Kate has been royal patron of the Museum since 2013 and has been seen taking George to visit the Museum several times. Tonight’s event celebrated the opening of the Museum’s newly refurbished Hintze Hall. The showpiece of that effort is the skeleton of Hope, the Blue Whale. From the BBC’s coverage:
London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) has undergone a major revamp with a blue whale skeleton now forming the main exhibit as visitors come through the front door.
The specimen is being given the name “Hope” as a “symbol of humanity’s power to shape a sustainable future”.
The whale replaces Dippy the Dinosaur, a popular Museum attraction. You can see Dippy in this photo of Kate speaking with students last November.
Below, Kate chatting with Sir David Attenborough. Journalist Jack Royston noted on Twitter that Kate told Sir David “…Hope the whale “tells a completely different story” to Dippy the dinosaur.” Here is more from the NHM:
The whale is the largest specimen in the Museum’s collection of more than 80 million objects from around the globe.
And over the years the giant has claimed a special place in the hearts of curators, conservators and other Museum staff.
The gentleman in the center of the photo (and in several other pictures here) is Sir Michael Dixon, the Museum director.
Kate also spoke at the event.
From the Duchess’s remarks:
Like many of you here tonight, I remember visiting the Natural History Museum as a child, and being inspired with a love of nature. And now, as a parent myself, I am experiencing the joy all over again with my own children, who adore coming here, and it is not just to see the T-Rex mind you.
This video shows the entire 2 minutes Kate spoke.
— LBC London News (@LBCLondonNews) July 13, 2017
Now to what Kate wore for this evening’s engagement. She was in a new dress by Preen, the ‘Everly, in light blue.
The frock is described as a “stretch crepe,” material we have seen Kate wearing more frequently; it is a blend of acetate/polyester/elastane. The silhouette is another Kate favorite, a fit and flare design with a pleated waist and short sleeves. It is a past season piece; most recently it sold on the Net-a-Porter UK site for £637, about $850. Today’s Tip of the Tiara goes to Sophia/RegalRepliKate on Twitter for her speedy dress identification.
This offers a look at the back of the dress and the exposed zipper.
The light blue color was exclusive to Net-a-Porter. The frock did come in another colorway, black, and red. Below left, we show that combo at The Outnet, the off-price site for Net-a-Porter. The Outnet shows the original price as $1440; most recently it sold at $497. On the right is a version that is still in stock (as of this writing, 7 pm July 13), a plain black style carried at Stylebop (originally $1239, now $743).
The Duchess was in a
new pair of heels by Prada, the Wavy Sandal. Initially, I thought Kate’s shoes were black, but that is not the case, the color is called ‘plum.’ Our thanks to The Royal Cambridges on Twitter for identifying the sandals. The design showcases the three wavy straps, a 4.5″ heel and back zipper. It is no longer available.
If the style looks familiar, you may be remembering this Prada style Kate first wore in India. Tonight’s style
is quite similar to the black pair. NEW: It looks like it is the same pair worn to the Bollywood gala with the blue Jenny Packham dress. The straps are identical. A number of comments suggest they may be the same shoes worn to the Bollywood gala. I don’t *think* that is the case because I don’t see Kate wearing plum shoes with the blue dress and blue bag. I initially tweeted and posted on Facebook they were the same shoe, but think the pair worn in India were black.
UPDATED: Middleton Maven points out the sole on the plum style is beige, while Kate’s sole is black. That has me firmly back in the ‘it’s two different pairs of shoes’ camp. (11:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13)
UPDATE #2: Looking at the sole of Kate’s shoe this evening it also appears to be black. I’m sold: I think Kate wore the same shoe for both engagements. (Friday 6pm, July 14) Thank you to the many people commenting here, as well as Lauren on Instagram, Lena Loves Life on Instagram, and Laura on Twitter for nudging this in the right direction!
This is not the first time we have seen Kate in a plum-colored shoe. Below, the Duchess wearing a pair of Mascaro pumps.
The Duchess sported these when attending the 2011 wedding of Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Louise Stourton.
There was a change tonight that probably put a smile on the faces of many Kate fashion followers: the Duchess wore colored nail polish on her toes.
Kate carried a new handbag that very much looks like it is the Jem style by Jerome C. Rousseau. The Canadian-born designer is based in Los Angeles and known for his luxury footwear and handbags.
Here is more about the brand from PopSugar in a 2013 story.
If you haven’t already, it may be a good idea to commit the name Jerome C. Rousseau to memory. The LA-based designer, who’s most well known for his exquisite shoe designs (loyalists include Julianne Hough, Carrie Underwood, and Holland Roden), has added another accessory specialty to his résumé: clutches.
Our thanks to Laura (Japanese_Ginger on Twitter) for her brilliant ID, this is a brand I would never have thought of when searching for Kate’s bag.
Here is a 3-minute video from the Museum about the whale and the three year Hintze project.
We have two updates to share, beginning with news that H&M’s next designer collaboration will be with Kate favorite Erdem.
More from Vogue:
So why H&M? “He gets to try out a few things he hasn’t done before,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, the company’s creative advisor.
“Like, it’s my first menswear,” said Moralioglu, laughing. “And the menswear informs the women and vice versa; I’m thinking of my sister wearing a tweed jacket over a tea dress and trainers. And what our parents were wearing when they met in the ’60s.”
But while famous for his red-carpet gowns, the designer does a mean day suit, designs very covetable accessories, and offers a sophisticated take on separates that point to this collaboration being a wardrobe-comprehensive affair.
Here is a sample of that advertising campaign.
And from H&M’s news release:
The collection is still top secret, but what can he reveal about ERDEM X H&M? “I can tell you about one of my inspirations,” he says. “There’s a video by Bruce Weber for the Pet Shop Boys song Being Boring that I’ve always loved. It’s about a group of young people at a country house mansion. It’s that idea of a country getaway with boys and girls dressing up and playing with their look, with girls in ball gowns and sneakers, and also sharing a wardrobe with guys.”
The other topic is about next week’s tour and *very* brief. The tour starts Monday, and our detailed schedule is live; you can see it here.
- The Natural History Museum’s website is here; its Facebook page is here; its primary Twitter account is here
- Extensive background from the BBC is here; The Telegraph’s story about Hope the whale is here;
- The Evening Standard’s story is here; Richard Palmer’s story for The Express is here; The Mirror’s story is here; The Daily Mail story is here
- People magazine’s story is here; PopSugar’s gallery is here; The Fug Girls piece is here