Kate selected a floral print dress by Erdem for this evening’s 100 Women in Hedge Funds annual dinner.
It was a stylish affair: before Kate arrived a string quartet welcomed guests inside the main entrance of the museum in South Kensington.
The 33-year-old Duchess is a patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives.
The gala holds a special connection for Kate’s husband and brother-in-law, too. Prince William became a patron of 100WHF back in 2009, and in 2012, both Prince Harry and Princess Kate joined him as patrons.
In past years, 100WHF has partnered with several charities close to the trio’s hearts: Action on Addiction in 2013, an organization Kate serves as patron for, and WellChild in 2014, which has Prince Harry’s patronage.
Kate wore Erdem’s Alouette Tiered Silk Gown. Below, the frock as shown at Saks.
Another look at it on Kate.
The dress is a highly complex piece of engineering with angular seams, darts, and inset pieces. Hopefully you can see some of that in these two images of the bodice; I added arrows on the photo at left to try and highlight two of the seams.
This garment is crafted from silk-gazar, a heavier silk with a satin face, or finish. It is the same kind of silk used for Kate’s wedding gown and it makes perfect sense for a dress with these construction elements. The material is a vivid print called ‘Ohana Tulip’. Erdem said his pre-fall collection was inspired by 1960s Japanese prints, that theme can be seen throughout that entire line. This offers a closer look at the material in two different lighting environments.
More from the Erdem website:
…the collection is characterised by a kind of nipped 1960s glamour with a nod to Romy Schneider: polite but with a certain underbelly.
Kate’s gown features a bateau neckline, a vee-neck back, a tiered, gathered skirt, concealed zipper, 100% silk lining and pockets. Additionally, the upper skirt tier is not just gathered, it also has box pleats.
A look at the back of the dress better shows those pleats.
This piece was also offered in a more subdued palette, we show it at Bergdorf Goodman, where it is sold out. It shows what an enormous difference the multi-colored fabric makes.
Kate initially wore Erdem when touring Canada in 2011, the designer’s styles have become a staple part of her wardrobe. From left to right: the Jacquinta, the Cecile, a modified dress, the Allie coat, Darla dress, and another bespoke piece.
There was quite the party to celebrate the opening, enjoying the festivities, actresses Laura Carmichael and Emilia Clarke on either side of the designer, below left. In the photo below right you see Justine Picardie, Editor in Chief of both Harper’s Bazaar UK & Town and Country UK; along with Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age, a sustainable brand consultant (and yes, she is married to the actor) at the big do. The shop is located in a wonderful part of London, Mayfair.
This is Kate’s third year attending the 100 Women in Hedge Funds event. In 2011 she wore Beulah London’s red ‘Sari’ gown, and in 2013 she was in Jenny Packham’s inky blue silk gown.
Kate accessorized with her Anya Hindmarch ‘Maud’ bag in what I *think* is the label’s ‘midnight’ color. Others believe it is the black bag she has carried for several years, that Kate wouldn’t have black shoes with a navy bag.
The bag is one carried frequently in 2011 and 2012, it is a nifty piece that can be customized in a variety of ways. From the product description:
A classic Anya Hindmarch hinged clutch bag which can be embellished with embroidered initials. The interior can also be embossed with a hidden personal message that will make the owner smile every time she uses it.
The handbag is £475, roughly $725.
Kate wore her ‘Cosmic’ suede heels by Jimmy Choo, a style no longer available.
From looking at the Choo collection online, it seems the Alex in black suede is the most similar design offered by the brand.
In the jewelry department, Kate continued to sparkle, wearing the diamond bracelet commonly considered to be a gift from Prince Charles.
The Duchess debuted a pair of earrings we’d not previously seen, and they were stunning. The sapphire and diamond drops originally belonged to the Queen Mother.
More from Her Majesty’s Jewel Chest, referencing The Queen Mother:
…when it came to earrings, she had her favorites and didn’t do much branching out. She did, however, have these earrings, which were rarely worn. They include sapphires surrounded by diamonds with a fringe of diamonds and small sapphires suspended below. Like many pieces in her collection, their history is unknown.
Along with the rest of The Queen Mother’s jewels, we can assume these earrings were inherited by The Queen in 2002. The Queen, who has plenty of sapphire options in her own vault, has never worn them publicly.
This was an interesting look for the Duchess, not what anyone could call a ‘safe’ fashion choice, perhaps one that will be as polarizing as the lace Dolce & Gabbana dress, or last night’s Jenny Packham. (This is not a negative, it is such fun to read the different opinions and thoughts on the different styles we have seen, especially when they’re as well articulated as they have been here.) There is a lot going on with the frock, beginning with the exuberant print; somehow I can see the pattern on the skirt with a navy bodice better than I can see the style as worn tonight. The skirt’s box pleats, gathers, and ruffled peplum at the lower portion toward the hem combine for a very busy look. I applaud Kate for trying something quite different from her usual looks, it takes confidence to step out in a gown this vibrant and detailed. Ultimately she is the one who needs to feel comfortable and confident in what she wears for engagements that take place on a very large stage.
Kate looked very pretty this evening with her hair down, and it was a delight to see her wearing another family jewelry item.
We’ll see you shortly with a recap of the very busy month, as well as a giveaway I think you will like.