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One-Hit Wonders Part Three

One-Hit Wonders Part Three

Today, I have coverage of five more One-Hit Wonders. We begin with a look that several of you mentioned for inclusion in this category, something that was a departure from the norm for the then-Duchess of Cambridge: formalwear separates by Temperley London seen during the 2016 tour of India and Bhutan.

The separates were worn for a garden party marking the late Queen’s 90th birthday.

The function was at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Delhi.

The ‘Delphia’ separates were from the Spring/Summer 2016 collection. More from the Temperley product description: “The crop top carries the season’s theme of global curiosities with opulent embroidery motifs of Indian Chintz and lattice.”

The designs were made in pale pink silk organza “…detailed with light-catching crystals and intricate black crochet trims.”

A closer look at the embroidery detail and the crystal embellishment.Kate Temperley London Delphia Fabrics Closeups April 11 2016

The Duchess accessorized with a box clutch by Prada and sandal-style heels by Gianvito Rossi

Her chandelier-style earrings were a UFO style dating back to at least 2007.

Now, we move to a trio of looks featuring styles worn during the 2012 Jubilee Tour. The first is a Jenny Packham design worn for the couple’s arrival in Singapore.

The engagement marked the launch of the couple’s 2012 Jubilee Tour.

After being welcomed, the Duke and Duchess visited Singapore’s renowned Botanic Gardens.

The Duchess’s Jenny Packham dress was a custom design created for the tour. The print featured orchids, Singapore’s national flower. It had three-quarter length sleeves, a self-belt, a deep vee neckline, and a full skirt.

More from The Daily Mail’s coverage

The dress, made for her by British designer Jenny Packham, was covered with tiny orchids which, the Mail can reveal, took a team of skilled artists at Chelsea firm De Gournay eight weeks to complete. ‘She looked beautiful and we are all very proud,’ the team at Packham declared.

You may recall another De Gournay print worn by the Duchess on a previous tour, the dress seen at the charity polo match in California during the 2011 North America trip. 

A closer look at both prints. 

The Duchess accessorized with Russell and Bromley’s Park Avenue heels. 

And the British retailer’s Park Avenue handbag.

Her hair was partially pulled back, and she wore her Annoushka Pearl Drops ($480) and Kiki McDonough Hoops (£700, about $875 at today’s exchange rates).

Our next item was worn that evening after their Botanic Gardens visit.

The Duchess chose this Prabal Gurung design for a state dinner with Singapore’s President Tony Tan and his wife, Mrs. Mary Tan.

The function was at the Prime Minister’s residence, the Istana.

The Prabal Gurung dress was made in a blend of 53% wool and 47% silk and featured a bateau neckline, three-quarter-length sleeves, and an all-silk lining.

Of course, its most distinctive feature was the engineered print on the front and back.

The piece was from the designer’s spring/summer 2012 line. Here is more on that collection from Women’s Wear Daily (subscription req’d.):

A series of photographs titled ‘Sensual Flowers,’ by the Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki, inspired Gurung’s engineered prints in shades of purple, teal and black. They were arranged symmetrically down the front of georgette dresses, the patterns matching up like Rorschach images, with a debt to those highly distinctive prints from the last full collection by Alexander McQueen.

The Duchess accessorized with her black Prada pumps and Anya Hindmarch’s Bespoke Maud clutch ($775, still available). 

 She also wore the deco-design earrings and bracelet believed to be a wedding gift. 

We stay with the Singapore visit for our next look, an Erdem design.

The occasion was a reception at Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner’s residence.

Another view. 

The piece was a modified version of the Erdem ‘Meryl’ dress, a style from the designer’s spring 2012 collection. The dress was 100% polyester and had a round neckline, a full, pleated skirt, and a concealed zipper.

The Duchess’s dress had a lined bodice, and sheer, flyaway sleeves were added.

Accessories included the ‘Harper’ pumps by LK Bennett and a clutch by Alexander McQueen

The Duchess’s earrings appeared to be the UFO aquamarine pair (shown here as worn on another occasion). 

Next on the hit parade, another dress seen on tour, this one by American designer Lela Rose.

The “Circle Trim Dress” was worn in Australia for an evening reception at Government House during the 2014 tour.

The dress was a blend of linen and rayon, with a touch of spandex/elastane for ease of movement.

From the product description at Far Fetch: “Lace peplum dress in ivory from Lela Rose. This linen-blend sheath dress features a round neckline, circle lace short sleeves, circle lace peplum panel along the waist, and a back center slit at skirt with concealed zipper closure.” (I should note the dress was also included in our “polarizing looks” series of posts as it was not a favorite for everyone.)

The Duchess accessorized with her black suede clutch by Mulberry and the ‘Cosmic’ platform heels by Jimmy Choo.

She wore her hair up. 

Her jewelry included the diamond bracelet and earrings believed to be a wedding gift. 

Our final design in today’s post wasn’t worn for a tour engagement but for a somber occasion in France marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 2016.

The battle went on for months, with more than one million men killed or wounded. The day is considered by many as the worst day in British military history.

The Duke and Duchess chatted with students visiting a museum at the site.

The Duchess’s dress was a Jenny Packham design, a sheath with a Peter Pan collar, princess seaming, a peplum waist, three-quarter-length sleeves, and a back vent on the skirt.

A closer look at the lace and seam details.

The lace is by Sophie Hallette, the renowned French textile house that also made the lace for the Duchess’s wedding gown and shoes. Below, a closer look at the delicate eyelash lace at the sleeves and peplum.

The Duchess brought back a Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company hat, the ‘Lion Tamer Percher’ style.©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

She carried her ‘Bayswater’ clutch by Mulberry and wore her black suede Gianvito 105 heels ($795).

The Duchess wore flowers of remembrance, a red poppy with its French equivalent, the cornflower.©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Her hair was up.

And jewelry was minimal; the Annoushka pearl drops suspended from Kiki McDonough Hoops (£700, about $875 at today’s exchange rates).©Polaris/Annoushka/Kiki McDonough

All of these received multiple mentions for inclusion as One-Hit Wonders, and all were distinctive looks. If I had to choose a favorite, I would probably go for the Delphia separates worn in India or the Jenny Packham from the Battle of the Somme. 

I will see you next week with a look at formalwear styles meriting a second appearance.

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Thursday 23rd of May 2024

19phoebe78 on Instagram has ID’ed the earrings with the Temperley separates as MONET. Posted on 4/25/23. She’s got lots of other great IDs on her page!


Thursday 23rd of May 2024

Thank you, LT!

Sue V

Thursday 16th of May 2024

Some very interesting one hit wonders here! The ‘Delphia’ separates are stunning (such a pity Catherine does not wear many formal separates.....) and very striking with the embroidery, sort of like the Taj Mahal dress - neither ever to be seen again due to the uniqueness.

I have always loved the Lela Rose dress and wished it had had more outings. Really quite simple in style and the guipere (sp?) lace effect gives it quite a ‘wow’ factor.

The delicately painted Temperley is beautiful, a real work of art, but for my preference the vibrant colour of the Prabal Gurung just shades it.


Wednesday 15th of May 2024

This is off the fashion topic, but I read yesterday that a family had a visit by Catherine at one time, and mentioned she had taken her shoes off at the door. A person after my own heart.

So, pretty, stylish, bringing attention to causes she feels are important and good manners to boot.


Tuesday 14th of May 2024

Your comments, ladies, have led me to an appreciation of the Temperly London two-piece gown. A careful reading of Susan's comments further enhanced my enjoyment of the look.

As I see it, the One Hit Wonder category is best understood as looks that make a striking statement that fits with Catherine's style and stature. With that in mind, I'll comment on my favorites.

The Circle Trim dress appeals to me with its look of lace. The sheer sleeves make the look an instant standout and there are plenty of congruent features. The lace is mirrored in the peplum . . . so nice. The construction in a linen blend is a nod to sustainability. And Catherine, of course, can pull off a sheath with nary a bulge.

I love the beautiful simplicity of the Jenny Packham design. The fact that the orchids took eight weeks to complete makes me doubly appreciative. The soft colors are yummy. One of you mentioned the look of a kimono. I never would have thought of that. The wrap look with a self belt reminiscent of an obi sash is lovely.

The Prabal Garung is amazing! I have no more to say! What a way to make a sheath unforgettable. And Catherine pulls it off! All that strong color and bold print could wash out other complexions.

I enjoy the Princess's knee length looks. Even those just below the knee (her Coronation blue and cream colored dresses) are enjoyable..


Tuesday 14th of May 2024

I know it’s a little late to add to the pile of one-hit wonders but I always liked this skirt and wondered why it was never repeated. It’s from Banana Republic and was worn in May, 2016.


Tuesday 14th of May 2024

@Laurel, I think it was very successful and I like the separates which we don’t see a lot. 🩷


Tuesday 14th of May 2024

@Laurel, 🩷


Tuesday 14th of May 2024


Love this skirt! When Catherine wore amazing prints on a regular basis, this one was definitely in that category!


Tuesday 14th of May 2024

@Kat, I liked this look too! I think the skirt-and-blouse combo is unusual for her, but it is very successful IMHO.

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