We are back with a quick calendar update and a look at more tour photos. We’ll also chat about a topic we weren’t able to cover during the tour, and share some fun news from Milli Millu.
Here is the addition to Kate’s Calendar.
- Tuesday, November 22: Kate will attend the Place2Be Wellbeing in School Awards at Mansion House, the official residence and office of the Lord Mayor of London. You can read all about the awards and this year’s nominees here.
The Duchess has been patron of Place2Be since April of 2013; the organization offers mental health support for children in a school-based environment. You may recall that Kate hosted the 2014 awards party at Kensington Palace.
It will be fun to see images from a function at Mansion House, I don’t recall Kate previously taking part in an engagement there.
Now to a topic that popped up during the Canada tour: seasonal attire and the question “should some clothing be worn only during certain seasons?” This relates not only to the colors Kate wears, but also to the styles themselves, the material they are made of and the garment’s design elements.
The dress prompting some of the conversation in Canada was the red and white Alexander McQueen design worn the first full day of the tour. One element of that frock that seemed ‘summery’ is the fabric. It looks like a lighter weight material, probably cotton. (Broderie anglaise is usually done on cotton or cotton blends, including cotton mixed with linen.) The light color also prompted many to think of days with warmer temps than those seen in Vancouver in late September. Below you see the Duchess with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who was wearing what many would consider a more seasonal color.
But Christy Clark, the British Columbia Premier, was in a white top and red skirt.
Kate’s dress looked like it was what I call bright white, not an eggshell or ivory that might be considered winter white. The red and white was distinctive, standing out enough that people could easily see the Duchess, an important factor for engagements like those in Vancouver. It didn’t strike me as being out of place in relation to the weather. If the tour was late October as opposed to late September it might have looked odd, but the dress worked for these engagements. One point I saw made on Twitter (I think that is where it was) suggested that England’s seasons are not as dramatically marked as they are in parts of the United States or Canada, that lines are more blurred in terms of when people wear specific fabrics and color, a theory I’d not previously heard.
The topic of light colors and seasonally-appropriate attire came up again when Kate wore another McQueen dress to the Team GB reception at Buckingham Palace on October 18th. While I don’t believe the dress would have been received any more favorably in summer months, some comments suggested it would be more appropriate for the summer season.
Most recently the subject arose when Kate wore a white Self-Portrait frock for the premier of A Street Cat Named Bob.
Kate is fond of white, it is one of her favorite colors, we see her wearing the color with some frequency. This is a challenging topic because views on the subject are diverse; they run the gamut from “absolutely no white after Labor Day” to “Rules, what rules? The rules no longer apply.” How well white and other bright colors work depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is the context: where and what is being worn should inform decisions more than a date on a calendar. A couple of additional considerations:
- The material itself is an important factor: ivory wool trousers, off-white corduroy slacks, or a cashmere sweater are all going to look quite different from the same garments in a lightweight cotton or silk. An example from the tour that highlights the importance of color is the Pocket Watch Dress by Dolce and Gabbana. The fabric does not look like it is terribly heavy, but the color is one frequently associated with fall. Some questioned the short sleeves, but the sun was shining and Kate seemed quite comfortable in the piece, it worked well. (With the abundance of sleeveless dresses now being worn twelve months of the year, short sleeves almost look like 3/4 sleeves did 20 years ago!)
- Accessories will have a significant impact on the look: wearing darker shoes and handbags in colors like burgundy, rust, or olive will point a look toward autumn, just as lighter accessories bring thoughts of warmer temps.
- Where the item is being worn should be a primary consideration. What is ideal in London in November is quite different from what works in San Diego in November. The red and white tiered McQueen dress would work perfectly well year-round in southern California, but it is going to seem out of sync in colder climates during fall and winter months. This was underscored with the broderie anglaise dress in Canada because Kate was outside a fair amount of the time, whereas the floral McQueen didn’t strike me as being horribly out of step with the time of year (although the fabric looked lighter weight than what I expected), in part because Kate was inside.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preferences. Most of the rigid fashion ‘rules’ many of us grew up with no longer apply and decisions are best based on what is appropriate for specific locations and circumstances.
Now to some of the photos we weren’t able to share during the tour. One of my favorites is this one showing Kate and Charlotte at the children’s party.
There were a few from the Taste of British Columbia we weren’t able to include in our initial posts.
I’m not sure Kate relished whatever she was tasting at this point in the afternoon.
This one shows William rowing on the way to Haida Gwaii.
The image on the far right shows the intricate lacework on the cuff of Kate’s Somerset by Alice Temperley blouse.
Two head shots we didn’t have room for.
This image would make for a good caption contest.
George looked very sweet here.
Charlotte clearly had her eye on something she liked when the family was about to leave Canada.
The Duchess fishing during the visit to Haida Gwaii.
Two more closeups we weren’t able to include in our initial posts: on the left you see Kate the last day the Cambridges were in Canada, and on the right, in Whitehorse, Yukon.
There were several from the reception at Government House that didn’t make the original post.
Above you see the presentation of gifts to William and Kate by British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.
This image is also from the reception.
One more from that evening.
And leaving Yukon.
We still have more to share, including pictures taken by WKWers during the tour. Hopefully I will get that post finished and published next week.
Also today, an update from one of our sponsors, Milli Millu, the British company offering a beautiful line of luxury handbags. Below, a few of the notable names who carry the bags; Pippa Middleton, Princess Beatrice, and actress Emily Blunt.
Just in time for holiday shopping the British brand has launched its new personalization service.
Many Kate fashion followers are familiar with the royal monograms seen on the Duke and Duchess’s luggage.
A closer look at the distinctive ‘C’ topped by a crown on Kate’s garment bag.
If thinking about a monogram for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, initials are an obvious choice. But you can also get creative with a short phrase, perhaps a favorite hashtag or other wording. At Milli Millu you can select from three different styles of lettering.
The last several years we have seen an increase in the number of items that can be monogrammed, reflecting the trend for more personalized products. More from a Racked story:
…. our own names and initials have become the ultimate status symbol. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of consumer behavior and business intelligence company The NPD Group, says “designers are on the waning side, and people aren’t interested in putting logos on. They’d rather put on their own logo — their initials.”
There is no charge for personalization using up to 6 letters; if ordering more than that number of characters there is a fee of £25. Here’s an example with a two-initial monogram, seen on Milli Millu’s Soho Wallet.
Back to the Racked article:
“In this world of homogeneous retail assortments, everybody is walking down the street looking the same, dressing the same, and wearing the same product,” says Cohen. “Personalized, customized product gives you the ability to look and feel different.”
Here is a better view of initials on a bag strap.
If looking to really make something your own, Milli Millu also offers a fully bespoke service. After selecting the bag style you like, you then choose from four types of leather in more than 60 colors, creating a unique bag you won’t see anyone else carrying. For all of the details on the personalization and bespoke offerings, click here.
The retailer also opened its Christmas shop this week.
In addition to the monogramming service Milli Millu has lots of other holiday gift options. As always, shipping is free in the UK and Spain (including returns); elsewhere shipping is free both ways with orders totaling more than £200. Milli Millu has a 1 year guarantee on all of its products and the company does free lifetime repairs.
In the unlikely event your handbag needed repair (if something breaks, excludes normal wear and tear) within 12 months of the purchase date; we would arrange the collection, repair it and ship it back to your chosen address free of charge. Should your handbag need repairing after 12 months, you can ship it to us and we will repair it free of charge… forever!
The company’s elegant packaging is included on all orders.
There is a special treat for WKW readers, Milli Millu is offering a 15% discount on orders with the promo code WKW1511.
We’ll see you Saturday night for the Festival of Remembrance.