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Kate in Blue Lace at Place2Be and Say Hello to the Madderson London Spring Collection!

Kate was in her blue lace Séraphine Maternity dress for today’s Place2Be engagement.

Rebecca English of The Daily Mail posted a video of Kate’s arrival.

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.

Kate delivered remarks at the opening.

“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.”



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.

The shoe offers a classic point-toe style in black suede with a lower heel than Kate often wears, 3″ – 3.5″ depending on which version you buy. (The heel on this nude pair is 3.5″.)
She carried her black suede Bayswater clutch by Mulberry.
Kate also wore her sapphire and diamond earrings.
The Duchess very much seemed to enjoy herself at today’s engagement.   
In this video from Place2Be, you hear Kate’s speech and also get a look at the day’s activities.

With thanks to graphic whiz Susan Courter of What Meghan Wore, here is her look showcasing what Kate wore today.  

Also today, we are simply delighted to welcome back Madderson London as a WKW sponsor. Most readers will recall Kate’s chic Naomi dress by the brand, worn when she was expecting Charlotte. 

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.

On to the sensational styles from the Madderson London spring collectionWe’ll begin with the spring version of the iconic Naomi dress

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. 

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.     

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.  

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

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Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Its getting a bit frustrating at the moment, that if anyone dares to comment that this dress is pulling around they bust, they are shot down by others saying 'of course shes busty, shes nearly due to have a baby" etc etc.

This site is about constructively discussing the DoC clothing choices and I love the way (mostly) everyone is quite mature and respectful about her clothing choices, especially during her pregnancies, where any woman who had been pregnant would have personally experianced a whole raft of issues, problems, complications, emotions, joys and sorrows.

In my opinion, its perfectly fine to state that this dress is pulling at the bust. Yes, we know shes nearly due to have her baby, but I dont think any of the commenters saying the dress is ill fitting, mean to degrade the Duchess and her body shape in any way. Its no different from saying Camillas coat collars at the Commonwealth Day were puckery, over and above sitting flat, or there were rumples under Kates coat, or Princess Annes buttons weren't all sitting square!

As another commenter pointed out, it would be pointless if we all came on here to say "she looks amazing" simply because shes having a baby and no one should be constructively critical of a pregnant woman's clothing!

Susan Toye Ferguson

Friday 9th of March 2018

To Cheryl (way above my comment): I absolutely agree with you and was thinking of how happy William must be in his choice of a wife who is prepared to carry on such important duties despite the inspection of every single thing she wears and the speculation about everything that she does. Its a tough job. Thanks!

And thank you so much for the Madderson addition - I love everything and am currently dithering about which dress to buy! They ship to the U.S.!

I read this blog every day - thanks for treating Catherine with dignity!


Amanda McCabe

Friday 9th of March 2018

I wasn't a fan of this dress the first time (the lace with the pale lining just looks cheap somehow), but at the this point I wouldn't care if she showed up in her pajamas and slippers! I hope she got home and put her feet up asap :)


Friday 9th of March 2018

This might be the only Seraphine dress that I actually like. The other ones (esp the sort of faux wrap one with the different shades of blue flowers) just seem looking. Just my opinion! Also, bless her feet in those heels!! I don't think I wore a heel with any of my pregnancies; good for her!

I hope one day we see her in a lovely pants outfit, have been loving seeing Meghan M wearing them (not comparing the two, just stating that I think MM looks great in pants). Obviously Kate is a Duchess and expected to dress in a certain way, but I do think a great pants outfit (maybe with a matching jacket?) with heels would be a great look for her.


Friday 9th of March 2018

As much as my comment is not about Kate herself, absolutely not a personal criticism, I do think she has “outgrown” this dress. The bodice and sleeves are quite obviously too tight. Even the white coat she wore this past week is straining at the buttons on the bustline. Kate can do better.


Saturday 10th of March 2018

Respectfully Vicky, it does seem to be aimed at her. It also seems very unkind. As someone who struggled with body image horribly during pregnancy I cringe at these comments saying her clothes are too tight or too snug. The healthy pregnant body is always changing and you never know what might not work. Perhaps she was late getting ready because her children needed her and was unable to change outfits at the last minute? Let’s give her the benefit of doubt and say she looks lovely regardless if you approve of the fit or not. She is at the end of her pregnancy and in heels. She is amazing.

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