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Kate in New Emilia Wickstead & Madderson London Spring/Summer 2019

The Duchess was in a new Emilia Wickstead dress for today’s engagement at the Anna Freud National Centre for Families and Children.

Kate has been royal patron of the Freud Centre since 2016. She was there today to officially open the Kantor Centre of Excellence.

The new facility allows leading practitioners to work with young people and their families in one space.

A news release notes that the Centre’s “work now reaches over one million children in schools as they work to reduce the burden of mental health difficulties that children can face.”

The Duchess met Freud Centre donors, supporters, and staff at today’s event. 

Kate speaking with Amy Herring, described by Kensington Palace as one of the Centre’s Young Champions, “…who shares the experiences of young people to experts at the centre to help them in their work.”

I will admit to being curious about what was said to make Kate and Amy laugh so hard! 

Kate visited the Pears Family School, located in the new Centre. Here you see her with Narriyah, who is 7 years old. 

The school specializes in helping children with emotional and/or behavioral challenges ages 5-14.  

Kate took part in a music class with some of the students.

A key element of the Pear Family model is the requirement that a parent or significant adult family member participate in the program. More from Rebecca English’s story in The Daily Mail.

Stephen Taylor, founding head teacher of the school, said: ‘As part of the deal, the parent has to agree to be part of the school. Having parents there is key to making a change.

It has been so successful that the charity is now working with several local authorities across the country to replicate the model elsewhere.

The Evening Standard reports Kate was moved when hearing from 9-year-old Leo.

The Duchess of Cambridge was today moved by a boy who rapped a poem about how he rebelled after his mother died the he was just nine.

Leo, 13, revealed he was left angry and lonely at the sudden loss of mum Sharon at just 33, in a freak incident when she was bitten by a horsefly. He rapped how he was “was always robbing and stealing, Because I didn’t care about my feelings, I wasn’t able to move on, Because I was still healing.”

Thanks to the school’s work, Leo is about to returning to mainstream schooling after a year and says he has been taught to cope with his anger and emotions.

The Duchess also delivered remarks at today’s function, saying “We are all here today because we care so much about transforming the mental health of children, young people, and their families.” Emily Nash of Hello! shared a video.

A plaque marking the occasion was unveiled.  

Now for our look at what Kate wore to the Anna Freud Centre. As mentioned above, the Duchess was in a new Emilia Wickstead dress.

It is done in wool crepe and features Kate’s favorite silhouette, a fit and flare design. Many immediately noted the similarity to the Emilia Wickstead dress first worn in Germany in July 2017. It is almost the same as that piece, with the exception of today’s squared neckline.

Does anyone think the waistband on the new dress might be just a skosh lower?

UPDATE: Holly noted on Facebook that green is the color for children’s mental health awareness, something I did not know. In the US May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is May 9. In the UK Mental Health Awareness Week is May 13-19. (Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK was Feb 4-10.)

The Duchess brought back a Mulberry bag, the label’s Amberley Clutch.  The bag is leather, measures about 9″ x 5″ x 1″ and comes with a detachable chain. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.  

Kate wore her Gianvito Rossi ‘Praline’ 85 Pumps. The style is a classic point-toe shoe with a stiletto heel that is 3.3″ in height. 

We show the shoes at Nordstrom. They are also available at Net-a-Porter, as well as Gianvito Rossi and Stanley Korshak. The style is $695 at all four retailers.

We also saw Kate wear her Kiki McDonough ‘Candy’ Green Amethyst and Diamond Pendant (£1333, about $1750 at today’s exchange rates) and Classic Green Amethyst and Diamond Earrings (£2166, roughly $2800). 


Monday we learned about a new honor for Kate: HM The Queen made the Duchess a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO). From the announcement: “Awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by The Queen, for services to the Sovereign.” The honor is for Kate’s efforts on behalf of the monarch, recognizing her charity work and other contributions. You may remember that last year Kate was given the Royal Family Order, seen in the photo below on the yellow ribbon.

A Dame Grand Cross is the equivalent of a Knighthood for a male member of the  Order.

The Duchess will be given a new/badge that we’ll see her wear at formal state functions; more from Royal Central’s description: “… a Maltese cross with a medallion depicting the Royal Cypher of Queen Victoria on a red background surrounded by a blue ring bearing the motto of the order and surmounted by a Tudor crown. As a Dame Grand Cross, she will wear the badge on a sash passing from the right shoulder to the left hip.”

Below you see the Duchess of Cornwall wearing the insignia.  

Friday there is a special function the Duchess will attend as a member of the Order, a service at St. George’s Chapel. “In mid-April, over a thousand Members and Medallists of the Royal Victorian Order will gather in St George’s Chapel for a service of Praise, Remembrance and Dedication.” We’ll have much more coverage about the honor and its history on Friday.


Also today, one of my favorite things to write about: a new collection from one of our favorite sponsors, Madderson London. These are always such fun posts to do because I so enjoy discovering the new styles while also seeing how iconic pieces have been updated for a new season. 

One thing that doesn’t change with the seasons is the company’s commitment to making timeless designs that are good investments, “hero pieces” you can build a wardrobe around. Below, Sara Madderson (L) and Helen Hughes (R), the brand’s founders. 

We’ll start our look at the new collection with the Isabella pencil shift dress in navy. Made in Madderson’s premium jersey knit, the midi-length sheath is embellished with French tweed in gold and white, accentuating the waist and offering a beautiful silhouette. 

We show the Isabella with the Victoria Jacket, crafted of a lightweight wool crepe and also embellished with the same tweed. It’s a sophisticated piece perfect for mixing with a broad range of styles, from a dress to a pair of jeans.

This spring sees the launch of the Signatures Collection featuring “the best of Madderson London’s effortless, feminine style combined with beautiful craftsmanship.” The Lisa Silk Pussybow Dress is part of the collection, offered in an elegant, understated black as well as a more dramatic leopard print.  The knee-length dress showcases deep cuffs with gold buttons, gathers under the bust, and the bow at the neckline. The Lisa is lined in silk for a soft, luxurious feeling. 

The company’s mantra remains “Be Kind”: “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.”  There are other “Madderson Mantras,” and they’re terrific. “Comfort is Queen” is a good example; it shows how the mantra statements are manifested in the company’s clothing. 

Both Helen and Sara had corporate careers before launching the label, and they know about the demands of dressing for the business world. Below information from the Comfort Mantra page:

At Madderson London, comfort isn’t a dirty word. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We LOVE comfort!!

From bloated tummies to badly fitting tights, crazy waistbands and tailoring with no ‘give,’ we endured endless misery! We are determined that you can be polished AND perfectly happy underneath that gorgeous dress.

Above and below, the Miranda, a perennial bestseller that is *very* comfortable!

Ideal for going from the office to dinner, the Miranda hits above the knee and features a nipped-in waistline, A-line skirt and that distinctive ribbon detailing at the bodice and cuffs. The ribbon is pleated especially for Madderson by Shindo in Japan, and it really makes the design pop. The knit fabric comes from a world-class Italian mill; that material is what makes the Miranda exceptionally comfortable and a delight to wear.

The Miranda is available for pre-ordering in both ivory and navy. The dress will start shipping on Friday.

I always love discovering what textiles and trims we’ll see featured in new collections and this spring’s botanical print doesn’t disappoint. Creative director Sara Madderson and in-house artist Caroline Taylor were inspired by vintage china when determining a pattern for the Spring/Summer 2019 collection. More from Caroline:

We are obsessed with ceramics (and are known to spend an entire morning in the V&A Ceramics collections.) So when discussing how to approach this print, Sara and I dug out our favourite references. We love the delicate nature of floral English pottery, but also wanted to create a design which had impact when blown up into a larger scale on silk.

The pair came up with a striking floral design, the Parrot Tulip Print. It has a crisp, fresh look in a timeless blue on white palette. 

“We opted for the most iconic of Spring flowers, the tulip, to create a Springtime ode to blue and white. With its oversized yet intricate drawings of interwoven parrot tulips and poppies, the print celebrates nature bursting into life as winter transitions to Spring.”

Here you see the Bethany silk top and Ursula skirt. The top features a shoulder bow that can be tied or left untied per your preferences; there is also a hidden elasticized panel on the shoulder that prevents the material from slipping. The Ursula is a beautiful bias-cut skirt with a soft drape and asymmetrical hem; it will be available to order the week of May 14th. 

The stunning motif is perfect for spring dresses. Below left, the crêpe de chine Elizabeth, a fun, floaty design with a flounce at the hem. On the right, the Hermione is a longer length adorned with a ruffle at the front bodice and at the elbow.

Below, the Leonie Tulip Silk Blouse shown with the Clara Trousers. 

All of the silk Tulip pieces are made by an all-female atelier in Portugal. Sara Madderson points out the women are very experienced seamstresses who elected to leave larger factories to start their own studio, where they determine what hours they work and the rates they charge.

Much as I enjoy seeing model/nutritionist Sarah-Ann Macklin in the brand’s clothing, it is also a treat to see Helen and Sara wearing their merchandise. 

The Naomi is a style I have been crazy about since we first saw Kate wearing it when she was expecting Princess Charlotte.

The iconic design has become so popular there is now a section of the site dedicated just to this style. It’s easy to see why so many women love the dress; it has a flattering silhouette and it is an excellent choice for a wide variety of settings and situations. One of the biggest reasons for the dress’s popularity: the fabric. The Naomi is made of a soft viscose/poly blend that also has 5% elastane, providing the stretch that makes it so comfortable.    

Part of the frock’s unique style statement comes from the trim accenting the pocket flaps and hem. Below, a sampling of the materials used for this spring’s dress embellishment.

Sara and Helen remain committed to transparency, sharing information about where pieces are made as well as the origins of its fabrics. All Naomi dresses are made in the UK at a small factory in north London that is part of a community committed to recycling all waste from its manufacturing processes. Meet Tom, who runs the factory where roughly 75% of the Madderson London merchandise is made, including the jersey pieces and most of the tweed. 

The Naomi news for the spring collection is that there is now a short-sleeve version of the dress and it looks more-than-ideal for the season’s warmer temps.

Two of my favorite pieces from the collection are going to be available later in May, the Verity Dress and Millie Jacket. Both are created using a powder pink tweed from the renowned Malhia Kent fabric mill in Paris, and they look exquisite. (There is a splendid blog post offering a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot for the SS19 spring campaign, which is where I found these pictures!)

I am excited to see these two styles added to the website. They are in a color combination I love, pink and navy; they are made in a favorite fabric, tweed; they have great lines, creating a clean, tailored silhouette that is also very feminine!

There are even more chic, on-trend, elegant designs in the new collection that I didn’t have time to cover in this post; you can see all of them by clicking here.

I wanted to also update Madderson London’s ongoing support of the #30Wears campaign. When buying clothing, the campaign encourages us to ask ourselves, “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 a few weeks or months. 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. Below you see a #30 Wears tag, included with all purchases.

That photo comes via Daisy Poltimore, who left a comment on last November’s Madderson London post. Daisy purchased the Ophelia Dress in Grey and emailed pictures of her package when it arrived and shared her thoughts about the Madderson London shopping experience.  “The unboxing experience was lovely.” Daisy also noted “It’s so sharp looking that I doubt anyone would guess it is also SO comfortable….I got a couple compliments immediately and probably would have gotten more if my office hadn’t been so freezing cold yesterday that I had to throw additional layers over it!!”

In Daisy’s picture, you can also see information about Helen and Sara’s commitment to giving back through charitable efforts, including their Books for Schools program. Below, a Leeds primary school student reading some of the books donated through the Madderson London campaign.

For every item sold at Madderson, they donate a book to a British primary school. More about the program and its origins:

We are dreamers. Helen & I have been bookworms for as long as we can remember. Our childhoods would have been unthinkable without books, and the creative spark behind Madderson London was undoubtedly lit thanks to those decades of reading.

The company is working with Give a Book to manage the project. You can read more about the Books for Schools project on the Madderson London blog.

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 WHATKATEWORE10Click here to have a look at the beautiful new collection!


ITV’s Royal Family Channel has a video that runs about 3:45.

Kensington Palace posted a 25-second video with the Centre’s CEO.

The Palace also shared a video about the Pear Family School featuring Founding Headteacher Steven Taylor.


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Wednesday 8th of May 2019

The Duchess looked nice today. I like how professional this dress is and the pairing with the nude shoes and bag were nice. It was basic, yet fashionable while being very business appropriate.


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Wondering if she had this dress made over from the one that was so similar?


Tuesday 7th of May 2019

A similar dress can be bought here: : ) I love this brand and how similar some of the dresses are to what Kate wears. Also all colors!


Sunday 5th of May 2019

I don't really think of this shade of green as S/S, but I've seen it crop up in a few high end designs chosen by fashion-aware, high-profile personalities, so what do I know? The fashion gods continue to surprise.

I like the Rossi's with this outfit. Whereas they often seem to be a choice of comfort and demureness, the warm tones work with this shade of green; and they seem intentional, paired with the handbag.

I was expecting to see some of the trademark WKW math in the post, as this square neckline is carried over from previous Wickstead designs in teal and pink. I prefer it here, a little more widely set. But I really would love to see this dress with a shallow V neckline, as I think it is the more flattering for her than square shaped ones.

The new Madderson print is lovely. I'm quite surprised to see it work well on the pieces with ruffles and ties, features that very often compete with prints to overwhelming affect. I hope that we will be treated to more Madderson pieces in Kate's working wardrobe for functions like these.

Ava Pittman

Saturday 4th of May 2019

I loved this outfit on the Duchess. Personally I am a scarf girl from way back and it would be nice to spice it up a bit and take away from the bare/starkness of the look, but this is purely personal preference. Loved the jewellery and accessories.


Saturday 4th of May 2019

Loved both the lavender & the green. They move beautifully when she walks. They must make her feel good to rest them. They would me.

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