We are back with some poll results, the start of a deep dive into Kate’s dresses with floral motifs, and a fashion flashback.
But first, an update on royal engagements. Today several royal family members carried out in-person engagements. Below, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at their first in-person engagements since the COVID-19 outbreak started.
Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall made an unannounced visit to a hospital to meet frontline NHS staff and key workers – their first royal engagement with the public since the coronavirus outbreak began.
After Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met staff from a number of trusts at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, he said: “It’s been a marvellous opportunity just to have a chance of seeing people I know have been doing so much – literally on the front line.
The story notes that “With lockdown restrictions being eased, the royal family have chosen this week to take a step towards a return to normality – with a series of face-to-face public engagements.”
Also today, Prince William paid a visit to Kings Lynn Ambulance station at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, speaking with staff about their experiences as they responded to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Evening Standard reports the Prince “…passed a Covid-19 temperature test and washed his hands before stopping himself from shaking hands with hard-working staff from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).”
The Standard article also note the Prince joked that “… he was worried about the nation’s waistline as he ended three months in lockdown to thank hardworking ambulance crews.”
In her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistics Corps, Princess Anne visited the Duke of Gloucester Barracks, where she met personnel who have been part of the British Army’s pandemic response.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have been doing in-person volunteer work for weeks. Reporters at today’s engagements noted the royals adhered to government guidelines regarding physical distancing, masks, etc.
More on the prospects for future in-person engagements from Rebecca English of The Daily Mail, via a series of Tweets last Friday:
- the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are also looking at scheduling in a small number of face to face official events too. But royal aides have stressed that this not a sign that they will be back to regular engagements in public…Most of their work will still be conducted via video conference calls for the foreseeable future, given government advice.
If I hear anything more about prospects for more ‘normal,’ or non-Zoom engagements, I will update here as well as on FB and Twitter.
Now for our poll results: your favorite daywear dress from 2019 is…..
…not a dress at all!
It is the Elie Saab separates worn to Royal Ascot last year, included in the dress category because the look didn’t really work with the separates group. Below, another look at the Duchess in the ensemble.
Here is how the voting turned out for the top three choices, with just a bit less than 3000 votes cast.
And the results displayed in a more visually appealing fashion. Your second choice is the yellow Alexander McQueen seen at Trooping the Colour and the light blue Emilia Wickstead from the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Final was third.
NOTE: With enormous thanks to Jack for his comment, the post originally had the 2nd and 3rd place dresses reversed. The image above now correctly reflects the poll voting.
There were several requests to take a more in-depth look at Kate’s floral dresses. I have been going through old posts and photos researching the topic; it will surprise no one there is a lengthy list of designs in this category! There are so many I have divided the collection into multiple posts. This first portion will look at some of the more subtle styles, with the floral motif incorporated through weaving the pattern into the fabric as opposed to printing it on the material used for a garment.
We’ll start with the lace dresses.
In a color called eggplant, the Lace Guipure Dress (sold out, but the product description is still available) was made of a rayon/cotton blend with a touch of nylon atop an internal slip dress. The knee-length piece had a fitted bodice, and it was slim through the hips. It also had a high, scalloped neck, sheer sleeves and upper bodice, and a concealed back zipper.
Next, another lace Dolce and Gabbana design, this one in black and worn to the annual Festival of Remembrance in November 2015.
Similar to the design the Duchess wore for the state visit, this dress was crafted of ‘bobbin lace,’ designed to lay flat, offsetting somewhat the perils of things that might snag or pull, like jewelry. The neckline was lower than the other D&G design while also featuring sheer sleeves and upper bodice, concealed back zipper, and a knee-length fit.
Next from this group, the white Dolce & Gabbana piece worn for Kate’s Royal Ascot debut in 2016.
This piece had cotton-blend lace over a smooth satin slip for coverage, with sheer sleeves, a nipped-in waist, and a tiered, swishy skirt.
The lace was created in Italy and was worn over a silk lining. The dress showcased a high, scalloped neckline, three-quarter sleeves with scalloped hems, grosgrain ribbon and peplum detailing at the waist, and an all-around scalloped hem.
Here is a closer look at the fabric for each frock.
There are also several designs by Temperley London that featured lace, embroidery, and other techniques to create the floral theme.
The first design was worn for a tea at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Kuala Lumpur during the Jubilee Tour in 2012.
Similar to a dress from the designer’s fall 2012 collection, it showcased an elegant embroidery overlay atop a soft blue shell, with a boat neckline, flared skirt, and sheer three-quarter sleeves.
The next Temperley piece was seen when the Duchess attended a Buckingham Palace reception for Team GB members in October 2012.
It was a modified version of the ALICE by Temperley Esmeralda dress (sold out, but the product listing is still viewable). The exquisite floral work on the sleeves and top was done in ivory bordered by gold; on the embellished portion of the skirt, it looks like a third color was used, a dusky rose or soft pink. The dress itself had many design elements, including multiple horizontal lines, belled sleeves, a tiered skirt, a large velvet bow at the front waist.
On the other hand, Kate’s frock features multiple colors and materials in addition to those design features, creating the impression an awful lot is going on with the garment. Part of the squared neckline is sheer, as are the sleeves and the lower tier of the skirt. There is a bow at the front waist in another fabric that looks to be a black satin.
Next, the distinctive green Temperley worn in April 2016 during the India Tour for a private lunch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The ‘Desdemona’ was 100% cotton, with a high neck, fitted waist, and fluted hem with cotton voile pleats.
For Mental Health Day 2017, Kate wore the brand’s ‘Eclipse’ lace-collar dress.
From the a/w ’17 collection, the dress was a cotton/rayon blend. Design elements included an A-line silhouette, cotton voile skirt panels, sheer sleeves and shoulders, and black velvet trim.
And this offers a closer glimpse of the fabric from the four Temperley dresses.
And here are thee styles using the floral motif.
The first was worn in 2012 during the Jubilee tour. Described as being made by a ‘private dressmaker,’ it was made of primrose yellow broderie anglaise and featured a boat neckline, self-belted waist, full and unlined short sleeves, and a full pleated skirt.
The Duchess brought the dress back during the 2014 tour when the Cambridge family visited the Taronga Zoo.
The peach Orla Kiely dress was worn for a dance with Paddington Bear in 2017 at (where else?!) Paddington Station, part of a Charities Forum event.
The dress is from the AW 2013 collection, and it showcased appliquéd flowers throughout the knee-length piece. Other design components included three-quarter sleeves, scooped back neckline, concealed back zipper, black trim at the neck, and a detachable bow belt.
The dress had a fitted bodice with princess seaming that is accentuated by white piping, short sleeves, and a set-in waistband with box pleats that create the volume in the skirt.
Here is a better view of the detail involved in the different fabrics.
Still to come on this topic, those floral evening gowns and day dresses!
The Duchess was attending in her role as patron of The Art Room.
150 Art Room students were at the performance.
Here you see the Duchess with cast members.
Kate wore a jacket by Whistles over a Zara dress.
She also had on an ornate necklace that I don’t believe was ever identified.
The Duchess accessorized with her bespoke Anya Hindmarch Maud Clutch (£475) and Prada pumps.
And her Links of London Effervescence Bubble earrings.
Here is one more look at the Duchess eight years ago.
NOTE: The Olympic reception at Buckingham Palace was in October 2012 as the post now shows, not 2013, as I originally wrote. Many thanks to Ms Aria for pointing out the error.