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Bits & Bytes, New Zealand & Australian Designer Possiblities

We are back with a few updates and a look at designers Kate might wear for the April tour of New Zealand and Australia.

We begin with an update on that tour via The New Zealand Herald: the paper ran a story this week indicating William, Kate and Prince George will start their official visit in New Zealand, ending the trip in Australia:

Australia’s incoming governor-general Peter Cosgrove met the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday ahead of officially becoming her representative in late March.

The two had a wide-ranging discussion about the much-anticipated trip to New Zealand and Australia.

“That’s going to be a very welcome visit,” General Cosgrove told reporters afterwards.  “They’ll bring with them Prince George the little one. They’ll be in Sydney and then in Canberra after their sojourn in New Zealand.”

Facebook comments indicate this was common knowledge, I have to confess to being unaware this was/is the plan.


Just in time for the tour, there is a new royal magazine being launched in Australia.

Australian Women’s Weekly

The new title is called Royals, it comes from the publishers of Australian Women’s Weekly. They say an overwhelming response to previous special issues about Kate & William’s wedding, the Queen’s Jubilee and other events prompted their decision. An overview of the inaugural issue’s content:

The opening issue takes a look at Crown Princess Mary’s visit to Sydney and Prince Harry’s Antarctic adventure and reflects on the sweet love affair between the Queen and her lifelong Prince Charming, the Duke of Edinburgh.

As of now the new publication is planned for just two issues a year.


  • Tuesday’s Telegraph ran a fascinating story chronicling some of the challenges Amanda Wakeley has encountered: “Amanda Wakeley lost her business and her name but she fought back.” The column by Caroline Roux was a good read.
  • The Mirror has a piece looking at celebrities who have worn the same clothing items as Kate; Kim Kardashian in the sleeveless version of the red McQueen worn this week, Kerry Washington wearing the Temperley Titan dress, and others. I am not generally a fan of “who wore it better?” stories, but this one has a few pieces I didn’t know about.


We move now to our continuing series of reports on notable designers Kate might wear on the April tour. Today we consider two New Zealand designers, beginning with a label Kate has worn previously, Rebecca Taylor. Below we show Kate wearing separates from the designer’s ‘sparkle tweed’ collection at a 2012 event.

Born in New Zealand, Ms. Taylor has her headquarters in New York and also shows her collections at the city’s Fashion Week. More on her background via her website:

Rebecca Taylor hails from the beaches of New Zealand. An early childhood interest in sewing and costume design sparked a fascination with the fashion industry that led her to New York City.

Feminine, modern, refined, cool… Rebecca Taylor is best known for providing the eternally-evolving modern woman a collection to complement and refine her individual sense of style.

Three designs from the Rebecca Taylor pre-fall 2014 collection.Rebecca Taylor Pinterest

Spring styles (from l to r): the Seamed Shift Dress ($295) in navy, Short Sleeve Jacquard Dress in black ($395), Silk Lace T Dress ($595) in navy. On the right we show the Silk Twill Top ($225) and below it, the Short Sleeve Floral Lace Top ($325) in black.Rebecca Taylor

A few more pieces from the current season: Short Sleeved Embellished Top with its jeweled neckline, ($325), Sweet William Tee (no, I don’t believe it is Kate’s style, but had to show it because of the name), Embellished Crepe Tank ($295).

Rebecca Taylor

There are also plenty of tweed separates available.Rebecca Taylor

Current styles come in both casual and dressier cuts.Rebecca Taylor

Those interested in watching the Rebecca Taylor Fall 2014 show may do so by clicking here.


Our next designer with New Zealand ties is considered by some a likely label for Kate to wear on the tour: Karen Walker.  Based in Auckland, the award-winning designer shows her collections at NY Fashion Week. More from the brand’s website:

Karen Walker is the designer behind her eponymous brand best known for collections that are original, unpretentious and always optimistic. The collections can be found in specialty shops, department stores and leading online boutiques. There are also five Karen Walker stores in New Zealand.

Below, five looks from the Fall 2014 collection. Look at these with an eye to elements that might work for Kate: a blouse, a sweater, a coat.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker

For those wondering how the Northern/Southern Hemisphere works in fashion, this is the “Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter 14” collection. Three dressier styles from the Fall 2014 Collection.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker

When looking at the totality of the designer’s work this quote from a profile in Australian Fashion Review makes sense.

“The label is me. There is no Karen Walker the person and Karen Walker the label. It’s one thing, an extension of my personality.” – Karen Walker.

From this spring’s collection.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker

There is also a diffusion line, “Hi There from Karen Walker,” available at Myer in Australia. In the US Anthropologie is licensed to sell the line, it looks like it is only available online. Below left, the ‘Modernist dress‘ at Anthropologie, on the right, Colour & Pattern Block Print dress, and the Animal Spot Soft Peplum Dress, both at Myer.

Anthropologie/Myer Australia

Anthropologie/Myer Australia

Karen Walker ships to the US at no charge if your purchase totals more than $200 NZD (roughly $165 USD at today’s exchange rates), otherwise the fee is $55 (roughly $46 USD).

Ms. Walker is very well known for her eyewear. It’s style with a sense of humor, not too self-important. Beginning in March those buying glasses will receive screen-printed pouches with their eyewear, part of the Karen Walker Visible initiative:

….working with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative to create work in community groups of micro-artisans located in urban slums and disadvantaged rural areas of Kenya. The Ethical Fashion Initiative’s motto is NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK and their task is to promote sustainable business over aid dependency.

Kare Walker also does jewelry. Below, a sampling: Mini Bow Stud earrings, a Runaway Girl necklace, and Rock Garden Ring.

Karen Walker Jewelry

Not all jewelry is of the precious and semi-precious variety. Prices for the ‘Utopia’ charm bracelets and necklaces start at $40, the Heart Bangle is $45.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker

The designer has different Facebook pages, one for the Clothing & Accessories collections, another for her Eyewear collection.


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Sunday 14th of August 2016

I don't agree, read

Best regards, Lavona


Tuesday 25th of February 2014

I think we will see some updates versions of the clothes she wore on the previously two tours plus some jewellery the Queen lent her. She will wear her hair down most of the time, which will result in it flying around, covering her face and hiding her jewels thus giving birth to the empteenth discussion about the need for a new haircut. At some point her skirt will fly up thus giving birth to the empteenth discussion about the need for weights. George will be continue to be a baby thus giving birth to the empteenth discussion about how cute he is. Overall she will look ok, her clothes will be ok, and the tour will be ok. Some will say she is great, some will say she is boring, some will hate some will love.


Monday 24th of February 2014

I am sorry but Princess Mary is more classy and dresses better than Kate love them both though.


Wednesday 26th of February 2014

I must say I thought this article tried stretching a point too far in trying to make out both women to be wearing similar items. I'd agree that Princess Mary's outfits are a bit hit and miss, and are sometimes spoiled by fussy additions, and I'm also sure that Kate is still very much feeling her way.

And I don't see how anyone can look perfect in every outing under present scrutiny, not without achieving a sort of glacial perfection which might be off-putting. What both Mary and Kate have in spades is natural warmth, which is quite the best accessory of all!

The Way We Were

Wednesday 26th of February 2014

LOL, this is awesome...side by side...I didn't follow up much with Mary and her life but I think she was born royal and definitely has the charisma.


Tuesday 25th of February 2014

I also read the story and couldn't help but think that I don't like Mary's clothes especially the prints and also, in my personal opinion, she is not nearly as beautiful as Kate, at least in a conventional way. I only mention this as the article was based on their similarities and I couldn't see any in looks and clothing. They seemed to me to be quite different women in that respect.

I, amongst many, actually like the 'amateurish' way they duchess dresses (which is definitely not the case with Mary) in the sense that she is not always choosing very big and expansive brands and manages to look great in relatively inexpensive ones. That is partly because she suits her role perfectly and being classy and sophisticated means this comes across in anything she wear. Even though the duchess style will evolve over the years, I hope she manages to keep her individuality and still wear interesting clothes which stand out for their elegance, femininity and tailored lines.


Tuesday 25th of February 2014

I actually haven't cared for a lot of Mary's clothes. She has a penchant for fussy prints that I don't admire, and she's worn some evening dresses within the past few years that I've seriously disliked.

That's not to say that I've disliked her entire wardrobe. She's worn some things that have greatly appealed to me. However, it's worth remembering that she has been in her role a lot longer than the Duchess of Cambridge has. The Duchess is still feeling her way. Mary's clothes have improved over the years. She dresses considerably better now than she once did.


Tuesday 25th of February 2014

They are both beautiful and fashionable women who pull off lives in the spotlight admirably well!


Monday 24th of February 2014

Thank you. I live in Australia and I did not know about the new magazine. I want to see some new Jenny Packham and Alice Temperley designs on Kate at the formal occasions she will undoubtedly attend in Canberra and Sydney :-)


Sunday 23rd of February 2014

I LOVE these fashion posts about designer's lines. Thank you so much!

I am very keen on many of the Rebecca Taylor pieces, though I agree with ElizaMo that the Duchess's own Rebecca Taylor suit would have benefited from some tailoring. I am still on the frayed edges bandwagon, largely because I haven't managed to acquire my own jacket with that detailing (there was a promising jacket at J Crew in the fall that I swooned for, but alas and alack, they did not have my size... I will continue to mourn that lost opportunity). I really love the cream/gray pullover with the detailing at the neck. (Not for the Duchess. Pour moi.)

I cannot say that my enthusiasm extends to the Karen Walker line, however. The pieces just look a tad too... Carrie Bradshaw? I'm not sure why, but that is the vibe I'm receiving. Everything is fashionably over-sized, but I'm not a fan of that trend, and everything just looks poorly fitted to me. The suit with the Converse sneakers? No thank you. And metallic oxfords? Thank you, but I'd rather not. The only piece that I find appealing is the light blue pullover with the v-neck. As for those sunshades, let's hope the Duchess sticks to borrowing Pippa's before sporting any of these...

The Way We Were

Sunday 23rd of February 2014

Ditto on the popover...i mentioned it too...I got one from Jcrew 2 years ago, which was a more classic black/ivory combo with frayed edge...Here is a picture of Gwyneth Paltrow wearing it...hope admin don't mind the link


Sunday 23rd of February 2014

Funny you should mention that cream/grey top -- no sooner had I posted than I went back to check again and thought maybe that one looked quite interesting after all!