We’re back with a post covering several topics, starting with an update to Kate’s Calendar for this Wednesday.
- Wednesday, December 6: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in Manchester for the Children’s Global Media Summit. William will give the keynote address at the Summit, “….which brings together experts from around the world to inform and redesign the future of media for this generation.” Kensington Palace reports the event will “…also explore the impact that digital technology will have on children’s futures.” Kate will take part in a forum “…hosted by Sesame Street’s Workshop, the charitable foundation of the famous children’s TV show, on research commissioned into kindness – a method used to help very young children express issues of emotional wellbeing.”
Now to the primary topic of our post. Many readers know Catherine Walker was a favorite of Diana, Princess of Wales; she wore hundreds of pieces by the designer.
Embed from Getty Images
The label is also a go-to for the Duchess of Cambridge.
Most recently we saw Kate wearing Catherine Walker for the annual Festival of Remembrance in November.
Two styles very much like designs Kate has worn were part of an exhibit in October celebrating the brand’s 40th anniversary. The private event was held at Spencer House in London; the home belongs to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.
The event was a fundraiser for two charities: SSAFA, supporting armed forces members and their families; and Brendoncare, an organization operating multiple nursing homes, and currently building one that would allow couples to be together after a dementia diagnosis.
The display showcased a stunning array of designs worn by some of Catherine Walker’s most notable clientele, as well as styles from the a/w 2017 collection. The pieces chosen for display were curated by Said Cyrus, the label’s co-founder and Head of Design.
More from Caroline Leaper’s story in The Telegraph:
For Cyrus, the process of exploring the brand’s 400-piece archive was cathartic. His wife, Catherine Walker, died of cancer in 2010, so exhibiting their life’s work offered a chance to remember the highlights and celebrate their enduring success.
A pencil sketch by Said Cyrus of his late wife.
In her People story, Monique Jessen writes about an iconic gown that was part of the exhibit.
One of the outfits, a stunning white lace halter-style evening dress with embroidered pearls, sequins and crystals worn by the princess to a gala in Washington in 1996, is displayed for the first time. Alongside it sits a heartfelt note of praise from the then recently-divorced Diana.
A closer look, with thanks to People’s Simon Perry for the photo of the note he shared on Twitter.
A portion of the note reads:
“I was so proud and felt very confident to stride out there and deliver my first speech since the divorce,” the letter reads. “The compliments about your design and expertise would have made your ears burn.”
This gives a better view of some of the detail work on the gown
Two designs worn by the Duchess similar to styles made for the Duchess were included in the exhibit. (See update below.)
UPDATED: The pieces shown in the exhibit are not Kate’s garments as I thought. With a big ‘thank you’ to Scarfie1 on Twitter for the input, the two styles seen in the next photo may be showroom samples, or they were created for another purpose, but they are not the specific pieces Kate has worn.
On the left, you see a Melrose coatdress similar to the one worn in Ypres, Belgium this July for events commemorating the Battle of Passchendaele Centenary. On the right, a coatdress very much like that worn in June 2016 for the National Service of Thanksgiving marking the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Melrose is crafted from Venetian wool embellished with hand appliquéd corded lace.
The soft blue style has lines similar to the Melrose.
As noted in our original post, the piece combines elements from multiple Catherine Walker designs. Below left, the Rosa Coatdress; in the center, the Melrose Coatdress, and Kate in the finished design.
Here is a good closeup showing the lace.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time any of the Duchess’s clothing has been publicly exhibited, other than her wedding dress in 2011. Again, thank you to Scarfie for pointing out the differences between the styles shown in the exhibit and those made for Kate.
Some of the designs from this fall’s collection that were on display: the Collette flannel coat, the Violeta jacket and matching dress, and the Lilliane suit. For anyone interested in acquiring a Catherine Walker design, the company offers an e-couture service for those unable to visit the studio in person.
Kate’s coat for the Festival of Remembrance was modeled after another fall design, the ‘Caressa’ jacket.
It looks like it was an outstanding exhibit. This is a label I believe we will continue to see the Duchess wear for years and years.
Our other topic today: the 2018 What Kate Wore calendar, created in partnership with Royal Photographer Mark Stewart (you may know him as Regal Eyes on Twitter). This year’s calendar is different from those done in previous years when we focused primarily on recent photographs. When first chatting with Mark about the 2018 calendar he asked what we thought of dedicating each month to a specific year he has been photographing Kate. That sounded like a simply brilliant idea, so Mark commenced going through his archives, all the way back to 2005.
The calendar measures roughly 11″ by 16″ when open and hanging on your wall. The 2018 version was really a joy to put together because of Mark’s incredible archive of Kate photographs. I knew he had been photographing Kate for years, but didn’t fully realize the breadth of his work. I asked Mark if he realized what Kate’s role would be back in those early years.
When I first photographed Kate in 2005, little did I know that it was the to be start of documenting the fashion evolution of our future Queen.”
The calendar is available in limited quantities here.
- Learn more about the SSAFA at its website here; the organization’s Facebook page is here, Twitter feed here and Instagram page here
- The Brendoncare website is here; its Facebook page is here, and Twitter feed is here
- You can see Mark Stewart’s recent work on his Tumblr here; follow him on Facebook here; his Twitter feed is here
- Read The Telegraph’s story about the Catherine Walker exhibit in its entirety here; Monique Jessen’s piece for People is here