We saw the Duchess wearing a new brand for today’s opening of a new Art Room at a London school.
The Duchess was at Barlby Primary School. Children waved paper flags as Kate arrived, decorated with their drawings of the Duchess (below right).
Here you see Kate being presented with a chair the students made from stamps donated by the Royal Household, she is joined by artist Grayson Perry.
A better look at the chair via Rebecca English of the Daily Mail.
There was a welcome banner made by students inside the school.
This was an event originally scheduled for October that was canceled because Kate was ill.
More on today’s visit from Richard Palmer’s story in The Daily Express:
She met pupils and staff and then joined a round table discussion about the work of The Art Room with experts and wealthy benefactor Dame Vivien Duffield and cross-dressing potter Grayson Perry, who is a patron.
The Art Room is a national charity which offers art as therapy to children and young people aged five to 16 who are facing challenges in their lives. Art Room practitioners support students and help them grow their self-confidence, self-esteem and engagement with education through art.
Once inside the school Kate had a look at artwork the students have made as shared in these photos from Victoria Murphy of The Daily Mirror.
Kate speaking with the children.
Students shared some unique perspectives with the Duchess, more from Victoria Murphy’s story in The Daily Mirror:
She met with a group of eight children and asked them about their paintings.
At one point one little boy said to her: “You would like to be a chicken”, to which she laughed and replied: “I would like to be a chicken?
(There is a Kensington Palace video of Kate speaking with the students, we’ve put a link at the end of the post in our Linkage section.)
As noted above, Kate wore a dress from a label we’ve not seen her in previously, Madderson London.
The Duchess wore the brand’s ‘Naomi’ dress.
Crafted in a rich navy fabric embellished with French tweed trim and shiny gold buttons, the dress is above knee length with topstitching detail on the front, three-quarter sleeves, and an invisible zipper in the back. We show the dress at Pinstripe and Pearls where it is now sold out.
A closer look at the trim in that nubby tweed fabric Kate is fond of, in this case it is a navy/pink/ivory blend with what looks like a touch of Lurex®.
We have two recent examples of garments Kate has worn using similar material: below left you see some of the “…grey boucle and metallic yarn” fabric in Kate’s ‘Bettina’ coat by Tory Burch, below right the fabric in her ‘Marina’ coat by Seraphine is described as “….a luxurious wool tweed bouclé. Subtle silver threads add a touch of sparkle”.
For those wondering about the difference between tweed and bouclé, here are definitions from Fabric.com:
Tweed: A medium to heavy weight, fluffy, woolen, twill weave fabric containing colored slubbed yarns. Common end-uses include coats and suits.
Bouclé: A knit or woven fabric with small curls or loops that create a nubby surface. The fabric has a looped, knotted surface and is often used in sweater looks, vests and coats.
Kate’s dress is from Madderson’s autumn/winter 2014 collection. The French tweed was used in a number of pieces for fall.
Madderson London is a young company, founded in 2012 by Sara Madderson and Helen Hughes.The brand’s “About” page shares this information:
Our signature style embodies London society at its most elegant and timeless. This is a look that is polished but playful, appropriate but never apologetic, contemporary but not trend-driven. The brand encompasses two lines, Womenswear and Maternity Wear. Both reflect the same aesthetic: ultra-feminine, sleek, with impeccable tailoring, luxury fabrics and unabashed use of colour and print.
We are women designing for women who are confident in themselves and their style choices.
More from a Sheer Luxe piece profiling the company’s funders:
Sara: Helen and I go back a long way! While both pregnant and working for large corporations (Helen in marketing, me in banking), we saw the opportunity for a luxury maternity wear line that enabled women to retain their sense of style and love of fashion while pregnant.
Helen: Like most start-ups, our business ideas originated from seeing a gap in the market and finding a fashion niche where we could become known for quality, luxury and enduring style. With Sara’s creative genius and our complementary professional experiences, we felt we had the credentials to give entrepreneurship a whirl.
Below, founders Sara Madderson (l) and Helen Hughes (r).
As soon as word was out that Kate was wearing a dress by Madderson the company experienced the “Kate Effect,” and its website crashed. I imagine by the time this is published it will be back up and running.
This was another example of Kate showcasing a British brand. Two brands actually, as the navy fabric used in her dress comes from Hainsworth, a heritage company manufacturing textiles since the 1700s. More from the Yorkshire Post:
It made the uniforms worn in the Charge of the Light Brigade, and to this day makes the scarlet cloth of the Royal Guards and the fabric for ceremonial uniforms of the Royal Family.
Hainsworth has long held a Royal Warrant; its textiles are used inside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The firm also manufactures fabric for Hudson Bay blankets, many menswear labels and a host of military uniforms.
UPDATED JAN 16:
Madderson London says they will be re-issuing the frock.
Our thanks to Ashley Marie for the tip about this.
UPDATE #2, JAN 18: Madderson is now taking pre-orders for the Naomi dress.
Kate accessorized with her Mulberry clutch and Episode Angel shoes.
The piece is a wool/rayon blend in a color called Dusty Pink. The pockets are most distinctive element of the design, we show them in an image digitally treated to highlight that detail.
Originally retailing at $149, the coat was on sale for $99.90. It is now sold out.
Many readers will have already heard, but for those not on Twitter and/or Instagram, Kensington Palace launched a Twitter account this week for William, Kate and Harry. As noted in the first two tweets shown below, the account is really for showcasing the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and its work.
There is also a new Instagram account sharing photos related to the young royals and their work.
More about the new accounts from a story by Rebecca English in The Daily Mail:
The Kensington Palace account will be run by staff working for the royals but it is likely William, Harry or Kate may send their own Tweets when promoting charities they support.
Prince Harry admitted last year that he can see the benefits of using social media to promote charitable events, like last September’s Invictus Games which he helped organise. But he said it’s a double-edged sword for him and his family as it can be an additional invasion of their privacy.
He said: ‘I would love to get involved and go on social media and if it was for causes like this (the Invictus Games) I really would.
‘The issue for myself and my family, put quite simply, is that it’s very hard for me to tweet about the Invictus Games and tweet about something that means a lot to me, whereas I at the same time really quite hate Twitter by the invasion of privacy. I think you all understand what I’m talking about.’
A note for anyone who may choose to follow one/both accounts, the user name for both is KensingtonRoyal, not KensingtonPalace.
And finally, an update on our polls: we will showcase results and the new polls on Tuesday, once Kate’s engagements are complete. In the interim, we’ll see you tomorrow for The Fostering Network event.
- Learn more about the Art Room via its website, or on its Facebook page here; you can also make a donation by clicking here
- Visit the Hainsworth website to learn about the company’s remarkable history
- Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here, Victoria Murphy’s story in The Mirror is here, Rebecca English’s story in The Daily Mail is here,
- a quick video of Kate’s arrival at the school by Simon Perry of People magazine is here, the Kensington Royal account video of Kate walking into the school assembly is here , Kensington Royal’s 1:31 video of Kate chatting with students about their artwork is here, and Renecca English’s video of Kate leaving the school is here
- The Express story about the dress selling out is here