Tonight’s appearance by Kate and William at the annual ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) dinner was important for a variety of reasons: it was the couple’s first formal engagement since their wedding, and William was also delivering the keynote address. With the pressure on, Kate did not disappoint, selecting a gown by another British designer, Jenny Packham.
The dress is from the designer’s Spring 2011 RTW (ready to wear) Collection, it shimmered in the early evening light as the couple arrived. Ms. Packham is known for her elegant bridal and formal gowns, she is a Central St Martins graduate, as well as a favorite of celebrities, recently Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, and Taylor Swift have been spotted in the designer’s dresses.
There was a significant amount of buzz about the same Jenny Packham dress being featured in an April episode of Gossip Girl. As it runs out, it was a similar dress, but not an identical piece.
Above is the original graphic from the good folks at Red Carpet Fashion Awards, we added the photo on the right showing the dress worn on the show, you can see that primary differences are the length and embellishment.
Here is how the dress is described on the Jenny Packham Facebook page:
“The Duchess selected the pearlescent rose sequin gown with Swarovski crystal from the SS11 catwalk collection”
If interested in purchasing the gown, it can actually be found on sale, although it requires a bit more pin money than one might have on hand. My Theresa is currently offering it at $3515, marked down from $5015, here is that site’s description:
“Layered mesh inserts at neckline, shoulders and sleeves. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-bar top closure. Fully lined with mesh spaghetti-strap dress lining.”
The sandals run £175.00 or approximately $285, that’s if you can get anywhere near a store or the LK Bennett website, the company’s website is a bit off-kilter as of this writing, I’m sure it will be fine shortly. (Update: The site is fine.)
The bag is Prada’s Pink Satin Logo Box Clutch, currently available at Bluefly for $556 USD.
The gown was an outstanding choice, an elegant, sophisticated look that turned things up a notch. The Duchess looked radiant. And once again, she wore the dress, it did not wear her. Here is one more view of the Duchess this evening.
Many thanks to all those sharing tips, tidbits and links on the WKW Facebook page, via Twitter, comments here on the blog and email. Special recognition for very generous assistance goes to Ayvee, Melissa, Klara, Caroline, Chiara, Pippa-Middleton Blog, @RegalEyes, and @LiltingLimes on Twitter, their insight was of great help in ‘the hunt,’ as we sometimes call the search for accurate information. (And if I somehow missed you, let me know, we don’t want to leave anyone out.)