Hello, and welcome to another florally-themed retrospective on Kate’s clothing. Today, we’re looking at how that motif has been incorporated into the Duchess’s more formal appearances. It turns out there are so many engagements falling under this umbrella that I had to break them into little sub-groups to try and make the overall collection easier to look at and digest.
We begin with a group of lace gowns. From left to right, the ‘Amoret’ by Temperley London, worn to several different events; the ‘Zarita’ by Diane Von Furstenberg as initially worn for the November 2014 Royal Variety Performance; a green lace Temperley seen at the 2017 National Portrait Gallery gala; a black lace look by Alexander McQueen chosen for the 2019 Royal Variety Performance.
Let’s look at the Amoret, worn on three different occasions. It was first seen at the War Horse film premiere in January of 2012; it was worn again ten months later at a Saint Andrews University fundraiser; the third appearance was in December 2013 at an event at the Natural History Museum.
As mentioned, we first saw the Zarita at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance (below right); the Duchess brought it back for a November 2017 Freud Centre gala (below left); it looked like she wore it a few weeks later to the party celebrating the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary. (There are no photos showing the dress at this event.)
A better view of the lace used for each dress.
Next, two gowns by Alexander McQueen. On the left, a gold and ivory gown seen most recently at this year’s BAFTA Awards in February, and as it was originally worn to a 2012 Malaysia state dinner. On the right side, a floral-themed gown Kate wore for a 2019 Natural History Museum function, and the dress at the 2017 BAFTA Awards.
The ivory and gold dress was embellished with hundreds of hibiscus flowers, Malaysia’s official flower; the black gown featured white and violet flowers atop green stems.
You may remember the great debate about the black floral McQueen dress after the engagement at the Natural History Museum. Was it a new dress? A piece that was reworked? There is more detail in the post, but here is what I wrote: “…my best guess: the Duchess had the bodice reworked to add the sleeves but kept the same skirt or the majority of it.”
Kate has worn enough full-length Erdem designs to rate a separate category. From left to right: at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show Kate wore the Erdem ‘Sheba’ dress; at a 2018 black-tie dinner in Sweden, she was in a version of the ‘Stephanie’ gown; and on the right, the ‘Alouette’ splashed with flowers and a tiered skirt was worn to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner in October 2015.
A better view of the flowers used in the three dresses.
Our next group of dresses features pieces worn during the 2016 India/Bhutan tour. From left to right, the Beulah London ‘Juliet’ splashed with poppies and worn to a Bhutan reception, a country whose national flower is the Himalayan poppy; in the center, the Tory Burch Floral Mesh Gown Kate wore for another reception in Bhutan; on the right, an Anna Sui dress worn for the couple’s arrival at Kaziranga National Park.
Below, a closer look at the material used in each dress.
Next, a trio of gowns by Jenny Packham. On the left, the design worn to the 2017 Royal Variety Performance; the soft blue gown chosen for the black-tie dinner in Paris; on the right, the vibrant blue style worn for a gala dinner in Mumbai.
The vibrant blue design was worn again this March for a Place2Be Reception at Buckingham Palace.
I almost missed a couple of these styles when going through photos because the flowers didn’t jump out visually. But if there was any doubt regarding the floral element, here are fabric closeups.
That wraps up our survey of formal looks featuring a floral motif. We still have to cover all of the day dresses the Duchess has sported over the years. Trust me when I say there are a lot!
In case you missed it, our premiere piece in the floral series covered day dresses with the theme woven into the fabric, as opposed to being printed on the material.
It dovetailed nicely with news the Duchess was named as Patron of the Royal Photographic Society.
Kate’s dress was by Ridley London.
It is the Virginia Midi Dress in a Liberty London silk chiffon print. The design featured a v-neck, flutter sleeves, a fitted bodice with an A-line skirt with a flounced hem.
And her Fern Hoop Earrings (£150/$188) by Catherine Zoraida.
On Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess had a call with members of staff from Surrey Memorial Hospital in British Columbia, Canada, so I am hoping we’ll see a new video in the next day or two. If it is released today (Thursday) I may just put it at the top of this post.