We are back with something lovely on a cold and dreary winter day, new photos of Princess Charlotte. We also have our poll on your favorite day dress from 2017, but want to cover the new pictures first.
Here you see Charlotte all ready for her first day of nursery school.
The Princess is standing on the steps of Kensington Palace, in a photo taken by Kate this morning. The Duchess also took this image of a very poised-looking Princess.
Many will remember Kate took the photos that were released of Prince George on his first day of school back in January 2016.
Owned and run by headmistress Lavinia Taylor, with an all-women staff, the nursery emphasises “good manners” in its founding principles – perfect for a princess in training.
It was expected that for Charlotte’s first day, Kate and William would do what the school calls “stay and play,” taking Charlotte to her class and staying for a period of time to be sure she was comfortable, then leaving until they returned to pick her up at the end of her day. For all of the details on what Charlotte was wearing visit our sister site, What Kate’s Kids Wore.
It really was a delight to see the new pictures of Charlotte, very much a bright spot on a wintry January day!
Now to our annual Favorite Dress poll. In 2017 we saw Kate in new styles as well as previously worn pieces; she debuted many new designs from labels we’ve not seen her wear previously. There are quite a few to get through, so we’ll leave the analysis for an upcoming post and get going on the pieces in this poll.
In January Kate and William visited the Anna Freud Centre; the Duchess wore a new dress by Eponine London for the engagement. The design is from the label’s 2016 autumn/winter collection; it features panels on the bodice and curved seams extending onto the upper sleeve, pleats in the front and back, a button front, and self-belt.
We saw Kate return to a favorite designer, Erdem, for a Heads Together event in January. The piece is crafted from matelassé fabric, providing a textured background that adds dimension to the garment. It is a basic sheath silhouette, with a fitted bodice and waist, concealed zipper and vent at the back hem. Erdem called the print Black Lily Collage, while multiple retailers referred to it as navy.
When visiting Paris in March the Duchess wore a label many had hoped to see her choose at some during the trip, Chanel. The dress was based on a design from the s/s 2017 pre-spring collection. A fit and flare style called a blazer dress, the design was done in a tweed fabric, with front and back pleats, and three-quarter belled sleeves.
Kate brought back her See by Chloé knit dress for May’s Party at the Palace; it is a piece first worn during the 2016 Canada tour. Here is more from last year’s post: “The fit and flare dress is knee-length, with an openworked bodice and sleeves, ruffled collar and cuffs, and back button closure. The pointelle-knit is a blend of 90% cotton/10% polyester.”
For her sister Pippa’s wedding the Duchess went with a style from Alexander McQueen. The bespoke dress combined elements from multiple McQueen designs, including a fitted bodice, deep vee-neck, and billowing sleeves cuffed with three self-covered buttons.
Kate made her second visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in May and sported a dress by another designer new to her wardrobe, Rochas. From our original post: “The frock is midi length, crafted of silk crêpe de chine in an emerald and ivory floral print. It features a fitted waist and flared skirt, side slit pockets, exposed back zipper and silk lining.”
June was a busy month and we saw the Duchess in several new designs. The first of these was the Alexander McQueen worn for Trooping the Colour. It is always difficult to judge styles worn to this event because you only see a portion of what Kate is wearing. The dress is modeled on a design from the a/w 2016 collection; it showcased pleats at the neckline, a paper bag waist and concealed back zipper.
At Royal Ascot, Kate was in another white lace dress, but unlike last year’s Dolce and Gabbana design, this was by Alexander McQueen. Details on the dress come from our original post: “The piece is crafted from a cotton/rayon/poly blend and has a silk lining. It features floral lace created in Italy; a high, scalloped neckline; three-quarter sleeves with scalloped hem; grosgrain ribbon and peplum detailing at the waist; a scalloped hem.”
For an engagement at the V&A at the end of June Kate wore a dress that was something of a departure from her standard daytime looks. From our original post: “The piece was from Gucci’s pre-fall collection, constructed in a black and white cotton/nylon tweed that showcases the brand’s signature petersham ribbon (also referred to as web) in blue and red.” It is shorter than many of her dresses and some thought it was reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy’s styles.
When visiting Wimbledon for the first time as its patron Kate chose a polka dot dress by Dolce and Gabbana. The description is from our original post, describing the garment as “….silk with a touch of elastane for stretch and features a fitted bodice with a full skirt, one of Kate’s favorite silhouettes. It also has three-quarter sleeves, a scoop neckline and concealed zipper.”
We saw another Preen dress at a Natural History Museum event in July. The light blue style was called the ‘Everly’ dress and described in our post this way: “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.” NOTE: This is a piece some of us debated putting in the cocktail dress poll; it didn’t seem as ‘party-like’ as others, for lack of a better term, thus its placement here with the daywear. (Having said that, it *was* worn at a cocktail event, so I could certainly hear a case for it being in the other poll.)
When attending Wimbledon for the Gentlemen’s Final match Kate was in Catherine Walker. The fit and flare dress featured a placed print in a pattern called Fleurs Sauvages, or “Wildflowers.” It is difficult to see, but the motif is printed on an almost sheer layer atop the white lining. The design also has princess seams, cap sleeves, and a back zipper.
When visiting a traditional German market in Heidelberg Kate wore a piece by Jenny Packham. Our original post described the dress as having “…a fitted bodice with princess seaming that is accentuated by white piping. It also has a set-in waistband with box pleats that create the volume in the skirt.”
For the final day of the Poland/Germany tour, the Duchess opted for an Emilia Wickstead design. It was another fit and flare design with a full skirt, center front seam, concealed back zipper and waistband.
Kate chose another new brand for what had to be a challenging engagement, the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the loss of Diana, Princess of Wales. She wore a dress by Prada in green with a splash of poppies across the fabric. More from our original post: “The frock is a lightweight silk-crepe. It features a full skirt, gathers at the shoulders, long sleeves, stand collar with detachable self-tie bow and shirred waistline.”
At a Buckingham Palace reception in October Kate selected Temperley London’s Eclipse Lace Collar Dress in Iris. From our original post on the cotton/rayon blend dress: “The frock features an A-line silhouette, cotton voile skirt panels, sheer sleeves and shoulders, and black velvet trim.” NOTE: This is a piece I left out of the cocktail dress poll, so I thought it best to include it in this group rather than eliminate it altogether.
Kate returned to a designer we’d not seen her wear recently, Orla Kiely, for an October engagement. The event was a Charities Forum event with Paddington Bear at (where else, Paddington Station!); the fitted design features a scoop back, three-quarter sleeves, black trim at the neck and waist and detachable bow belt.
Kate brought out a new dress for a November Place2Be engagement, wearing Goat’s ‘Eloise’ dress. In our original post, it was described this way: “The frock is 100% wool, and its A-line silhouette is a favorite for the Duchess. It has three-quarter sleeves and a high neckline accented by oversize pewter buttons.”
When visiting London’s Foundling Museum in November, Kate wore a design by Kate Spade. From our original post: “It features a full, pleated skirt; placed print, faux pearl buttons on the bodice and cuffs, and a gathered back yoke. My guess is the fabric is 100% polyester, or a poly blend.”
Wow, that is a lot to think about in choosing your favorite!
We’ll see you Wednesday for Kate’s Place2Be engagement at Reach Academy Feltham.