We are back with multiple items of interest, the majority related to the almost-here Tour.
A number of fashion publications have done stories suggesting what Kate will/or should wear during the visit to New Zealand and Australia. We begin with Vogue’s suggestions, seen in this story.
Kate has a uniform we know—the above-knee fit-and-flare dresses for day, the long slim evening things: always light, never black, never plunging or too skin-revealing. But finding it (without going frumpy) isn’t as easy as it looks.
A swift scour of all London resources shows why Reiss, with its plethora of Cambridge-y day dresses and young tailoring, scores at the contemporary end (and has since her engagement pictures) and why Emilia Wickstead, with her feminine pink suits and one-color waisted dresses gets Kate-attention at the designer level.
The story shows pieces from Emilia Wickstead and other brands the Duchess favors; Mulberry, Temperley London, and Alexander McQueen.
Mr. Berardi describes his ‘signature’ this way on the London Fashion Week site:
“Baroque’n’Roll – being British and of Sicilian parentage I tend to do what I know best. Hard-tailoring, body-conscious and highly decorated, with a traditional twist.”
Four more styles, distinctly different from one another. While I wouldn’t expect Kate to be in a print as bright as that on the far left, the silhouette of the dress is similar to many she has worn. It isn’t difficult to envision Kate in the greige ‘Sharp Shoulder Stretch Wool Dress’ in the center, while the two styles on the far right are not looks I would expect to see the Duchess wearing, they are primarily shown to demonstrate the breadth of Mr. Berardi’s design and construction talents.
The designer describes his imprimatur this way:
“Simple yet highly intelligent and directional pieces. The clothes are exceptionally precise, well-tailored and finished but are softened with sensuous draping that is inspired by Osman’s interest in ethnicity and the costume of ancient cultures.”
You can read more about Osman at the London Fashion Week site.
Below, several styles from the company’s diffusion collection, Preen Line. What struck me about many of these designs is the broderie anglaise, or eyelet, a fabric we know Kate likes.
Other suggestions in the Vogue piece:
It would be good to see Kate in one of Preen’s crisp quilt-print dresses. Osman Yousefzada, Antonio Berardi, and Huishan Zhang all have Kate possibilities that hit a young London sweet-spot between “dressed” but not “dressy.” For one of her evenings, she could floor the opposition in a modern-elegant pink draped column by Hussein Chalayan.
It was great to see this last group of designers, as it had never occurred to me to look at Osman or Chalayan. With apologies for jamming all of these into one image, here are Chalayan looks from several recent seasons.
Again, the detail work is exquisite.
These are all very good suggestions, to read the entire Vogue article, click here.
The Mirror has a piece somewhat similar to the Vogue story.
We have seen in the past the Duchess likes to theme her outfits according to the occasion – and part of that is wearing outfits by designers from the countries hosting the tour.
During the 2012 royal tour of the Far East she wore outfits by Singapore-born Prabal Gurung and Asian designer Raoul, while we first saw her wearing Erdem, now a favourite, on her visit to Canada in 2011 .
Another company suggested in the Mirror article: Manning Cartell. These styles are from the “Sydney-based women’s wear brand created by sisters Cheryl, Vanessa & Gabrielle Manning,” as described on the label’s website.
The company is growing rapidly, a Perth flagship store opened in January, another is now open in Brisbane.
Nikki Lee Penny’s NLP Women swimwear styles are included in the Mirror story, as is Sass and Bide, worn by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, and Beyoncé. Also included in the story, clothing, and lingerie brand Lover:
Lover is as romantic as its name suggests – and is a luxurious label fit for a princess.
Its founders Susien Chong and Nic Brand have built up a label loved for its ethereal and feminine designs, fused with quirky touches. Celebrity fans include Alexa Chung, Kirsten Dunst and Keira Knightley.
The Mirror story may be read in its entirety here.
One brand I would expect to see Kate wear during the tour: Beulah London, a favorite advertiser for us, and very much a Kate favorite. Many will remember Kate wearing the Sabitri dress during the Jubilee Tour in 2012.
This spring there are loads of styles that would work very well for the Duchess. This is the ‘Hana‘ dress, available in navy, powder blue, and powder pink.
A similar style that is sleeveless is also offered in powder pink and powder blue, the Idona dress.
One of my favorite looks from the spring/summer collection is the Cameo. Elegant and understated, the silk dupioni coat has a soft sheen, offered in orchid and gunmetal.
As for Kate’s Sabitri dress, it is available in 6 colors this spring: navy, fractured blossom dark, Kate’s powder blue, black, silver and fractured blossom light.
The Duchess’s Blossom dress is also still available.
Other new styles include (l to r): the Bisque dress, Ornament dress, Nova dress in ice blue, and Glint skirt.
There’s lots to like with this collection, it will be fun to see if Kate wears one of the new styles during the tour.
In the meantime, the New Zealand Herald reports designers aren’t sharing details on the possibility of the Duchess wearing one of their garments.
Big-name Kiwi labels, including Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper and Zambesi, would not say yesterday if they have supplied the Duchess of Cambridge with any creations but it is expected the royal visitor will appear in New Zealand-designed outfits.
Saturday’s Daily Mail reports Kate will not be wearing her LK Bennett Sledge heels:
Sources say she is taking a selection of British designers including Alice Temperley, Jenny Packham, Erdem, as well as some pieces from French fashion house Paule Ka and coats by Sarah Burton and Libelula.
Kate is likely to showcase a number of outfits by top Australian fashion designers — possibly Catherine Walker and Colette Dinnigan. Rebecca Taylor, a New Zealand designer, will be worn in Wellington.
Sources says that Kate is not taking the nude LK Bennett shoes that have become so familiar — and criticised for being boring. She’s opting for the more fashionable Jimmy Choo brand, French Sole ballet pumps and Royal Nordstrom boots.
The full Daily Mail story is here.
In related news, Fashionista has a story today titled “How H&M and Other Fast-Fashion Chains are Hurting Australian Retail.” Dhani Mau’s story notes that H&M is opening its first Australian store this weekend, Zara has been in the market since 2011.
Simply put, most Australian retailers can not compete with fast-fashion retailers on price or value. Real estate and manufacturing are expensive in Australia, and so fast-fashion stores like Topshop and ASOS have thrived, especially online, says Samantha Aldenton, assistant editor of womenswear at WGSN.
“Over the last few years Australian brands like Kirrily Johnston, Colette Dinnigan, Lisa Ho, Marnie Skillings, George Gross and Harry Who have each had to shutter the brands that the public and the industry have known as institutions of Australian design,” she says.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports Kate and William will spend a night ‘glamping’ in the Outback.
William and Kate are expected to spend a romantic night in a luxury tent at the exclusive $1100-per-person Longtitude 131 resort at Uluru. Longtitude 131 is completely booked out on that date. Owner James Baillie would not comment on the royal visit.
The stunningly located retreat will offer the royals an intimate break from their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand and parenting duties to their nine-month-old son.
You can read this story here.
Finally, a story about a little girl who will be meeting Kate next Saturday when she visits Rainbow Place, a children’s hospice. Kaiya Miller has been chosen to give Kate a bouquet during the visit.
Kaiya has cystic fibrosis, more from the Waikato Times:
Matamata 6-year-old Kaiya Miller will wear bright pink shoes and a cheeky smile when she meets the Duchess of Cambridge.
“I’m most excited about meeting her,” said Kaiya. “I think she’ll be nice and fun.”
The party has an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter theme so older brother Lachie has been roped into having practice tea parties with Kaiya.
It’s a daunting job planning a party for a Duchess – especially when her parents are in the events’ business.
The 48 children being looked after by Rainbow Place, their families and the Duchess will be entertained by Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, the Frog Prince and elves.
The Herald’s story on party preps may be read in its entirety here.
We leave you with a look at the cover of a special issue of Hello! Canada.
The collector’s edition is available on Canadian newsstands now.
- learn more about Rainbow Place here, or visit the organization’s Facebook page here
- the New Zealand Tourism site has a stellar post showing all of the places William and Kate will be traveling to
- there is an excellent background piece about Government House in the Daily Mail Travel section; this is where the royals will stay for most of their time in Wellington
- Hello! Canada has a slide show of some of the ensembles worn by Princess Diana when she visited New Zealand and Australia