The Duchess is the Gallery’s royal patron.
She looked radiant in the ‘kind of new’ (we’ll explain in a minute) gown.
The Press Association’s Catherine Wylie shared this video of the Duchess arriving.
— Catherine Wylie (@wyliecatherine) March 28, 2017
The occasion was the gallery’s annual gala. Below you see Kate smiling as the Gallery’s Director, Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, jokes that “It’s interesting to be talking to so many people, and know none of them are looking at me” as shared in this photo by Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent for The Telegraph.
More from The Evening Standard’s story
She viewed two exhibitions – Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, and Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind The Mask, Another Mask.
The 2017 gala is fundraising for Coming Home, a project that will make it possible for portraits of people to return to places that are special to them for a loan period of over three years.
More from The Daily Mail:
Moving upstairs, the Duchess was shown ten masks by artists including Philip Treacy, Maggie Hambling and Dame Vivienne Westwood, due to be sold for fundraising efforts. A series of 100 new postcards, by famous artists who have anonymised their work, were also up for sale for £250.
Kate is speaking with Dr. Cullinan
and a woman whose identity I have not been able to discover. Our thanks to Stephanie for her comment; she says the woman is Dr. Emilie Gordenker, one of two directors of the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The Duchess met Dr. Gordenker when visiting the Mauritshuis in October of last year. (See another newsbyte below regarding Dr. Gordenker and what she wore at the Mauritshuis earlier today.)
And from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:
The funds raised will directly support the National Portrait Gallery’s work in delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world class research.
Notable names at tonight’s function included model Alexa Chung (seen 3rd from right below), Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, and model/tv presenter Donna Air, said to be dating Kate’s brother James Middleton.
Also attending the gala, one of Kate’s favorite designers, Erdem Moralioglu. I believe he is the gentleman second from the left wearing glasses.
After mingling and viewing exhibits guests enjoyed a formal dinner.
During the night’s festivities, Kate happened to meet parents of students who will be attending school with Prince George this fall. From The Daily Mail’s coverage of the gala:
She was introduced to Richard Found, who runs an architecture and design practice, and his wife Jane Suitor, an art consultant and collector, who revealed that their child was also at Thomas’s School in Battersea, where her son will be starting in September.
They told the Duchess it was a ‘great school’ and she said she hoped to see them at the school gates.
‘We were chatting about Thomas’, the school George will be going to,’ said Mr Found afterwards.
For more on the choice of school, see our second portion of the post.
Now for a look at what Kate wore to the gala.
The Duchess was in a lace gown by Temperley London. The reason I referenced the dress as “kind of new” is that we had a glimpse of it last year when IKON Pictures posted this photo of Kate and William on their way to Windsor Castle for a private dinner celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday.
After seeing that photo last April, Tiffany C. did some detective work and noted on the WKW Facebook page that the lace pattern matched that of Kate’s Temperley lace ‘Amoret’ gown. The Amoret was first worn to the War Horse premiere, and again for a Saint Andrews University fundraiser.
Lace detail from the two frocks.
You can see how the dress moves in another video from Catherine Wylie.
The dress features a fitted bodice and full skirt, sheer sleeves and front upper bodice, and a deeply scooped out back. The sleeves and collar are both trimmed in eyelash lace.
This shows where the additional panel of fabric is added to create the full skirt.
The bespoke piece is a mix of designs elements from Temperley’s Cleo dress and Ariel dresses, offering an opportunity for us to do Fun with Fashion Math.
Both the Cleo and the Ariel were offered in different colors and lengths.
I knew the design looked familiar in the royal blue version but couldn’t sort out why. It turns out we featured the Cleo in its shorter length in a March 2014 post looking at possible designs ahead of the New Zealand/Australia tour.
As many noted, tonight’s dress does have similarities to the Amoret gown.
UPDATE MAR 29: Michelle of Perth’s Fashion put her incredible detective skills to work and shared a fab find on Twitter, the ‘Florence’ gown from Temperley’s 2013 Bridal Collection. It is almost identical to Kate’s dress. The distinctions between the two that I can discern are the princess seams on the wedding gown, which Kate’s dress does not have, and the different lace pattern.
One thing that I had not noticed until Michelle pointed it out: the eyelash trim on the is lace is used on the scalloped border of the fabric insert on the skirt. Hopefully, you can see it in this enlargement.
Thoughts on tonight’s look from The Telegraph’s Caroline Leaper, fashion news & features editor.
Attending the 2017 Portrait Gala, Kate met with a room full of artists and fashion insiders – It girl Alexa Chung was among those in attendance, in a voluminous off-shoulder dress. But by choosing a subtle, classically stylish gown, Kate held her own in the crowd.
Kate carried her ‘Charlie’ clutch by Wilbur and Gussie, still offered for purchase online (£195). The gold glitter clutch measures 21cm x 12cm (roughly 8″ x 5″), comes with a detachable wrist strap and is made in Spain.
Kate wore a pair of shoes by Jimmy Choo we haven’t seen for quite awhile, the Dart Sandal. I didn’t realize until tonight that the straps are two colors/finishes, one with a glitter finish and the other with a satin finish.
Back to this evening’s accessories, Kate had on a new pair of earrings by Kiki McDonough.
The earrings are a one-off design; on the left, you see a pair with similar stones, another find by Michelle of Perths Fashion. They are quite similar to a Special Edition style that was removed from the website last night, the Candy Pink Tourmaline Green Amethyst Drop Earrings, they were discovered by Hilary. I have emailed Kiki McDonough’s PR firm asking them to let us know if Kate was wearing the Candy Pink style.
UPDATE MAR 30: The good folks at Kiki McDonough’s PR firm got back to me right away; they say Kate’s earrings are similar to the Special Edition earrings that were shown on the site. They are pink tourmaline and green amethyst (technically prasiolite); I have updated the photo to reflect the new information.
This is not the first time Kate has worn the earrings. Anna of My Small Obsessions notes in her post that they were worn to the private Royal Foundation reception last November. I did not publish any of the photos that were shared on Instagram, but you can see a few here.
As was immediately evident, Kate elected to wear her hair down for this evening’s engagement.
In this photo of Kate leaving the event, you can see Sophie Agnew just behind Kate, in a deep blue gown. She is filling in for Kate’s personal private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, who was married this weekend.
We’ll leave this portion of the post with a great shot of the Duchess at tonight’s gala.
We have several other quick updates to share that we hope you find interesting. In case you did not see the news, Kate and William announced where Prince George will be attending school this fall, and it was a surprise. The announcement was made Friday afternoon on social media.
The decision means that, unlike his father and grandfather, Prince George will join a class alongside four-year-old girls rather than the all-boys environment traditionally favoured by Royal and upper class families.
The Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry both attended Wetherby pre-prep before moving to Ludgrove and then Eton.
Below you see the Prince on his first day attending the Montessori school located near the family’s country home.
There are four St. Thomas’s schools, including one in Kensington. The Battersea location is roughly 15-20 minutes from Kensington Palace. From the Thomas’s Battersea website:
Thomas’s Battersea is a busy, thriving, purposeful school, educating 540 boys and girls between the ages of four and 13.
Whilst we are proud of our record of senior school entrance and scholarship successes, we place a greater emphasis on a set of core values, which include kindness, courtesy, confidence, humility and learning to be givers, not takers. We hope that our pupils will leave this school with a strong sense of social responsibility, set on a path to become net contributors to society and to flourish as conscientious and caring citizens of the world.
Channel 24 News notes that other notable names have attended the school: “The royal toddler joins a host of famous faces who attended the school, including Cara Delevingne and her sisters Poppy and Chloe as well as Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch.”
It’s possible the Duchess and Duke chose Thomas’s in part because it is co-ed; Charlotte will be able to go to the same school as her big brother if that is something Kate and William want to happen.
Our next tidbit is about Emilie Gordenker of the Mauritshuis Museum. One of two Museum directors, Ms. Gordenker, gave Kate a tour of the facility when the Duchess visited the Netherlands in October. Many readers liked the Roksanda Ilincic dress she wore for the event.
Today’s sartorial selection will also be appreciated by readers: Ms. Gordenker wore Alexander McQueen when she hosted Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Argentine First Lady Juliana Awada at the Museum.
More specifically, Ms. Gordenker was in the brand’s Obsession Print dress.
We have two quick bytes to share from our Retail Roundup page.
- Kate’s See by Chloé dress is on sale for $345 as part of the Friends & Family event underway at Saks Fifth Avenue. Thank you to Carol Gioia for another fab tip!
- Also back in stock, the Twill Double Breasted Jacket worn to the by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. It is available in most sizes at Barneys ($1515), and also in stock in very limited sizing at Net-a-Porter ($1515). Thank you, Charlotte, from Duchess Kate for the Barneys tip!
And finally, the latest additions to Kate’s Calendar.
- Tuesday, April 4: The Duchess attends the opening night of 42nd Street at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The opening night event is a benefit for The Nook Appeal, a fundraising effort for a new EACH children’s hospice. Kate is the royal patron of EACH, and she helped launch the fundraising effort in 2014. The revival production of 42nd Street stars Grammy Award winner Sheena Easton; Kate will meet attendees before the play and take part in a group photo with the cast after the show concludes. The EACH news release is here.
- Friday, May 11: Kate undertakes a one-day visit to Luxembourg to attend commemorations of the 1867 signing of the Treaty of London, which confirmed Luxembourg’s independence and neutrality. The visit is being made at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. More from Richard Palmer’s Express story:
“Details about the visit have not been released but it is likely Kate will meet members of Luxembourg’s monarchy, probably including the head of state Grand Duke Henri.
The Grand Duke and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were guests at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.”
We’ll leave you with this 42nd Street video from the BBC.
- Learn more about the Gallery at its website; follow the NPG on Facebook by clicking here; the Gallery’s Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Express story is here; The Evening Standard story may be seen here
- People magazine’s story is here; Pop Sugar’s oversize gallery of photos is here; the Fug Girls coverage is here