We are back with follow-ups on our Paris posts, as well as a few critiques of Kate’s wardrobe from fashion journalists.
We start with Elizabeth Paton’s NY Times piece about Kate’s Paris wardrobe.
..with numerous staged photo opportunities in the creative and commercial capital of the fashion world, the duchess used the city as a catwalk to subtly raise the bar in the art of diplomatic power dressing.
The duchess has long had her favorite British designers to wear on the global stage. But given the profile of the trip, it was hard not to think that championing some of the British female talent leading the industry charge in Paris, like Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo at Céline, or Clare Waight Keller, installed at the helm of Givenchy just last week, might have reflected a defter touch in sartorial tradecraft.
Ms. Paton’s thoughts on Kate’s look for Saturday’s early engagements.
…it was no real surprise that the duchess chose Chanel — the house widely seen as the grande dame of Parisian fashion — as she posed for photographs with her husband on Saturday with the Eiffel Tower in the background and with well-wishers waving Union Jack flags nearby.
More on the Chanel choice from Edward Barsamian’s Vogue column:
And yet instead of her traditionally English off-duty Duchess style, she appeared on the scene in a chic Parisian look.
That said, the multicolor tweed fit-and-flare dress wasn’t too far removed from what we’ve seen from Middleton in the past. The silhouette is similar to the day dresses she favors, including yesterday’s custom Catherine Walker number, even if the fabric has a more textured hand. The Duchess has recently taken a liking to prints, stepping out in pretty patterns by Alexander McQueen and Vanessa Seward, and today’s Chanel look sees her exploring that idea in a new way.
The Telegraph’s Bethan Holt on the black McQueen:
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 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.
From a column about Friday night’s black-tie dinner, Ms. Holt’s thoughts on the Jenny Packham.
Kate opted for a tried-and-tested equation courtesy of Jenny Packham, one of her go-to designers. The silver, delicately embellished design bears all the hallmarks of Packham’s signature dazzling eveningwear.
Although the gown paid less obvious homage to her hosts than the McQueen LBD and pearls which she had worn just an hour or so earlier, the refined column silhouette was one of the sleekest Packham dresses Kate has been seen in.
FRIDAY HANDBAG: It turns out that Kate’s handbag carried at the Irish Guards shamrock ceremony and for the official welcome in Paris is by Etui; credit for the ID goes to a lovely WKWer who would like to remain anonymous. Below left, the Duchess holding her bag; in the center, a photo shared by our anonymous WKW friend, and another shot of Kate’s bag on the right. The company has verified Kate is carrying their bag. While they do not currently have an e-commerce site, arrangements can be made to purchase a bag by contacting the company via its Facebook page.
Here is a look at the style in a different color. Etui says Kate’s color was from the fall/winter line, but they are working on getting more bags in that shade.
We have some splendid first-hand info via a comment from Kay:
I was in John Lewis Oxford street London, and Topshop Oxford street yesterday and they still had these Etui clutches in stock in a variety of colours including this green, and 2 different sizes. I also bumped in to someone who I believe is the etui owner, or British importer, and he said they weren’t producing any more of that print for a while, but he didn’t rule it out. Also, they have 2 sizes of this clutch, and contrary to what etui PR says (large clutch), I believe it is the small clutch Kate is carrying, having looked at both myself. They are lovely bags though, really good quality for the price. I bought a range of colours in that print.
The company is based in Poland. Some believe this may have been purchased for the upcoming trip to Poland, while others posit it is a coincidence. Alex A. contacted Etui and shared this on the WKW FB page: “they were super helpful and answered right away and are helping me get a bag. I recommend sending an IM if you want one.” Etui is on Instagram, and they also started on Twitter this past Sunday.
FRIDAY SHOES: Kate wore a new pair of suede pumps by Emmy London, the label’s ‘Rebecca’ style in a new color called ‘Greenery.’ Made of kid suede, the shoe showcases a pointed toe and 4.5″ heel.
SATURDAY BOOTIES: There have been some terrific ideas shared about the ankle boots worn for the rugby on Saturday. You can just see them in this Instagram photo from Patrick Kanner, Minister of the City, Youth, and Sport.
ID suggestions include the Prada shown in a light tan, as well as the Stuart Weitzman for Scoop NYC in black, shown on the far right. (Thank you to Jenny K!) There have been a few comments wondering if perhaps the style worn Saturday is different from the pair worn in New York. Without a hi-res photo from Saturday it’s impossible to say for sure it is the same pair. One FYI, it was thought the pair worn in New York is the same style worn to a December 2009 Christmas concert, that is not the case. Click here for a photo showing that pair in 2009, you will see a leather tab or other appendage at the ankle missing from the New York style.
JEWELRY: Saturday we saw Kate in new (to us) jewelry, designs from Cartier’s Trinity collection, including Trinity de Cartier Earrings ($2040).
And what we think is the Cartier Trinity necklace ($1890).
We couch that statement because several eagle-eyed WKW Facebook friends, including Ayvee E. and Trisha S., wondered if perhaps Kate might have been wearing the Cartier ring worn by Diana, Princess of Wales. You can just see it in this picture from February 1983. NOTE: See update below explaining why we now believe Kate wore the actual necklace.
There are several pictures from this particular photo session; they were taken at Kensington Palace in February of 1983.
I don’t know if there is any way to determine if Kate is wearing the piece as shown at Cartier, or if she is wearing Diana’s ring. In the majority of photos I happened to license the three rings do not lie flat, something Sarah also noted on the FB page. (I don’t believe that necessarily sheds any light on the matter, but wanted to note the necklace looked that way in many photos.)
UPDATE: Thank you to Elizabeth in Colorado, she did some detective work on the ring showing the bands were all yellow gold. (It was nice to learn of the DianaPOW.com site.) Additionally, a WKW FB friend who would prefer remaining anonymous has found a hi-res picture of Diana’s ring, and the size looks different from Kate’s necklace. It’s wonderful to have such great input that allows us to solve a few fashion mysteries!
Upon seeing Kate’s pearl necklace at Friday’s reception in Paris, several savvy Kate fashion followers asked if the pearls in that necklace were part of a set that included in the brooch worn with the Alexander McQueen suit at Trooping the Colour in 2014.
The setting for the pearls/faux pearls is similar to that seen with the brooch. Unfortunately, it’s another case where I can’t shed additional light on the topic; I’m just not knowledgeable enough. As always, we’re eager to hear from those with more information and insight on this.
GLOVES: Cornelia James confirms Kate brought back her Imogen gloves ($87)for Saturday’s rugby match.
CATHERINE WALKER COAT-DRESS: Some readers and FB/Twitter friends wondered if Kate has on a separate skirt or dress beneath the Catherine Walker coat-dress worn for the Irish Guards appearance and Paris welcome.
I don’t believe that is the case; I have looked at this photo in hi-resolution and you can see there isn’t another garment beneath the Walker piece.
UPDATE: With thanks to those sending DM/emails and commenting here on the post, I am wrong about this. Kate *did* wear another garment beneath the Catherine Walker.
It may not show in this photo, but other pictures do show a dark dress or skirt. (I’m off to hunt for one of those images.) I did manage to find another photo showing just a bit of the dress/skirt beneath the coat. It does not show as much as several others I have seen, but it is the best one I could find to license. Melissa, Elizabeth and others, a big ‘thank you’ for sharing better info/pics!
ANNE LLEWELLYN: I received quite a few inquiries about the dress worn by Lady Anne Llewellyn, wife of Ambassador Ed Llewellyn, the couple hosted Friday night’s dinner.
I still do not have any idea who the dress designer is (and would love to know!), but can share a bit of insight on the shoes worn with that dress. They are by Dior, a version of the Black Technical Fabric with J’Adior ribbon. Thanks to Maureen for her comment with that information.
Some quick inventory updates:
- Kate’s black suede Gianvito Rossi “54” Mary Jane Pump is still 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).
- The Oscar de la Renta Platinum Lamé Cabrina pumps ($690) are available in very limited sizes.
- For the Gianvito Rossi Black Suede d’Orsay Pumps worn to the Embassy reception in Paris, the ASOS Penalty Wide-Foot Pointed Heel ($49) is a great substitute. Thank you to Elizabeth on the FB page for that fab tip!
- For the Oscar de la Renta Platinum ‘Cabrina’ lamé heels we offer the Hazel Point-Toe Pump ($120) at Sam Edelman (with thanks to Sophia for the Twitter Tip); and the Jessica Simpson Claudette d’Orsay Pump ($39.97) at Amazon.
A note about comments: some slipped through over the weekend that should *not* have been approved. My apologies for letting that happen. Other than that hiccup the trip was loads of fun to cover. I want to say an *enormous* thank you to everyone who left such kind comments; that meant the world. Really, you’ve no idea how wonderful that is to see when feeling overwhelmed, with flagging energy and spirits. Thank you.
Now it’s time for a speedy poll: which look did you most like?
We’ll leave you with this photo from Friday’s welcome at the Élysée Palace, one we didn’t have time to share when writing that post. This one would be fun for a caption contest.
Here are links to the Paris posts:
Paris Welcome: https://whatkatewore.com/2017/03/18/kate-keeps-her-catherine-walker-coat-on-for-paris-arrival/
Cocktail Reception: https://whatkatewore.com/2017/03/17/its-alexander-mcqueen-in-paris-for-embassy-reception/
Black Tie Dinner https://whatkatewore.com/2017/03/17/its-jenny-packham-for-paris-black-tie-dinner/
Morning Engagements: https://whatkatewore.com/2017/03/18/its-a-chanel-trifecta-with-a-touch-of-cartier-for-paris-day-2/
Rugby Match: https://whatkatewore.com/2017/03/18/red-and-black-to-support-welsh-rugby-team/
Sunday 26th of March 2017
I'm a bit late on all these posts after a busy week, though I did see the photos Kensington Palace shared on Instagram throughout the trip. Sadly, when looking at all the outfits closely, nothing was really perfect. I went with the Catherine Walker coat because I really liked it at the Irish Guards ceremony, though I think it looked better with her hair up rather than the way it was styled in Paris.
The McQueen dress is beautiful, I'm in awe of Kate's lean arms, and the ankle strap with that length of dress is really pleasing to me; unfortunately, I just can't get on board with the jewelry on that evening. I wish she'd left off the earrings (too much going on with the necklace, but the neckline of the dress deserves the glitz more than her ears do when her hair is down anyway) and the watch.
The Packham...I don't really know what I don't like about it, something is just off. I think another commenter mentioned the sleeve length on the original post and that does seem a little too long (or too short?) for this kind of event. I am in awe at the details of the lace though. The glittery shoes did not do anything for me in this outfit. I did really like Lady Anne's dress that night and loved those shoes from afar - disappointed with the close-up though (I imagined a black-and-white version of Kate's Prada wavy pumps).
The Chanel coat was a nice change and I did like the bag as well. The shoes were a creative choice too to bring out one of the colours in the coat, but I wish Kate didn't always feel the need to match her bag and shoes. I also was not a fan of the belt, it was just way too branded for my taste.
I actually can't complain about the rugby match outfit top half. I didn't notice anything weird about the buttons until reading the comments, and I like the black gloves and sweater with the coat. I think the coat also looks better with Kate's hair down and it's nice to see it straight for a casual event. Not sure how I feel about the booties though, they seem almost too fancy for a rugby match with such thin, high heels.
I like a lot of the individual pieces debuted on this trip though, and hope to see them again!
Thursday 23rd of March 2017
I firmly believe Duchess Kate is wearing Diana's ring. I have this same ring purchased a couple years later than Diana's; at that time it came only in white gold, yellow gold, & pink gold. There was not a selection of various styles like now. I haven't worn it in years since I am now wearing a Trinity ring with diamonds. So for the sake of research, I put my original one on a gold chain. On my bare skin, it does fold over like in the picture and sometimes won't lie flat. I looked at the picture of the necklace on the Cartier site and if you look where the chain meets the ring, there appears to be another loop which may keep the necklace flat and from wobbling around. Kate's necklace does not have that and does not lie flat. For the sake of research(!), I am going to go to Cartier in the next week or so and look at the necklace. I am going to start wearing my old ring as a necklace, too! I had thought of that sometime ago but never got around to wearing it. When I look at the older ring in the light, the gold, the pink and yellow gold meld together and the white gold picks up the color of the two other rings entwined with it. I think that is what happens in the pictures, much less a photo. I just looked at my "new" necklace in the mirror, and it does reflect mostly the rosy gold rings. I will report back after I finish my research at Cartier!
Friday 24th of March 2017
Wow, that is so interesting! Looking forward to hearing the results of your research. It did seem fitting that Kate might use Diana's ring in this way. She can't have been far from William's mind on this trip and I can see Kate wanting to support him in that way.
Thursday 23rd of March 2017
The black McQueen was easily the best for me, with the green Catherine Walker coming in second. Normally I love Kate in her formal Jenny Packham gowns, but this one was underwhelming for me.
Also, Lady Anne's shoes were 1) absolutely hideous, and 2) inappropriate for the occasion.
Thursday 23rd of March 2017
I voted for the black MQ, was underwhelmed by the JP, and hated the shoes too!
Thursday 23rd of March 2017
I want to thank Susan for the marathon effort of covering so many events and outfits on this 2 day visit to Paris! It's always such a treat to come to this blog and get all the details of the event, the photos, and the info about Kate's outfits. Thank you, thank you!!
I have to concede that photo proof definitely shows that Kate was wearing something under the Walker green coat!! I still stand by my view that taking it off for a 30 minute meeting was not necessary nor was it a breach of etiquette. I almost voted for this outfit, but I had liked it best with the green hat and up-do for the shamrock ceremony. So I voted for the black Alexander McQueen cocktail dress. It was something different, she stood out wearing it, and I loved the ankle strap shoes. The pearl necklace was a great touch--it too was outside of her usual jewelry choices and had a fashion edge to it.
Thursday 23rd of March 2017
Caption for the last picture, "And tonight we have booked Remy the rat chef who will be making his special, Ratatouille."
I was really hoping for tiaras.