Aug 262014
 

We have some quick updates to share, beginning with an addition to Kate’s Calendar: September 8 she will join William in opening The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building at St. Hugh’s College. Oxford is considered to be a “premier centre for the study of China,” here is more from the news release:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will officially open the China Centre by joining others in a traditional Chinese ribbon-cutting ceremony in its courtyard garden

The royal couple will be met by members of staff, students and friends of St Hugh’s College before being taken on a tour of the new £21million China Centre. They will also be introduced to major donors including Hong Kong philanthropist, Mr. Dickson Poon CBE.

Those who follow the retail industry will recognize the primary benefactor’s name, one of his companies owns upscale retailer Harvey Nichols. St. Hugh’s is a college at Oxford University.

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Also today, an update on the poppies art installation at the Tower of London. Readers will recall that almost 900,000 ceramic poppies have been handcrafted at the Paul Cummins Ceramic Studios in Derby, the majority made by volunteers specially trained to work on the project. Each poppy represents a British or Colonial military fatality of World War I.

Tower Poppies Planters Facebook

Tower Poppies Planters Facebook

The flowers are being ‘planted’ in the Tower’s famous dry moat; volunteers are also responsible for accomplishing much of this task. This photo shared by Jay Barnett shows a group that volunteered at the Tower yesterday.

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Tower Poppies Planters

In the foreground of this photo you can see the boxes of poppies ready to be unpacked and planted.

Tower Poppies Planters

Tower Poppies Planters

Kerry Lambert posted this image on the Tower of London Facebook page with a message that said “Thank you for the opportunity to plant poppies. 24/08/14.”

Kerry Lambert/Tower of London Facebook page

Kerry Lambert/Tower of London Facebook page

Kerry also shared this picture with a caption noting “First one I planted.”

Kerry Lambert/Tower of London Facebook

Kerry Lambert/Tower of London Facebook

A ground level perspective.

Hiral Patel/Tower Poppies Planters

Hiral Patel/Tower Poppies Planters

There is now a wonderful interactive graphic showing the dedications people have made “in honor of a loved one who may have previously served or who is still serving.” Anyone can make a dedication for a minimum £10 donation, with all proceeds going to the 6 charities benefiting from the project. If interested in donating without being part of the Dedication Gallery that option is also offered.

Tower of London/Historic Royal Palaces

Tower of London/Historic Royal Palaces

Volunteer Emily Brown shared a photo she took with Billy Beefeater, aka Bill Callaghan, a retired army medic who is now one of the Tower’s Beefeaters, more officially known as Yeoman Warders.

@Emily

@EmilyvBrown Twitter

You can look for photos of the planting by searching #TowerPoppies on Twitter and on Instagram.  Our previous posts about the project can be seen here (Aug. 5) and here (July 25).  Below, more volunteers at work, this photo was posted on the 21st.

Tower Poppies Planters

Tower Poppies Planters

Other updates related to the project:

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We leave you with something more lighthearted, originally shared yesterday morning on our Facebook page. As the sign in the lower right says, “Welcome to Buckingham Palace.”

aleXsandro Palombo via Humor Chic

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

But it’s not your ordinary view of the Palace, nor of its residents and visitors – Her Majesty and the Duchess have been “Simpsonized.”

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

The illustrations are the work of Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo, he has created 55+ illustrations showing the Queen and Kate looking just like characters on the popular television show The Simpsons.

Below left we see Kate and HM as they were dressed when previewing the exhibit with Kate’s wedding gown in 2011; the Duchess wore a dress by Joseph that day. On the right Kate is seen in the bespoke suit by Alexander McQueen she wore for Easter Sunday services in Australia this spring. (With apologies, I recognize the Queen’s suit but don’t know if it is by Angela Kelly or another designer, nor do I know when it has been worn. Our thanks to Cindy, she left a comment saying the suit was worn to Fortnum & Mason when visiting the store with the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge, that post is here. In that post we explain it is by Angela Kelly.)

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aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

Mr. Palombo has done a stellar job with the accessories in addition to the dresses, the shoes and chapeaux are very well done. Below, Kate in the teal Emilia Wickstead frock worn on Palm Sunday in New Zealand and the Roland Mouret ‘Lombard’ gown first worn to a private function at Claridges in May, 2012.

L: i-Images/ Humor Chic R: alex /SplashNews.com

L: i-Images/aleXsandro Palombo – Humor Chic R: aleXsandro Palombo – Humor Chic/SplashNews.com

It’s not the first time the artist has used the Simpson treatment, although he is not affiliated with the tv show in any way. Last winter Mr. Palombo created a gallery of drawings with Marge Simpson as the model to show some of the world’s most iconic dresses. More from Vogue magazine:

“I made a strict and careful selection of what, in my opinion, has really influenced the style of the last 100 years. Each of these dresses really changed the course of the history of costume, giving a new aesthetic vision that has anticipated major changes in our society.

That group of drawings included Liz Hurley’s safety pin dress, Kate’s engagement dress by Issa London and a Chanel suit.

Palombo Vogue Iconic Dresses Marge Simpson Kate Issa Coco Chanel Suit Liz Hurley Safety Pin Dress

aleXsandro Palombo/Vogue Magazine

Some of Mr. Palombo’s work has stirred controversy over the years; previous topics include domestic abuse, eating disorders and political issues. That isn’t likely to be the case with this collection of illustrations, they seem a lighthearted treatment of a topic the artist clearly knows well. That isn’t a surprise, he has Mr. Palombo  s

Our final individual looks seen as through Mr. Palombo’s work show Kate in the blue Reiss dress worn for her first speaking engagement, the colorblocked Roksanda Ilincic seen in Australia and the Topshop the Duchess wore for a visit with William to Bereavement UK.

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aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

You can see all 59 illustrations at the artist’s blog.

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

LINKAGE:

 

Aug 232014
 

Hello and happy weekend to all. We are back with word about Kate’s upcoming trip to Malta, as well as an early look at Beulah London’s fall/winter collection and Sarah Burton’s first public comments of any length regarding Kate’s wedding gown.

As many are aware, the Duchess will represent the Queen at activities celebrating the island’s 50th anniversary of its independence from the United Kingdom. The country is a Commonwealth nation and will play host to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015. Here is a condensed version of the itinerary for the official visit. (For those curious about event timings when that information is released, Malta is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the US, 1 hours ahead of London.)

Saturday September 20:

  • The Duchess will formally call on Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta’s President, at San Anton Palace, the President’s official residence. This is where Kate will be staying Saturday night, also where the Queen stayed when visiting the country. Kate will also make an official call on Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muscat and his wife at the historic Auberge de Castille in Valleta.
  • Later on Saturday the Duchess will view a series of military drills at the Palace Square in Valletta, including a re-enactment of the In Guardia, a 16th Century event in Malta’s history. (For a live look at the Square via webcam, click here.)
VisitMalta.com

VisitMalta.com

For Saturday’s daytime events I would expect an ensemble similar to those worn on previous tours. Look for the Duchess to incorporate red and/or white in some way, those are the colors of Malta’s flag and also the traditional colors of the Knights of Malta. Also expect a hat. Below, the two Catherine Walkers worn by the Duchess on previous tours, as well as the Alexander McQueen dove gray dress and coat seen on Easter Sunday in Australia; they are shown merely to visually convey the kind of look I believe we can expect. Keep in mind Malta has a Mediterranean climate, average September temps are in the upper 70s and sometimes lower 80s (roughly 21℃ to 26℃).

left to right:

left to right:

  • Saturday night the Duchess will be the guest of honor at Independence Day celebrations held at the Upper Barrakka Gardens, overlooking the Grand Harbour. This should be a spectacular event, the view over the Harbour will be stunning.

For Saturday night’s gala I don’t believe the dress code is black or white , therefore there’s not an expectation of a formal gown. Again, the following frocks are offered only for a barometer of how formally the Duchess might dress for the evening event: on the left we see the Alexander McQueen initially worn for the Queen’s Jubilee church service and the Jenny Packham from a state reception in New Zealand. They are not frocks I expect Kate to wear on this trip.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

Sunday September 21:

  • The Duchess attends Independence Day services at another architectual gem, St. John’s Cathedral, built by the Knights of Malta in the mid-1500s. She will also view works of art at the Cathedral’s Museum, including two priceless Caravaggios, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist and Saint Jerome Writing.
  • Kate then visits Malta’s Agency for Youth before a walkabout in Vittoriosa Square, followed by a visit to view artwork at the Church of St Lawrence, the oldest church on Malta.
  • This is followed by a boat ride across the Grand Harbour, after which Kate attends a garden party at the residence of the British High Commissioner, Rob Luke. There will also be another Independence Day celebration, this will take place at the High Commissioner’s residence as well.

On Sunday I would anticipate the Duchess in another fairly dressy ensemble complete with hat for the church service, and think we are likely to see a possible change to a different dress for the garden party at the High Commissioner’s.

The Daily Mail has a graphic showing the events that might be handy to use as a reference.

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail

As we have mentioned in previous posts, the Queen is fond of Malta for personal reasons. More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:

As young newly-weds, the Queen and Prince Philip – who was then serving in HMS Chequers with the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet – lived together on Malta for almost two years.

Although she and Prince Philip were accompanied to the island by a retinue which included an equerry, a valet, a lady-in-waiting, and the Princess’s childhood nanny, as well as their ever-present police bodyguards, the newly-weds were pretty much free to come and go as they pleased.

The Queen considers their time there as one of the happiest periods of her life as it was their only experience of living like an ‘ordinary’ couple. For the future Queen, this was simply unheard of. There were parties, picnics, swimming expeditions and boat trips. The young princess even went out shopping and on visits to the hairdressers with the other young officers’ wives.

There is an obvious analogy between the Queen & Prince Philip’s situation in Malta and the time spent on Anglesey by another pair of newlyweds, Kate and William.
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This is an important trip for the Duchess: it’s her first solo trip representing the Queen. More from Simon Perry’s story at People.com:
“This is a seminal moment for her, when she will be showing herself to be stateswoman in her own right,” a palace source tells PEOPLE.
Kate is also slated to give a speech at one of the engagements, more on that when the information becomes available.
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We move to fall and winter designs from Beulah London. The company released its lookbook for the new seasons yesterday, there are some new silhouettes, as well as more separates. We begin with the Chiara coat in optical white, a clean, tailored look that seems ‘very Kate.’ Next, the Seraphina dress is shown in both black and optical white. On the far right you see the black Blythe top paired with the Evangeline skirt in ‘bright white lights’.

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are several pieces in a rosy blush color officially called rose smoke.  Below left we see the Seraphina dress showcasing this color; next we see the Blaze jacket and Evelyn trouser in plum; in the center it’s the Lumina coat in rose smoke; the Celeste dress in plum and navy is next, with the Dusk dress in rose smoke on the far right.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The next group features rich navy and icy blue hues: on the far left you see the Radiance top in bright white lights and Veil skirt in navy, an interesting piece with what looks like a hi-low hemline; next is the Luna coat in ice blue, followed by the Moonbeam dress in navy and black; second from the left is the Serenity dress in dove white; the Twilight sweater in navy and dove white is paired with the Evelyn trouser in navy.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Several styles offer a bit of a surprise when viewed from the back. The Seren has sleek, chic lines that almost look subdued from the front, but when viewed from the back its reveals a deep vee cut to the waist and a white insert modified kick pleat; the Faith in fiery red has a crossed vee-back accented by a demure bow; on the far right, the Lucille in black and dove white opens to the waist on the back.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The autumn/winter collection features a monochrome palette for many pieces, black and white are especially prominent. We see the combination in the fall accessories, including the Amala (I think this is an oversized scarf or wrap) in grey and dove white, the Nightfall scarf is tied in a whimsical bow in the center and on the right.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Several more styles from left to right: the Radiance dress in bright white lights; Serenity in fiery red; Ciana top in navy & dove white the Evelyn slacks; the Faith dress again; on the far right it’s the Joy blouse in white feather print and the Evangeline skirt in black.

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are not as many full-length gowns as in some previous seasons. Here we show the Angelica in fiery red, the Porcelain in white feather print, and the Painted Lady in bright white lights.

Beulah London

Beulah London

There is a lot to like in this collection, it offers quite a few styles with clean, elegant lines, with some pieces fitted nicely in the bodice opening to a flared skirt. There are also some highly wearable separates, with basics like the Evelyn trousers that can be worn in multiple ways for varying levels of dress. And there are several pieces that would work very well for Kate. Who knows – perhaps we’ll see one of the red Beulah dresses in Malta!

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Also today, a brief note about Sarah Burton. T Magazine, the NY Times style publication, features a lengthy profile of the designer in its August 24th edition. Written by Scottish author and editor Andrew O’Hagan, the majority of the story focuses on things other than Kate’s wedding dress. We thought you might be interested in some of Ms. Burton’s thoughts on the process and the ultimate outcome, it is the most vocal she has ever been on the topic. From Mr. O’Hagan’s article:

Her biggest project to date, making the royal wedding dress in 2011, meant the press stalked her for months…

And that stalking came less than a year after Alexander McQueen’s death, something I hadn’t fully realized.

The designer wasn’t aware of the level of interest in the The Dress, telling Mr. O’Hagan ““I had no idea it would be as big as it was. Only the night before, seeing all the photographers outside the abbey, did I think, ‘Oh, my God. This is massive.’ ” In the profile Ms. Burton explains the primary reason she doesn’t speak about making Kate’s gown, citing an ethic I find admirable.

When I first brought the dress up with Burton, she wanted to wave the subject away. But during our second meeting, she appeared resolved to put the matter to rest. “I know we live in a culture obsessed with fame,” she said, “but I happen to believe privacy is a virtue, and the relationship I have with my clients is private.

I loved making the dress, I loved adapting my ideas to suit the person and the occasion, and we put our hearts into it. I respect the intimate nature of that lovely project and I respect the friendships that were forged during it. This is the era of blab, but we’re strong-minded here at McQueen, we always have been, and we’re proud of what we do. There are people in the media who will always want to invent sinister reasons for people’s discretion, but an instinctive, intelligent, imaginative young woman’s wish for a beautiful wedding dress — or any kind of dress — is the most natural thing in the world. And I was honored to pick up the challenge and always will be.”

It’s a fascinating profile, we recommend reading it in full.

 

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Aug 212014
 

We are back with some fashion notes and a follow-up to our previous post discussing Kate’s position in the fashion zeitgeist, more specifically, asking if she is a style icon. The thoughts you shared on the topic were outstanding; watching the discussion unfold and reading the varying perspectives on what constitutes a fashion icon and/or a style icon has been a delight.

There were several comments about the specific terms that are part of today’s lexicon. Here is a brief sampling:

  • Lili: “I do think part of the problem with the term “style icon” and whether it applies to any given person is the slipperiness — the malleability — of the definition.”
  • TMM: “To me, fashion refers to what’s new and popular and trendy in the world of clothing and accessories. A style icon, however (in my mind), is one who takes a look and makes it uniquely their own.”
  • ElizaMo: “I’d have said that Kate was a style icon and not a fashion icon as for me there’s a clear distinction: it’s perfectly possible to have a consistent style without having fashion come into it.”
  • Miss Maddox: “I do think the Duchess is a style icon; and for me that is very different then being a “fashionable” woman. I would never suggest that Duchess Kate was a “fashionable” woman. Style icons are the women who choose to be above fashion!”
  • Erin: “Is Kate a stylish woman? YES. Is she a style icon? NO. There is a difference.”

While fond of Kate’s fashion choices and style , some felt it is just too early to make pronouncements or confer titles:

  • Judith (via Facebook): “Personally I think that Kate is not a fashion icon…yet. Her style now is very suitable for her place as the wife of the second in line. But these are early days.”
  • Lauri: “Kate certainly would have made the Hall of Fame, in the future, but to include her this year is much too soon.”
  • Sampson (via Facebook): “I think it’s way too early to tell. She dresses beautifully, but give her time. She’s made an effort to not be defined by her clothing choices, so I think we should let her WOW us on her terms.”
  • Ashleigh: “I agree it’s too early to tell whether Kate’s normality and what some refer to as formulaic dressing will cement her iconic fashion status. Only time will tell…”

For many others, there’s no more time needed, Kate is iconic. And regardless of the terms used, many expressed thoughts on the positive impact Kate’s style choices have had on their wardrobes:

  • Amy: “I don’t know if Kate should be defined as a style icon, but I’ve certainly adopted her as MY style icon!”
  • Melissa: “She’s the only person I look to for what is appropriate/looks put together, precisely because I know that I can replicate her look almost exactly.”
  • Lulu (via Facebook): “I think that she is an Icon for the very reasons that her critic note: she does things her way & breaks rules & wears what she likes & feels comfy in rather than what the style experts might approve of.”
  • Adrienne: “I’m 33 and never really knew how to dress… Until I saw Kate wearing the nude pumps I never thought to buy some. So I did. She influenced my personal style….I’m not afraid to wear a dress to work anymore”.
  • Rachel: “When I was younger, I wasted a lot of money on “fast fashion”, buying whatever was trendy at the time that was cheaply made and wasn’t necessarily flattering. Kate has taught me that investing in well made pieces, and paying attention to fit goes a long way…”
  • Jennifer (via Facebook): “I don’t find her a groundbreaker, but I find her an icon as well as a source of returning style and class in clothing as opposed to what so much of what youth and young women are seeing in the media. Thank goodness there is this alternative to show…”

In a somewhat related note, a recent story in The Telegraph offers a smidgen of insight on how Kate looks at fashion. The article profiles Sara Parker Bowles, associate editor at Harper’s Bazaar UK and senior editor at Town & Country UK. From that Telegraph story:

Of the Duchess of Cambridge, she will only say: “We’ve talked about designers we admire in the past and she’s always very complimentary about what I wear but, clearly, she feels she’s got more important things to think about – and that’s what makes her so endearing.”

You may recognize the name because Ms. Parker Bowles is married to the Duchess of Cornwall’s son, Tom Parker Bowles.

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Next, our look at some of the new fall styles at Temperley London. These pieces are all from the label’s pre-fall collection.

Temperley London

Temperley London

Several more looks.

Temperley London

Temperley London

Many of the pre-fall pieces can be found on the Temperley site, although some are not yet in stock. One style currently available: the Catroux dress, shown in the center of the photo above. Here’s a closer look at the frock, available in three colors.

'Catroux' by Temperley London

‘Catroux’ by Temperley London

Below left we show the brand’s Berge dress with its tailored top and full skirt, on the right it’s the ALICE by Temperley Madison dress, in a classic fit and flare silhouette.

Temperley London

Temperley London

The Moya Wool Jacket struck me as a piece that seems ‘very Kate’. It’s a wool/angora blend that looks both snuggly-warm and chic, not always an easy combination to pull off.

Temperley London

Temperley

Our next two items are from the ALICE by Temperley collection, offering the brand’s younger, edgier styles. The Donna Jacket is made of a wonderful material “…embellished with floral mesh appliqués…” and has a cropped silhouette… softly puffed shoulders. There are several other pieces in the eye-catching fabric if one is looking for a matching top/bottom, we show the Donna skirt. These pieces are part of the ALICE Winter 2014 collection.

ALICE by Temperley

ALICE by Temperley

The Callas Evening Coat is elegant and would work well for Kate. It comes in both black and a deep olive.

Temperley London

Temperley London

Also new in stock, the Luz Dress in a silk/poly blend. The structured fabric has an openwork design on the sleeves and the lower third of the frock.

Temperley London

Temperley London

This is a mere sampling of the online selection, the site is well-stocked with new pieces for the fall and winter seasons; those interested in what’s to come might enjoy perusing the 2014 Winter lookbook.

The brand also happens to be having an excellent sale, offering 60% off of spring and summer styles. That makes items like the Lucy Shirtdress (seen below) a very good buy. The dress was originally priced at £395, it is now £160, that’s about $260.

ALICE by Temperley

ALICE by Temperley

Accessories in the sale are also pocketbook friendly. Below we show the Chapelle Scarf (lower left) is on sale for £35, as is the yellow and pale pink Sylvia Scarf seen in the center of the photo, both would be roughly $55 – $60. The turquoise and pink Lace Bi-Couloured Scarf on the far right of the montage is discounted to £60, about $95-$100.

ALICE by Temperley & Temperley London

ALICE by Temperley & Temperley London

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We have a few more Sales & Savings opportunities:

  • One of our favorite sponsors, Beulah London, is offering a scarf Kate has worn at a special discount this week. We’re talking about the Eden scarf seen on the Duchess at a rugby match in Sydney, Australia. The cashmere blend scarf normally sells for £125 (about $210), but it’s discounted to £99 (roughly $165) this week only.
Beulah London

Beulah London

  • 6pm, the sister site to Zappos, has a sizable selection of Aquatalia on sale, with discounts running from 30% to 70% off the original price. The majority of the shoes are summer styles, but there are some past season boots and booties. Below, some of the styles currently available.
6pm.com

6pm.com

Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman

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Finally tonight, word of a favorite ‘copyKate’ item being reissued. Some will remember seeing Kate in the Temperley London ‘Odele Classic Sheepskin Coat‘. (There are photos here of Kate wearing the piece during a walk in Kensington Gardens.)

Temperley London

Temperley London

Via Spiga made what became a popular repliKate last year, and now the coat has been reissued for this fall. It’s interesting to see how different retailers are marketing the coat, and what it is selling for. At Macy’s the coat is called the “Faux-Leather and Faux-Fur Kate Trench Coat,” it is priced at $359.99.

Macy's Via Spiga Faux-Leather and Faux-Fur Kate Trench Coat

Macy’s Via Spiga Faux-Leather and Faux-Fur Kate Trench Coat

At Bloomingdales it is the Faux Leather and Faux Fur Collar coat, it is “on sale” for $337.45.

Bloomingdales Faux Leather and Faux Fur Collar Coat-

Bloomingdales Faux Leather and Faux Fur Collar Coat-

The best deal by far seems to be at Saks Off Fifth, where the Via Spiga Faux Fur Collar Coat is priced at just $223.99.

Saks Off Fifth Via Spiga Faux Fur Collar Coat

Saks Off Fifth Via Spiga Faux Fur Collar Coat

This is clearly one of those cases where it pays to shop around.

We will say goodbye until next time, with a “Thank You!” to those who shared their thoughts in the ongoing style icon/fashion icon conversation. If you haven’t yet had time to weigh in on the topic, click here for the original post and join the conversation.