For her Valentine’s Day Art Room engagement the Duchess chose a new LK Bennett dress.
Kate was at Northolt High School in London to officially open The ICAP Art Room.
The dress is LK Bennett’s ‘Detroit style’ in ‘snorkel blue,’ it is almost sold out in the US ($395), but still available in limited sizing at LK Bennett in the UK (£225), as well as John Lewis ($375) and House of Fraser.
The dress is that blend LK Bennett does so well, polyester & rayon (aka viscose) with a touch of elastane for stretch and comfort. The knee-length dress has a silhouette Kate is fond of, along with other elements: a cinched waist, additional darts at waist and shoulders, notched sleeves, and collar.
It is fun to see Kate in this dress, I pinned it to my “I Could See Kate Wearing _____” Pinterest board in the cream color a month ago. The blue is a very wise choice, it is always a flattering color on the Duchess.
Kate wears this blue with some frequency; above we compare today’s LK Bennett frock with the blue Stella McCartney ‘Ridley Stretch Dress’ we’ve seen previously. Coincidentally, Kate also wore a notable piece of Cartier jewelry with the Stella McCartney dress.
Most readers will recall that the Art Room provides art therapy as a means of helping children and teens cope with challenges and issues in their lives. Below, Kate speaks with headteacher Gloria Lowe.
Clarence House tweeted this picture of Kate joining in on a session.
Kate and the students seemed to be enjoying a good time together.
More from Rebecca English in her story about today’s events
The Duchess was greeted by raucous applause by the school’s 1,000 pupils when she arrived in the school hall, before moving on to the Art Room itself, where she sat with children attending an art therapy session and chatted to each one in turn.
Northolt’s Art Room was funded with £105,000 raised by the City firm ICAP, which holds a charity day every year at which guests including the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have in the past stood in as traders to raise money on the phones..
Described by Cartier this way:
Floating like a balloon and as blue as the sapphire safely nestled in its side, the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier adds a dash of elegance to male and female wrists alike. Roman numerals are guided on their path by a sapphire cabochon winding mechanism protected by an arc of precious metal. With the convex curves of the case, guilloché dial, sword-shaped hands, and polished or satin-finish links of the bracelet… the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier floats through the world of Cartier watchmaking.
This is a fairly new collection for the jeweler, offering a broad array of sizes, styles, and metals; the timepieces are available at Cartier and a limited group of other retailers. Our thanks to the Kate Middleton Style blog and photographer Chris Jackson for the info on Kate’s watch. Ayvee of Diana’s Jewels for helping on the size Kate wears, 28mm.
UPDATE: Commentors have left helpful info on the size of the watch, indicating it might be the medium size after all.
- From Annfee: “As far as I can see, it seems there is guilloché on her watch. Or the 28mm doesn’t have the guilloché (too small). So it looks rather to be the 36 mm, which is kind of confirm by the size on the wrist. The 28 is really small while worn (I’m lucky enough to have one, so I kinda noticed).”
- From Ramfi: “For those interested, here’s the scoop on this watch from a local retailer I checked with. It IS a 36 mm Quartz with Sunburst dial. If you look close enough then you’ll see the difference in the 36 mm and the smaller version which does not have the sunburst dial. Automatic movement has Automatic written on the dial. Also, it’s not Sapphire but a blue “synthetic spinel cabochon”, the lady said. She is pretty sure it’s 36 mm but will find out more from her buyer so I shall update you later.”
Cartier carries the medium size, it is also available at Saks.
There has been discussion about Kate’s new ring, first noted by many readers at the National Portrait Gala earlier this week. I apologize to everyone who was kind enough to email and message about the ring, I have been buried with work this week and just couldn’t make the time to get back to everyone. At any rate, the ring looks like a classic diamond eternity band. PLEASE NOTE: there has been no identification of the ring. The photo was used to illustrate Anna’s observations that it looked like the Tiffany or Mappin & Webb.
Anna of My Small Obsessions initially thought it might be by Mappin and Webb or Tiffany; Mappin & Webb have told Anna it is not a piece from their store.
We also saw a new pair of earrings today from Kiki McDonough. They look very much like the Green Amethyst and Diamond Cushion Drops. (The Duchess already owns the diamond hoops, the drop portion of the earrings can be changed out at any time.) The earrings are £1200 (about $2000 at today’s exchange rate), but that price is for both the diamond hoops and drops; we are fortunate because Lynn left a comment explaining that the drops by themselves are $1100.
This was a splendid look for Kate: an elegant dress in a flattering color, pretty earrings, a new watch, and simple accessories. (We saw the UFO black suede bag again, and her black pumps.)
An ancillary note (that has nothing to do with what Kate wore). As some may know, England is dealing with record-breaking rain, wind, and floods. The Army, Royal Navy, and RAF have been called in to assist; below you see soldiers from C Company Royal Ghurka Rifles, they are working to build a dam to save farmland from the flooding.
Prince William and Harry joined soldiers today from the Household Cavalry to assist in creating a sandbag dam.
The Guardian has posted a video of the two helping out today.
NEXT ENGAGEMENT: Monday Kate joins HM at Buckingham Palace for a reception honoring the dramatic arts. Among those expected to attend: Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch (perhaps best known in the US as Sherlock Holmes), Dame Helen Mirren and Sir David Attenborough. The Queen is Patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).
- Learn more about the Art Room at its website, or visit the organization’s Facebook page here, follow the Art Room Twitter feed here, the news release with all of the details about today’s event may be read here
- Richard Palmer’s story in the Express can be found here, the Daily Mail’s story is here,
- The Telegraph’s story by Gordon Rayner and Claire Duffin covers both Kate’s engagement, as well as Harry & William’s flood assistance
- ITN’s video story is here,