I’m delighted to be able to start a post with the words “the Duchess wore vintage this evening.”
The occasion was a reception at Ireland’s Museum of Literature in Dublin.
Only opened last summer, the museum is housed in a historic house on the south side of St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.
The museum is a partnership between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. Below, the Duke and Duchess are shown a first edition copy of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”.
A closer look.
More from The Daily Mail:
Colette O’Flaherty, keeper of special collections at the National Library of Ireland, said: ‘It’s the very first edition of the print run, we call it Copy No.1 of the first edition.
‘It’s wonderful, it’s a great treasure in our collection and absolutely invaluable.’
Joyce studied European Languages at the site of the museum, which is owned by University College Dublin and used to be the college campus, from 1899 to 1902.
A peek inside the cover via Simon Carswell of the Irish Times shows the book was autographed by the author in February 1922.
Tonight’s reception was hosted by Irish Tánaiste Simon Coveney. The Tánaiste is the deputy head of the government in Ireland, holder of the second-most senior position. Mr. Coveney is also Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, with responsibility for Brexit. He is seen in the center below; second from left is his wife, Ruth.
There were about 100 people in attendance at the function.
The Daily Mail reports “The Duke and Duchess went on to meet groups of guests each representing different themes; peace and reconciliation, culture and youth and civil society. Attendees included a poet, dancer, writer, film and theatre producer and a representative from the Irish Refugee Council.”
Below, a photo shared by Hello’s Emily Nash.
Simon Carswell of the Irish Times tweeted a video.
Duke & Duchess of Cambridge meet Irish politicians at @MoLI_Museum in Dublin including Fianna Fáil leader @MichealMartinTD, Labour leader @BrendanHowlin & Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey – via @IrishTimes #RoyalVisitIreland pic.twitter.com/QOfozrqYyl
— Simon Carswell (@SiCarswell) March 4, 2020
Prince William delivered remarks.
More from Simon Carswell’s Irish Times story:
In a thinly veiled reference to the UK’s departure from the EU, the 37-year-old prince said that “as we look ahead to some changes in our relationship, we must never forget how far we have come together in recent decades in transforming the relationships across our two islands”.
Prince William said “growing up” he remembered “seeing the Troubles that took place, which affected so many people across the UK and Ireland”.
This was why one of the “truly profound moments” for him and his wife on their visit was their attendance at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square in Dublin, the memorial which honours those who fought against British rule.
“As we stood on the cliffs at Howth and looked across the Irish Sea, a mere 50 miles for the British coastline, it was easy to see why so many people find the lure of this beautiful country so difficult to resist,” he said.
Kensington Palace tweeted video of the speech.
“Legal treaties are vital in underpinning the relationships between states. But relationships between people are equally, if not more, essential – especially between the people of our two countries.” — The Duke of Cambridge #RoyalVisitIreland 🇬🇧🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/lMZYgSmZDe
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 4, 2020
The Duke concluded with a toast “to the President of Ireland and to the people of this wonderful country in thanks for the warmth of your welcome on what I hope will be the first of many visits for us.”
The Tánaiste also addressed the guests, speaking before Prince William. More from RTE.ie’s coverage:
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney described the three-day royal trip as “an important visit” and said he was hopeful for the future of the Ireland-UK relationship.
“We have of course welcomed members of the British royal family to Ireland before, including Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in 2011, a visit which represented a watershed moment for the Ireland-UK relationship.” Mr Coveney said.
Dr. Sandra Collins, director of the National Library of Ireland, shared photos from tonight’s function on Twitter.
More from The Daily Mail:
The Duchess laughed as Mr Coveney revealed his children had written letters to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, inviting them to come to Ireland when they are older and telling them they will always be welcome.
‘I hope they will crack a smile as I can assure you they do not comply with the protocols of the customary way to write to the Royal Family,’ he said.
Another view of the Duke and Duchess.
Now for our look at what Kate wore to this evening’s reception.
She was in a vintage dress by Oscar de la Renta. The classic design is crafted of hot pink polka dot fabric that is textured; it has a crinkly look. The dress features a ruffled (aka ‘pie crust’ collar) collar and jabot trimmed in black velvet, double-banded cuffs also trimmed in black velvet and a black velvet belt.
The garment hits just-below-the-knee and also has gathers at the shoulder and waist. There is no way of knowing where the Duchess acquired the piece, be it from a relative, a personal shopper or stylist, or a retailer specializing in vintage luxury designs. If it is the latter, one London possibility is always William Vintage, purveyor of vintage one-of-a-kind designs to notable names like Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham, and Rihanna. Kate’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex, has also worn pieces sourced by the boutique. For many, the look was reminiscent of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was fond of pie-crust collars and polka dots.
UPDATE SEPT 18 2020: Here is a look at the dress as offered in another color on Vestiaire Collective, a fashion resale site.
The listing doesn’t offer a lot of new information; the seller believes the material is silk. You do get a better look at the fabric texture in the photos and some of the details like the collar and pleating. Many thanks to Mackie for her comment on this post telling us about the listing!
She also brought back her Romy 100 Black Velvet Pumps ($895), also by Jimmy Choo and a made-to-order style. (I don’t have any good images of the shoes, so I am showing the style as worn to last November’s Festival of Remembrance.)
Kate’s hair was worn partially up.
Thank you to Replicate Royals for their earring ID!
Thoughts on tonight’s look from The Telegraph’s Tamara Abraham.
The magenta and black design ticked several key trend boxes: polka-dots (which are set to stick around for another season), ruffles, and the fact that the dress is not current season, because vintage fashion has never been cooler or more relevant.
That’s because there are multiple benefits to shopping second-hand. For a start, Kate can be assured that her look is original – with vintage fashion (usually defined as a garment that is more than 20 years old), there are rarely multiples of a particular design in circulation, especially when it comes to high-end pieces, so it’s unlikely that anyone else will have the same dress.
Below, the Duke and Duchess as they were leaving tonight’s event.
At the BAFTAs last month, Kate repeated a white and gold Alexander McQueen gown from 2012, but for 2020 the event asked all of the people who walked the carpet to lessen their environmental impact by wearing a previously-owned garment. Though climate change isn’t her signature issue, she has supported various initiatives, and the couple made it the main focus of their Pakistan tour last fall. She has spoken and written about how much she cares about the future of the U.K.’s children, and supporting efforts to reduce fashion waste fits in with that message as well.
In case you missed the day’s earlier posts, click here for our coverage on the return of Kate’s ‘Olivia’ coat by Reiss and click here for our look at Kate’s ensemble for an afternoon farm visit and cliff walk.
- Learn more about Museum of Literature Ireland at the museum website here; the museum’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here and the museum Instagram page is here
- Simon Carswell’s Irish Times story is here; RTE.ie’s coverage is here; a Telegraph article is here; The Greenock Telegraph’s article is here; The Daily Mail’s piece is here;
- Fashionista’s 2016 profile of William Banks-Blaney (William Vintage founder) is here; Vanity Fair’s fashion piece from Erin Vanderhoof is here; The Telegraph’s fashion column from Tamara Abraham is here;
- Town and Country’s story is here; a Hello piece is here; Elle’s coverage is here