May 042016
 

Tonight the Duchess wore a look by Alexander McQueen to the National Portrait Gallery.

 James Whatling / Splash News

James Whatling / Splash News

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May 042016
 

Kate brought back her Michael Kors coat for today’s engagements.

The Duchess of Cambridge at Hampton Court Palace

©Stephen Lock/i-Images

The Duchess started the day at Hampton Court Palace; she was there to officially open the Magic Garden, a fabulous new play area for children. Below you see her with Rupert Gavin, chairman of Historic Royal Palaces (center); on the right you see the landscape architect for the project, Robert Myers.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

It was a bright and breezy day, nice weather for the formal opening of the play area.  A very quick video of Kate’s arrival.

As described by Historic Royal palaces, “The Magic Garden draws inspiration from the myths and legends of the Tudor Court and offers families a new way to explore Hampton Court’s past.”

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

More about the Garden from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph.

The Magic Garden at Henry VIII’s former residence in south west London includes its own secret grotto and a 25ft smoke-breathing dragon.

Kate chatting with some of the children visiting the Garden today.

Kate Magic Garden Speaking with children May 4 2016 via HCP FB 999 x 650

There was a cute exchange with one of the children. Simon Perry’s story in People has the details.

As Kate toured the garden, one youngster tugged on the sleeve of the chairman of Historic Royal Palaces, Rupert Gavin, and asked him: “Who’s that?” 

The Duchess of Cambridge, he replied. 

“Then the child said, ‘Ooh, are you the princess?’ ” says Gavin. 

She said: “Just call me Kate.” (When Kate herself had asked the kids her name, they chorused, “Princess Kate!”) 

The Duchess always seems to enjoy herself when she is interacting with children.

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Here you see that 25-foot dragon mentioned above.

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

From Rebecca English’s story in The Daily Mail:

The Duchess of Cambridge told school children today how she thought two-and-a-half year old Prince George would be ‘a bit scared’ of a 25ft plastic dragon in a newly-unveiled playground.

Kate spoke to Elodie and Olivia, both eight, from St John the Baptist Church of England Junior School, who were sitting on top of the plastic and clay dragon at Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden.

In the course of chatting with the children Kate revealed the Cambridges have a new pet.

PA

PA

She actually is said to have told the children Charlotte and George have a new pet, but you get the gist of the story. As you might imagine, this sparked a flurry of social media chatter, including ‘artist’s renderings’ of Marvin.

The Mirror

The Mirror

Kate and Mr. Gavin unveil the plaque commemorating Kate’s visit and the Garden’s official opening.

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

There was also an intricately decorated cake.

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Hampton Court Palace Facebook

Kate’s second engagement was with the Anna Freud Centre. You can see Kate removed her coat for the indoor function, held at Spencer House.

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

We return to Gordon Rayner’s story

The lunch was held at Spencer House, the ancestral London home of Diana, Princess of Wales, which was recently the venue for Rupert Murdoch’s wedding to Jerry Hall.

…the Duchess thanked major donors who have so far raised £3.25 million towards the  £10m capital needed to build a new children’s mental health centre.

This was Kate’s first engagement as Patron of the Freud Centre.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate talking with parents from the Freud Centre’s family School, that program offers specialist education for the whole family.

Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal

Kate was in her Roksanda Ilincic’ “peridot” dress, first worn in 2011 when arriving in Los Angeles and again for a 2012 reception at The Royal Academy.

©Splash News//Nunn Syndication, Polaris

©Polaris/Splash News/Nunn Syndication, Polaris

Obviously the dress is not the green shade associated with peridot, it is described as a light blue-grey. It has that distinctive draped/pleated bodice and neckline; center back pleats; small pleated panels at the back waistband; an exposed back zipper from neckline to hem; and a front tie.

Matches Fashion

Matches Fashion

Kate’s Michael Kors coat was initially worn on the final day of the 2014 tour. Called an indigo twill jacquard swing coat by Michael Kors, the garment was single breasted with front flap pockets and a full skirt.  

mmmmm

All Polaris Images

The Duchess accessorized with her nude Fern pumps by LK Bennett.

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Jason Dawson/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

While currently sold out, the company is going to be getting more in; you can register your interest in purchasing a pair by giving LK Bennet your email at this page.

Kate carried a new Nina clutch, also from LK Bennett, in the same ‘Trench’ color as her shoes.

Polairs/i-Images/Polaris

Polairs/i-Images/Polaris

Kate wore her Mappin & Webb Empress pendant and earrings.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

She also wore her Cartier Ballon Bleu wristwatch.

Polaris

You can see her hair was partially pulled back; this picture from Rebecca English shows a bit of the back and side.

Rebecca English The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

Rebecca English The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

UPDATES 6pm EDT:

In response to queries about the Sledge I consulted a post titled “It’s Been How Long Since We Saw The Sledge?” dated April 8 2015. My records show Kate as having worn the Sledge on August 4 of 2014 in Liège, Belgium for events commemorating the Centenary of World War I.

Also today, The Telegraph has a fun sidebar piece about the hypothetical amortization of Kate’s nude heels.

Our comprehensive look book of Kate’s style highlights reveals 30 occasions when she has chosen either the Floret (£175), Fern (£195) or Sledge (£195) heels from L.K Bennett, from their very first sighting at the Epsom Derby shortly after her wedding to today’s outings.

We calculated that on that basis, this tots up to a cost-per-wear of just £6.16.

There are other nude heels not included in the equation, like the Choo Gilbert or Russell & Bromley’s Pointy. But the piece is meant to be lighthearted, it isn’t intended to be the definitive mathematical statement on Kate’s per-wearing cost. The story does raise a point many of us have discussed over the years:

Of course, in the same way that the Queen orders new versions of her beloved  Launer handbag each season, it’s highly likely that the Duchess is stockpiling numerous pairs of nude shoes to ensure they’re pristine for every occasion.

We’ll never know how many pair of each style Kate might purchase, but my guess is when she finds something she likes she buys in multiples.

We’ll see you shortly for Kate’s engagement at the National Portrait Gallery where she will view the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibit.

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May 032016
 

The much-discussed British Vogue centenary issue with Kate on the cover became available today in some parts of the world. In an effort to keep tomorrow’s coverage of Kate’s engagements  from becoming overly long, we have a quick overview about the story and what Kate wore. (Some of which we covered Saturday.)

British Vogue

British Vogue

On the cover Kate wears:

Editor Alexandra Shulman wrote the article that accompanies the photos. In the piece she talks about her longterm desire to have the Duchess on the cover of the magazine.

Like every other editor in the world…I had approached her and been turned away, politely but firmly. Nonetheless, when it came to our centenary issue…I approached her again. This time there was a new connection…the National Portrait Gallery.

British Vogue/Petite Bateau/Burberry

Because of the Portrait Gallery’s plans to host an exhibit showing 100 British Vogue covers, and Kate’s role as patron of the NPG, Ms. Shulman thought there might be hopes for a cover story with the Duchess. It turns out she was right. In her article the editor notes the relaxed atmosphere during the day spent outside on the Sandringham estate; Kate arrived wearing a “parka, jeans and big rollers” in her hair.

It was very clear from the outset these pictures were to be of the woman herself rather than of a figurehead, and they would be as informal as possible. The Duchess liked the idea of being photographed in the countryside, and she wanted the pictures to reflect an element of her private existence.  

British Vogue/Burberry/7 for all Mankind

British Vogue/Burberry/7 for all Mankind

There is more background on the shoot itself in Ms. Shulman’s story; it notes that Kate “sifted through the clothes on the rails, laughing at some of the options.” Other tidbits:

  • Kate was “cheerful and incredibly patient throughout the day – constantly asking if we were happy with what we were getting.”
  • “She didn’t want to be dressed as a fashion plate and was not keen to be shot in gala gowns and tiaras.”
Josh Olins/British Vogue, Cabbages & Roses

Josh Olins/British Vogue, Cabbages & Roses

In the story Alexandra Shulman says that while everyone was bundled to combat the cold January temps Kate “…posed uncomplaining, often in a thin cotton shirt.”

AG/British Vogue/Dune London

AG/British Vogue/Dune London

In the monthly ‘Field Notes’ section of the magazine photographer Josh Olins is quoted:

You’d imagine a centenary shoot being so extravagant, but it was all wellingtons…and sausage rolls. The day before the Duchess popped in with her kids to look at the clothes rails, and had a cup of tea.

Lupo was more than welcome at the shoot; below you see Mr. Olins photographing Kate as she plays with the family’s cocker spaniel.

British Vogue

British Vogue

The photos have generated substantial online discussion about what Kate is wearing, especially the overalls and the palazzo-cut jeans. Some are wondering if these are styles we should expect to see Kate wearing in the future; I don’t think so. Kate recognizes the broad distance between editorial content in a high fashion magazine like Vogue, and RTW (ready to wear) designs we all buy off the rack. There can be an enormous space between those two points, as seen with these Vogue pictures. The magazine’s content is meant to be transportative to some degree, taking us all to some not-quite-real fashion planet where we might imagine ourselves wearing the designer dresses, breathtaking jewelry and incredible accessories shown in the glossy pages or online imagery. But here in the real world I think The Duchess is devoted to her skinny jeans, wedges and other items unlikely to be covered in current fashion magazines.

British Vogue goes on sale in the US and most other countries Thursday. For those looking to purchase a hard copy of the magazine I would try Barnes and Noble and/or your local independent bookstore. Another option is Newsstand UK (although I don’t know where they will ship) or Magazine Cafe. Following are a few places where it can be purchased online:

Many thanks to The Sun’s Emily Andrews for sharing some pictures of the Vogue article, it was very helpful in trying to identify what Kate wears in the magazine.  We’ll see you tomorrow for Kate’s engagements.

NOTE: The post has been updated to correct errors about the Cabbages and Roses shirt; the company is British, and not based in New Zealand as originally stated.

LINKAGE: