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Kate’s Calendar Updates & Favorite 2018 Evening Gown Poll

Hello and happy almost-weekend to everyone! We are back with a Friday fun post quickly covering some upcoming engagements for the Duchess, as well as the first of our annual polls. Here are the two additions to Kate’s Calendar, both taking place next week.

  • Tuesday, January 15: The Duchess will visit King Henry’s Walk, part of the Islington Community Garden, run by volunteers for more than ten years. Kate will meet volunteers and “hear about the benefits of this urban green space” and also ” …take part in a winter planting workshop, bird box building and pizza making in the garden’s kitchen area.”
  • Wednesday, January 16: Kate visits the costume department at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to “learn more about their use of textiles, commissioning of fabrics and supply chain.” She will see the pattern room, dye room, and meet costumiers working on new shows. The Duchess will meet three principal dancers from The Royal Ballet and hear about the way movement, lighting, and other factors impact costume design. Before leaving Kate will watch a rehearsal of The Two Pigeons, an upcoming production featuring dancers from both the Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School. The news release for the event points out that “textile and manufacturing industry is an area of interest to the Duchess. Her Royal Highness’ great-great-grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was a mill owner who ran the family’s successful textile manufacturing business, William Lupton & Company, with his three brothers.”


Now for our annual poll asking for your input on the evening gowns worn by the Duchess in the preceding year. We only have five to consider this time, so it isn’t a super involved poll.

The first evening gown we saw in 2018 was an Erdem design worn to a black-tie dinner at the British Ambassador’s residence in Sweden.

The silk satin ‘Stephanie’ dress featured a floral print called ‘Winter Bourne’ in a gold or mustard color. The piece had a tiered skirt, high neck with a ruffled collar, gathers at the shoulder, flared sleeves, a ruffled front placket, and a self-bow or sash.

The next design was also worn during the Sweden/Norway tour last winter. More specifically, to a February 1st black-tie dinner in Norway.

The Alexander McQueen silk dress showcased a new style for the Duchess, a caped gown with a soft, sweeping silhouette. The blush pink creation featured an empire waist and glittering crystal embellishment at the neckline and upper bodice.

Also in February, a return to the BAFTA Awards for Kate and William.

For this event, the Duchess opted for a Jenny Packham creation in deep bottle green. It featured an empire waist, deep vee neckline on the front, with a draped scoop neckline on the back. The full, flowing design also included a thin black ribbon at the waist.

Our next gown was worn to the state banquet in October in honor of King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.

The soft blue Alexander McQueen taffeta design featured elaborate ruching on the torso, with a trumpet skirt starting above the knees in a vee-shape that descended into a demi-train.

Our final entry is the Jenny Packham gown worn to the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace.

The dress showcased a sheer overlay adorned with sequins and crystals. Arguably the most notable design element is the intricate draping at the bodice and back neckline, as well as the cap sleeves. The waistband is distinguished by crystals or rhinestones, flowing down from that is a full, sweeping skirt with pleating or folds at the back of the garment.



And now to some very brief retail notes, almost all related to Sales & Savings opportunities. The first is not, instead offering a look at the Jane Taylor product shots of Kate’s headwear from last Sunday.

Called the Diamond Crepe Pleated Band, it is described as “Handcrafted with an exquisite bow detail at the back, it will be a long admired piece of your wardrobe.”

Now to the retail updates, glancing at the many seasonal price reductions available:

  • Madderson London, one of our favorite sponsors, is offering an additional 20% off sale prices with promo code HNY20.
  • LK Bennett now has price reductions up to 70% off original prices, as well as 20% off boots and coats
  • Hobbs is offering an additional 30% off sale prices with promo code USA30
  • Reiss is also promoting discounts up to 70% off
  • J Crew is discounting final sale merchandise an additional 50% with promo code BIGGERSALE

We will see you Tuesday!

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Saturday 26th of January 2019

I love the blue Alexander McQueen! It is a princess gown in every way!


Tuesday 15th of January 2019

I must say that the Erdem was very different. I give her credit for wearing something so unusual especially at seven months pregnant. She did look beautiful. Not many can look beautiful in a mustard coloured gown. The Alexander McQueen was very princess like for a royal visit, also seven months pregnant. Very pretty. The Jenny Packham bottlegreen gown was lovely, especially with the emerald jewels. I absolutely loved the Alexander McQueen pale blue. I could never understand the criticism. It was stunning. The pale blue Jenny Packham was so appropriate for the diplomatic reception, pretty, proper but not knock him down dead! But that’s what it should have been for such an occasion.


Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Meant to say it should not have been for such an occasion


Tuesday 15th of January 2019

I thought the Erdem dress was the ugliest one I have ever seen. There was just simply too much going on in that dress to save it. The blue Mcqueen could have improved by keeping the bottom part plain and long but it was destroyed by the frill. The color was beautiful though. My favorites was the blue Packham followed by the pink number.


Tuesday 15th of January 2019

I picked the pink McQueen, as I thought it was such an elegant way to dress a baby bump. I wasn't a huge fan of the Erdem at the time, and I still hesitate about it. I think had it not been worn as maternity I would have liked it a lot better. Watching Kate navigate maternity wear again last year, and now Meghan, and being pregnant again myself, I'm realizing I have pretty strong opinions about what works for maternity and what doesn't. The pink McQueen was a triumph specifically because of the baby bump, not in spite of it like so much else we've seen both women wear.


Monday 14th of January 2019

Sad to say, I didn't really like any of the gowns, except for the blue McQueen. The exquisite tailoring was captivating and perfect for Kate's wonderful figure and body type. Coupled with that gorgeous necklace, what a statement. And though I'm not a fan of the skirt portion I don't dislike it, and think the main portion of the gown far outweighed any drawbacks of the skirt. The gown I liked least was the pink cape thingy, which I found juvenile, overdone, and Disney-like, the latter being my death knell for any design. Even the mustard Erdem was better -- the fabric looked gorgeous, and she took a risk wearing it, which I admire. The pink one was very safe and princessy and felt like a cliche. Still and all, not a crop of winners.

jenny from the north

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

There was a lot of criticism about the bottom half of the McQueen dress, and I agreed with much of it - it would have been better with the skirt starting several inches higher and being less structured and more fluffy tulle or layers of chiffon. Having said that, everything down to the hip level on that dress was beyond stunning. The top of that dress looked like it was shrink wrapped onto her body. I don't understand the techniques needed to achieve that clingy crinkled effect but I love it.

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