The new frock is by designer Vanessa Seward.
Kate, William, and Harry were all on hand for the day’s events. Rebecca English has more in her story for The Daily Mail:
This morning, William, Kate and Harry joined a group ‘breakout’ session where counsellors and volunteers shared knowledge and get training on dealing with a range of issues.
Its focus was on supporting people who are suicidal and helping young people coping with homelessness.
After the work sessions, the trio enjoyed a Christmas party. From Richard Palmer’s Express story:
The three royals, who are joint patrons of the mental health charity Heads Together, went to a party hosted by youth support service The Mix, to celebrate the volunteers and counsellors who support people through tough times in their lives.
The Mix is a national charity that offers confidential, multi-issue support to young people under 25.
More from that Express story:
Inside the club, there was festive fun. Guests built and decorated gingerbread houses and wrote messages on baubles to hang on the Christmas tree.
William, Kate, and Harry met staff and volunteers from The Mix, as well as young people helped by the services the organization provides.
Kate working on some decorations.
More from The Telegraph:
Kate joined staff and young people at the Heads Together event in creating paper chains adorned with morale-boosting words of support for young people.
As mentioned above, Kate was in a dress by French designer Vanessa Seward, the ‘Cai’ style.
From the a/w 2016 collection, the Cai is constructed of a silk jacquard features a small floral motif in red and green on a black background. The garment is described as having “a flowing draped design.” It features full sleeves, a button front with black enamel buttons, on-seam side pockets, and a self-belt the Duchess elected not to use.
This is from Vogue’s review of the a/w 2016 collection:
Seward considers the little things, like the turtlenecks under knit sweaters, which this season were printed in silk, and the just-about-perfect fit of her raw denim jeans, worn cuffed over terrific blonde leather knee-high boots.
The new collection has a ’70s flair with silk blouses tucked into A-line midi skirts and culottes, and a trio of relaxed, belted jumpsuits.
And from today’s fashion column in The Telegraph:
Celebrated for its understated and real-world-ready aesthetic, the designer’s latest collection was met with solid reviews from fashion editors, making this a fashion-forward choice for the Duchess who has recently been expanding her wardrobe to include more contemporary labels like Barbara Cassasola and Preen, alongside her established favourites.
While Seward might be a new designer for the Duchess, the dress’s delicate floral print and midi-length are tried-and tested style signatures. Indeed the last time we saw Kate in a dress like this was the L.K Bennett ‘Cersei’ dress which she chose for a visit to the Natural History Museum less than a month ago.
Below, the dress referenced by The Telegraph alongside today’s look.
It is a silhouette of which the Duchess is fond; I think most Kate fashion followers could rattle off several other pieces with a similar design.
The dress was originally priced at $1245 at Net-a-Porter. Most recently it was offered at 50% off on the US Net-a-Porter site, where it is now sold out. It remains available in very limited sizing on the UK site, where it is discounted by 40% to £432. If fond of the dress, the Vanessa Seward US site still has it in stock in a few sizes, retailing at $525. Other pieces are shown in the print; they are also on sale: the Caroline Shirt ($416.50); the Clemence Bermuda Shorts ($360); the Caroline Shirt ($416.50); and the Aliyas Scarf ($112.50).
Actress Drew Barrymore has also worn the Cai dress. Click the photo or this link to see the brief video of Ms. Barrymore in the dress.
More about the designer’s background from the website:
Vanessa Seward was born in Buenos Aires and grew up in London and Paris. After training at the Studio Berçot, she worked with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel for nine years and then with Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent.
And from a Booth Moore Hollywood Reporter story:
Seward founded her namesake brand in 2014, after two years of creating capsule collections for French denim and casual wear label APC.
Seward was the designer of high-end French fashion house Azzaro from 2003 to 2011, when she visited L.A. often to dress celebrities, including Natalie Portman for the 2011 SAG Awards, Carey Mulligan and Eva Mendes for other events.
Vanessa Seward has recently opened a number of boutiques, including a second shop in Paris; the new location is on the Left Bank. The first US store opened this summer in Los Angeles (seen below); a London presence will be established in February when the Vanessa Seward location in Notting Hill opens.
In addition to the Notting Hill store, an Evening Standard story says Ms. Seward plans to open four more London boutiques.
Kate accessorized with her Gianvito Rossi Black Suede Pumps ($670).
She wore a belt by Alexander McQueen that we see with some frequency. The Duchess was first noted wearing it at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, during engagements on Valentine’s Day 2012. We also saw it when Kate joined HM and Prince Philip for the launch of the UK portion of the Jubilee Tour in March 2012, and in November 2014 for the Place2Be Awards.
The belt is generally called the ‘Glossed Leather Belt,‘ shown below right. But I’m wondering if perhaps Kate bought the same belt in a different material, like suede, because going back to the first times we saw the Duchess sporting it I can’t locate a photo where the piece looked any glossier than it did today.
I’m sure there’s a sensible explanation, but I don’t recall the belt ever being worn when it had a glossy, hi-shine finish. I may well have misidentified it in a previous post, although I’ve not yet been able to find that reference. Hmmmm.
She carried her Mulberry Bayswater Wallet Clutch.
For jewelry, Kate wore the Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoops. Kate’s hair was down in her signature loose curls.
William shared a cute story about Prince George during the day’s festivities. From Richard Palmer’s story for The Express:
The Duke of Cambridge told KISS FM DJ AJ King that his three-year-old son was too excited to wait for the big day and had been opening a few of the gifts under the tree at the family’s Norfolk home.
“He said they were all really excited about it and that George is already opening his presents.
“He thought it a quite funny. That’s kids for you, even the ones that are princes.”
We will see you tomorrow when we hope to have a photo or two of Kate and others arriving at the Queen’s Christmas lunch. We’ll leave you with a look at the day’s events put together by The Mix. It runs about 2:30.
— The Mix (@TheMixUK) December 19, 2016
- The Heads Together website is here; the organization’s Facebook page is here, and its Twitter feed may be seen here
- The Mix website is here; the charity’s Facebook page is here, and its Twitter feed is here
- Richard Palmer’s story for The Express is here; The Telegraph’s story by Danny Boyle is here; The Daily Mail’s photo-laden story by Rebecca English is here; Victoria Murphy;’s story for The Mirror is here
- Simon Perry’s People magazine story is here; PopSugar’s oversized gallery is here; the Fug Girls story and gallery may be seen here
- The full Vogue review of the a/w 2016 collection is here; a Vogue walking tour of Paris with Vanessa Seward is here
- An official story posted on The Royal Family website is here.