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Of Fashion Weeks and Spring 2021 Collections

We are back with a spot of bright royal news and then a post looking at fashion week.  The nice news comes via Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank: they are going to be welcoming a new member of the family. Below, this morning’s Instagram post from the Princess. 


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Jack and I are so excited for early 2021….??

A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie) on

 Congratulations to the couple on their happy news!

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: 

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank are very pleased to announce that they are expecting a baby in early 2021.

The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, Mr and Mrs George Brooksbank, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted with the news.

Sarah, Duchess of York, shared her elation at the news online. 

The couple was married at St. George’s Chapel in October 2018.

The Duchess wore Alexander McQueen for the event. 

And Princess Charlotte and Prince George were in the wedding party.  The child will be eleventh in line to the throne. 


Now for our primary topic. Way back in March when asked what sort of content you would like to see during the lockdown (does that seem a lifetime ago to anyone else?!), several mentioned an interest in runway shows. Today’s post covers a few of those shows and also offers current styles from the designers.

First, a quick update on New York and London Fashion Weeks, starting with this Washington Post column by Rob Givhan.  

There was little that was real about fashion week in this city, including the fact that it didn’t actually last a week and the most effervescent part of it didn’t unfold in New York at all.

Instead of a gusher of big reveals, fashion has become a slow trickle. The global pandemic shutdown delayed manufacturing and led to a multitude of cancellations, so some brands offered up teasers for collections that won’t be ready until the end of the month. Larger brands such as Michael Kors have adopted a new production schedule and won’t show until October. Marc Jacobs is sitting out the season entirely. Diane von Furstenberg is in the throes of layoffs and store closures.

NYFW was September 11 – 16. Below, a shot of one of the venues on September 16th. 

And this is via a Guardian story about London Fashion Week, which wrapped up Tuesday.  

There were barely any catwalk shows. Instead, there were discussions about sustainability, inclusivity and the meaning of citizenship post-pandemic. Live events were ultra-exclusive: wary of the reputational damage to an already poleaxed industry if fashion events were seen to be flouting social distancing at an infection tipping point, brands limited audiences to tiny groups.

Milan Fashion Week is underway and goes through the 28th. The month wraps up with Paris Fashion Week which runs from the 28th through October 6th.  More about Paris from this piece in Fashion United.   

A total of 84 houses are on the official calendar and will participate in a mix of fashion shows and presentations – both in physical and digital formats. Breaking that down further, there will be 19 physical fashion shows and 20 physical presentations, as well as 45 digital events.

Alexander McQueen announced several weeks ago they would not be showing at Paris Fashion Week.  Stella McCartney and Altazurra are among the brands doing digital shows.    

Now for our overage of shows that have already taken place.  We’ll start with a brand the Duchess is quite fond of, Emilia Wickstead. Below, four designs from next spring’s line.

From the Women’s Wear Daily review

Wickstead’s way of marrying the fantasy with practicality came by way of crisp cotton separates, nostalgic sailboat illustrations printed all over skirts and shift dresses, and ankle-grazing dress lengths — which are more suitable for entertaining at home.

There was also plenty of chic shirtdresses, pleated midiskirts — one of the first pieces Wickstead ever designed — and fuss-free jumpsuits, mostly done in breathable, textured cottons and offering great, one-stop wardrobe solutions. Yet they channeled the same elegance and polish Wickstead is known for and one could easily imagine women wearing them to host dinner parties at home.

Three more designs. 

And four more looks. I could see Kate in the peplum top in another color, perhaps the red shirtdress, and arguably the red dress on the right.

And now for a quick survey of Emilia Wickstead ready to wear that is currently available in-store and online. Below, from left to right:  the Mint Wool Top ($530) and Lorinda Pencil Skirt ($730), the Arlan Crêpe Wrap Midi Dress ($1357), the Micah Crêpe Halter Dress ($1368), and Asher Cloqué Midi Dress ($1217). These designs are all from My Theresa, the multi-brand luxury retailer owned by Neiman Marcus.  

Next, the Ludovica Cutout Wool Crepe Midi ($358); in the center, the Diamond Flared Floral Print Duchesse Satin Gown ($3102); on the right, the Aiden Wool Crepe Blazer ($514). These three styles are from The Outnet, the discount arm of Net-a-Porter.   

A few more designs, from left to right: the Norika Floral-Print Cotton Shirt Dress ($1145), the Nerissa Floral Print Cotton Mini Dress ($1265), the Ellen Cloqué Jumpsuit ($1710), and the Floral Swiss-Dot Seersucker Dress ($1195). These are from Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion.

Next, the spring 2021 collection from Jenny Packham

From Vogue’s review

Like any designers specializing in occasionwear, Packham has also meditated long and hard on how to reinterpret her codes into something that speaks to the present moment. Yet the limitations imposed by the slow reopening of the designer’s usual factories in Italy and India came with a silver lining: the opportunity to dig deep into her (now more than 30 years’ worth of) archival designs and reimagine some of her classic styles anew.

At the same time, this moment of pressing pause brought with it a new perspective. “There were three or four weeks where we were not designing at all, which is rare,” she says. “It definitely did happen that, when you started again, there was a freshness to it and a different mood.” 

Three more designs. 

And then two party frocks. 

Closeups show the amazing detail work on the dresses.  

Now for some Jenny Packham pieces that are available now. We’ll begin with the green evening gown worn in Islamabad during the Pakistan tour is now available at a retail level. It is called the Tennile style and in stock at Net-a-Porter ($4665) and also at Harrod’s ($4918). A big ‘thank you’ to the always-on-top-of-things Elizabeth at Kate’s Closet for this tip!

And a look at designs with price points that are a little more fiscally friendly. These are all from the No. 1 Jenny Packham line, the designer’s mass-marketed collection at Debenhams. From left to right: the ‘Libby’ Maxi Wrap Dress in Pale Pink Sequins (£36), the Mid-Blue Embellished Angel Sleeves Maxi Dress (£120, roughly $150 at today’s exchange rates); the Silver Sequin Maxi Dress (£120, about $150).

Next, the Navy Ombré Floral Print Pencil Dress (£120); the ‘Nat’ Midi Length Skater Dress (£36); and the Mid Blue Lace Insert Pencil Dress (£36).  

This No1 Jenny Packham line also includes hats, handbags, and shoes.

Debenhams does deliver internationally. The fee for shipping to the US and Canada is £10.

Nordstrom also carries Jenny Packham, primarily pieces from the designer’s bridesmaid collection. Below you see the Flutter Sleeve High/Low Chiffon Gown ($271); the Lux Lace and Chiffon Column Gown ($284); the Embellished Lace Trumpet Gown ($284); and the Streamer Back Chiffon Gown ($298). 

The Flutter Sleeve Open Back Cocktail Dress ($250) and the Halter Neck Chiffon Midi Dress ($298). 

Other designs from the Jenny Packham bridesmaids collection are available at Dessy.  Here are a couple of looks: the Strapless Chiffon Dress with Pleated Front Slit ($263); the Jewel Strap Draped Wrap Cocktail Dress ($290); the Off-the-Shoulder Pleated Bodice Chiffon Gown ($); and the Pleated Deep V-Neck Chiffon Midi ($263).

Now we turn to the Temperley London spring 2021 collection.

From Vogue’s review of the collection

…this pleasingly 1960s-themed collection with its trapeze shapes shot in a dynamic and Quant-ishly evocative manner….Consistently-selling tattoo dresses and raffish Somerset hunt tailoring were both present and correct.

The collection includes appealing separates.

As well as dresses with a classic Temperley signature. 

From Women’s Wear Daily’s review

There was a sense of freedom, joy and liberation in this collection, which was inspired by fluid — and sculptural — Sixties silhouettes, the film “Blow-up” and the enduring images of Talitha Getty in her Marrakech years.

Temperley said she was going for something “light, playful, fresh and gorgeous,” and delivered a mix of a snazzy capes and coats with oversized checks, and sheer, billowing dresses and tops with smocking, gathered cuffs, fragile ruffles and flounces.

A long, sheer dress with sequined stripes seemed straight from Tinker Bell’s closet — as did sparkling rose gold knits, gossamer cotton voile dresses in periwinkle or silk printed ones in cherry blossom pink.

Five dressier styles, three in strong geometric lines, and two in classic floral prints. 

Here is a closer look at the hand-detailing from the piece on the far right. 

The Duchess rarely wears Temperley now; I’m not at all sure why she moved away from the brand. In talking about it with other Kate fashion followers, they suggest the designs may have become ‘too boho’ for the Duchess. 

At any rate, here are some currently available designs via the Somerset by Alice Temperley collection sold at John Lewis.  Below left, the Pointelle Funnel Neck Jumper (£69, about $89 at today’s exchange rates) which reminded me of Kate’s ivory Cypre sweater by Temperley worn to a 2017 BBC Radio engagement; in the center, a chunky knit called the Bobble Knit Jumper (£89, roughly $114); on the right, the Frill Sleeve Jumper (£69, about $89).  

Other tops include the Leopard Jacquard Blouse (£79, roughly $100) a Tie-Neck Jumper in Blue (£69), and Fan Frill Blouse (£69).

An additional note about the first two pieces above: 15% of the retail price from every piece sold goes to support a charity called Refuge, which provides care and shelter for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

The Long Bubble Knit Cardigan (£99), a Wrap Midi Dress (£99), the Orchid Animal Print Dress (£78), and a Wrap Jumpsuit (£99).   

And three pairs of trousers: on the left, the Slim Leg Trousers (£89) in black, the black Tie-Waist Culotte in the center, and on the right, the navy Wide Leg Trouser (£99).   

A quick note about shipping: John Lewis does not ship to the US: however, there are package forwarding services like My US that offer a solution to that dilemma. 

Finally today, several of you emailed/commented/messaged asking for a link to an interview I did with People magazine’s Royal Report. You can watch it below via a Tweet from People, or click here to see it online.  

 I hope everyone is able to enjoy this last weekend of September.  

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Donna Miller

Sunday 27th of September 2020

I almost missed this post, not thinking it had a whole fashion review after the baby announcement. Loved it! I think the Duchess could wear the Tenperley black and blue vertical striped dress to an evening event.

Linda from San Jose

Sunday 27th of September 2020

I appreciated the link to your interview, Susan! As a devoted reader since the beginning, it was wonderful to see and hear you. Your comprehensive and professional coverage of the background behind everything Kate does is as much a part of why I’m here as what Kate wore. I was grateful to you before, and this year your site is even more a haven for me. Thank you for every post! On this post, my congratulations to Princess Eugenie and Mr. Brookbank! And I’ve developed some ideas about which new designs the Duchess might like, and it will be fun to see what she wears!


Sunday 27th of September 2020

Thank you, Linda! ?


Saturday 26th of September 2020

I'm not sure that I've ever posted a comment here but as a very long-time fan I want you to know how much I enjoy this site and appreciate all of the work that you put into it. I LOVED getting to "meet" you the face behind this lovely little piece of the internet. I am also an admirer of the blue coat/red scarf photos and have been desperate to get my scarf to ever look as effortless and chic.

With best regards, CMMF


Saturday 26th of September 2020

Such happy news from Eugenie and Jack and hearty congratulations to the couple. A rare gleam of sunshine for our time. Looking forward to meeting the new arrival.

And, wow, what a feast of fashion! I’m surprised how many designer presentations are continuing. These three Kate favourites, Wickstead, Packham, and Temperely, look to be keeping up a busy creative scene.

The Wickstead floral pattern is pretty, but too much for me in a full-length skirt, the sheath however looks fantastic. The rest seem fairly standard Wickstead, playing to a subdued WFH look, first-rate tailoring, but often indulging in a lot of fabric as is the Wickstead way. The dusky pink cut-out wool crepe midi is a lovely example of classic with a twist and could work for Kate. The black background floral full-length Duchesse gown looks great, but a bit bold for the duchess

Packham seems to have gone in for those feathers which I don’t care for, I fear the wearer can end up looking like a household duster… The neutral tone offerings are lovely, and I do care for the polka dots with their slightly crazy ruffle sleeves - they remind me of Audrey Hepburn style. The dark reds and black look sultry for Packham and none the worse for it, and the embroidered party frock looks like Packham just met Versace, and with elan. Terrific. Both Wickstead and Packham look highly wearable for Kate, just needing her smile to lighten up the duller tones.

Temperley looks as idiosyncratic as ever. I can’t see anything there that reminds me at all of the sixties, but maybe I missed something. The pink on black floral midi dress is a designer stand-out, but likely a bit strong for Kate who doesn’t usually want to distract from the events she attends. I think she’d be happy among some of those jumpers and shirts. Please Kate, don’t go for any of those trousers with their design exaggerations – too short, too wide, too baggy!


Saturday 26th of September 2020

Susan, how lovely to see your interview, thank you so much for posting it, I enjoyed it so much. I am so appreciative of both your talent and of how accessible you are. Also, I was very happy to see that you look to be in great health.

Re the runway clothes - I would love to see the Duchess in the Emilia Wickstead mint wool top and pencil skirt. And Jenny Packham's pansy dress - I am blown away, it is exquisite, I so hope to see the Duchess wear it someday.


Saturday 26th of September 2020

Thank you, Diane. ?

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