We are back with some updates and the conclusion of our coverage looking at designers with British connections Kate might wear on the tour. Our tour updates are brief:
- The WKW Royal Tour 2016 page is live. You’ll find it located just below the site header, on the far left of that graphic.
- The page contains a detailed itinerary loaded with links to the sites and organizations involved in each engagement
- At the bottom of the page we have a series of links with background info and articles; this will continue to be updated.
- We have made it easy for you to know the local time wherever Kate and William may be with the addition of a clock on the right sidebar, it shows the time at a specified location. Right now it is set to show the time in Mumbai. This is particularly helpful for yours truly, in part because the time difference is on the half-hour. Mumbai is 9.5 hours ahead of EDT, as opposed to 9 hours or 10 hours, I’m not used to that half-hour distinction. When the tour moves to New Delhi the clock will show that time and so on throughout the week. If you see the clock with a gray area and arrow (as shown below right) just click the arrow and the shadow/screen will disappear.
- We’ll live blog the Sunday arrival and update expected times for that coverage on the WKW Facebook page and Twitter account.
- If there are stories that you think should be added to the list of links at the bottom of the Tour Guide, just let me know via email (Susan@WhatKateWore.com) or a direct message.
Also this morning, Rebecca English of The Daily Mail shared some fashion updates via Twitter this morning that are interesting:
For their India and Bhutan trip, Kate is expected to go through two or three changes a day over seven days – up to 21 different looks in all.
Armfuls of clothes have been arriving at Kensington Palace on almost a daily basis for her to try, new luggage has been bought and her personal hairdresser, Amanda Cook Tucker, will accompany her.
Now to sartorial selections we have been discussing. One thing to remember: as much fun as it is to learn about new designers and different styles thousands of miles away, the reality on royal tours thus far is that local designers aren’t showcased as much as some might think. Here is how the numbers break down when comparing the three tours undertaken by the Cambridges. (“Other” includes pieces from retailers/designers that have neither British or host country ties, such as Michael Kors.)
A visual refresher on the 2014 tour reminds us that in almost three weeks we saw only 5 items from ‘local’ New Zealand and Australia brands: In New Zealand we saw the turquoise Emilia Wickstead dress and Rebecca Taylor’s Sparkle Tweed separates; in Australia Kate wore Zimmermann to Sydney’s famed Easter Show, carried an Oroton clutch and wore a hat by Jonathan Howard (not shown in this montage).
If the strategy for this visit echoes previous tours we won’t see a plethora of pieces by Indian or Bhutanese brands. I do believe we will see Kate continuing to champion British fashion while also recognizing her hosts; that recognition could come in the form of an accessory, like the maple leaf hat worn on Canada Day. Or it might be incorporated into a garment, much like the fern embellishment on Kate’s bespoke Jenny Packham dress at the state reception in New Zealand.
One label Kate has worn on tour is LK Bennett. From this spring’s collection: the Danika Linen Dress in green is lightweight but looks a bit casual for most functions on this trip; the Dena Floral Print Dress is almost all cotton and could work for some engagements, while the Una Pastel Tailored Dress has a bit of the Reiss Shola about it.
The challenge with many of this spring’s LK Bennett dresses: few have sleeves, and if they do, many are just a little cap sleeve. One of the great design elements for many LK Bennett dresses Kate has worn previously is the sleeve length, as seen with the Lasa Poppy dress (below left) and the Detroit dress (below right).
One LK Bennett dress that many thought might be appropriate for this trip: the Lasana Poppy Printed Dress in yellow. Bhutan’s flag has yellow, and the country’s national flower is the poppy, but it is the Himalayan blue poppy, making this frock an unlikely choice.
The dress was worn for a private dinner with William in London last year. (More in this post, scroll way down the page.)
Another possibility: Beulah London. It is a perfect fit for this particular trip for a variety of reasons. Company founders Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan spent time in the Delhi slums working with human trafficking victims in 2009; it is there they came up with the idea for an ethical fashion label. And Kate likes the brand, wearing it both at home and abroad. Below left you see the Duchess in Beulah’s Sabitri dress while in Malaysia during the Jubilee Tour, on the right she wears the Amara dress in New York in 2014.
If asked to make a prediction on what Beulah style Kate might wear, I would go for the Blossoms dress below left. Its only previous wearing was to a private wedding that received little editorial coverage in the fashion or mainstream media, so it is unlikely to be considered a ‘repeated’ garment. While not my favorite, I could see the Duchess opting for the silk chiffon Silene, seen in yellow below. Or we could see the Sabitri Dress in another fabric. We know Kate has had garments she likes made in multiple colors and fabrics, like the Emilia Wickstead pleated ‘Alice’ dress in both pink and a rich turquoise.
Made by Freeset, a charity in Kolkata, India, dedicated to helping trafficked women and women who are regarded as high risk of ending up in the sex trade, by providing them with a steady income and a chance to build a new life free from abuse.
50% of profits from this item are donated to the Beulah Trust.
Whether Kate carries it, or perhaps a staffer like Amanda Cook Tucker, it dovetails well with this trip. Other possibilities include one of the Beulah scarves or handbags that help raise funds, like the Shibani Blue Hearts Shawl.
Catherine Walker is next on our list, it is another brand the Duchess clearly enjoys wearing on tour. Below you see Kate wearing Catherine Walker on the 2014 and 2011 tours.
Four pieces I could see Kate wearing (from left to right): the Cloud Day Dress in silk crepe de chine; the Daisy Dress in white silk marocain (the fabric has a ribbed effect) with black Chantilly lace at the bust, neck and cap sleeves; the Tidal Dress with tiers of silk georgette; and the Byron Silk Day Dress in silk shantung or crepe de chine.
Other styles include the Etoile Summer Dress or Coatdress in cantaloupe silk shantung; the Radiance Gown in that icy blue Kate favors; and the Nero Coatdress. If the Radiance were done in a short length with the embellishment at the waist/hip removed I wonder if it would work for the Queen’s Birthday party Monday night…..?
Roksanda Ilincic remains a possibility. The designer is based in London and shows during London Fashion Week, while the majority of her apparel is sourced and manufactured in the UK. Most importantly the Duchess has a fondness for her work; she wore the label when arriving in Los Angeles in 2011, as well as for the official Sydney arrival in 2014, and at the Indigenous Training Academy, also on the 2014 trip.
It’s unlikely Kate would go for the multi-colored sheaths seen above, although they could be reworked into monochromatic palettes. It wouldn’t be the first time the Duchess worked with this designer to make design changes to an off the rack dress. Remember the original version of the yellow and white Ryedale worn in Sydney? The color ratio was changed so that yellow was the dominant hue, a nod to Australia’s colors (although that shade is really more gold than yellow); the neckline was switched from a round style to a squared design, and the sleeve volume was dramatically reduced.
There are other labels that could fit well into the royal suitcase that we’ve simply not had time to properly cover, like Goat, Madderson, Reiss or other brands. Is there a specific brand you are looking for on this tour?
NOTE: A small portion of this post was originally published in a May 2014 post, Kate’s Tour Style by the Numbers