Hello-Hello, and welcome to another in our continuing posts examining dresses the Duchess has worn that feature floral motifs. Today we have a subcategory: Erdem dresses.
We’ll start with the first two dresses by this designer we saw the Duchess wear, the Cecile (l), and the Jacquenta (r).
The Cecile was worn for a big occasion, the couple’s arrival in Canada at the start of the 2011 North American tour. The fitted sheath with bateau neckline showcased a navy lace overlay atop a stone-colored base, and sheer scalloped elbow-length sleeves.
The Jacquenta was also worn during that 2011 tour, to a prayer service aboard the HMCS Montreal in Quebec City, as well as other engagements. From Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2011 collection, the fitted piece featured floral lace appliquéd on the shoulders and upper portion of the elbow-length sleeves and a slit on the right side of the skirt.
Here is a closer look at the fabric used in the Cecile and Jacquenta.
For many, these two dresses were an introduction to Erdem and an expectation may have been created that other designs would bear many of the same design elements. Of course, that is not the case.
Below, the Duchess in four more Erdem designs incorporating a floral theme.
The first is a dress that was not on my radar at all. It doesn’t have an easily identifiable floral motif but it came up in a search because of its name: the ‘Rhona’ Metallic Floral Lace Dress. Kate wore it for a February 2017 reception at Buckingham Palace.
The big story on this design is the fabric, a metallic silver lace atop a silk lining. Midi length, the pleated dress has a round neck, semi-sheer raglan sleeves with a button cuff, self-belt, and hidden back zipper. (You can see a closeup of the flowers just a bit down the page.)
Our next dress is another lace design, this one seen at a February 2018 Buckingham Palace reception.
The “Suzi Guipure Lace Dress” ($2975) dress has an empire waist, v-neck, three-quarter sleeves, and scalloped lace detailing at the hem, sleeves, and neckline. There is an applied ruffle or frill at the waistline and the sleeves have a ruffled cuff. The lace dress is 100% polyester atop a silk dress is longer than the original version, hitting below the knee by several inches.
If there weren’t so many Erdem designs that they have their own category, this one would have been part of the post featuring floral motifs woven into the fabric, as opposed to being printed on the material. It is the bespoke Erdem dress worn for Trooping the Colour 2012.
It has design elements seen in pieces from the Resort 2012 collection. The frock showcased understated tone-on-tone embroidery in a classic sheath with a modified rolled/portrait neckline and bracelet-length sleeves.
The Christina Blue Velvet Bell-Sleeve Dress was Kate’s choice for a January 2018 celebration of Swedish culture in Stockholm.
From the designer’s A/W 2017 collection, the dress is crafted of a cotton-blend velvet-devoré, also called ‘burnout,’ a technique used on velvet to create a pattern. The Christina features a high neck, fitted bodice, flared cuffs on the long sleeves, fluted godet hemline inserts, and a concealed back zipper.
Here is a closer look at the fabric used in each piece.
Our third group of Erdem dresses.
We start with a modified version of Erdem’s Meryl dress selected by the Duchess for a reception in Singapore during the Jubilee Tour.
Done in fabric featured heavily throughout his S/S 2012 collection, the dress showcased tropical flowers and birds. The soft, floaty Meryl had a round neckline, full pleated skirt, back cutout detail, and an invisible side zipper. The cutout was eliminated in the Duchess’s version, which also had a lined bodice and sheer, flyaway sleeves added in deference to local custom and protocol.
We saw Erdem during the Poland tour in July 2017, but unusually, the Duchess wore separates as opposed to a dress.
The pieces feature the designer’s “Hurst Rose” pattern from the S/S 2017 collection in cotton faille, a weave that gives the fabric a soft sheen. Kate’s skirt was much like the brand’s ‘Imari’ style, a midi-length design with a high waist and tucked folds that give the piece its volume. The top was slightly cropped and featured a boat neckline and elbow-length sleeves.
When visiting a Manchester school in 2013, Kate wore Erdem’s ‘Stephanie’ dress in the label’s Visconti blooms print.
Described as a “fitted shift,” the Stephanie offered a square, scooped neckline, elbow-length sleeves, and back vent. (This design is not the same as the ‘Stephanie’ gown worn in Sweden in January 2018.)
At a party celebrating The Goring Hotel’s re-opening in March 2015, Kate opted for the ‘Darla’ dress from Erdem’s Resort 2013 collection in a vibrant pink and purple print.
Made of 100% silk and partially lined, the dress features a round neckline, three-quarter length sleeves with buttoned cuffs, and a fitted bodice with a flare at the hem, as well as a back zipper and button. While we don’t have a good look at the back, I believe the Duchess’ dress was modified to replace the cutout portion with fabric.
When attending a January 2017 Heads Together reception, the Duchess wore the ‘Evita’ dress.
Another classic sheath, the Evita is made in a polyester/polyamide matelassé with a silk lining. Design elements included a fitted bodice and waist, concealed zipper, vent at the back hem, and the placed print. Matelassé fabric is woven to create a textured material that adds dimension to a garment. Erdem called this print ‘Black Lily Collage,’ while the official color was called ink blue.
Here is a closer look at the material used in the second group of designs.
Today’s Fashion Flashbacks feature one relatively recent design and another that was worn nine years ago yesterday. We’ll start with the ensemble seen on July 8, 2011, when the Duke and Duchess arrived in the United States.
The couple was greeted at Los Angeles International Airport by dignitaries; among them, British Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, California Governor Jerry Brown, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The royals then headed to Beverly Hills for a UK Investment and Trade Conference.
The Duchess wore the ‘Peridot’ dress by Roksanda Ilincic.
The piece was described as being light blue-grey in color; ‘peridot’ is a style name, it does not reference a color. Other design elements include the white tulle at the draped neckline and cuff, cap sleeves, pleating from the neckline to the waistband, pleated skirt, and center-back pleats with small pleated panels from the back waistband, and an exposed back zipper.
This first wearing of the dress would definitely go on a list of “Susan’s Favorite Looks.”
Now we just have one category of floral dresses to go, those by the mix of designers the Duchess has worn over the years!
- For a 2018 Vanity Fair piece on Erdem, click here; a 2014 Elle profile of the designer click here; all of the British Vogue’s Erdem content is here; US Vogue’s Erdem coverage may be seen here
- The Erdem site is here; Matches Fashion selection of Erdem designs is here (including quite a few exclusive pieces); My Theresa’s extensive offering of Erdem clothing and accessories is here; Net-a-Porter’s Erdem items are here