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A 2008 ID, An Australian Item Kate Already Has, and Australian Design Possibilities

We begin with an ID on an accessory of Kate’s dating back to 2008. We’re talking about the handbag she carried to the 2008 Boodles Boxing Ball, it accessorized her salmon or peach Issa gown. I do not have any licensed images showing Kate carrying the bag, but if you look here, the first photo shows the clutch.

Photo Courtesy of a WKW Friend

Photo Courtesy of a Wonderful WKW Friend

With thanks to a simply lovely individual (who wishes to remain anonymous), we can tell you the piece is from John Lewis.


Photo Courtesy of a Wonderful WKW Friend

(For those with an eye for detail, the earrings you see Kate wearing are Elsa Peretti Mesh Earrings from Tiffany, we show the pair below.)

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co.


Next, we take a quick peek at one distinctly Australian item we wondered about Kate wearing come April.

That is Kate at Gatcombe in 2005, wearing a classic Aussie look: the Australian bush hat. Kate’s was actually made by a company called the Australian Bush Hat Company, it is the brand’s “Indiana” style.  


Australian Bush Hat Company ‘Indiana’ style

From the product description:

Their hats are designed in Australia from top quality full grain leather with a UV protection of SPF 50+.  This Indiana hat is made from distressed leather giving it the unique authentic vintage look!

The hat is still available, priced at £30.  It’s possible we could see the piece make another appearance. Our thanks to My Small Obsessions, the page has excellent information on the hat.


We move to our series of reports looking at designers with New Zealand and/or Australian ties that the Duchess might wear in April.

One first is Yeojin Bae. The Korean-born Australian designer is known for using strong prints and intricate trim. In addition to her eponymous collection, there is also a diffusion line, YB J’aimePerth Fashion’s Michelle Forrest says many of the designer’s garments have hallmarks of a “Kate dress”:

Think Erdem meets Collete Dinnigan. Yeojin Bae would be a brilliant choice for Kate to wear as she is a young fresh, still relatively unknown designer whose dresses are sophisticated, classic, and elegant with a modern edge.

The talented designer was awarded the Tiffany and Company Young Designer of the Year award for 2007.  From an Australian Vogue profile:

Her often tightly-edited collections revolve around ladylike yet innovative garments involving vintage prints, strong colours and intricate trims.

Next, a look at Zimmermann Australia.

Zimmermann Australia

Zimmermann Australia

Based in Sydney, the label is run by sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann. More from Women’s Wear Daily:

Nicky Zimmermann studied design at East Sydney by day and designed dresses in her parents’ garage at night, which she sold at the Paddington markets in Sydney on weekends. Her sister Simone joined the business in 1991. The swimwear features floral and paisley patterns, optic prints, contrasting ruffles and hardware. Prices range from $60 for a bikini bottom to $1,250 for the Independent lace splice dress.

A look at elements from this year’s Resort/Swim Collection. There are pieces in just about any style one might desire, casual dresses in multiple lengths, silk frocks and tops, swimwear from bikinis to one-pieces, footwear, and bags.Zimmermann Australia

There are multiple ways the Duchess could go with this brand if so inclined: she might opt for one of the label’s casual cotton dresses, choose from among the more tailored pieces, try a silk top, there are countless possibilities. Our final Zimmermann looks reminded me of cotton candy, a delightful group of pretty pastels.Zimmermann Australia

In addition to its Australian flagships and other outlets,  there are also stores in the USA: one in Beverly Hills and the other in New York. The word is the Zimmermann sisters are planning more stores in the US, with an eye on adding to its New York footprint.  If in the US and interested in the brand, click here for the US site, prices are in US dollars.

We leave you with a very quick look at another brand, Veronika Maine. The brand’s Pinterest page lays out the company’s mission:

Veronika Maine encourages you to express your creativity with exclusive prints, beautiful fabrics and unmistakable style.Veronika Maine

More from the Wellington, NZ site:

Veronika Maine’s vision is to create clothes for creative, contemporary women who dare to be different.

Quality and design are foremost, brought to life by fabrics and trims sourced from around the world and inspired by a bygone era.

There is a variety of tailored outerwear looks, many of which would work on the Duchess. I can envision her in the jacket on the far right, although it is unlikely Kate would have any other garment hanging from underneath the jacket.

Veronika Maine

There are Veronika Maine stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Below, a number of frocks with that fit and flare silhouette the Duchess favors.Veronika Maine

The company does ship to the US; they are offering $20 flat rate shipping to the United States through the end of March. 

We’ll see you Monday (if not before) for Kate’s engagement at the Irish Guards.

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Monday 17th of March 2014

Thanks so much for such a great post -- I love seeing all these designers.

There's some lovely daywear there, with fresh takes on classic lines. The Yeojin Bae dresses shown, both diffusion and runway, look like they could be adapted for Kate and those cool classic ruched pastels from Zimmerman are surely right up her street. The runway offerings look more creative than practical..

I love the Veronica Maine sheaths with those creative cut-outs and use of a zip fastening, and the quality of the tailored outerwear looks fantastic, and could even give Sarah Burton a run for her money.

Congrats on the ID, another mystery solved!


Monday 17th of March 2014

One Australian/NZ label/supplier I wouldn't be surprised to see Kate wearing if she does decide to go high-end high street rather than designer would be Cue. The dresses especially (which you can see here: are very much her aethestic/style. They might perhaps be too short, however...


Sunday 16th of March 2014

I so hope that the Duchess busts out her Australian bush hat at some point during the tour... I've always loved those pre-royalty images of her at Gatcombe: she seems so fancy-free, but has a decided sense of style. I have a fascination for British country dressing (everything on the Really Wild website makes me drool), which is really quite strange considering that my own life is free from occasions that call for such clothing; I love the outdoors, but I'm generally biking, hiking, or jogging... stalking on the moors and watching polo are not on my agenda. However, I will try to work in the odd country-British piece into an outfit (a hat, blazer, riding boots) but I'm careful not to stray too far into costume territory. Sometimes I mess up and do go too far: once while I was grocery shopping a woman asked me if I were about to run the hounds with Charles and Camilla!

I do not find Yeojin Bae a promising potential pick for the Duchess. Everything is simply too tight and sexy. I suppose she could get the pieces bespoke, but everything from this line just appears more suited to Princess Charlene's tastes than our Duchess. Same for Zimmerman Australia, though I agree with Susan that we could see the Duchess sporting one of those yummy pastel tops at some point during the tour. Personally, I quite like the fuzzy sweaters from the runway looks. The giant coat-vest item has no real world practical appeal, but I still like it. I've been meaning to pick up something fuzzy and furry for the past two winters, but nothing appealing has trickled down into the less-highbrow stores where I shop yet. I hold out hope.

As for Veronika Maine, now THAT'S a label I could easily see the Duchess favoring. Many of those tailored jackets look like her M.O., and the black and green frock looks vaguely reminiscent of the Prabal Gurung she wore to such fantastic plaudits during the last tour (perhaps her most flattering piece from the entire Singapore tour...). The grey sleeveless sheath also looks very Duchess-esque, though I really wish she would venture out of her comfort zone a bit and wear the black and green sheath or the dress with the black and coral flower print and that fantastic sheer neck detailing. I'm gaga for the last photos of the post (except for the all white dress--something about the cut makes the model look large, and I shudder to think what it would do to those of us who are not blessed with a model's figure). The white layered outfit with the black socks and shoes is simply exquisite, and definitely something I would wear in my imaginary, second life as a fashion editor who lives in New York and summers in Paris. Layering never goes entirely out of style, but we are starting to see a real vogue for very apparent layering like this, with more than one extra hemline visible. We see layering again in the center photo of the dress with the black vest/bustier on top. I find the obviously layered look quite appealing, though as I'm very warm blooded and reside in Oklahoma, I doubt I will be able to attempt it until winter rolls in again (and considering the winter I've just survived, I'm not eager for it to return, even if I want to try this layering look!).


Sunday 16th of March 2014

im frm australia and i dont see kate wearing zimmermann. it is a very electic brand much like mcqueen (except they dont do bespoke, they arent THAT designer) and targeted towards 20-30 yr olds who are nowhere near the lifestyle or fashion sense of kate. I mean, im 24 and I buy zimmermann for parties and bar hopping!:D


Saturday 15th of March 2014

I don't really see the Duchess wearing any of these clothes. Most of them look kind of "fussy" with all the ribbons and stripes and such. I do like a couple of them but most are pretty ugly. I think she will probably wear one or two Aussie/NZ designer outfits but I don't think she'll make a habit of it on this trip. I just don't think the designers we've seen here are very good.

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