Kate returned to a favored designer for day two of the Canada tour, choosing Alexander McQueen for a series of engagements in Vancouver.
This morning the couple boarded a seaplane from Victoria to Vancouver, where they were met by thousands of well-wishers who had gathered on a cool, damp morning to catch their first glimpse of the royals.
Huge crowds had turned out at the harbour side to catch a glimpse of the British royals despite the drizzly weather, and both William and Kate were clearly touched by the warm welcome they received as they emerged from the aircraft.
Their first engagement was at Sheway, a pregnancy outreach project in downtown Vancouver.
— Emily Lazatin (@EmilyLazatin980) September 25, 2016
From a story in The Province:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s promise to meet with all kinds of Canadians took them to Vancouver’s gritty Downtown Eastside Sunday, where they met with mothers recovering from addiction who said the visit helped show them they are respected, despite their struggles.
And from Hello!
The Duchess of Cambridge shared a tender moment with a young girl as she and Prince William spent time at a pregnancy outreach program on Sunday. With William by her side Kate, 34, also spent time speaking with new mothers about their experiences of overcoming addiction, expressing interest as each of the ladies shared their stories.
The Duke and Duchess were given gifts for Charlotte and George. From an AM730 story:
….staff member introduced the couple to a five-year-old girl, who gave them both teddy bears. “George would love this,” William said, referring to his son, as he accepted a teddy bear in a black vest.
Kate and William then traveled to the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSBC). Denise Ryan of The Vancouver Sun shared this photo of the Trudeaus arriving; she noted the crowd was singing O Canada.
Kate, William, Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau leaving the Immigration Society.
The Cambridges and Trudeaus spent part of the afternoon with emergency services personnel. More from the CBC:
Just after 3 p.m. they arrived at the newly reopened Kitsilano Coast Guard Station to discuss the mental health challenges of first responders, and meet Indigenous leaders.
Now to what Kate wore. The Duchess was in bespoke Alexander McQueen, a version of a dress from the Resort 2017 collection.
Not only was she returning to a favored designer, but she was also going back to one of her favorite textiles, broderie anglaise. A closer look at the fabric.
Broderie anglaise is a material we’ve seen the Duchess wear with some frequency. So much so, we dedicated a good portion of this post to Kate’s fondness for the textile. Below you can see the origins of Kate’s dress.
Both the bespoke version and off-the-rack frocks feature a fitted bodice with a contrasting band collar. But then the designs diverge: the billowing open sleeves with their wide silhouettes have been removed, replaced with a longer, more standard (fitted) sleeve shape. Cuffs have been added to the sleeves on the Duchess’s dress, and a white waistband.
It’s difficult to see above, but the buttons are very pretty, they appear to be handpainted. Below, a closer look at the collar shows this element is essentially the same on both garments.
The Duchess of Cambridge has become remarkably adept at bringing a mixture of labels to her royal wardrobe; one week it’s a £22 pair of trousers from Gap, the next it’s a bespoke designer piece.
It’s a strategy which is masterful in its execution, one moment giving an impression of complete accessibility, the next adding a soupçon of aspiration (think the L.K Bennett dresses she has favoured this summer) and then introducing a look into the mix which serves as a reminder of The Duchess’s dazzlingly glamorous royal credentials.
We have another look at the frock in this photo of Kate with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
Surprisingly, I think this was a good choice for the Duchess. On first glance the immediate reaction was “My, don’t we have a lot happening here, and all at once.” I thought we were headed for sensory overload between the striking red and white fabric, the ruffles and tiers. But I think it ultimately performed well: the colors were a respectful nod to Canada and the design suited Kate. Having said that, I think it worked well today – for this situation and set of circumstances. It’s not that it was contrived or gimmicky, but I do struggle a bit trying to see it at other events, like a garden party, where I think the color scheme would be loud. This one has potential for polarization, at least from what I gleaned on the Facebook page and Twitter.
The Duchess was carrying a new handbag, the Bow-Embellished Suede Shoulder Bag from Miu Miu.
The brand is new to Kate’s wardrobe as best as we know. It is the more youthful, hipper offshoot of Prada. Its name comes from Miuccia Prada’s nickname, Miu Miu. Kate’s clutch measures 7″ x 5″ and about 1.5″ deep. It has three interior pockets and can be carried over the shoulder or as a clutch. The back of the bag is unadorned.
Now to Kate’s red suede heels.
NOTE: Scroll through to the last pair of shoes for an update on the ID.
The shoes remain a topic of discussion. Because people sometimes ask how things are identified, I thought I would share a little bit of today’s exercise with the new heels. It’s not terribly exciting, it merely offers a tiny window into what might be discussed when considering a vast array of (in this case) red suede heels.
After first seeing Kate initially the thought was that she could be in a pair of the Gianvito Rossi pumps she wears so frequently. That wasn’t the case and the search ensued. One leading candidate was the Fern from LK Bennett in the salsa color. If you look at the heel tip you can see Kate’s is black and the LKB is not. But even if the Duchess might have had a new tip put on, there’s another issue: Kate’s sole is dark and the Fern soles are light in color.
Another suggestion was the Romy by Jimmy Choo. The issue, in this case, was the light sole vs. dark sole.
Next on the hit parade, the Hobbs Eliza (I believe this was the shoe being discussed.) Not at all the same.
We all (‘all’ being the constantly changing group discussing an item on Twitter, Facebook, via email, direct messages and the like) turned our attention to the Russell and Bromley ‘PinPoint‘ after it was suggested as a possibility. The soles look similar; shape and color also look correct. To me, the heel height appears like it could be off by an mm or two. Hopefully, we’ll hear back from Russell and Bromley and I will be wrong, because that would mean the style is identified and that’s a beautiful thing, especially during a tour.
UPDATE: Russell and Bromley say Kate is wearing their PinPoint style. Yours truly is happily wrong, and we have the shoe identified. The PinPoint is suede with a leather lining and sole, the heel is 8cm, a touch over 3″. The style sells at £165, roughly $225.
Now to Kate’s earrings. A number of comments were shared online suggesting the silvertone earrings were probably intended to better match the studs on the collar, a good premise.
After much hunting, we heard from Tammie Selkirk, a delightful WKW Facebook friend. She suggested the Duchess was wearing the Detachable Pearl Drops from Heavenly Necklaces. P
utting the product shot side-by-side with Kate’s earrings it looks very close to a match. We know Kate has worn the brand, and she also likes detachable drop earrings. We’ve contacted Heavenly Necklaces and hope to hear back from them tomorrow. See update below.
UPDATED: Belinda at Heavenly Necklaces was wonderful and got back to me immediately. She believes they look like the Detachable Drops but can’t say for certain that Kate is wearing them. Anna of My Small Obsessions added another facet to the discussion today. She owns the Heavenly Necklaces pair and says Kate is not wearing that style. Anna believes Kate may have been wearing a pair of the Queen’s earrings, a pair loaned to Sophie, Countess of Wessex on one occasion. You can see Anna’s photo montage here, it shows showing HM and Sophie in the earrings, as well as Kate, and the similarities are striking. UPDATE 3, OCT 11: We have confirmation this is the pair that Anna of My Small Obsessions believed to be on loan from the Queen, previously worn by HM, as well as Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Reporters verified this when the Duchess was seen wearing them again in the Netherlands.
UPDATE 2, OCT 7: We had an intriguing comment by “Duchess fan from Downunder” suggesting a reference to a very similar pair of earrings worn by Diana, Princess of Wales when she visited St. John’s Newfoundland in 1983. Below left, Kate’s earring, and on the right, one of the earrings worn by Diana.
While the earrings are very similar, they do not appear to be the same pair. The biggest distinction between the two pieces is the stud portion; the pair worn by Diana has the top stone bezel-set, while Kate’s appears to be a standard setting. Additionally, Kate’s stone also looks larger than the stone in the pair worn by the late Princess. I think Anna of My Small Obsessions, “Duchess fan from Downunder,” and others are probably correct in suggesting Kate’s earrings were loaned to her by the Queen. If you would like to see a photo of Diana wearing her red/white ensemble with the earrings, click here. Our thanks to “Duchess fan from Downunder” for letting us know about the similarity between the earrings, what a great eye for detail and excellent memory!
We’ll leave you with this quick video.
- The Sheway website is here; the group’s Facebook page is here and Twitter feed here.
- Learn more the BC Immigrant Services Society at the organization’s home page here; its Facebook page is here and Twitter feed here
- The Express story from Richard Palmer is here; a photo-laden Daily Mail story is here; CTV’s photo gallery is here; the Global CA photo gallery is here
- The Hello! story is here; The Mirror’s fashion story is here; The Telegraph’s fashion story is here
- The Vancouver Sun’s rolling live royal blog is here; The Daily Mirror’s live blog is here