Thursday, 2 October 2014

Kate Forced to Pull Out of Engagement, Spring 2015 Collections & Kate's Style Comparisons

We're back with unexpected news regarding the Duchess. Kate had to pull out of a previously unannounced engagement in London yesterday because she is still suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum.


The news comes shortly after media reports over the weekend which claimed the Duchess was very much on the mend and planning to resume engagements for October and November. Yesterday's engagement, the launch of a new project by Kate's patronage The Art Room, was more than likely planned before the pregnancy announcement and given the fact it was in London, Kate had hoped she would be well enough to attend. Sadly, it would seem the Duchess is still far from fully recovered.


The Palace said Kate was "hugely disappointed" to be unable to go to support her patronage. Instead she sent a personally penned message offering her support and encouragement:

'I want to share my congratulations with you all for the launch of the new Clore Art Room. I was looking forward to joining you all for this particularly special day as part of the Clore Duffield Foundation's 50th Anniversary year.
 I am truly sorry that I cannot be with you all today as you celebrate this milestone. As patron of the Art Room I feel great pride to see the work that the charity is doing. Vulnerable children flourish in the safe havens that the Art Room provides; this highlights just how important it is to support children at a time when they most need help and support.'

The Duchess continued to extend her apologies once again and express her wish to visit on another occasion:

'It really is hugely exciting to look to a future with even more Art Rooms, where the lives of many more challenging and vulnerable children will be transformed. I hope that you have a wonderful afternoon. My sincere apologies for not being able to join you but I hope that I will have an opportunity to visit Barlby and see the Clore Art Room soon.'

As mentioned in Kate's letter, the new Clore learning space, one of ten new spaces celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Clore Duffield Foundation (which holds a special interest in supporting young people), enjoyed a wonderful launch with Dame Vivien Duffield and Grayson Perry in attendance.

The Art Room Twitter Feed

All further engagements will be reviewed on a case by case basis and as with yesterday's appearance we expect we may not hear about them until the day they take place.

Kensington Palace

It is thought Kate is around ten weeks pregnant at the moment and has been sick for a month now. HG varies with each pregnancy and it would seem it is worse this time round. We wish Kate all the best and do hope she feels better very soon.

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In other news, designers are still showcasing their Spring Ready-To-Wear offerings and Alexander McQueen's was as creative and colourful as ever. Sarah Burton drew inspiration from Japan - the geisha and samurai embodied the extremes of her latest looks. As always, we will most certainly not be seeing the Duchess in these creations, however, certain prints and stylistic elements may feature in bespoke pieces over the coming year.

Alexander McQueen

Of course, these looks will be much more accessible when they hit stores. The current collection contains many styles Kate could wear without modification including the Swarovski Crystal Embellished Gown, the Wool A-Line Dress and the Keyhole Detail Pencil Dress.

Alexander McQueen

Meanwhile, Roland Mouret's offering was altogether more wearable looking. Focusing on his strengths: the figure hugging sheath dress, with complex construction and fabulous cuts.

Roland Mouret

We saw the incorporation of a variety of colours including lilacs, sky blues, buttercup yellows all combined for one garment. There's plenty to like here and no shortage of possibilities for Kate.

Roland Mouret

I've always felt Kate and Mr. Mouret's designs are an excellent fit. The two collaborated together to create the beautiful Ella Wool Crepe Gown, which the Duchess wore for a dinner at Claridges and the Nelson Mandela premi√®re. The €2,600 garment remains available at Net-A-Porter.


The current collection offers several strong possibilities for Kate. The Duchess generally opts for a dress for engagements and the following pieces are professional and stylish not to mention suitable for day to night. Below we look at the Tipula Stretch Jacquard and Striped Crepe Dress, the light grey Atria dress, the Lepas  Dress, the royal blue Nepa Dress and the Aglais one-shoulder dress.

Roland Mouret

Aside from 'the dress', Mr Mouret has established himself as an expert in creating flattering and versatile separates. The following pieces would be stellar choices for the Duchess; the royal blue Drymus Coat, the sharp Luciola blazer, the Tasgius skirt and the Myzus crepe blazer. As you can see the royal/storm blue colour Kate favours is very much present in many of the pieces.

Roland Mouret

Have you been following fashion week? If so, which collections have you enjoyed seeing most?

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Our final topic today arose from various articles appearing in recent days comparing Kate to George Clooney's bride, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. As so many of you will know the Hollywood star wed the 36-year-old in Venice last weekend.

Mail Online

A quick refresher; Amal debuted a number of incredible looks during the days before and after the wedding; quickly earning the title of one to watch as a chic style icon unafraid to experiment with fashion. Below we see the beauty in a Dolce & Gabbana striped dress, a dramatic stepped-hem Alexander McQueen black and red dress, a blossom embellished white lace Giambattista Valli mini dress and a Stella McCartney ensemble with wide-leg white trousers.

In Style

Indeed, comparisons with the Duchess began before the wedding as Sarah Burton was the rumoured designer of the wedding dress. In the end, the off-the-shoulder lace creation was by Oscar de la Renta. A stunning wedding dress, and perfect for the bride.

People / Hello!

But the comparisons didn't end there with news outlets and bloggers declaring Amal has taken Kate's style crown. One article for the Daily Mail by Catherine Ostler described the Duchess as "frumpy" compared to Ms. Alamuddin:

'Kate can sometimes look a little frumpy. At least, that is the effect when seen against Amal, with her impeccable knack of giving her wardrobe a clever twist.'

It's interesting because from what I've seen, the two ladies have completely different senses of style; in terms of cuts, lengths, prints and everything in between. We've seen Amal in floral-print trousers and quirky footwear whilst the Duchess prefers to step out in her trusty skinny jeans, boots and a coat. Both ladies are very stylish in different ways; Kate in a classic, conservative sense (being cautious of her position at all times), while the glamorous Amal is experimenting with couture and expanding her personal style.

It is a shame the media tends to pit women against each other in a competitive sense rather than celebrating their individuality. It's something we've seen time and time again with Kate, whether it's comparing her to her late mother-in-law Diana, sister Pippa or tennis player Andy Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears to name a few.

Rather than comparing, I rather enjoy seeing both ladies enjoying fashion and expressing their own taste. What are your thoughts on this? Do you enjoy seeing comparisons or find it disappointing to see such articles? Should Kate's style be analysed against other women who don't have protocol to consider? We had an interesting discussion on a survey which asked 'Would you like to be Kate?' on our last post and we look forward to hearing your replies and thoughts! On another note, congratulations to George and Amal, it was undoubtedly the wedding of the year. :)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Kate to 'Resume Engagements Next Month', Would You Like to be Kate? & L.K. Bennett AW14 Coats

Hello dear readers, we hope you're having a great weekend!

We begin with apologies for the lack of posting on the blog over the past week, as an unexpected family event came up. We'll be remedying this with an additional post over the coming week and thank you all for commenting with news on interesting articles and sharing your thoughts as always!

What's been happening in Kate's world over the past week and most importantly how is she doing? Following a very difficult three weeks suffering with Hyperemesis gravidarum, it would seem, thankfully, the Duchess is on the mend and beginning to recover.


A Palace spokesperson told the Mail Online:

'There will be engagements in October and November. We just haven't announced them yet.'

The news follows the same pattern as Kate's first pregnancy. The Duchess began to take on a few engagements here and there once her health had improved and it would appear that is very much the plan this time round. There have been no confirmed sightings of Kate out and about as there usually would be and that would suggest she's still convalescing at Kensington Palace and her parent's home in Bucklebury.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Prince Harry attended the wedding of childhood friend Victoria Inskip on Saturday. Victoria, who wed Robert Davies-Jones is said to have taught Harry to play video games. Kate was noticeably absent from the celebrations - a wedding I think she would have liked to attend - meaning, while the announcement of engagements is clearly encouraging, she isn't out of the woods yet.


The happy couple.


We'll more than likely hear about the engagements closer to the date.

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We often see Kate's name associated with polls, be it in praise of her glossy locks or elegant style. Now, Newsweek Europe has commissioned a survey containing some surprising and not-so-surprising points on the British public's attitude.

Newsweek

Newsweek's article shares the results:

'Astonishingly, only 1% of female respondents wish they could be Kate. A staggering 89% of women have no interest in being Kate even for a single day.
 Meanwhile, among male respondents, only 6% wish they were married to Kate and - even more surprisingly, perhaps - only 6% wish they were dating Kate. (Imagine the answers to these same questions in 1984).'

When asked what interested them about Kate, her views on parenthood received 13% of the vote, her clothes 6% and make up 1%. Below we see responses from female participants in a pie chart.


Newsweek

When the results were shared on twitter, they prompted some pretty heated responses from those who still ardently believe in 'the fairytale'. Following Diana and Charles' very public marriage breakdown and the years that followed, I  doubt very many people still believe in marrying a prince and happily ever after... William and Kate have a strong marriage, unlike his parents, however, if I were asked, would you like to be Kate? Without hesitation I would answer not for all the Alexander McQueen gowns and tiaras in the world (and you all know how your faithful scribe feels about tiaras). 

Kate's role comes with so many different elements one might find undesirable: the lack of privacy, constant media intrusion, public scrutiny (only last week we had many comments questioning whether or not Kate was suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum and if the pregnancy was planned to avoid the Malta trip). Every element of her appearance is discussed, critiqued, praised and criticised each time a photo emerges. It takes a strong personality with plenty of support from friends and family to get through that. Of course there are many perks to the role too, the opportunity to make such a meaningful impact for charities, living in a palace, though I for one would certainly not like to be in Kate's shoes. How would you have voted? Would you like to be Kate?

Other poll results found only 21% of voters believe Kate has a lot of influence over her own life while 25% think the Duchess plays an important role in the Royal family.


Newsweek

Prince Harry was chosen as the most popular member of the British Royal family, Her Majesty second and William and Kate third and fourth respectively.

Newsweek

From a list of nine successful women, Kate ranked as the second-highest role model for women, with only Olympian Jessica Ennis ranking higher.

Newsweek

What are your thoughts on the poll results? Do you agree with them? You can view them in their entirety here.

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We do love seeing old photos of Kate we haven't previously come across and I was very interested when Anna from My Small Obsessions stumbled across two candids of the Duchess taken in December 2011 by a fellow shopper who was also searching for presents for the festive season.

Pinelopi

The Duchess who was accompanied by a royal protection officer looked effortlessly stylish in her L.K. Bennett Darwin Jacket and Aquatalia Booties, and carried her Mulberry Polly Push Lock Bag.

Pinelopi

Fans of Kate's L.K. Bennett Darwin Jacket will be interested to hear the piece remains available in brown and black for £795. Crafted from luxurious shearling, with feminine seaming and a nipped-in waist it's a great Autumn/Winter piece which works with jeans and boots.

L.K. Bennett

These candids very much reminded me of the festive season, which is not too far away now!

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Speaking of L.K. Bennett, I was browsing through their website the other day and noticed a fabulous selection of Autumn/Winter coats are now available and they have Kate written all over them. Below we see the Bette Double Breasted Peacoat.

L.K. Bennett

The Heidi Boucl√© Coat comes in red and burgundy for £475 and taps into the textural trend the brand is embracing for AW14. We also see the Portia Jacquard Cocoon Coat in navy.

L.K. Bennett

The stylish vibrant mustard Perugia Cocoon Coat with dropped shoulders and upstanding collar is a versatile piece and could be something Kate would choose to wear with jeans when out and about. It also comes in a great ballerina pink colour.

LK Bennett

Two new shearling coats have been created for this collection - the dark-navy Brooke Shearling Coat and the grey mink Casper Shearling Coat.

LK Bennett

The Jules Double Breasted Coat, Hayley Luxe Belted Coat and Wessex Mac are well crafted pieces which would work for a number of appearances. The brand has produced a great collection of wearable, comfortable and chic outerwear again this season.

LK Bennett

Those interested in the new season can receive a 20% discount by entering AW20 at the checkout.

L.K. Bennett

With engagements scheduled for October and November we can expect to see the Duchess wrapped up in a stylish coat such as those shown above and her Aquatalia Rhumba boots. I'm a big fan of Kate's style at this time of the year.

Aquatalia

Next, we'll be continuing with our Kate Loves posts :)

Monday, 22 September 2014

William Wraps Up Successful Malta Visit & Exclusive Claudia Bradby 20% Discount for Readers

Prince William wrapped up his brief but highly successful Malta visit yesterday with a series of interesting engagements and great quotes. The day began with an Independence Day service at St. John's Cathedral in Valletta.


As the itinerary was planned with art history graduate Kate in mind the visit included a viewing of some of the works of Caravaggio - the artist Michelangelo Merisi, born in the town of Caravaggio.


The artist was the first great representative of the Baroque movement. It was something the Duchess was said to be immensely looking forward to, but no doubt she'll have the opportunity to see them again.

Wikipedia
Afterwards, His Royal Highness visited the Agenzija Zghazagh (Agency for Youth), a government agency which runs a number of initiatives for young people. Supporting young people is one of the primary goals of William, Kate and Harry's foundation and incorporating that in overseas visits has been important to them.


As he spotted a group of teenagers huddling over the table football he couldn't resist joining them.


The Prince chatted with child care student Janet Desira, 17, about George and exams. More from the royals' official website:

'His Royal Highness joked: "You can come and babysit for me", and he held out his arm to show how high George stands, adding "He's very busy, they're very hectic at that age".
 Janet told him why she had chosen child care, and His Royal Highness asked: "Are there lots of exams, are you good at exams? I'm so-so". And then, referring to his upcoming helicopter studies for his air ambulance job, said: "I've got to do 14 exams by Christmas".

Next, William headed out to enjoy some sunshine at the main square in Birgu, a town across the harbour from the capital Valletta. There, he went on a walkabout during which he revealed Kate was "feeling a little better" and said he's been keeping her updated and sending her good wishes.



This is a simply adorable photo!


William then enjoyed a scenic tour across the Grand Harbour. Interestingly, the small craft St Angelo he travelled in, was also used by the Queen in 1949 when she took in the same tour. Little details like this demonstrate the level of thought that goes into these visits.


It is stunning visually.


Kate's right-hand woman, Rebecca Deacon, accompanied William on the boat tour and throughout the day. Below we see her wearing her very popular Somerset by Temperley dress.


It was a hugely successful visit for William and he appeared to thoroughly enjoy it. When will the royals return to the Queen's beloved Malta? Reports are surfacing claiming plans are underway for a historic trip including all four heirs next year. More from the Mail Online:

'The Queen is planning to make a major foreign visit to Malta next year - and bring her three heirs, including toddler Prince George, with her, it can be revealed. The historic family trip is being mooted for next November when the sovereign, who will be 89, attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting for the first time since 2011.

This certainly looks like a very interesting date on the royal calendar, if it goes ahead.

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Our next topic should prove a special treat for the jewellery fans among you. Our friends at Claudia Bradby Jewellery have kindly offered an exclusive 20% discount for blog readers:

20% discount with the code HRH20. The code is valid until Midnight on Wednesday UK time.

As royal fans know, when Kate was working as an accessories buyer for Junior Jigsaw, Claudia's designs caught her eye and she approached the jewellery designer which led to a collaboration resulting in the design of beautiful pieces, including the £66 Kate Silver and Rose Quartz Earrings - featuring silver and rose quartz charms - and the £60 Kate Rose Quartz and Silver Necklace. Both of these items look particularly striking worn together.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia thoroughly enjoyed working with Kate:

'Her vision was quite simple and classic. She was so straightforward, warm and bright that I remember thinking William was lucky to be going out with her.'

Kate wearing a piece she designed with Claudia - the striking Camellia Necklace.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia is renowned for creating timeless and elegant pieces, specialising in pearl jewellery. Her designs extend far beyond pearls, and in recent collections we've seen her vision in new and exciting pieces. For Autumn/Winter 2014, Claudia's new collection of silver and semi-precious stones offers the ultimate in everyday glamour. From the beautiful Eclipse Collection we see the Double Eclipse Silver Earrings and the Eclipse Silver Bracelet.

Claudia Bradby

The lean and contemporary Eclipse Silver Necklace and Eclipse Silver Hoop Earrings are excellent transitional pieces, taking you from day to night.

Claudia Bradby
The Winter Wonderland Collection features exquisite hand-cut grey moonstone, lustrous freshwater pearls and textured silver hoops.

Claudia Bradby

With the festive season just around the corner (yes, it's almost that time of year again) Claudia has launched her first ever gift set - a fail safe for Christmas Day.

Claudia Bradby

The £75 set is presented in a monogrammed gift box and includes a pair of pearl button studs complemented by a pretty pearl necklace.

Claudia Bradby

New Season Pearls offer classic and hand picked molten pearls, perfect for layering and wearing with other pieces in your collection to add an individual twist.

Claudia Bradby

 The Bella Heart Charm necklace is a real treat and perfect for women of all ages. It's particularly eye-catching when worn with the matching earrings.

Claudia Bradby

To mark the birth of Prince George, Claudia designed two commemorative pieces: the Acorn Pearl Necklace - inspired by the Middleton family crest - and The Heritage Charm Bracelet. Both are wonderful gifts for new mothers and of course royalists!

Claudia Bradby

As the Duchess often demonstrates, a pair of trusty pearl earrings are the ultimate accessory to polish off any look. Claudia has a multitude of these to suit every taste. Below we see the Couture Pearl Stud Earrings, Alexandra Pearl Drop Earrings and the Baroque Pearl Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Hollywood leading lady (we know her better as The Queen) Dame Helen Mirren is a huge fan of Claudia's pieces and was recently photographed wearing her Constantine Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Looking at the beautiful pearls reminded me of Downton Abbey, which returned to our screens last night. William and Kate are said to be huge fans of the show.

ITV

A reminder: the discount code is HRH20 and is valid until midnight on Wednesday. With thanks to Claudia Bradby Jewellery for sharing this discount :)