seemed like a grand idea to do another one.
The timing is ideal as we head into the holiday season, it always gets me to thinking about trinkets that Santa might hide under the tree. How about the charms that Links offers? These treasures can go on a bracelet or be worn on a pendant.
Who wouldn’t love a bracelet from the company’s new Star Dust Collection?! The sterling silver mesh bracelets come in a variety of colors including rose gold, gold, silver and grey. They’re accented with glittering CZs and have magnetic clasps.
Links of London Star Dust Collection
There is no shortage of elegant earrings, these are merely a sampling of all the different styles.
Links of London
The brand’s continued partnership with Lauren Bush Lauren and her FEED project is helping provide food and drinking water for children living in areas with high rates of HIV/AIDs, or regions with ongoing war/conflict. There’s nothing better than buying or receiving a gift that you know is helping others. The Links of London collection of FEED bracelets may be seen here.
The timepieces have understated leather straps and mother of pearl faces. This pair showcases shimmering pave crystals.
Links of London
Finding one of these in my stocking would be divine.
Back to our primary mission, the wonderful giveaway. First, a quick refresher for newer Kate fashion fans: the Duchess has shown her fondness for her Links of London Effervescence Bubble Stiletto earrings.
Links of London/Rebecca Naden-PA/Canadian Heritage
You can see them quite well in this image from the June 2011 ARK Dinner, her first formal engagement following her marriage to Prince William.
As well as her Hope Egg earrings, worn in one of the couple’s engagement photos and on numerous other occasions.
PA Wire/Links of London
Our Grand Prize winner will receive a pair of the Hope Egg earrings, just like those worn by Kate. These currently sell for $470.
For a second entry follow Links of London on their just-launched US Twitter feed. Click here to visit their Twitter page; head on over and say “Hi”! (Leave a comment telling us you followed and your Twitter user name.)
Entries are open until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 20. We’ll announce the winners shortly after that. Good luck to everyone!
Kate opted for familiarity today, selecting favored brands for her engagements with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as the UK portion of the Diamond Jubilee tour was launched.
Below we see Her Majesty and the Duchess as they are leaving London for Leicester this morning, the Queen was resplendent in another Angela Kelly ensemble, a cashmere coat and hat trimmed in black, Kate wore LK Bennett.
The British Monarchy/Clarence House
It was an important day for Kate, her first full day of official engagements with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. A high point of the morning was seeing Prince Philip looking so healthy.
This is Leicester
There was added significance with the monarch officially kicking off the Jubilee Tour commemorating her sixty year reign.
RachelGreen_29 Twitter Feed
The Duchess wore LK Bennett’s Davina dress and Jude jacket, both in dark teal.
The jacket is 100% wool, it was originally priced at £295 ($475).
De Montfort University Twitter Feed
Most recently the jacket could be found online for £145 at both LK Bennett and John Lewis, although I expect it to be sold out just about everywhere by the time our post is published.
The Davina dress is part of the brand’s Signature Collection, crafted from a fine wool crepe. We show it in three colors that better highlight the design details: the side ruching, asymmetrical collar and cap sleeves.
The Duchess selected another brand she is fond of, John Lock, for her hat. Our thanks to WKW FB friend Melissa, she identified it as the ‘Fairy Tale‘ style.
James Goley Twitter Feed/John Locke
The hat is available in 8 different colors, retailing at £285, roughly $450 USD at today’s exchange rates.
Kate’s earrings were from another familiar name, Kiki McDonough, the green amethyst pair widely believed to be a Christmas gift from Prince William. Below we show a pair of Kiki McDonough earrings in the same design as Kate’s, made with citrines instead of green amethysts, on the very far right we have a different style of Kiki McDonough earrings shared only to provide an idea of the color in the earrings seen on Kate.
Kiki McDonough/Matches Fashion/Kiki McDonough
The Duchess wore a pair of Episode shoes, a brand is now carried only at House of Fraser, previously it was stocked by Debenhams . The company told me the pair is no longer available, they are from autumn/winter.
Below we see the Duke, Her Majesty, and Kate leaving the Leicester Cathedral following the service.
Diocese of Leicester Flickr Feed
This is one of those instances where we were lucky, we actually wrote about both pieces back in November, saying:
The (dress) side gathers running from the bustline to high hip and detailed neckline look very Kate. Next, the Jude jacket, also by LK Bennett. The gathered waist and kick pleat on the back of the jacket seemed to shriek Kate, the neck detailing and self-covered belt only added to that perception.
Upon seeing the story intrepid WKW FB friends Bella Hayward (now found sharing Kate updates here on FB) and Jo Baldwin dug up more information on the specific items purchased. Kate accessorized with a belt thicker than the one shown with the jacket.
Students were more than excited to meet the royals, more from the Daily Mail:
Lingerie design student Polly Shelton, 21, said: ‘I told Kate she looked gorgeous and she said “I like your lipstick”.
‘I can’t believe it. She loves my lipstick. I can’t even remember what colour it is.
Enormous crowds were on hand to greet the royals.
De Montfort University Facebook
The University’s award winning Gospel Choir entertained those waiting in the brisk morning air.
Perhaps the happiest person on campus was Becka Hunt, she was one of six footwear design students involved in a contest to create a shoe for Kate.
De Montfort University
Becka’s design was the blue suede with beaded lace overlay, we show her with the winning design today after hearing the good news.
Demon FM Twitter Feed (L) /De Montfort University Facebook
Thank you to the 3189 voters who took part in our informal poll about which of the designs they thought Kate would pick, Becka’s design was close to being your first choice, the vote almost reflecting Kate’s selection.
One other item of note today, yet another addition to Kate’s calendar. Just as the royals arrived in Leicester this morning Clarence House tweeted the following:
Clarence House Twitter Feed
Kate, Charles and Camilla will meet children participating in the Great Art Quest, a program managed by Children and the Arts, Prince Charles is the group’s royal patron. More about the project:
Great Art Quest introduces children from deprived areas of the UK to the visual arts by partnering schools with local galleries, professional artists and storytellers, and providing them with the skills and confidence to create their own work.
The Duchess of Cambridge has a personal interest in the arts and supporting young children, and The Prince of Wales is taking this opportunity to show the successful educational work His Foundation for Children & the Arts has been doing in London.
Kate broke with tradition today, selecting a non-British designer for her appearance with the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall. The trio visited Fortnum and Mason’s flagship store in Piccadilly, the event marking rejuvenation efforts in that area of central London.
Fortnum & Mason
Kate chose a lovely blue coat by M Missoni, the diffusion line from parent brand Missoni. All three royal women were in shades of blue, clearly some color coordination went on ahead of time.
Toby Melville - Ian Jones Photography/SplashNews.com
The collarless coat featured multiple panels in the back, exposed seams, and fringe trim at the neck and down the front placket.
In the UK M Missoni is carried at Selfridge’s, Harvey Nichols and Harrod’s in the UK, although Simon Perry, People magazine’s chief foreign correspondent, shared that the coat was something of a bargain.
It also has characteristics of these past season pieces at Nordstrom and The Outnet.
Our thanks to WKW FB friend Michelle (aka Shellie Bells on Twitter), she spotted the blue jacket on the far left that is the shorter version of Kate’s coat and was good enough to share the photo with everyone.Â We also want to thank Elisa Roche of the Daily Express for sharing confirmation the coat was definitely a M Missoni piece.
The regal group received hampers laden with goodies from the upscale grocer.Â From The Telegraph’s story:
They laughed as they rummaged through their goodies and spotted the “hearty treats for happy hounds”.
While the Queen is known for her love of corgis, Kate and William recently acquired a cocker spaniel they have named Lupo.
Another look at Fortnum’s interior:
Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly
Kate wore two daffodils while Her Majesty and Camilla wore leek brooches, in honor of St. David’s Day. He is the patron saint of Wales, daffodils and leeks are both symbols honoring Welsh heritage; all three women were presented with bouquets of fresh daffodils upon leaving Fortnum’s.
As a military wife, Kate was particularly interested toÂ meet staff working on the Gifts For Troops scheme, an initiative which sends packages to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
We saw the return of Kate’s Rupert Sanderson Malone heels in grey suede, previously seen at Order of the Garter events back in June. The shoe features a rounded toe and 4″ heel, it is currently stocked in all sizes, selling at â‚¬425, about $565 at today’s exchange rates.
Kate also repeated the well known blue Zara dress first seen the day after her wedding, repeated for Prince Philip’s 90th birthday.
One of the more intriguing things about Kate’s ensemble today is what was omitted: she carried no clutch or other handbag, something of a departure for the Duchess.
It was also a repeat appearance for the Queen’s ensemble by Angela Kelly (Majesty Magazine’s Joe Little shared that it was first worn in Oman in 2010), Camilla was in a navy and cream Bruce Oldfield coat.
One of the topics discussed with Kate while inside the store was tea, People has more:
She apparently likes it, too. “I would really like to learn to make the perfect cup of tea, as when I last made a pot of tea with dried tea leaves I got it very wrong,” Kate admitted.
We thought it a strong sartorial selection by Kate. Some found the look too staid, saying it was “boxy” and “too old,” while others had more favorable feelings about the style. I am among the latter group, thinking it was ideal for the occasion: a classic cut that was understated but also elegant, and appropriate to the occasion, not something that was likely to distract or overshadow the Queen, a paramount concern. It was a beautiful blue that is very pretty with Kate’s coloring, it was also nice to see her in something other than earth tones.
Our other item today is quite lighthearted, it deals with something near and dear to many fashion fans: shoes. As some readers may know, next week the Jubilee Tour is officially launched in Leicester, in central England. The Queen, Prince Philip and Kate will be in Leicester for a dizzying number of events, including a competition among students from the Footwear Design course at De Montfort University.Â More than 100 students took part in the competition, the list is now down to 6 finalists.
Kate will pick the winning design herself while visiting DMU, and the shoe will then actually be created and she will wear it. How amazing would that be for any young designer, let alone students working hard to learn their craft? Once word of the competition was public, the always-on-top-of-things Carly from Kate Middleton Style blog suggested a poll might be fun, letting WKW readers select their favorite of the six designs.
Not one to turn aside a brilliant idea, we share all six designs (you can see them on the DMU Facebook page), as well as some background information on each.
We begin with a royal blue shoe by Becka Hunt.
Becka Hunt / De Montfort University Leicester
This design is crafted from blue suede with beaded lace overlay, and we all know how much The Duchess enjoys her lace.Â The styleboard shows that there would be no platform, the heel would not be “too high,” not more than 3″ to 4″.Â Ms. Hunt counts Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen among her idols, sharing more about her inspiration in a Peterborough Today story:
“My design is inspired by 19th century fashions and based around the things Kate wears, her engagement ring and her style.â€
She said: â€œI love her fashion sense. Sheâ€™s really elegant.â€
Sam said: â€œI wanted to make a cool and sexy shoe for a formal occasion and itâ€™s fantastic to have been shortlisted but it would be great to be selected over all as it would get me recognised as a designer.â€
Summer Spencer uses colors from Kate and William’s Coat of Arms in her design.
Summer Rose Spencer/De Montfort University
The tartan plaid is used as a reminder of the couple’s time at the University in Scotland. This student is also smart, demonstratingÂ her familiarity with shoes previously seen on Kate, including the blue “Art” courts worn to to open Darwen Academy.
Tabitha Duffield has created a classic shoe with what looks like a fairly high heel in nude and soft pink.
Tabitha Duffield/De Montfort University
But Ms. Duffield has also updated the silhouette with laser-cut flowers and a flourish at the back, she shares thoughts all of the finalists would echo More from this student, again via This is Leicester:
“It would mean the world if she chose my design. The fact this competition has even come our way is amazing.”
It is obviously a talented group of young designers, it was fun reading the reasons certain elements and themes were chosen for inclusion in the designs.
Now it’s time for you to vote: of these six designs, which shoe do you think best reflects Kate’s taste and is the one she is most likely to select?