Hello-Hello, we are back with a couple of updates and then we have a look at the beautiful Madderson London A/W ’18 collection.
The first item covers the new photos of Prince Charles, taken to commemorate his 70th birthday tomorrow.
The pictures have been embargoed; as soon as the embargo is lifted, we’ll publish the photos, adding them to the top of this post.
Pictures of the Prince, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridge family and the Sussexes were released Tuesday evening and they look great.
Above you see the more formal shot, with little Prince Louis looking very jolly and Prince George looking a bit like a scamp on his best behavior. Charlotte is darling, smiling right at the camera.
Here is the relaxed, casual picture. Something must be happening that has everyone’s attention, you see them focused to a point that would be to the photographer’s left.
Chris Jackson of Getty Images took the photos. He said “I was delighted to have been asked to take these official portraits of The Prince of Wales surrounded by his family to celebrate the important milestone of his 70th Birthday. It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon!”
He has done other Cambridge family photos, including the family Christmas card last year and Prince George’s first day of school. Some readers may recall he is married to Natasha Archer, considered by many to be Kate’s stylist.
As covered in this post, Kate’s dress is an Alessandra Richards piece. Made in a silk crêpe de chine, it features a pleated skirt, contrasting spread collar, and contrasting cuffs. It was carried at Net-a-Porter ($1413) and also at Moda Operandi ($2400).
Kate is wearing her go-to diamond and sapphire earrings in the photos, made from a pair of Diana’s earrings.
We can’t see what shoes the Duchess was wearing because of the way the photo is staged. We have details of what the children are wearing over at sister site What Kate’s Kids Wore, and the same for what the Duchess of Sussex wearing over at What Meghan Wore.
Our update begins with the buttons on the Catherine Walker coat worn by the Duchess Sunday night.
It turns out not everyone was fond of the buttons on the coat when it was initially worn last March at the Irish Guards engagement and again in Paris. Some felt they were ‘brassy’ or ‘loud’ or ‘just plain distracting.’ On Sunday many of us thought there were new black buttons on the coat. Below, the coat in two different kinds of lighting on St. Patrick’s Day, indoor and outdoor.
Here you see the coat as worn in Paris. I do not have any pictures with the coat indoors but tried to select different lighting in these two photos.
And here is how the coat looked Sunday night at Westminster Abbey.
Even though the lighting was different for each of the times Kate wore the coat I thought they looked different in the artificial light thrown by the cameras Sunday night. But I wasn’t feeling certain the buttons were new, so I decided to put together some close-up shots. Here are pictures of the buttons as worn on March 17th with the Irish Guards and in Paris later that afternoon.
And here are images from Sunday night.
It wasn’t until I looked at the two sets closely together that I saw what appears to be a difference in the buttonholes. What I think are the “new buttons” look like they have thread running through all four holes, while the “old buttons” are sewn with two parallel lines of thread (if that makes sense). I could be wrong or seeing something that isn’t there, but it looks that way to me. What do you think?
There was also a comment or two and an email about the color of the velvet used on the collar and cuffs. The email asked if the material had been changed from a black velvet to the green we saw Sunday night. Here are some shots in different lighting conditions that were digitally lightened.
It is difficult to see in the smaller pictures, but I don’t believe the collar and cuffs have changed, the material looks the same as it did in March of last year.
We have our results in the insta-poll we did last week. I don’t think anyone will be surprised; with a total of 7057 votes in the poll, the Erdem comes out the big winner.
Here is how the numbers break down.
Our thanks to a WKW friend who wishes to remain anonymous for the ID. I have emailed Lock & Company for confirmation, but this very much appears to be Kate’s hat.
We are excited to welcome back Madderson London as a What Kate Wore sponsor. It is a delight to be working with the company again. I always have the best time looking through their collections and writing about the stunning styles they create season after season. Many will remember Kate wearing the brand’s Naomi dress when she was expecting Charlotte.
When initially going through the lookbook, I was stopped by something new, the company’s mantra: Be Kind.
More from the company’s blog:
At Madderson London, our starting point is BE KIND. By this we mean be kind to our environment, the communities in which we operate, and ourselves. From here, we advocate for a BUY WELL, BUY LESS approach and aim to inform our customers on the provenance of the fabrics used in every single garment, as well as how and where that item is made.
Our desire is to make beautifully crafted investment pieces that stay in your wardrobe for many, many years to come. Every garment we sell comes with a ‘30 Wears’ tag, following the lead from EcoAge’s 30 Wears campaign.
The #30Wears campaign asks shoppers to consider a question before purchasing an item of clothing: will I wear this at least 30 times? The support for the #30Wears campaign comes straight from close friends and Madderson London co-founders, Helen Hughes (left) and Sara Madderson (right).
The women remain hands-on owners and managers, maintaining the company’s focus on creating classic, timeless styles that celebrate the brand’s British heritage.
That management is evident in the new collection, which includes an abundance of lush, luxurious fabrics. Pieces that look so beautiful online you can only imagine how gorgeous they are when worn and seen in person. The Titania Iridescent Dress and Bethany Iridescent Top certainly fall into that category.
Hermès is a part owner of the mill, which makes perfect sense when thinking about the textiles you see used in Hermès products. The Perrin mill’s products have long been used by European luxury brands and they are ideal for these Madderson styles.
The Titania and the Bethany one-shouldered top are both lined in silk for comfort. Here you see the pieces on wellness influencer Niomi Smart (left) and Madderson co-founder/creative director Sara Madderson (right). The midi-length Titania Dress has a gathered neckline, bell sleeves, fitted waist, and softly flowing skirt. The Bethany Top showcases that terrific bow, which sits atop a hidden elasticated panel (to prevent slippage) and a sheer sleeve with gathered cuff.
You may have noticed Sara’s skirt, the Sofia Sequin style in a classic pencil skirt silhouette. It has a concealed side zipper and is lined in a fluid mesh material that keeps it comfortable. Alongside the Sofia, the Suzanne dress, a show-stopping look in the same sequin material with an added accent of Italian georgette trim at the hem and cuffs. Both are party-perfect designs, ideal for holiday gatherings and galas.
Madderson London remains committed to transparency, sharing information about where pieces are made as well as the origins of its fabrics. That is how we know the fabric for both the Sofia and the Suzanne comes from Mario Cucchetti, an Italian mill committed to sustainability. Both pieces are crafted by a small factory in London’s Haringey community, known for recycling all waste from its manufacturing processes.
This year’s collection is awash in polka dots and peonies; both patterns make elegant additions for any wardrobe.
The Ursula is a new design, a bias-cut style that features an asymmetrical flounce. It has a yoked waist and hits mid-calf on one side and at the ankle on the other side. The fabric for all the pieces is a silk crêpe-de-chine woven in China and then printed in England.
The garments are made at an all-female atelier in Portugal. Sara writes in the product description, “These experienced seamstresses left larger factories to establish their own studio, where they work the hours they choose and charge the rates they choose. We feel privileged to have access to these highly skilled seamstresses. Their silk garments are beautifully finished, featuring touches such as French seams.”
Here you see Caroline Taylor on the left; she is Madderson’s in-house artist, and she created the beautiful peony design seen throughout the collection, hand-drawing the pattern before it was digitized for fabric. In the center, model and nutritionist Sarah Ann Macklin; on the right, social media consultant Natalie Salmon.
The women are seen at a dinner party held at Sara Madderson’s London townhouse. (You can read all about the elegant affair on the Madderson London blog.) In the photo above Caroline wears elegant silk separates that are very versatile. Here you see the Clara Trouser in black with gold accents. The style hits above the ankle and features on-seam side pockets, faux welt pockets on the back and a zip front. We show the trousers with the Bethany in Black Silk on the right.
The material is a Spanish polyester twill. More about the fabric: “We limit our polyester use to a couple of key styles, but it works brilliantly for the Clara as it machine-washes wonderfully, wears brilliantly and doesn’t need to be ironed.” The Clara also comes in navy.
There are other new dress styles this fall, including updated versions of the very popular Miranda and Ophelia dresses. From left to right you see the Ida Fit & Flare Dress in soft grey; the Black Miranda Dress with white and gold trim, an ideal desk-to-dinner piece; and the classic Ophelia in Grey.
The Ophelia is loved for its timeless lines, notched neck, fitted waist and pencil skirt. There are two new versions of the dress being released this month, a red that will look splendid at any holiday party and a classic black style.
The red and black are not yet shown on the website, but if you are interested in being updated when they are available online, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several other Ophelia styles online (left to right): a Navy with Grosgrain Trim; a Black with white trim; an understated Ivory with Pale Gold Macramé; and on the right, Navy with Pale Gold Macramé. What you can’t see in the photos is how comfortable the dress is, one of the reasons it is a top-seller every season.
All three styles seen above are manufactured in London of fabric made in China.
A new design for the season: the Imogen Silk Leopard Dress, born from the desire for a dress “as comfortable and versatile as it was romantic and feminine.”
The print is another classic from Caroline, hand-painted in muted tones that will go with just about everything. It features a delicately gathered neck, with a plunging neckline, thigh-high split, fully-lined body, and belt. Imogen’s silk is woven in China and printed in the UK before the dress is created in London. Near the start of the post, you see the retailer’s co-founder and marketing director Helen Hughes looking wonderful in the Imogen. I do like seeing the company’s designs worn by “real women” like Helen and Sara as opposed to only seeing them on models.
The Leonie is another customer favorite, a piece that Madderson London has carried since its very first season. Crafted of soft silk crêpe-de-chine, the cascading ruffles on the front distinguish the Leonie from other blouses. It is another style manufactured by the women’s atelier Madderson uses in Portugal. We show it in ivory and also in black.
There are many more stunning styles in the A/W collection; you can shop them all by clicking here.
Madderson London continues its Books for Schools initiative; for every order they receive they donate a book to an under-resourced UK primary school. For all orders totaling more than £100, they donate £5 to their charity partners at Give a Book. Give a Book uses those contributions to acquire new books, donating them to specific charities and schools. Below, children at Harehills Primary school in Leeds, where books from the program were recently donated.
Since launching their partnership with Give a Book, Madderson London has donated more than 2% of its revenues to the charity. The retailer recently asked Give a Book to look at buying more non-fiction books with inspirational, real-life characters like those seen in the Little People Big Dreams series.
You can read more about the Books for Schools project on the Madderson London blog.
I am excited that Madderson London is offering WKW readers 10% off all orders! When you are ready to checkout use promo code WHATKATEWORE10 to receive your discount. Click here to do a little shopping, browsing, or whatever suits your fancy.
We expect we’ll see you tomorrow for the 70th birthday party being held at Buckingham Palace. It looks like it will be a glittering affair. Gert’s Royals has been keeping track of confirmed guests; here are some of those attending.
- King Philippe & Queen Mathilde of Belgium
- Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
- Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
- King Harald & Queen Sonja of Norway
- Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit
It is highly unlikely there will be any photos of the party; my guess is we’ll see the usual shot-through-a-car-window-style pictures.