Kate chose a dress by Orla Kiely for her visit to the National Portrait Gallery this evening.
It was a cold, snowy, blustery night in London.
The Duchess elected to dash from the car to gallery sans a coat.
Kate with Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan.
Hannah Furness of The Telegraph posted a video of the Duchess as she arrived.
The Duchess of Cambridge visits @NPGLondon to see the Victorian Giants photography exhibition. An art history graduate, she has curated a special “Patron’s Trail” and written labels for her favourite images pic.twitter.com/DGUAbmM3qo
— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) February 28, 2018
Kate was at the gallery for a preview of the Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography exhibit.
This major exhibition is the first to examine the relationship between four ground-breaking Victorian artists: Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822–65) and Oscar Rejlander (1813–75). Drawn from public and private collections internationally, the exhibition features some of the most breath-taking images in photographic history.
Below, Clementina Hawarden’s Photographic Study (Clementina Maude) from the early 1860s, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via Artnet.
The Duchess has been the Gallery’s royal patron since 2012.
She was directly involved in the exhibit. It includes the Gallery’s first “Patron’s Trail,” featuring works Kate selected for the exhibit as well as personal captions she wrote that are displayed alongside some of the photographs.
The show is a daring choice for the Duchess, based on the “radical attitudes” of the four artists and detailing how they “formed a bridge between the art of the past and the art of the future”.
Many of the photographs on display are rarely seen for conservation reasons, and others loaned from galleries around the world.
The wider exhibition, as chosen by NPG curators, will feature Carroll’s pictures of Alice Liddell, his muse for Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland photographed as both a child and an adult.
(The article was written before the exhibit, thus the future tense about photos that will be in the exhibit.)
This Artnet story explains why Kate’s role in the exhibit is a good fit: “Her interest in 19th-century photography dates back to her time studying art history at the University of St. Andrews where she chose the topic as the subject of her undergraduate thesis.” Below, Purify my heart by Oscar Rejlander, 1863-9, via The Telegraph.
The Duchess also wrote a foreword for the exhibition catalog. More from The Telegraph piece:
Writing about her involvement, the Duchess, who according to her husband takes photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte every day, called herself an “enthusiastic amateur photographer”, disclosing she wrote her undergraduate thesis on 19th century images.
An article from Artlyst notes that in the catalog Kate “…explains that photographs of children, which feature predominantly within the exhibition, are of particular interest to her. The Duchess also points out that Queen Victoria and especially Prince Albert, became enthusiastic patrons of the new art form following its invention in 1839.”
Now our look at what Kate wore for tonight’s function, a dress from the L’Orla Resort 2018 capsule collection, done in tandem with stylist Leith Clark. More from the Women’s Wear Daily review:
Orla Kiely referenced the feminist movements of the Sixties and Seventies for the capsule range L’Orla, which she designs with stylist Leith Clark.
Yoko Ono, Gloria Steinem, Marianne Faithfull and Frida Kahlo were among their muses, along with the marching protesters of the era.
“We looked at women who led in terms of freedom but, also in music and art,” said Clark.
A Marie Claire story has an interesting note about Orla Kiely considering comfort when designing, something I often think some designers overlook.
For the duo, who have known each other for nearly a decade with Clark styling all of Kiely’s mainline collections, there is a serious focus on creating flattering silhouettes. Kiely explains she really wants women to feel comfortable in her designs; ‘there is nothing worse than that feeling of constantly having to adjust what you’re wearing. I hate when you have to tug a top down or sleeves that keep riding up your arm.’
Kate’s dress is called the Margaret.
It is 100% viscose and features a slim fit, long sleeves, and a smocked front panel with ruffled border and velvet trim. The high neckline also has the velvet trim, as do the ruffled cuffs.
The dress as shown in the collection.
A view of some of the dress details, including those on the back of the garment, much like the front minus the smocking.
Kate carried her Celeste clutch by Jimmy Choo that we first saw at the black-tie dinner in Oslo.
The suede bag is adorned with pavé rhinestones on the frame, measuring about 8″ x 4″. It has a snake-chain strap that allows you to carry it on the shoulder, or it can be carried as a clutch. It is available at Jimmy Choo, as well as at Nordstrom, and also at Saks.
We saw the return of the Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps ($675) in the Praline colorway.
Kate wore her bespoke Kiki McDonough pink tourmaline and green amethyst drops.
They are similar to the Special Edition pair you see in the picture below, but they are not identical.
The last time Kate wore the earrings? At the Portrait Gallery’s gala in March of last year.
Kate’s hair was down and loosely curled.
This is a side note that I shared on Twitter, a simple ‘thank you’ to all the photographers who stand out in the elements for hours to take the photographs that we license for the site.
And another terrific collage created by Susan Courter of What Meghan Wore.
For anyone who may have missed the day’s earlier engagement, click here to read about Kate, William, Harry and Meghan Markle at the first annual Royal Foundation forum.
We leave you with a very quick note about a Sales & Savings opportunity.
For 15% off Kate’s faux fur cuffs and collar by TROY London use promo code WKWFAUXFUR at checkout.