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.
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.
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.
Kate’s coat is similar to another M Missoni garment, the cut, exposed seams and fringe are the same on this coat, although it is made from woven cotton, as opposed to the knit bouclÃ© seen on Kate.
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:
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.
More on the visit from Hello!:
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.
We also saw the return of Kate’s Hope Egg earrings by Links of London.
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.
Fortnum’s has also unveiled their Diamond Jubilee gift collection.
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.
For The Telegraph’s video, click here.
ITV also has a nice story, its video may be found here.
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.
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€
You can read the entire story about Ms. Hunt by clicking here.
Kay Yeng-Chen’s shoe sits atop a sizable platform, similar to that of Kate’s nude Sledge heels from LK Bennett.
The primary motif is that of a fairytale, showcased in lavender and fuchsia.
Mei Chun-Lai created a design that celebrates the Year of the Dragon.
The shoe’s shape is inspired by Chinese lanterns, the primary colors are orange and blue. Ms. Chun-Lai shares more of her idea with This is Leicestershire:
“Kate’s style is really elegant but I think she might choose something a bit different with this, maybe.”
In his design Sam Sawkill also used lace, incorporating an English rose theme.
He told The Mirror:
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.
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.
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?