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The Duchess in Floral Frock by Erdem & Glittering Diamond/Sapphire Earrings

Kate selected a floral print dress by Erdem for this evening’s 100 Women in Hedge Funds annual dinner.Kate Middleton 100 Women Hedge Funds Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

The event was at the V&A; more from The Daily Mail:

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.

Tonight’s dinner benefits one of Kate’s patronages, The Art Room. More from Simon Perry’s People magazine story:

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.Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

Another look at it on Kate.Kate Middleton 100 Women Hedge Funds Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

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.Kate Middleton 100 Women Hedge Funds Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

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.Lyst/Saks

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, a concealed zipper, 100% silk lining, and pockets. Additionally, the upper skirt tier is not just gathered, it also has box pleats.Kate Middleton 100 Women Hedge Funds Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

A look at the back of the dress better shows those pleats.back view Kate Middleton Erdem Alouette Evening Gown

The dress is available at Net-a-Porter, as well as Neiman Marcus; it is $4560 at both retailers. It is also offered at Saks, where it is $6302, an odd price variation from the other retailers.

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.Bergdorf Goodman

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.Kate Middleton Erdem outfits dresses

The designer recently celebrated the opening of his flagship retail store in London. 

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.Anya Hindmarch Maud Kate Middleton navy silk handbag

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.

Anya Hindmarch

The handbag is £475, roughly $725.

Kate wore her ‘Cosmic’ suede heels by Jimmy Choo, a style no longer available.Jimmy Choo / i-Images

From looking at the Choo collection online, it seems the Alex in black suede is the most similar design offered by the brand.

Jimmy Choo/Jimmy Choo

In the jewelry department, Kate continued to sparkle, wearing the diamond bracelet commonly considered to be a gift from Prince Charles.Kate Hedge Funds Diamond Bracelet 3 Shots October 27 2015

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.Kate Hedge Funds Dinner Jewelry October 27 2015 Queen Mother's Sapphite Diamond Earrings

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.

Below, the Queen Mother wearing the earrings in November 1986 and the Duchess at tonight’s gala.

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 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.Ben Stevens / i-Images

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.


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Sarah Carter

Saturday 7th of November 2015

You know I actually love this dress apart from the dreadful ruffle at the bottom. The fabric looks gorgeous, I love the pattern - it is very bold but also beautiful - but that bottom ruffle just has 70's written all over it and it ages the piece massively in my opinion. An up style would have helped but ...... not by much!


Rose Spring

Monday 2nd of November 2015

Recap Quiz

As you know, Catherine attended the 100 Women in Hedge Fund dinner at the Victoria and Albert Museum (The world's leading museum of ART and DESIGN) benefitting The ART Room.

Question: What did the Duchess of Cambridge, History of ART graduate, wear? :-)


a) She picked a business suit by a big international label b) She totally ignored the location, the engagement, and the charity’s focus and played it safe c) She wore a dress her numerous fans and followers predicted, immediately understood & appreciated 100% d) She gave a nod to ART and DESIGN by wearing a DESIGNER dress referencing art e) She recycled for recycling’s sake f) non of the above


Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

Love the quiz & especially that the genius of Kate's choice is beginning to dawn :-)


Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

Seriously, thank you for this. Finally her choice makes sense to me!


Saturday 31st of October 2015

I was curious about the V&A museum (I've never been to the UK), and was able to find time to browse its website and came across this collection of kimonos. *squeals!* You will love this, Susan. They've got some interesting stuff in their collection.

Actually, now that I think about it, Kate's fashion choices have been kind of educational for me. Fun to read about backgrounds of the designs and designers, and also the events.


Saturday 31st of October 2015

The striking thing here - as we seem to have ended up discussing at some length below - is how vibrant and colourful the kimono designs are. It bears out Kate's choice of print for her engagement and her canny nod to the V&A's core collections of fabric from all over the world.


Saturday 31st of October 2015

You are right, I do love it! (Although you may have been talking to another Susan.) I had no idea they held this size collection of kimonos, not a clue. They really are stunning. Thank you for the link! :)


Friday 30th of October 2015

While this dress is never what I would have chosen, I absolutely love it because it's SUCH a departure from what the Duchess normally wears! I like to see her branching out and trying new things. Who among us wants to settle on a particular style at the age of 33 and never budge?!

I agree with those who said a sleek ponytail would have been better suited to this dress, and certainly different shoes. I think Kate frequently wears the wrong shoes for her outfits.

Yes, there's a lot going on with this dress. But I'm excited to see Kate taking some risks and surprising us, especially at events where she has more freedom to branch out from the royal protocols.


Thursday 29th of October 2015

I am a longtime and avid follower of the WKW blog, but rarely comment. At first glance, I love this look! I very much love Kate's established style, and draw a lot from her in my personal style. However, this is such a fun departure from what she normally wears. The bold colors look great with her coloring. I love the retro inspired cut, and I think her flowing hair keeps the look young and slightly whimsical. However, after reading so many of your wonderful comments I do think that she should have worn a lighter shoe, and perhaps had the dress hemmed so that there wasn't so much of a "cupcake" effect (although I realize these are small complaints!) The earrings are so beautiful with this dress, but I hope we get a better look at them again with her hair up!

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