We are back with some newsbytes and a look at new collections from Kate-centric labels. We begin with confirmation that there will be a royal visit from Spain. More from The Daily Mail:
Buckingham Palace says King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain will pay a state visit to Britain in June.
The palace said in a statement Friday that the Spanish royals accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II. They will stay at Buckingham Palace.
The fashion element of the story: a formal state dinner that Kate and William could attend. Serious party frocks. Tiaras. If for some reason the Duke and Duchess did not attend the formal dinner, there will be other engagements they are likely to be part of; details will not be released for quite a while. Below, Queen Letizia with Argentinian First Lady Juliana Awada at Spain’s Royal Palace in February. The occasion was a gala dinner at Spain’s Royal Palace during the state visit of the First Lady and her husband, President Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina.
French President Francois Hollande welcoming the King and Queen to a state dinner at the Élysée Palace last June.
We’ll keep you up to speed on developments as we learn about them.
Next, news that Kate is losing her personal private secretary, Rebecca Deacon; the trusted aide and friend will leave sometime this summer.
Ms. Deacon has worked directly with Kate since late 2010. She is getting married this month; more information via a Telegraph story:
The news comes after reports Ms Deacon is engaged to Adam Priestley and will marry later this month. She has reportedly been given permission to hold the ceremony at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace because of her links to the Royal Family. A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “After a decade of service to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Rebecca Deacon will be stepping down as private secretary to the Duchess of Cambridge.
Before she moved full-time to William and Kate’s household, Ms. Deacon worked at the Sentebale charity.
There has been plenty of speculation about a replacement for Ms. Deacon. One of the names often mentioned: Natasha Archer, considered by many to be the Duchess’s stylist. This is from a Royalist column this weekend.
The front runner is currently Natasha Archer, who currently works for Kate as her PA, and informally doubles up as her stylist.Assuming Archer threw her hat in the ring (not guaranteed as she is something of a free spirit) many would argue that her current role as a trusted aide makes her a shoo-in for the more intimate PPS position.
You can see Ms. Archer on the far right in the striped top. If she was asked to step into the role, that could have a significant impact on Kate’s wardrobe, perhaps offering an opportunity for a fresh pair of eyes to take over the position. Also seen in this photo from the Bhutan trip, Sophie Agnew, currently Rebecca Deacon’s assistant; she is in the blue and white striped top in the center. Many consider her a strong candidate for the job. (On the far left is Amanda Cook Tucker, Kate’s hair stylist.)
Our final tidbit covers the news that two Kate favorites are doing a collaborative collection. Rupert Sanderson and Dune London will launch a small group this spring with six styles, all of them named after daffodils. More about spring styles from LOOK magazine:
Available in selected Dune London stores and online from 1st April the collection features six styles in a variety of fun colour ways. With each style named after spring daffodils there’s a shoe for everyone.
The majority of the collection will debut this fall. Below center and right, the ‘Ella,’ a block heel with almond toe.
From Footwear News:
His shoes are always beautifully crafted with a great emphasis on shape and cut,” said Daniel Rubin, executive chairman at Dune London. “Every aspect of his shoes is well balanced and just right. He doesn’t compromise. We have strived to achieve these standards, albeit a different level, at Dune. That’s why I was so excited to collaborate with him on this project.”
The ‘Star Girl’ heels and ‘Blazing’ flats are inspired by David Bowie; the oversized star motif brings to mind his Ziggy Stardust persona.
The shoes will retail for $150 to $195.
We move now to our look at seasonal collection coverage. The first is Jenny Packham’s a/w 2017 collection, shown at New York Fashion Week in February. From the Women’s Wear Daily review by Antonia Sardone:
In a mish-mash of all things British, Packham worked punk tartan plaids in everything from an embellished cocktail dress to an airy ballgown skirt.
From Vogue’s review:
“The collection is all about what it means to be British,” said Jenny Packham backstage at her Fall 2017 show. Packham confronts this question of British identity by reinventing classic British tropes, like tartan plaid, pearls, and punk.
The designer had the right idea to mix casual concepts, like the humble T-shirt, with eveningwear, such as a ball-gown skirt. That juxtaposition appeared throughout this lineup; highlights included the Pearly Queen silk T-shirt worn with a lace skirt, and a crystal-embellished lattice sheer T-shirt draped over a silky slip. It felt modern and fresh.
That satin jacket is seen second from the left in this montage, the Pearly Queen tee is on the far right.
More from Hayley Phelan’s Vogue review:
Plaid has been a big motif this season, and it was refreshing to see Packham play with it for evening on floaty chiffon gowns and skirts, accented by a hint of sparkle. It was a little unexpected but it worked, particularly in the nude and black palette, with ribbons of crystal embellishments.
The red in the center would be ideal for Kate, but I don’t see her wearing the piece as shown, it has multiple layers of fringe, not something we see her wear.
Back to WWD:
For those who look to Packham for her signature red carpet stunners, she still had plenty of intricate embroidered gowns to offer. Overall, this was one of Packham’s most youthful and fun collections.
Five more looks.
Seeing autumn styles made me wonder how the No. 1 Jenny Packham collection for Debenhams looked this spring. There is great news for those fond of the bespoke Jenny Packham gown worn to the Tusk Conservation Awards in September of 2012: in the center you see the Gold Sequin Glitter Maxi Dress ($280 / £199), it is a fab repliKate for the Tusk gown. On the right, another very similar design, the Carrie Sequin Evening Dress ($280) in light green.
Looking at the Jenny Packham diffusion line prompted me to scoot over to John Lewis and take a peek at some of the spring styles from the Alice Temperley Somerset Collection. Below, from left to right: a white Broderie Dress ($202) that is also available in black; the Dahlia Dress in blue and white ($125); the Flocked Button Through Dress ($125).
Three more styles: a black Peplum Sweater ($87), shown in a photo that I digitally lightened (it also comes in an ivory shade); a Broderie Blouse ($125); a Striped Jumper ($75) offered in other colors.
The Temperley line does not have the volume of shoes, hair accessories and other pieces the Debenhams Jenny Packham collection has, but it *does* offer a selection of lingerie. Below, our last group of pieces: the All Over Lace Dress in black ($200.50); Berkley Leather Tote ($237); and Flocked Off the Shoulder Dress ($124.50).
We will see you later this week.
- The full Tom Sykes Royalist column may be seen here; a Daily Mail story with more details about Ms. Deacon’s wedding may be read here
- A whimsical Telegraph piece in quiz form asks “Could you be the Duchess of Cambridge’s new private secretary?”; in a similar vein, Peter Hunt’s BBC story asks “Do you have what it takes to work for the Duchess?“