We are back with several updates and the first of our posts on Australian and New Zealand designers that could work well for Kate on the upcoming Royal Tour.
First, the results of our two most recent polls. Your top two choices for favorite daytime, or more casual dress, were very close in vote totals. With 5,652 votes, Topshop’s Polka Dots just beat out the Jenny Packham Kate wore when leaving the hospital after Prince George was born.
5663 voted for the look you most liked on more formal occasions; your favorite is the Alexander McQueen worn for Prince George’s christening.
Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts about another poll or two. I liked the ideas for a jewelry poll, and an accessory poll, hopefully I will be able to find the time and get these in the mix. ☺
Thursday was the 1000th day Kate has been Duchess of Cambridge, and a number of UK publications have done stories pegged to the occasion. Richard Palmer’s article in the Express notes the ongoing changes in the monarchy itself:
“The Queen will be doing a little bit less and others such as the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be doing a little bit more,” comments one royal source.
Whatever her husband does, courtiers anticipate Kate stepping up her royal duties in 2014, starting with a handful of engagements in February.
…Kate, 32, has become an international style icon, one of the world’s most famous women and now mother to a future king, Prince George. Her son is proving a joy, a challenge and naturally a priority even with the help of a temporary nanny Jessie Webb, 71, and housekeeper Antonella Fresolone, 43.
Through their charitable Royal Foundation the three younger royals are seeking to work intensively with their chosen charities and other agencies to try to make lasting changes to help military veterans, young people and conservation organisations among others. Kate has picked causes that she feels passionately about.
You can read the entire piece here, I thought it very well done.
The Mirror also noted the 1000th day mark with a story. Their article looks at significant dates throughout Kate’s first 1000 days; below we share a few of the noteworthy events the Mirror selected.
Fashion conscious Kate stepped out in a £49.99 blue Zara dress for her first appearance after the wedding, emerging from Buckingham Palace to go on her UK mini-moon.For her first Christmas as a Royal, Kate spent a day making mince piece with clients of the Centrepoint homeless charity in Camberwell in South London, before enjoying the rest of the holidays at Sandringham with the Royal Family.
To read this piece in its entirety, click here.
We now move to other news, beginning with word that that MaxMara’s new website seems to be mostly operational.
Not only can you see the full collections for the varying sub-brands (Atelier, Studio, Bridal, and more), you can also shop online *if* you live in a place the company ships to; the USA is not on that list of countries. That means many of us will need to continue buying the brand at Saks (where there seems to be lots of new styles in stock), Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, as well as online-only sites like Matches Fashion.
Below we show a few of the resort and spring styles that have arrived at Nordstrom; some are in stock, others are only available for pre-ordering. From left to right we show the Ali Side Drape silk dress, ‘Morris’ Sleeveless Jacquard dress in a beautiful print, the ‘Bronzo’ Woven sheath dress in a wool/silk blend, and the ‘Pasta’ Stretch Wool Sheath dress, this last one has a touch of elastene with the wool to give the frock a little stretch.
It is great to see Max Mara launch e-commerce, hopefully US shoppers will be able to buy directly from them at some point in the future. The site is somewhat difficult to navigate, at least for me. While understanding the distinctions between the Max Mara and Max Mara Studio lines (for example), I’m not sure what the T-Shine pieces are meant to be, or how the Sfilata pieces differ from the Elegante line (other than obviously being much more casual). On an up note, it is wonderful to be able to see excellent images of clothing and accessories, like the shoe lines and handbag collection. I imagine the company will have the site fully functional before long.
Other retailers offering Ms. Wickstead’s designs include Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter. Just this week Ms. Wickstead was named a finalist for the British Fashion Council/Vogue prestigious Designer Fashion Fund award. The designer selected receives a year’s mentoring and £200,000; the award is only given to designers who have already built an established business.
Next, the first of our posts showcasing designers Kate could wear during the April tour, appropriate on Australia Day. (In actuality the holiday is over in Australia, but I wanted to mention it anyway in honor of all our Australian readers.) Before getting underway, a couple of notes:
- It is more-than-likely we will see Kate wearing at least style by Emilia Wickstead, the designer is from New Zealand.
- Look for the Duchess to wear a mix of local labels with a hearty sprinkling of her “go to” British designers; we’ll take an in-depth look at what to expect in this regard in our next post.
Our first designer is Carl Kapp. Born in South Africa, Mr. Kapp launched his eponymous label in Sydney in 2006. Below we show pieces from his a/w 2013 collection (left to right): the Cap Sleeve Dress, the Crop Jacket atop the Cap Sleeve Dress, in the middle we see the Scoop Neck Dress, then the Igloo Coat atop the Turtle Dress, and on the far right, the Turtle Dress. It isn’t difficult to envision Kate in most of these looks.
If one wanted to make an argument that Kate is “meant” to wear Mr. Kapp’s designs, all that’s needed is a look at the shoes worn by the model in all of the a/w 2013 photos above: if they are not the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon wedges the Duchess is so fond of (that we can expect to see again on the tour), then they are a very close facsimile.
A few styles from the Carl Kapp s/s 2014 Collection: the Yasawa DWC Dress, St. Bart Oversize Cotton Coat, Vatulele DWC Dress, Shadow DWC Dress and One-Shoulder Deerskin Dress.
Known for his clean, structural lines and love of natural fibers, the designer is clearly talented when it comes to tailoring and construction. Mr. Kapp is also gifted at draping, a talent the Duchess appreciates. This is a brand that meshes nicely with Kate’s tastes.
Next, Carla Zampatti, one of Australia’s most notable designers. Ms. Zampatti was born in Italy and then settled in Australia in 1950, Ms. Zampatti founded her label in 1965. Below, four styles from her a/w 2014 Collection. More from Vogue Australia:
Zampatti was one of the first Australian designers to expand her range by designing swimwear in 1973, a line of sunglasses for Polaroid and her own perfumes, “Carla” in 1983 and “Bellezza” in 1987.
2009 saw Zampatti adding to her 1987 Order of Australia medal when she was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
When asked by a magazine about her the Zampatti “look,” the designer described her signature style this way:
Understated, with a beautiful cut and fabric…opulent fabric, small waist, tulip skirt….
More than any other word in Ms. Zampatti’s description, “understated” resonates in terms of Kate’s approach to clothing. The lines are very clean, the palette is restrained and often monochromatic – elements appealing to the Duchess. The company does ship to the USA. There are now 30+ Carla Zampatti stores and boutiques. The company also has a sizable bridal business. If interested in seeing more, the Carla Zampatti website is here, and the company’s Facebook page is here.
Our next designer creates more colorful styles with a refreshing exuberance. Trelise Cooper is based in New Zealand, where she founded her brand in 1985. The company has grown to three primary lines: Trelise Cooper, a diffusion line called Cooper by Trelise and a childrenswear collection. This is another label favored by celebrities, Trelise Cooper designs have been seen on Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liv Tyler.
Three more styles below: Electric Wonderland dress in blue, the Green Tropics dress with an oversized hydrangea print, and the Curtsey and Bow frock in a linen/silk/cotton blend. The style I see Kate wearing from this trio would be the blue dress on the far left. (It also comes in a soft pink that would work well on her.)
One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Cooper’s designs: her sense of whimsy, as evidenced in the Fairytale Fantasy coat shown below left. From the front it is merely another elegant black coat but when seen from the back it’s an entirely different story. Style names are also often lighthearted; below the Licorace Love dress (2nd from right) and the Acquired Waist dress on the far right.
Ms. Cooper has grown her brand and product offerings; there are now twelve flagship boutiques across New Zealand, Australia and Kuwait, offering jewelry, perfume, apparel and accessories. There is also a line of Trelise Cooper linens and interior design accessories. It’s a design aesthetic that could clearly work with Kate’s taste, be it a bespoke piece or off the the rack styles. Below, the Bet Your Bottom Collar dress , Million Collar Baby top, and Oops, I Bib It Again blouse. A bonus for those not in New Zealand: Trelise Cooper offers free shipping worldwide.
The company does extensive work with multiple charities; Trelise Cooper has been honored with the New Zealand Order of Merit and was also awarded a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit on the Queen’s 2014 New Year Honours List. The brand’s website is here and its Facebook page is here.
We’ll be back next week with news about the Tour, as well as more designers that Kate might wear.