Rebecca English of The Daily Mail posted a video of Kate’s arrival.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 7, 2018
The occasion was the official opening of the new Place2Be headquarters in London.
The Duchess has been patron of the charity since 2013.
Below, she is seen speaking with mental health professionals who have completed a Place2Be course in counseling children.
Kate also met students from Albion Primary School.
The school is located near Place2Be’s new building; the children, as well as school staff, were in the replica Place2Be Room that is part of the new headquarters.
“We know that schools have a vital role to play in creating an emotionally healthy culture for children.”
“Schools, however, cannot and should not have to manage all this alone. School leaders and teachers need expert guidance and training to develop their own approaches to supporting children’s mental wellbeing.”
— Place2Be (@Place2Be) March 7, 2018
I’m not sure what transpired when opening the curtain on the plaque, but it looks like it was immensely entertaining!
For today’s engagement, the Duchess wore the ‘Marlene’ dress by Séraphine Maternity.
The dress is part of Séraphine’s Luxe collection of more formal dresses and evening wear. The dress showcases a floral lace bodice atop a layer of stretch jersey, lace sleeves with a ruffle at the cuff, a full knit skirt and black velvet detailing at the bodice and cuffs.
We first saw the Duchess wearing this piece during the tour of Norway in February.
Kate accessorized with her ‘Power’ pumps by Stuart Weitzman.
Today, our Patron HRH The Duchess of Cambridge opened our new headquarters in London & learnt more about the training provided & research conducted by Place2Be to support children’s mental health. Watch this video of her speech @KensingtonRoyal @MCLGroupPLC @AlbionPrimary pic.twitter.com/7IV92YDeuW
— Place2Be (@Place2Be) March 7, 2018
With thanks to graphic whiz Susan Courter of What Meghan Wore, here is her look showcasing what Kate wore today.
Close friends Sara Madderson and Helen Hughes remain at the helm of the company, still wearing many hats, including those of owners, designers, and managers. The company continues to specialize in classic, timeless styles that celebrate its British heritage.
Helen and Sara remain focused on patronizing small ateliers and mills to utilize the highest quality materials and skills available. They also are focused on manufacturing locally whenever possible; 75% of the company’s clothing is made in London, no easy feat in this day and age.
The updated Naomi is crafted in the soft, comfortable ponte knit that makes the dress so comfortable, one of the reasons it is such a hit with customers. Made in London, the dress is trimmed in a striking tweed from the historic Linton Mill near the Scottish border; operating since 1912, the mill has been a supplier for luxury fashion houses since William Linton was introduced to Coco Chanel in 1924.
The color palette for the new collection is outstanding: a mix of navy, white and red that is fresh and crisp. You see those hues in the Miranda dress, a contemporary take on the classic shirtdress with stylish accents.
Available in ivory and also in a nice, sharp navy, the Miranda’s pleated grosgrain trim lends a layer of sophistication to the design. It is a versatile piece that can take you from a day at the office to an evening out on the town.
I love the distinctive pattern of the Zoe Skirt and Victoria Jacket. The pieces are done in that same striking tweed from the Linton Mill that you see used on the Naomi. The zip-front jacket is a statement piece perfect for changing seasons, while the skirt showcases inverted pleats that provide an elegant swing when the skirt is in motion.
Above you see the Victoria Jacket paired with the Clara trousers. The twill trousers are a stellar basic, created just for Madderson by an all-female cooperative in Portugal. They feature a tailored silhouette with gathered ruffled trim on the side seams, a front zipper and on-seam pockets.
The Kara dress is always a popular style, and for spring it is offered in a silk chevron print. The dress features a shirttail hem, button-through placket and self-belt. The most amazing design element to me: Sara and Helen had the pattern printed on the matte side of the material so the soft, silky feel of the fabric is next to your skin. A face you may recognize in the dress: Rebecca Priestley, Kate’s former private secretary, wearing the Kara at Wimbledon in July 2017.
The Kara is also made by the women’s co-op in Portugal; we learn more about the organization from the Kara product description:
They work together on their own terms and they set the prices for what they produce. We feel privileged to have access to these highly skilled seamstresses. Their silk garments are beautifully finished, featuring touches such as French seams. These details add to the labour and fabric usage but our production manager Josephine believes they are non-negotiable (and I never argue with Josephine …).
Kara’s silk is woven in China but printed in Cheshire, in the North West of England by Biddle Sawyer Silks.
As with every collection, there are some very versatile separates that will work to stretch your wardrobe investments.
Above you see the Rose Jacket and Clementine Skater Skirt. The jacket features faux pocket flaps trimmed in navy grosgrain, applied gold trim at the waist and gold buttons. Here is a closer look.
You can pair the Clementine skirt with any number of items; it has a fitted yoke, flared hem and that elegant navy trim accenting the hem.
The Clementine skirt is so popular it led to the creation of an entirely new garment, the Ida Skater-Skirt Dress. Made in London of the brand’s signature ponte jersey, the skirt on the dress is much like the Clementine, down to the grosgrain trim. More from the product description: “We love our Clementine skater skirt so much that we jumped at the chance to turn her into a dress! Like the Clementine, Ida is sooo flattering on the waistline (I swear my waist looks a dress-size smaller in my Ida than even in my suck-it-all-in jeans). She is polished and sleek but her flounce and red trims make her a lot more fun than your average work dress.”
An interesting side note: the red sandal worn in several of the Madderson photos (seen above) is the Aquazzura Casablanca style, the same style worn by Meghan Markle at last week’s Royal Foundation Forum. It reminds me of last year’s spring collection photos; the Kate Spade Tassel Earrings were used to accessorize different looks and Kate was seen wearing them not long after!
You may have noticed the wonderful blouse seen in many shots; that is the Leonie Long Sleeved Blouse. The Leonie is made of soft silk crépe de chine, showcasing a ruffled bib on the front, a touch that sets it apart from more standard blouses. It is available for preordering and it will ship on or before the 21st of this month.
This may well be my favorite of all the Madderson London Collections I have seen and written about. The cut and colors of the pieces are elegant, but they all offer a little something that is different, be it a whimsical flounce at the hem, or the distinctive tweed sourced from the Linton Mill. There is a lot to love this spring.
Sara and Helen continue their focus on sustainability and responsible business practices. It is a topic they address on the ecommerce site, blog and on social media; this graphic comes from the brand’s Facebook page.
They are championing the #30Wears campaign, a brainchild of Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age, a consulting firm with a focus on sustainability. You may remember Ms. Firth was at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange event at Buckingham Palace in February; Eco-Age created and is managing that project. The #30Wears campaign simply asks us to consider a question before we purchase an item of clothing: will I wear this at least 30 times?
The idea is to get us away from ‘disposable fashion,’ and thinking of clothing and accessories as items we will have and use for many years, as opposed to many weeks. That is one of the reasons Madderson is so committed to using only quality materials and manufacturing processes; their products will stand the test of time.
Helen and Sara have also launched their Books for Schools program; for every item sold at Madderson, they will donate a book to a British primary school. In writing about the project, Sara notes that “Helen and I believe very strongly that books are the most magical of gifts, with the power to elevate and transport the reader into new realms of potential.” In November Sara made a book delivery to Columbia Primary School in Tower Hamlets.
From Sara’s post about the event: “I arrived at the school to the delightfully chaotic sound of tens of children shrieking with delight as they unpacked the boxes. Busy in the way that kids love to be, they quickly organised themselves into groups of mini-librarians, stamping the books and sticking in book-plates. Every book that we donate has the first name and city of the customer who donated the book through his or her order. This way, the children know that people around the world care about their future.”
The books are being used for the school’s Breakfast Book Club, which encourages reading for pleasure. The company is working with Give a Book to manage the project.
If you are thinking about adding some spring styles to your closet, now is an ideal time: Madderson London is offering 10% off all orders with promo code WHATKATEWORE10. For those in or near London, the company will be showcasing its new spring and summer collection at a pop-up shop March 12th – March 20th at The Concept Store on Kings Road in Chelsea. You can view the lookbook for the new collection by clicking here.