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Kate Wears New Label as She Asks People to Help Capture UK Spirit, Hopes & Fears via “Hold Still 2020”

The Duchess has done an interview on ITV’s This Morning to launch a new project called ‘Hold Still, a portrait of our nation in 2020.’

The Duchess chatting with This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Done in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, one of her patronages, Hold Still is an effort to create a national photographic snapshot of the UK during the ongoing crisis.   

The campaign asks the public to share photos of life in isolation in an effort to capture “…the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time…all those things that people are experiencing.” A clip of the Duchess speaking about the project. 

 More from the NPG’s Hold Still site

Whilst many people’s lives are on hold to help protect our helpers and heroes, there are some that are working harder than ever, and others that are enduring the upheaval of hardship and loss. Hold Still will capture a snapshot of the people of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of our nation which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, human tragedy and hope as we hold still for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.

More from the interview via a video shared by Roya Nikkhah of The Times. (Just an FYI, this cuts off kind of abruptly, I think Roya’s phone slipped.) 

 People are asked to submit photos via the NPG Hold Still page and to also share the photos on social media with the hashtag #HoldStill2020. Along with NPG staff and curators, Kate will select 100 photos for a Hold Still virtual exhibition to be shown next summer. The project asks people to share photos representing three primary themes:

  • Acts of Kindness
  • Helpers and Heroes
  • Your New Normal 

As part of the campaign, the Duchess selected five photos that she feels exemplify those themes. Among the five, one that intensive care nurse Aimée Goold posted of herself on social media, showing how she looked after a 13-hour shift, complete with the bruises left by wearing tight protective gear.

Photos will be accepted until June 18 and “can be captured on phones or cameras….each image will be assessed on the emotion & experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality.” Submissions are already being made and some are posted on social media. 

 And another. 

 And one more.  

 The project came into being after discussions between the Duchess and National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan, and it makes a lot of sense.  We all know how much she enjoys photography. Many will remember the photo workshop last June with young people from Action for Children, one of Kate’s patronages.

The workshop was done with the Royal Photographic Society; Kate is the organization’s patron. 

Her role as patron of the National Portrait Gallery was among the first of her initial royal patronages announced early in 2012. Below, Kate sitting for photo taken by a child participating in an NPG Hospital Program workshop at Evelina Children’s Hospital in January of this year. 

(Honestly, when writing this I was sure the date was 2019, it seems that long ago. But it was really only this January!)

And we all know what a keen photographer the Duchess is, photographing the Cambridge children for important milestones.

Most recently we saw photos of Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte commemorating their birthdays. 

But she has also done formal portrait photography work. Below, an image by the Duchess of Holocaust survivor Steven Frank, and his granddaughters, Maggie and Trixie.

That was one of several photos the Duchess took of Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren for a formal exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Below, Yvonne Bernstein and her granddaughter Chloe Wright. In this image, Ms. Bernstein holds her ID card from Germany, dated 3 March 1939 and marked with a “J” for “Jude,” or Jewish. 

The portraits were taken at Kensington Palace. Below, an image released from the shoot with Yvonne Bernstein.

So Hold Still 2020 really fits perfectly in Kate’s wheelhouse.  

After chatting about the new project there was also discussion of life in isolation on this morning’s broadcast. This Morning shared a snippet of the Duchess talking about homeschooling. 

 The Duchess and Holly Willoughby have met previously. Below you see them at the 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards, which Ms. Willoughby hosted. 
And now our look at what Kate wore for the This Morning interview.

We begin with her dress by RAEY, an in-house brand from Matches Fashion.  

Officially called the “Bracelet-sleeve acid tree-print silk dress,” the dress is 100% silk (originally $540, most recently sold at $162) and made in the UK.  The fabric is described a lightweight, and the dress features a round neck, fitted waist, concealed back zipper, a draped skirt, and the aforementioned bracelet-length sleeves.  The fabric is described as “a whimsical brown, light-green and pink tree print.” Here is a closer look.

And this (hopefully) shows some of the elaborate seamwork involved to accommodate the extra fabric inserted to create the front drape.

A big ‘thank you’ to Heaven for her fab ID, as this is a label I would never have thought to consider when searching for the dress. 

RAEY is described on the Matches Fashion site as “Clean and minimal, with an androgynous edge… The label fuses crisp silhouettes with carefully selected luxury fabrics to create a collection of effortless pieces for the modern woman’s wardrobe.” Designs include basics like boyfriend jeans, basic sweaters and tees, dresses, jackets, and accessories.

Most have very clean, unfussy lines. I *think* this collection was previously called Freda before an update in aesthetic and name change several years ago. There have been a couple of Raey popup shops over the years, including one in London and another in New York last October. 

It looked like the Duchess *may* have been wearing her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop earrings, shown below as worn on a previous occasion.
With thanks to Carolyn for her comment on the WKW Facebook page sharing the link, here is the full interview. 



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RF Mezzy

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I enjoyed looking at all the floral dresses on the MATCHES site. Raey does seem to have left florals behind for the most part, but there were plenty of other dress designers who are still as in love with flowers as I am. Wish the prices were lower, though.


Tuesday 12th of May 2020

Love the hair, the modern style makes her look much younger.

Camilla Jilderup

Sunday 10th of May 2020

You can be very proud over Kate!


Friday 8th of May 2020

I love the big wavy hair, it looks great! And the project sounds like a really cool idea. There have already been so many images come out reflecting the times. Everyone has a story to share. I also thought she was wearing a blouse at first, not a dress. Im not crazy about yellow but she pulls of the shade nicely. Judging from the stock photo I think the style would accentuate how slender she is.


Friday 8th of May 2020

I love this shade of yellow on Kate. She looks very refreshed and happy - I think perhaps the down time with her family has done her good. I also love the way she’s styled her hair, since it adds some fullness to her face.

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