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The Duchess Wears Alexander McQueen for Paris Embassy Reception

The Duchess went with one of her “go-to” designers for this evening’s reception, wearing a frock by Alexander McQueen.©James Whatling

The event was at the British Embassy in Paris, hosted by Ambassador Lord Llewellyn (seen below left) and Lady Llewellyn. ©James Whatling

The couple arriving at the party.

The event celebrates the official launch of a program called “Les Voisins,” translated loosely to ‘the neighbors.”

Kensington Palace

Les Voisins celebrates British/French ties. Prince William spoke about the program during the reception. 

“And forgive me if I now continue in the language of Shakespeare, so as to reduce the risk of mangling the language of Molière. It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be here this evening, in this beautiful, elegant, and global city.

Kensington Palace

Before I came here, Her Majesty The Queen reminded me of how much she has enjoyed her many visits to France. It is a feeling that Catherine and I entirely share, and look forward to this and many more visits in the years to come.

Kate meeting guests at the party.Kensington Palace

As mentioned above, Kate’s tea-length dress is by Alexander McQueen.©James Whatling

(That is Rebecca Deacon with her back to the camera, Kate’s personal secretary.)©James Whatling

The sleeveless dress was crafted from a textured material that looks like it *might* be lace, accented with either eyelash lace, or a basic fringed trim at the neckline, armholes, and hem.©James Whatling/Splash News

It also had a deep vee neck; the Duchess accented her waistline with a belt.©James Whatling

The most dramatic part of the ensemble was the jewelry. Kate wore her Balenciaga faux pearl earrings, and she also had on something we rarely see, a cocktail ring. The earring shown on the far left is from Trooping the Colour, when we first saw the earrings. Kate Paris British Embassy Reception Black McQueen Balenciaga Pearl Earrings Possibly Cocktail Ring James What March 17 2017

The ring remains unidentified, as does the necklace. From Bethan Holt’s column for The Telegraph:

The Duchess’s pearl jewellery- a gobstopper ring, bauble necklace and Balenciaga earrings- was also a nod to classic Gallic style and added interest to an otherwise pared-back look- a key consideration when impact is required for those pictures which will be beamed around the world


Both McQueen and Balenciaga make sense from a sartorial diplomacy standpoint: they are owned by French luxury conglomerate Kering. More from Ms. Holt’s Telegraph piece:

The look was dazzling in a manner which the Duchess rarely toys with, imbuing an air of  sophistication without being an obvious statement showstopper. The message behind the Duchess’s dress tonight? A respectfully diplomatic study in Parisian chic.

And from Edward Barsamian’s piece for Vogue:

For her grand Parisian debut this evening, the Duchess of Cambridge switched things up with a fashion-forward frock from Alexander McQueen.

Her latest look from the house was equal parts refined and directional, just the right fit for an evening at the British Embassy in Paris.

The Cartier watch Kate wore looked heavy when viewed with the ensemble as a whole; I presume she left it on because Cartier is a French brand.

The Duchess was in another pair of shoes by Gianvito Rossi, the label’s Suede d’Orsay Pump, also called the “54” Mary Jane Pump. It features a narrow block heel that is 4″ in height, a pointed toe, and ankle strap.



It is available at Net-a-Porter in limited sizes ($795); at Spring in mixed sizes ($775); at Barneys ($775); and also at Lane Crawford (£530, about $655 at today’s exchange rates). Thank you to Emi for her speedy shoe ID. A quick aside for those interested in a repliKate: below we show the ASOS ‘Penalty’ style, $49.  Many thanks to Elizabeth on the WKW Facebook page for such a fab tip!



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Tuesday 21st of March 2017

I like the dress but dislike ALL of the accessories. I LOVE the ambassador's wife's dress and would buy that in a heartbeat.


Monday 20th of March 2017

I'll preface this by saying that I love Kate - I think she's beautiful and classy and wonderful.

That said, there are parts of this look that I really like ... and parts that I don't. For me, the most distracting is the ankle strap on her heels. Given the length of the dress (which is awkward), I would've opted for a pump; it draws the eye upward in one fluid stroke. The ankle strap feels like a hurdle - especially with the length of the dress. I get that it's supposed to be midi-length, but because she's so tall, it looks like it's either too short or too long.

I LOVE the material of the dress, though, and it fits her very well. Very chic for a reception in Paris.


Monday 20th of March 2017

All I see when I look at this ensemble is: large pearl earrings, large pearl necklace, large pearl ring. I'm just not sure how anyone thought this would complement the outfit. (Same with the obviously Chanel belt and purse to go with the Chanel outfit the following day.) I will also go out on a limb that, based on the photos of the event, the bare arms seemed out of place somehow.


Monday 20th of March 2017

Finally someone allows her to dress like an attractive woman. The house of McQueen to be precise.The more McQueen she wears the better.They also know what works in Paris.It's a cute belt but the dress would look better without it. Also I think she should have left one or two jewelry pieces away: I'd say the watch and I possibly the gobstopper ring.


Monday 20th of March 2017

The only piece I don't like is the belt.

I like the jewelry suite; she has so much hair that a larger earring is great. I also don't mind the watch. As a person who can't leave the house without a watch, I understand someone's wanting to wear one. Could it be an "evening" watch? Sure, but there's nothing wrong with this one. It's a simple, gorgeous piece that I'd buy--when I win the lottery, of course.

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