Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Duchess in Floral-Print Erdem Gown & Sparkling Jewels for 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala Dinner

For Kate's second outing of the day it was the glamorous 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala Dinner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in aid of Kate's patronage, The Art Room.


The Duchess was in attendance in her role as patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds' Philanthropic Initiatives. Prince William became patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives in 2009 and, in 2012, Kate and Harry joined William to become patrons for an additional three years.


100 Women in Hedge Funds is committed to focusing its UK philanthropic endeavours on three specially chosen charities, one for each year of the partnership. The charities, Action on Addiction in 2013, WellChild in 2014, and The Art Room in 2015, are part of the Charities Forum of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. All charities are ones close to the royals' hearts.


100 Women in Hedge Funds is a leading non-profit organisation for professionals in the alternative investments industry. 100WHF's board of directors selects a charitable organization for its philanthropic initiative on a rotating basis from women's and family health, mentoring and education programmes.


As many of you know, The Art Room was one of Kate's first chosen patronages back in 2012. The national charity offers art therapy to children experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties, in order to increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence. If you wish to donate or find out more please click here.

The Art Room Facebook Page
Below, a look at one of the charity's rooms.

The Art Room

Kate attended a reception and chatted with a selection of guests.


The Duchess presented the 100WHF 2015 European Industry Leadership Award before dinner.


Kate posed for a photo with the board of 100WHF.


It is the third time the Duchess has attended the event and it's always interesting to see her sartorial selections for the night. In 2011, Kate wore the Beulah London 'Sarai' dress.


In 2013, Kate wore her off-the-shoulder silk tulle Jenny Packham gown.


Tonight the Duchess selected the Erdem Alouette Tiered Floral Silk Gown.

Erdem

The $4,560 claret, cobalt-blue and cream floral print gown is inspired by 1960's Japanese graphics. It is described as: "Flawlessly cut from lustrous silk-gazar, this elegant piece is fitted at the bodice and flares below the waist into a voluminous peplum skirt." The gown is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and in limited sizes at Net-A-Porter.

Erdem

A closer look at the pattern known as 'ohana tulip'.

Erdem
A look at the back of the dress.


The print is seen in several current season pieces from the Canadian designer. Below, the Loreen Dress and the Floral-Print Silk-Gazara Skirt.


Erdem

It is quite the departure from Kate's usual style and something of a risk for her. I suspect it will be a "love it or hate it" in terms of opinions. I recall seeing the dress the last time we wrote about Erdem and scrolling past it thinking "Kate will never wear it", so it's certainly a surprise. Whilst it's not necessarily the most beautiful gown we've seen Kate wear (I love the top, the print, just not a huge fan of the skirt) it is nice to see her experimenting with fashion and trying new things.


We saw Kate wearing stunning bracelets on loan from the Queen at the state banquet and once again tonight the Duchess dazzled in the late Queen Mother's sapphire and diamond fringe earrings (with thanks to the wonderful Order of Splendor).


A closer look at the earrings.


Kate's art-deco bracelet complemented the earrings.


Kate wore her black suede Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pumps with the gown.

Jimmy Choo

And carried her black Anya Hindmarch Maud clutch.

Anya Hindmarch

As always, the event looked like a wonderful night, and most importantly, these gala dinners are guaranteed to raise much needed funds for The Art Room. In previous years, roughly £600,000 was raised - an amount that will make an immeasurable difference to their work and ensure they can continue to provide their services. You can view a video at ITN Source.


The last couple of weeks have been so much fun. From the state visit to William and Kate's trip to Dundee, and yesterday and today's appearance, we've seen Kate carry out a variety of engagements. It was something similar to the schedule they will have on a permanent basis when they are first-in-line. A huge thank you to everyone for reading and commenting and a welcome to our new readers too! :)

418 comments:

  1. What a fun and unexpected dress! Kate is radiant!

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  2. Looks like she dyed her hair! Much fuller brown color! I'm with you, the top and back are awesome, just can't fall in love with the skirt, but it's still lovely on her!

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  3. I love it! Love the skirt, and the big print. I think she needed a bit of a change. So many of her dresses are similar: this one is clearly a change for her.

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  4. I absolutely LOVE this dress its so out of the box for her but she pulls it off and let's not forget the hair..it looks amazing!!

    Sandy-Texas

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  5. Rebecca - Sweden27 October 2015 at 20:43

    I realized that my post will be very long so I'll do it in 2 parts. I'll be good and start with the event and THEN talk about the fashion! So great to Kate supporting the Art Room once more. And this 100Women thing is awsome. The venue is so perfectly suited as well. I hope they get tons of funding and accknowledgement from this! Also, I wonder if their foundation will continue their patronage over 100Women after this period is over. As I've understand it they choose it 3 years at a time or something?

    Also, I wonder who all these special women in that foundation is... Must be very interesting for Kate to meet them as well as them her!

    Thank you Charlotte as usually for your speedy and very informative posts! You've been on top of it all as usual!! I hope you know that it's truly appriciated!

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  6. Rebecca - Sweden27 October 2015 at 20:43

    Now on to the fashion: This dress, first of all, is such a 180 from last night!.I think I like the dress. I'm not sure! But I like how much she is playing with fashion right now. Both the sillouette and pattern! I love the youthfullness of the look! It feel fresh and retro. I don't love the dress... but I kind of love the feel... if that makes sense! I'm not so fond of the bottom (on this dress, might work on another) but I'm just so happy of the feel and experimenting so I will gladly take it! I love the colour, am so-so on the print, really like the top, so-so on the bottom. But like the general feel. I must say I also really like the back of the dress.

    I ADORE the earrings. I'm very fond of art deco jewellry (and so does Kate seem to be). And yet ANOTHER nice loan. Or maybe even gift? Her bracelet was a nice finnishing touch.

    And her hair. I know some will complain. But I LOVE how big it is! It looks so glamourous!! Do I think there is styles out there that might look better? Yes. But I like it none the less. If I were her I would have put one side of the hair up though, just to showcase the earrings. But I have a hunch this will not be the last time we see them on her.

    There has been alot of mixed reviews over Kates style recently but I think that's ok, because she's trying new stuff and not everyone's gonna like it!

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    1. Anonymous in Colorado27 October 2015 at 20:57

      Spot on, Rebecca! All my thoughts exactly! :-)

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    2. Rebecca, I agree with everything you just said !

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    3. I'm with you Rebecca. Kate must be having so much fun with these different style/fabric. Yes, I too love the youthfulness of this dress, as well as the colours. I'm sure it looks stunning in person. LOL, wondering how long it would take for someone to make a grandma comment comparing it to curtains. Jewellery: yes! Hair: absolutely gorgeous - I liked her new hair cut and bangs right from the off and IMO it keeps looking better all the time.

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    4. +1 to just about everything you said. I normally love Kate's hair up at events like this, but we've already had two updos this week, so I didn't mind a change.
      Love a good bright, floral print. At first I thought this dress might be Valentino with that ruffle--its not one of my personal favorite design features, but I can appreciate the artistry. We complain when we get too much of the same (ie: solid colored coat dress after solid colored coat dress), so I'm happy to see a little adventure and something different even if it's not immediately my favorite.

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    5. curtains are an obvious reaction. For obvious reasons. :(

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    6. I think she is beautiful in any thing she wears.

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden28 October 2015 at 16:21

      Haha, that's true Joann! She is truly one of those "would look good in a potato sack"-people!

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  7. I don't like at all. You are right, we like or hate immediately, not quite...
    I don't like the bottom

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  8. The fabric is beautiful but the dress doesn't look like a choice for an evening. And I think it's rather choice for summer. I think Kate's choices of her evening dresses are the weakest points of her image.

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    1. It does look like a summer style.

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    2. I did like the gown she wore last night a lot better than this one

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    3. Charlotte, I love your blog! You run it so professionally. Would it be possible to add to the bar above in mobile version a mark with Kate's engagements?

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  9. While I am not in love with the dress overall, I do love the risks that Kate has taken over the past two weeks.
    The pattern of the dress is absolutely gorgeous--I just think that the ruffle detail at the bottom is what ruins it. Maybe if the ruffles were higher (at her hips, maybe), and a little more structured (think Zac Posen) it could have worked. The dress isn't all bad though: there is interesting detail on the top, the back is nice and the pattern is lovely.
    The interesting thing is, if anyone is going to make this dress work, it is Kate. She has still managed to look really pretty. And her hair is so glossy.... And those earrings...! I love jewels!
    Shantel (@FashionandFaith)
    Minnesota, USA

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  10. Well done on the rapid post! I was very disappointed when I first saw the dress because I was overwhelmed by the strange tier of the skirt. It has grown on me somewhat - the print is beautiful, as are the earrings. The shoes don't seem to match totally but I think that may be because of the oddity of the skirt over them. It does feel a little like a wasted opportunity, but I am enjoying that she is taking risks. She does look radiant in her face - quite something what with the busy schedule (exciting for us watchers) of the last little while.

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  11. I have very few pet peeves when it comes to fashion. To each their own, is usually my motto. However, this type of skirt hurts my eyes. It looks like a dust ruffle, from every angle. It is the reason why Zara Phillips wedding dress was such a disappointment to me. Loved the top, but once you scrolled down to the bottom of the skirt...nope. The same is true here. Love the interesting print and bold color. The jewelry is fantastic. But the dust ruffle skirt? No. Looks like a Holly Hobbie dress I had when I was 4 years old. I am a long-time reader of the blog but rarely post - most things Kate wears on fairly on point and elegant, a few small missteps here and there but this? Nope. Turn around, get in the limo, have someone chop the dust ruffle off and then let's talk.

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  12. A night gown yesterday evening and a satin courtain tonight. No, the duchess is absolutely in need of a style guide.

    I agree that hair colour looks somehow different.

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    1. Her choices have been so different, so maybe this is the work of a stylist!

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    2. If she has a stylist - and I don't think she does - she must be an amateur.
      The shoes don't fit the dress and yesterday evening look did nothing to enhace the duchess' complexion not physique.
      No, For me she has someone who selects garments with her, but this is entirely Kate - choice

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    3. I agree with you Leila. Glad to see her out and about; however, this one makes me wonder when the square dance starts.

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    4. If so, she needs a new stylist, fast.

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  13. Ok, the good - she got the red out of the hair, and that's a big improvement. And the colors on this dress work for her. But the skirt part of this dress is distracting. I could say more, but I really don't want to engage in tearing her apart. She's taking risks, she's done a lot this week, and she looks beautiful inside and out... So, I'll leave it at that. Ariagurl.

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  14. At first glace, I thought "I cannot be seeing this correctly!" --- but, I will say that is refreshing to see the Duchess try new styles. Last week was such a "hit" and this week, kind of a "miss" in my opinion. I thought the dress made her look very tall (more so than usual) and accentuated her toned frame.

    I agree with Charlotte, I am not a fan of the skirt. I enjoyed seeing her in new earrings!

    Charlotte: are there any confirmed engagements for November? We've seen her so much I feel as though I'll be in withdraw!

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    1. I adore this dress, I LOVE it. What a turn-around from granny's dressinggown at the Bond premiere. She looks wonderful. Hope we see this one again. Way to go, Kate.

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  15. This dress is quite a departure from her "regular dresses." I love that she is taking very fashionable risk. As I said before, if she likes it I like it!

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  16. While Catherine's hair and makeup are impeccable the dress was a definite miss for me. Not a fan, at all, of the huge ruffle on the bottom of the skirt. And to be honest, I don't like the floral pattern. She is such a lovely young woman but this dress was such a disappointment.

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  17. I love the print but just hate the style of the skirt. No idea what that tiered part of the skirt is supposed to be. It looks to me like something you'd see on a casual maxi dress made of terry cloth! I don't think it works for a formal dress at all.

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  18. Initial reaction was that I did not like it, but as more pictures are emerging, it is growing on me and I think she really looks good in it. The jewels look great too. There are some pictures of her where she looks positively stunning. I think we are so used to her normal choices, so when she tries something different we are shocked and it becomes a love it or hate it opinion.

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  19. Anonymous in Colorado27 October 2015 at 20:55

    Gosh, another dress that is growing on me the more I look at it! Totally unexpected but it's what makes this so exciting. She looks comfortable & gorgeous. I like the peplum part of the skirt & think that had the area above it been nipped in just a bit for a more fitted look, this dress would have been even better.

    I'm going to have major Duchess withdrawal now... ;-) Hope you get to catch up on life a bit now, Charlotte!

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  20. Ok, I'm a bit speechless. I guess you can say a lot about this dress: It's bold, its fun, it's daring or youthful but one thing it is not and that is elegant. Photographed with the ladies, one in the shimmering black and the other in the white and gold dress, Kate's dress looks out of place. They look elegant and she looks like she's dressed in a girl's party dress. I don't know. Maybe the shorter version of the dress at another type of function? But this just was out of place. And I do think Kate's hair was a bit too full around her face. Not a fan of tonight's look whilst the James Bond premiere dress is growing on me.

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    1. I agree that Kate's dress is not the best choice for the evening, but even that she look gorgeous. These ladies do look good but they just don't shine like Kate.

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    2. I must say, the more I look at the dress the more I like it. I really like the colors on Kate - I love the top part of the dress but it's the ruffle. I think she will look stunning in the short version of the dress. One thing she did achieve - she stood out amongst the women! Haha yesterday we did not like the top part of her dress today it is the bottom part. I am a bit amazed at the prize of this dress!!

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    3. My initial thought about the dress was "isn't it too cold?" and I thought about a garden party. But this fabric is so beautiful. It's silk, isn't it? I feel it would work better if the dress had sleeves or maybe it would be too much? I agree that the shorter version would be amazing.

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  21. Hmmmm-seems that Catherine is getting hammered by the press for her dress choices this week. I liked the colors of this one-not so much the style though.

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    1. She gets hammered no matter what she does. From people here and the press. She can't win. But I look at this way, if she likes it and if William likes it that is all that matters.

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  22. How lovely that she is experimenting with her fashion choices! It's actually refreshing to see. You are what you wear and I think this dress expresses a side of her that we hardly see because of the formality that surrounds her life. Also, a new dress in her case always gives buzz to the charity she supports.

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  23. First of all, I like Erdem design but this dress is a bit too much. I give her credit for changing it up and experimenting with new styles, patterns though.

    The 2 ladies who welcomed her look a bit more put together, more elegant.

    I hope she will not repeat this dress any time soon. Same for her hair, I do not know what is wrong with it, it looks out of ordinary:-)

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    1. She could wear this again if it were hemmed above the ruffle. Then I think it might look quite nice.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden28 October 2015 at 01:36

      Hmm, I can actually see that being done Bluhare. After hanging in storage for 5 years and she sees it and wonder what on earth she was thinking with that ruffle but still like the dress. She did that with a coat and the royal family is no stranger of remaking clothes :)

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    3. That would be an excellent idea, bluhare.
      That part just made the whole thing wrong.

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  24. Oh my word. WHAT a treat these past few days have been! Charlotte, thanks as always for your expedient and detailed coverage-I have to say, I can sometimes tell your thoughts on a particular outfit before you describe it (especially with the James Bond premiere post). Sometimes it's what you don't say that says the most! ;) I fall somewhere between Love It/Hate It! I think the vivid print is such a fun choice for Kate, especially for this occasion, but I mean, THE SKIRT. Why?! Too much of a good thing. But I'll always "love it" when it comes to Kate's looks. Maybe she's setting a trend here that we can expect to see more of in future evening gowns?

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  25. Gasp! I am blown away by this gown! Dare I say this is almost Michelle Obama territory! A grand slam home run for Kate!
    Not crazy about her hair being down, with the heirloom earrings covered. And the shoes are too clunky for the dress.
    But those are minor nitpickings. The brilliant dress overshadows all that!

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  26. Nice colors but the short... too many and too big flowers... Not a very successful experiment! I can't say that i love it!

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  27. I gotta agree with the fact that this is probably my least favorite dress that she has worn, EVER. I don't mind the print and think she can carry it off well.

    Love the earrings, the top half of the dress and the back. But the bottom, looks like an after thought and why does a peplum have to hang at the knees? AmyO you go it right when you called it a dust ruffle. It reminded me of style of dress that the pioneer women used to wear in the wild west here in the US.

    The print and colors really make her eyes stand out and she looks stunning. I also love that she is experimenting with fashion and applaud her for taking risks. The hair is glamours but I wish it had been a half up half down style to better show off the earrings. Overall look I would give at 6 out of 10. But that she looks better than I ever would at an event like this.

    I hope her schedule keeps up this pace. I know we are getting ready to head into the holidays but it would be really nice to see a few more engagements and then up to speed at the first of the year.

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  28. I think the thing I like most about this dress is how unpredictable it is - you even dismissed it Charlotte!!! Absolutely loved last night's gown and hair style too, so, so elegant, but yet daring with the sheer back This is a much more fun dress, if you could call an evening dress such, and again, I'm almost shocked by the 'unsafeness' of it! Quick thought - from a hair point of view we had an up do last night, a ponytail this morning, two quite different blow dries (unprecedented variety almost) and two then evening wear wise two stunning yet completely different evening gowns. Is there outside influence at work?

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  29. Kate looks wonderful. The colors and print are gorgeous, and I don't mind the ruffle. I do wish her hair had been pulled up or back as that would make the look more formal and show off those exquisite earrings, but her hair is very beautiful so I understand why she wears it down.

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  30. Loved the jewelry not a fan of the dress. Do not like the print or the cut. Maybe it somehow looks better in person but the combination of what looks like a tropical pattern and large ruffle on the bottom is a disaster. Hee hee like last nights, which I loved I may well be on the other side of things tonight. :) ali

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  31. I love that Kate is wearing something unexpected! The dress has a little Betty Draper feel.
    Amazing jewelry.
    I think she had her hair glossed between engagements. A well deserved bit of pampering.
    Merci Charlotte for a most enjoyable day.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden27 October 2015 at 21:42

      Oh... now that you say it. I could definitley see Betty Draper in it. I noticed it had a bit of a 60s retro feel!

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    2. Tedi in California27 October 2015 at 22:04

      HI Jules-Boston...you got that right! Mad Men's Betty Draper. Love it, and miss the show.

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  32. Tedi in California27 October 2015 at 21:26

    Wow, what a surprise! She looks stunning, so beautiful. Love her hair, and the Queen Mother's earrings are just dazzling on Kate. I like the dress, don't really love it, but glad to see her trying new styles. The only negative is the hemline. From the knees up, it's great, and she just looked so gorgeous tonight. Thanks Charlotte for getting all these events front and center so quickly.

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  33. I like the colours and the freshness, but really that hem! It looks like a knee length dress and suddenly she needed a floor length one so she added the tier from some leftover material. The gathering sits badly too. Yuck. Spoils a nice look. But her hair looks a better colour and she seemed happier so I suppose it's a positive overall.

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  34. I don't know why people have such a huge tendency to criticise kate so much . I just visited daily mail ( I just went there to see more pics ) . And the things they say there are absolutely outlandish and horrendous.
    I think kate has looked pretty throughout her engagements over the past few weeks . I loved her state dinner look and every other fashion choices she's made . I wasn't a fan of the front part of yesterday's gown but other than that it was lovely ( the hair , the earrings , the makeup and she was glowing !) . And as for today , I saw her gown and thought OMG I love it so much . It's fun n colourful and I love that she's trying out different styles . I LOVE that she's moving out of her uniform style and I hope she continues to experiment and try out different things fashion wise .
    And as far as people are concerned , they tear her apart when shes not experimenting and they tear her apart when she is . And I hope ppl just give her a break.

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    1. I totally agree with you re: The Daily Mail. They are great for pictures but I have had to stop reading comments. A lot of them are downright hateful. Some people are so unhappy with themselves that they have to project it onto others. It's quite sad....
      Shantel (@FashionandFaith)
      Minnesota, USA

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    2. I completely agree, she can't win. The gown from last night was not one of my favorites because it seemed like it didn't fit well (too loose in the top) but I loved her hair. I loved the blue "outerspace" dress from yesterday day, she looked great, effortlessly chic and it also appeared to be a very comfortable dress for all of the activities she participated in. I liked both of the dresses she wore today, including tonight's brightly floral gown. I love that she is trying new styles. Ohio gal

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    3. With all due respect, but do you really think everybody will like what she likes wearing. Never happen. We all have different tastes. In the last couple of posts everyone tried to talk about fashion, some off topics. No need to stir anything up by your criticism.

      Last night even on Twitter some people tried to blame others hating on Kate, nothing like that happened. Simply critising her choice doesn't mean hating on her.
      On the other hand there always will be some who won't be satisfied with anything she wears or does. But this is the minority. Such is life.

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  35. I like the top and the back. I'm not fond of the skirt. A column-style gown would have suited her more. On a side note: sandals (such as the Jimmy Choo's) would have much suited this dress than closed-platform heels. Thanks for the lovely posts.
    Gabriella,Malta

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    1. I agree with you Gabriella. Some lovely black satin heels like these from Kate Spade would have been smashing - http://couture.zappos.com/kate-spade-new-york-fensano-black-satin

      Linda

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  36. Not crazy about the dress. She looks fabulous as always........

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  37. From knees up a great look but I'm not a fan of the ruffle. Love the colour however and the earrings are fantastic. Glad to see she is taking advantage of the royal jewel collection.

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    1. Agreed, I could do without the dust ruffle but from knees up, terrific.

      Honestly, I'm just excited to see Kate trying new things! What fun for us, too, as onlookers.

      VERY VERY happy to see Kate bringing much-needed attention to mental health - and especially children's mental health - issues. For far too long this was a neglected, if not avoided, topic. Thank you Kate!

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  38. Kate, Texas, USA27 October 2015 at 21:40

    I love that Kate and William are focusing on mental health issues, especially with children. The quote from one of the children painted on the wall is so profound. It brought tears to my eyes and pulled on the heartstrings a bit. It's wonderful that with Kate being patron of The Art Room, there's much needed attention being given to the charity. I hope the night was a success in raising much needed funds. God bless the sweet children benefitting from the therapy provided.

    For one of the first times ever, Kate's look was a complete miss for me this evening. I did not care for this gown in any way, especially the skirt. Kate's hair is very "Charlie's Angels"...retro 70's look...looking like Jaclyn Smith. After seeing her beautiful updo last night, I am not a fan of this style. I did love the earrings and bracelet! Who doesn't love lots of diamonds?

    Charlotte, are you still standing after the past few days? You have done an AMAZING job! Thank you for all your hard work!

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  39. Definitely a miss for me!
    The first thing I thought when looking at it was, it was a dress that Pippa would wear. And that's not a good thing in my opinion lol.
    I love the print and the top half of the dress but the bottom is a no.
    And I really wish Kate would do something with her hair.
    I agree that the other two ladies Kate was photographed with look much more put together than she does. And that's saying something by itself.
    I like that Kate is trying to experiment with fashion, but she's really been hit and miss with the past few choices.
    I am in no way trying to criticize Kate, but she had just been "off" ever since she had Charlotte.

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    1. Pippa was my first thought too!

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  40. Thank you Charlotte for keeping us updated so quickly and comprehensively :-)

    IMHO, the picture of the dress looks better than the version of the dress the Duchess is wearing. In the latter version, the bodice centers on red-heavy sections of the pattern whereas the pictured version sports one of the beautiful blue flower motives in that position. As a result, to me the bodice of HRH’s looks too red compared to the skirt part where the beautiful blue shades dominate which somehow unbalances the overall impression. Just me (unlike HRH not a “red” person) being utterly nick-picky.

    And just when I was prepared to finally dislike an outfit, after all those years of unadulterated admiration of her sartorial choices, the Duchess breaks out the Queen Mum’s sapphire and diamond fringe earrings *sighs* Who even notices anything below the chin when these beauties dangle from the ears? Moi? Mais non!!!

    Can’t say more, have to scroll back up to take another gander at the glittery things :P

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  41. Fun, glamorous, elegant, and appropriate sartorial choices since the Duchess came back from maternity leave, and why shouldn't she have some fun?

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  42. Thank you for your wonderful posts and hard work! I love Kate's taste and it is good to see she is experimenting. Personally, I don't like this look for her. She seemed a bit washed out (and maybe tired after all the recent engagements) and I didn't love the ruffle detail or the color. There was too much distraction in the dress itself. She looks great in everything though!

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  43. This dress is the worst thing I have seen Kate wear - ever. It's awful. I never thought I'd see Kate wear something so unflattering. The print isn't too bad - but it's quite out of place for the evening. If it comes in a skirt - that might have been nice for Kate to wear with a blouse to one of her day events. I thought the James Bond premiere dress was a huge miss, until I saw this. James Bond premiere dress is a thousand times better than this one. Her hair would have been better half-up too, just so we could see the earrings better.

    I agree that it's good to see Kate experimenting, but surely she has someone to advise her? Even Carol or Pippa?

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    1. Her look has been so different lately that I wouldn't be surprised if this is the work of a stylist. Like it or not this dress and the Temperley of last night are runway looks. She' s experimenting with some high fashion pieces.

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  44. What can I say but oh sweet lordy. The is most definitely a hell no!. I do NOT like. The bodice is ok, but the skirt reminds me of something my mother made me to play in when I was about 2 years old. Im not too sure about the pattern either. However, Kate's hair looks great, the Queen Mum's earings are spectacular and shows just how much shes been accepted into the fold. I love the fact she is trying some different things but someone should have told her to miss this one.

    KiwiNic

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    1. exactly my thought! The pattern is ghastly! it stands out in the wrong way!

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  45. Just want to say LOVE your blog and read it every time Kate is out and about. Especially love that you always include what she is doing and the importance of it and that you don't just focus on the clothes - even though that is also great fun!

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  46. Well it's been 4 years and 11 months (since the engagement) and she's finally worn something I don't really care for. Love her courage though. Gotta take a risk in this life.

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  47. Wow what a surprise - she's really seem to be having fun and experimenting with fashion. I have to agree that she seems to be slammed for trying different things and yet she's slammed for not. From the male perspective have to say I've really enjoyed her looks over the last few weeks - she seems to be trying things a little more out of her comfort zone. She has a modest, natural elegance which sometimes can frustrate us all by her safe choices - and with one eye on being 'appropriate'. I thought last nights look was typical of this balance - elegant, Royal and beautiful with a dash of glamour and the back of her dress just added something bond - like. I personally don't want her competing against the show-biz celebrity glamour but it's a fine line she has to tread and I think she's surprising us all this week with her choices.
    Thanks again Charlotte for a brilliant post
    N x

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden27 October 2015 at 23:57

      Very nicely summarized! :)

      Delete
    2. Victoria, Oregon28 October 2015 at 00:16

      I agree, Nx. Thanks for your perspective! :-)

      Delete
  48. Well, we wanted her to experiment with fashion more, not play it safe and predictable, and that is exactly what she has been doing. I like this dress! It is different and out of the ordinary. I think the print and colors are fantastic. The back is very beautiful. The ruffle is slightly problematic but is growing on me as I type. Perhaps if it were asymmetrical instead of horizontal it wouldn't give that cafe curtain effect people are not liking. I am just so happy to see her try new and exciting clothes instead of sticking in her comfort zone. I would have loved her hair up like last night or even the ponytail that she wore today with flowers where the hair is pulled back but I think that would have been way out of her element. The earrings are beautiful and so happy to see that she is finally being allowed to utilize some of the amazing jewelry owned by the BRF. I think some of our wishes are coming true :)

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    1. Erika, I agree with your assessment of the dress, and I like your idea of the asymmetical ruffle. I had thought it might have worked if it were three tiers, starting mid-thigh, instead of just two at that very low level, almost below the knee. Still the dress is growing on me too. It's a retro look for me. I had a formal in the late 1970s that had a fitted sleeveless bodice and a tiered ruffled skirt. It moved beautifully.

      I really liked the bodice design here. At first glance I thought, What the heck are those darts doing?? and then saw the way the bodice is cut and pieced across the front. It's an intriguing design and I quite like it. I love the print. The boldness of it is great and the colors are perfect on her.

      Love that she is taking some fashion risks. In my opinion, she looks completely wonderful in anything.

      Oh, and those earrings!!!

      Delete
  49. Happy to see her experimenting! I don't care for the bottom of the dress, but it's great to see her in something so different. Also, I love her so much more in bold colors like this rather than last night's wishy-washy non-color. Also, loving the (seemingly) darker hair!

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  50. I think this past week has been a great week in Fashion for Kate. Its great to see her trying out new styles, I also would have never guessed that she would choose this dress. Honestly I am always surprised when I see really negative comments like the ones over at the Daily Mail, she doesn't employ a stylist so let her make some non- "prefect" choices once in awhile anything over more coats I am good with! Not that I don't love her coat collection very envious of it but this time of year all expect to see is coats coats coats. The past week has been great, sure there was a coat in Dundee but she removed it and showed the matching kilt off too. I think it is refreshing for her to take some risks. I actually love the dress tonight, I would have pictured it on an actress or model going to a MET gala or similar, but Kate wears it beautifully. She is just the height to make it work.

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  51. Not to flog a dead horse :) but do you notice how fantastic the photos are when she's turned toward the photographers? It draws the audience in immediately. Amanda Pullinger had to ask her, but I'll take it!

    It matters :)

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  52. Oh my....do not love it. Seems to be a summer dess. Perhaps if it were strapless it would look better. Love the jewelry.

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  53. Love the hair and the earrings. Really don't like the dress. I'm not much of a fan of prints but what bothers me about the dress is the ruffle. I think she looked spectacular at the state dinner and I really liked the outfit with the kilt. Overall I think she'd done a very good job dressing for such a wide variety of activities.

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  54. Sarah from Winston-Salem, NC27 October 2015 at 22:11

    I think Kate's dress tonight is absolutely beautiful. I love the colors, the vibrancy of it, and the way it almost creates a painting of Kate's character and features. I think the skirt adds a Bohemian feel to the dress, and it flows gently. The most important aspect of her attire is that she's confident, happy, and feels good in it. You can certainly tell that. Her smile radiates so much warmth and compassion that you are naturally drawn to who she is as a woman, mother, and advocate.

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  55. She reminds me Jackie Kennedy in this dress, full hair and world class charm

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    Replies
    1. Robbie from Hampton VA USA28 October 2015 at 02:58

      What a perfect comparison - you are so right!

      Delete
  56. Totally love the pattern and colours but I agree with you that the skirt doesn't work. The knee length dress in the same pattern is very cute, but I hate the bottom tier of this dress - it looks like curtains! I do like the seam detailing on the bodice - very classic Erdem.

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  57. Jacklyn Smith and Farah Fawcett were really beautiful. I can't see why they are now turned to ridicule. I do not think today's fashion as prettier. Fashion is timeless so retro does not exist. The duchess was really beautiful this week. To the devil the DM! They simply seek to destroy a young woman because she happened to marry a prince. It is pure bullying. Nothing more!fff

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    1. Kate, Texas, USA28 October 2015 at 04:57

      Anon 22:12, I am assuming you are making reference to my comment above. I was absolutely not ridiculing Jaclyn Smith and especially not for her outward appearance. She is a very beautiful woman. I was simply comparing Kate's hair to how her hair looked in the 70's. Not a fan of the 70's hairstyle. I felt like I needed to comment since you might have thought I was ridiculing her outward beauty. I think that would be ugly and again absolutely not what I was doing. We all have differing opinions and thankfully Charlotte allows us to express them. :)

      Delete
  58. Sarah from Calif.27 October 2015 at 22:12

    Art for children, always, always and always....well done on your patronage choice Kate!
    The earrings wow! bracelet ,love! The pattern in the dress, the material , the colors on Kate I love. Everything except the last bottom ruffle, it should have layed better and not been so puffy. IMHO.
    Charlotte, hope you can get some rest soon. Thank you for all your hard work!

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  59. This is definitely an out of the box choice but it works on Kate. Quite well! It's wonderful to see her experimenting with fashion. And the earrings...OMG. Love it! About time we saw more like this. :)

    My only wish-list items...an updo to show off the neckline and earrings. AND black patent pumps would have been a better match with this fabric vs. the "dull" suede.

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    1. Agree about the pumps royalfan!

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  60. She looks amazing tonight. I really like the "feel" of this dress, but I do not like the ruffle at the bottom. Her hair looks wonderful. I like that she is trying new things-why not. She can wear anything. I say keep it up! What I really like is the short version you showed. I would wear that in a second! I like it when she wears something that I can take and place in my life. I'm going to be looking for a bold print dress.

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  61. Love her for trying something different but even on her model frame this dress doesn't do her justice. Like most others, I like the print and the bodice but not the skirt. This is not a good frill Erdem!! Queen Letizia just did an amazing ombre frill dress - that's how to do frills and tiers on a skirt x beautiful jewellery though. Thought the 007 Jenny Packham was far more elegant /flattering / etc etc....

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  62. Randi from Maryland, U.S.27 October 2015 at 22:27

    Love the fabric: colors, pattern, drape.

    However, that bottom tier is overwhelming and distracting. As Michael Kors would say, "It's a lotta look."

    IMO, an uninterrupted skirt, and a thin/ribbony sash, would have been great.

    Also, I think the big hair competed with the big dress. Maybe half-up instead? I love when the top is bumped up.

    Love this blog!

    Thanks for the welcome, Rebecca from Sweden!

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 October 2015 at 00:03

      Oh, I also love the "bumped up" look in her hair she has with updos and also even with her hair out. A little 60s flair without going too far! Together with this dress it might have become too much 60s though?

      Delete
  63. Deliah, Florida USA27 October 2015 at 22:42

    Love her dress, hair & earrings - This is, as noted in previous posts tonite, a huge departure for HRH but I believe it works- it's young, bright, happy & colorful. I hope she has (had) a great time tonite.

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  64. The dress wore HER, she didn't wear the dress. The print is too busy and too big. From a construction point of view, too many seams for such a large print, makes it even busier in the back. Clearly a "miss" in my book.

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  65. I REALLY want to like this dress. The colors look great on her, and the top fits so nicely, but I just can't get over that ruffle at the bottom. A friend likened it to a home-ec pattern. Without the ruffle, I would love this dress, but I'm having a hard time seeing past it at this point. However, props to Kate for branching out. Also: how glossy is her hair?

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  66. The dress is a disaster. It does not work at all with her complexion. Total miss for tonight. But yesterday...everything was perfect.

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  67. Oh no, no, no, this can't be what Kate choose for this gala. This dress is all kinds of wrong, the seams at the bodice are senseless, the bust darts don't match with her bust, the print is more suited to a tropical vacation not a gala with 100 of Britain's most powerful women, the bottom flounce looks like a dust ruffle and the amount of fabric literally swamps her.

    By looking at all the other comments I know that I'm in the minority here but Kate really seems to be off her fashion game last night and tonight. I can't imagine what possessed her to think that this dress was a good fit for this event. The only saving grace for me was the beautiful earrings she wore, but why would you cover such lovely jewels? These jewels are meant to be seen. And how nice of Charles to loan them to her!

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    1. I agree that there are some misfires with the dress. I like the top half, but agree that the seams look weird in the close-up view. It's really the skirt that I don't care for. Reminds me too much of a prairie skirt. I think a straight cut on the skirt would look much better. I give her props for trying something different, though. I don't envy her life in the spotlight.

      Delete
  68. Dear Charlotte, as always, many thanks for your wonderful coverage of The DDOC! The DOC looks quite lovely in her Erdem gown...wish she did something a bit different with her hair style, though. It is fabulous that she is wearing the Queen Mother's sapphire earrings. xoxo from The Windy City.

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  69. Love the dress, hair, jewels! Home run!

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  70. Oh, that is just awful! Such a rare miss, but that actually made me cringe :( Love the earrings, though!

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  71. Charlotte, I completely agree with you about the dress. I love the top and the pattern but not the skirt. However, I do not like it on Kate. The big pattern and full skirt bottom are overwhelming on her slender frame. Also, I didn't comment on the "galaxy" dress she wore yesterday, but I'll say now I that pattern as well was overwhelming on her in my opinion. That being said, I am happy to see that she appears to be stepping out of her comfort zone and wearing more patterns than she had done in the past. So I hope she continues trying....she just hasn't gotten it quite right yet.

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  72. Kate is taking a lot of criticism over this dress today. I actually really like it. It's fun, youthful and pushing the envelope. What I don't like is Kate's hair. I think she needs to try and let go the long hair and get a better cut. She seems to be afraid to cut her hair. Eventually there comes a time when women look better as they age with shorter hair. I also think she needs to add different styles of shoes in her wardrobe. The closed toe pump and her boots are very repetitive.

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    Replies
    1. She's only 33!

      Delete
    2. I'm 20 years older than Kate and my hair is almost as long. I believe women should do what makes them happy. I've had long hair for the majority of my life and a few times chopped it off to donate it for a good cause. But why not love what you love about yourself? Not a week goes by that someone - at times, someone I don't even know - stops me and says, "you have beautiful hair". BTW, I've never colored my hair.

      Linda

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    3. I agree. I have no problem with the dress but rather the HAIR. It's massive and the style doesn't go with the dress. Something a bit playful and light would suit better.

      Delete
  73. I wish not to live through the 80's again, please!
    It's nice to see her experiment with new styles, but what was she thinking with this one?
    Love everything else though...her hair especially. Wish I had her hair, and figure!

    -Canada Katrina

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  74. I love her hair and that she's taking risks with her sartorial choices - that's a good thing. However....the dress is....oh no. Again, it looks like something I would find in the back of my grandmother's closet. I just don't know what she was thinking. It is way too busy with that print and the ruffled bottom. I usually love what she wears but these past few months her choices have been more miss than hit. It's a real shame too, considering the cost of these dresses. I'll never lose interest in Catherine though, so thanks for your lovely, interesting posts.

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  75. Love the print and the fit on Kate, but hate the dust ruffle on the bottom. Looks good on the model when standing still, but not good on Kate walking. Adore the shorter Loreen Dress in this print, wish Kate had gone for that one and worn one of her old repeats. And yes, YES for the earrings.

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  76. I love the dress and the fabric but would have preferred the evening gown to fall to the floor in the same lines as the Loreen day dress model. I'm not fond of the ruffled bottom. The Japanese are much bolder with their colours and this is an example of that. It reminded me of the type of Japanese designs which inspired William Morris. That might be why some dislike it (too much like wallpaper after "granny's nightgown." I didn't dislike either dress that much, but it's difficult to hit all the stops with a dress. I have liked her in Erdem before. I hope she goes there again.

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  77. This print is fabulous. I need that knee-length version i my closet!

    I think it's wonderful that we've seen three very different evening looks from Kate this week--the perfectly princess red gown, a more daring number appropriate for a movie premiere, and now this fun floral for a gala event! She did a great job mixing up her jewelry, accessories, and hairstyles, too. This week has been a real treat!

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  78. I have not commented on the last 10 posts or so as I have been reading but haven't found time to comment. I have enjoyed many of Kate's recent choices and while I applaud her for stepping out of her comfort zone with this choice, I don't really like the ruffled bottom. I think the pattern is OK but it is not one of my favorites. I also do not like her hair in this style with the bangs...her hair looks better either in a ponytail or in an updo, but down I think it is not that flattering. Thanks Charlotte

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  79. Julia from Leominster28 October 2015 at 00:53

    It's been wonderful this last week seeing William and Kate at work. I've been wondering if it's a beginning change in strategy or just a chance pile up of engagements and whether it will continue. Hoping so. Kate wore one of my favourite dresses earlier today and glad to see her get involved with the early intervention programme and glad to see her back supporting the women in the hedge fund charity.

    As for the Erdam, it was a dress at first I thought I would like to see Kate in, when I noticed it on Net a Porter and if I recall, a similar gown was the choice for someone in our first dress Kate event. (Sorry I can't recall who or access it at the moment.) I initially loved the look but when I looked closer at the dress, even on the statuesque model, I thought how odd that flounce was - it really affected the flow of the skirt. I thought it would be better as a bespoke, done without the flounce but unfortunately, that isn't what happened and unfortunately, the flounce just doesn't work in my eyes. Nor does the bold print work as well on Kate as I thought it would. And the design of the back really calls for an updo or at least a pony tail. So I'm going to have to call this a rara avis - a gown I wanted to see Kate in but one that it turns out really doesn't work on her.

    I suspect she thought the print would stand out when she's lined up with a row of women in colourful gowns in that respect she's right. Delighted to see the new borrow of the queen mum's earrings and hope the borrows continue and glad to hear so much money was earned. Kate may look as well as anyone would in that gown and it is a lively choice in a fortnight of lively choices most of which I've very much liked. So she gets a plus for originality from me - I just wish she had told Erdam to lose that flounce in a bespoke version for her.

    As to the remark above, I believe that fabric is indeed Japanese inspired if I remembered what I read about it - Erdam does imaginative fabrics so well.

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  80. I love everthing about this dress. She is apparently very happy, very fashion forward (beware, those that made the same old statements that she was stuck in a rut before). She is exploring, she is loving her life, she is loving her husband and children, she is loving the role - model that she can be! My gosh, if I could look like one small inch of her I would give my eye-teeth. Just let her become her best self. Just back off. She is gorgeous. Don't we all wish we could be so comfortable in our own skin to pull this outfit off like she has?

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    Replies
    1. Deliah, Florida. USA28 October 2015 at 02:17

      01:09 BULLSEYE! you are 500% right- I am in total agreement! Very well said.

      Delete
    2. Deliah, Florida. USA28 October 2015 at 02:20

      I think at 33 years of age long hair is very appropriate and HRH wears it well

      Delete
    3. So true!!!!!

      Delete
    4. I'm in complete agreement!

      Delete
    5. Rose from Montreal Canada28 October 2015 at 14:24

      I am in agreement too. Whatever she wears some people like it while others hate it. She can't please all the people all the time so she might as well please herself. Way to go Duchess Kate.

      Delete
  81. If the skirt had been a column skirt

    with a reasonable slit for the leg (not too much because of the casual print), and if she had worn her hair up that would have made this gown plausible.
    As it is it is very teen and sort of prairie skirt. The print and prairie skirt don't play nicely together.

    I am so so happy she is partaking of the Royal bling, but I do not like these earrings at all, on Kate or the Queen mum. I think "all diamond" earrings had to be worn to triumph over the bold print.

    She needs a very, very, very good stylist. Someone commented recently about a gown Diana wore to a certain event. After all these years she still remembers that gown. That's was happens when you get it right. Kate is filling the pages of history. With just a little bit more effort she could fill them remarkably, memorably. I still remember Rose Rocksavage's gown she wore to the Chinese banquet. I wish Kate had worn that gown to the Bond premiere or hedge fund gala. That gown was exquisite.

    I am happy she is trying new things fashion wise also.
    She needs some expert guidance in the process, obviously. And I don't mean Natasha Archer either, no offense. I wouldn't be surprised if Kate's recent choices weren't the product of her choices. Ugh
    I think she is the one who had Kate parting her hair in the middle with those long ringlets by her face. (way too severe a style for Kate or most people.)

    She has the opportunity and ability to create such exceptional beauty. What a waste if she doesn't. She has to wear something. Why not make it count.

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    Replies
    1. A-men! I remember reading that after a few years - and a few wince-worthy fashion misses - Diana went to the editors at British Vogue and asked for help styling, which they happily provided. Her fashion transformation happened almost immediately and if you look at a Diana fashion timeline, you can see almost exactly when it started. She changed her makeup, updated her hairstyle and started putting together ensembles that were the complete package, the memorable suits and dresses that you mention.
      I expect this same help is available to Kate. She is one of the most photographed women in the world. Surely she could reach out and there would be a hundred good, reputable, discreet stylists, from Vogue, Bazaar, etc., who would be happy to help. I'm sure that the designers of these gowns would be only too happy to help Kate style them as they should be styled and worn - IF she would take their advice.
      Pippa always seems to hit the mark so I'm rather surprised SHE'S not giving some fashion tips. Her style is age-appropriate and fresh all at the same and she manages to put the whole look together, whether daytime, casual or evening looks.

      Delete
    2. Well said and I agree completely. Why waste the resources and opportunity to create something great? I think she should leave off experimenting with cute and a ridiculous 'bell bottom.'

      Delete
    3. I totally agree. A slim/column skirt with a slit and her hair up would have been so much better. The whole look was too busy...busy print, flounce, weird seams/darts, big hair. The earrings would have looked more striking with a solid color dress and with her hair up.

      Delete
    4. Anon @ 01:10

      THANK YOU. That is about the best synopsis I have read yet that best describes my thoughts on the subject. So right on. Thank you.

      Delete
  82. Sometimes after giving birth, your sartorial choices can be way off for awhile. Hormones, new responsibilities, sleep deprivation? I don't know. It was that way with me. I wish someone had told me, "Don't make many clothes investments for at least a year to 18 months."

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    Replies
    1. I've heard that as well! In fact, I even read an article while I was pregnant warning me about that. So true!

      Delete
  83. Delighted to see the beautiful dress she was wearing tonight. I like lots of color and I think she look very nice - even her hair looked nice. She looks very pretty in blue and should wear it more often. Not so sure I like the gown she wore to Spectre. Tonight's was much prettier.

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  84. Does anyone miss Kate's old style?! Oh my I do.

    Charlotte, do you know who her stylist was back then? I know Richard ward did her hair... I sure miss how he made her hair look. Her hair style now makes me think she needs to get it cut, but when Richard styled it I loved it.

    Thank you Charlotte for all the posts! I hope you can take a break for awhile and recoup :)

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  85. Oh no, no, no. This is just such a shame. The print is gorgeous and the material (from what I can tell in pics) is equally gorgeous but full length tiered, ruffled bottom? I like she's stepping out of the comfort zone which Charlotte mentions but really this would have been wonderful as a short dress. Even on the model it does not look right. I also have questions about the jewelry that Kate borrows from the private collection of the Queen. Does she get full access to them or are they preselected for her to wear throughout the year? Is this the same with the tiara she wears?

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  86. You go Kate! I would not have selected this gown for Kate but she did and I'm always more interested in the how and why she makes her choices. Several of us were envisioning the Emerald McQueen - I would like to see that dress again at some point. That said, she surprises us all with something new. When I'm "not sure" I like to watch the videos to see how it moves and how Kate looks. I like it for a couple of reasons - the coloring is really beautiful and I thought it fit her well. While the gather at the bottom of the skirt was surprising it appears to "poof" out a little which is what I like about it and it touches the ground which I feel gives it a little balloon effect. Secondly, whenever she is selecting gowns around this time of year I think what is going to wear for the Christmas holiday and all those family gatherings/dinners? I see Kate in this dress sitting in front of the Christmas tree holding Charlotte with William and George. It would make an amazing photo.

    Charlotte thanks for sharing that black and white photo of Kate at the end of the post - so beautiful. Great job with all the posts over this past week.

    Linda in San Jose

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree. The photo at the end is lovely!! The material of the gown is fantastic, and though i am not loving the poof, i don't hate it either. Kate's hair looked stunning today as well. All in all a win i think:)

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  87. Wow- so unexpected! I love the print and Kate can carry it off. On a shorter and curvier woman, it probably would not show as well. I think she secretly loves Erdem! What an exclamation point to a fun week watching her do her thing!

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  88. The gown itself is stunning. She styled it horribly wrong, which is to say not at all.
    1) The hair should have been swept up into a tight, clean bun. The dress IS the focal point, with the pattern and color. You want a nice clean line of shoulders and neck to be featured on the wearer.
    2) Ditch the dowager statement jewels - and make a note to yourself to have them reset when Wills gets the PoW nod. Borrow or rent a pair of big, plain sapphire earrings, just big plain square stones, maybe on a small wire. If you want a bracelet, a small, thin solid white diamond bracelet, maybe even interspersed with a couple of small sapphires.
    3) Lose those clunky big closed toe heels. Shoes - go for a navy blue Vamp-esque style sandal or even a navy blue suede Vamp-style stiletto sandal. Get. A. Pedicure. Match the red to the red in the dress.
    4) Lighten up the eyeliner. Your makeup is fighting with the vibrant color and pattern in the dress and the makeup lost. It doesn't look original anymore, it just looks like you don't know how to do evening makeup.

    This is a stunning dress, it fit nicely and she would have looked stunning in it if it had been styled correctly.
    I cannot understand why Kate is either ignoring the styling advice that goes with these big gowns or turning it down (if it's offered by the designers, which I would think it surely would be). If you are going to spend thousands of pounds on these big dresses, you absolutely NEED to style everything else to complement the gown.
    The gown, quite honestly, in this situation, is wearing her. It's absolutely a stunning gown and would have been perfect - if she had just styled it. It looks like she threw a few curls in her hair, pulled the gown on, had Will zip it up and dashed out of the house. Come on, Kate. You can do better with this kind of a gown than this!!

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  89. oh I love the floral dress I would love too see the duchess wearing it again sometime she looks perfect yeah she loves experimenting and she taking a risk I think she one good example making fashion statement in beyond her comfort zone taking a fashion risk is fine and legal I love that the William and kate is focusing some mental issue charlotte thanks for your hard work on these blog thanks for sharing these blog to as and thanks for sharing the black and white photo to end the day

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  90. I like that she stepped out in something "unusual" for her, however I think because the print is so busy, that the line of the dress should've remained simple (like in the photo from the designer site-- the shorter version of the dress shows that the simple lines is far better). That extra ruffle or tier or whatever you call it, made it look too busy. But Kate herself is always so pretty and seems so nice.

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  91. It is certainly an interesting look for her. I do wish she had worn her hair up, so that we better see her earrings and the dresses neckline. I love the colour of the dress, but feel that the skirt would have been a better look if the bottom ruffle had been omitted. Maybe at some point she can get this dress shortened and re use it.

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  92. I really don't like this dress its the bottom if it was a full skirt or even pencel it would be so much better i do love the print and the top i would have done red shoes and red clutch the jewels are to die for i also think this dress did not fit in the other ladies gowns not galmours enough her hair was stunning thanks charlotte for the fast post

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  93. I have to smile when I look at the brightly patterned silk prints Kate has worn twice this week. They just seem so very English! The Queen wears flowered print silk dresses at home in London and under her coats when she is out and about. That makes me wonder whether Angela Kelly had a hand in planning Kate's wardrobe for this busy past week. Miss Kelly also knows the royal jewelry well, and she could have had a hand in choosing the Queen's bracelet for Kate to wear to the state banquet. She probably did not choose the Queen Mother's earrings, which probably have been kept at Clarence House. The Queen Mother owned more beautiful earrings, but these are striking and go well with the gown.

    The design of the gown is different. All those seams would have been quite striking on a solid fabric. But I rather like the dress. I like the short version even more. Kate could, as someone suggested, have hers altered to wear as a short silk dress in the summer. In my mind, almost every gown suffers a bit in comparison to that Jenny Packham Kate wore for the Hedge Fund dinner in 2012 and in New York. I just keep expecting to see it again. :-)

    Kate's several recent engagements have all meant new clothing except the one this morning, at which she wore the grey dress which has never been my favorite. Of all these striking choices, I especially loved the red Jenny Packham gown for the state banquet and the blue coat (although it should have fit better at the top) and its matching kilt in Dundee. And the two bright prints have been fun, though surprising.

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  94. I'm going to have to say, tonight's look is frumpy and lacking in Kate's usual sophisticated elegance. The fabric might as well have been from the curtain fabric of a funky hotel. Maybe this fabric and the space age material from yesterday's dress are from the same hotel. I'm definitely a little disappointed. Kate usually raises the fashion bar and gives us a some elegance we can aspire to. Not with the last few events, however.

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  95. Correction, Kate wore the dark blue Jenny Packham gown to the Hedge Fund dinner in 2013, if I said otherwise.

    Also, I meant to thank you, Charlotte, for your excellent, rapid, and thorough coverage of this flurry of events Kate has attended. I hope you and she will both take a little breather now!

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  96. This dress is so interesting! I actually really love it on her, and I think she looks fabulous. This is a big risk and definitely love it/hate it territory, but at least she's wearing SOMETHING different. Also, the colors of the dress look great on her. I'm shocked that she chose this dress!

    The black and white photo of her at the end is stunning.

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  97. This was awful - she really used to dress much more elegant and with more taste. Her hair is totally "day time" here. The earrings do not go well with the dress. This is a very fashionable evening gown that requires careful styling otherwise it looks like it does here - out of place and completely wrong.

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    1. that sums it up appropriately 04:03

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  98. I do not see Catherine ever taking a family photo in this gown. She may have just loved the color and movement, I do not, I do not like floral prints and large tropical prints are for me only good on male Hawaiian vacation shirts... She looked gorgeous but really it looked like a vacation dress and frankly even then an odd combination of fabric. Silk and pattern and design all an odd combination. I hope it just looked better in person on a cold fall day in the UK.

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  99. I think this dress could be OK if the ruffle was cut off. Could be great shorter at a summer event. The pattern is pretty, but just not appropriate for this. I would think you would go pretty sleek and understated for a women's business event. But the earrings are pretty. Hate the shoes with this dress. Way too heavy. But she is gorgeous and really can never have a huge fashion fail.

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  100. The past two nights have been surprising to me. I neither like nor hate the gowns. But what I absolutely LOVE is that Kate is stepping out of her comfort zone and trying new things. She is a very "safe" person so this is a welcome change. Haven't people accused her of being boring? Even the focus of her charitable engagements is different, and I have noticed that she is more relaxed, spontaneous, and open about sharing info about the kids. This makes me excited about the future. Best of all, she looks so happy.

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    1. I completely agree! We want her to take risks and she has and although they may not be perfectly suited to my tastes, she still is a beautiful person wearing beautiful clothes and jewelry! Kudos!

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  101. Charlotte - you are amazing and so talented in reporting on the Duchess of Cambridge's activities and fashion. I love to follow Kate via your blog. This has been a wonderful week filled with great events and fashion. However, this evening's dress is an enigma to me. The fabric and colors appear to be very luxurious, but they demand a simple style. The ruffle in the lower skirt gives the dress a very casual look that is not consistent with the elegance of the evening. We all love that Kate repeats her clothing, but IMO, this dress should only be worn once.

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  102. The vibrant color of the design and the sturdy-silk looking of the material could have been served better with a different out line by the designer. The color and design motif to be a pre fall 2015, brought to a modern flare could have been a different pattern. The bottom extensions especially made it look recall something more familiar and fitting for interior decorating. Her long style hair made it even busier.

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  103. Julia from Leominster28 October 2015 at 05:32

    I'm certain Kate was drawn to the richness of the fabric and I can't blame her but I wish she had either asked Erdam to do a bespoke version with a simple skirt or have chosen the short version. The latter would have been less overpowering. I think there are few people who could wear the long version with complete success as it is. Maybe Michele Obama since she is both tall and large (as opposed to fat) although the print might have made her look even larger. It's a beautiful but problematic gown.

    It didn't help that Kate wore those black shoes - she probably thought they wouldn't show but such a heavy skirt needs thin sandals, the sapphires don't work well with it either and her hair needed to be up.

    But having said all that, I'm delighted to see such a great array of new things and a little branching out of designers. I actually don't think the styles are that foreign to Kate - the soft flow of the Packham was similar to other other gowns she had worn - I love the subtle daring of that style and the colour on her.

    So my recent summary. 1. I loved the Lauren black and white dress but thought too much leg showed to be appropriate. 2. Thought the grey dress she wore for the prison visit elegant and professional. 3. Was delighted to see the return of the black and white DVF for the mental health visit - one of Kate's strong looks. 4. Delighted to see the absence of the uniform for the rugby matches and the patterned trousers. 5. I thought the red gown for the Chinese banquet was perfection - youthful - with a subtle sparkle I'm sure was lovely in person, the perfect colour, and as daring as one could be for a first state banquet. 6. The Dolce gown was beautiful on Kate and I adore lace on her - but would have preferred a British status designer for that particular event - Still, look forward to seeing that dress again - she can wear that unusual colour. 7. The blue coat and skirt in Scotland - (scuba blue is this year's Pantene colour) I thought the coat showed off Kate's figure beautifully and the Scottish designer perfect - the kilted skirt was too short in my eyes. 8. The watered print dress I thought the perfect length and colour - and Kate looked wonderfully graceful in it. 9. I loved the soft blue Packham though appreciate why some didn't - it's an unusual style but I thought softly romantic and sexy. 10. Delighted to see the grey dress back. 11. The Erdam suffered from problems but a rich material. Just wish Kate had chosen the short version - I think that would have been perfect.

    So that's Julia's personal analysis and just so thrilled to see much of Kate this month - important engagements and great close - all I've been wanting. Will be delighted if we get some surprises in the next weeks - if not I'll expect to see Kate at Remembrance - just when we're finally back from adventuring.

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  104. I am of the opinion that Kate dresses like a woman who has no idea what season it is. Open back, halter straps, sleeveless, color tones - if I didn't know better I would think it was early summer in the UK by Kate's evening wear. Are you having a heat wave?

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  105. Eve from Germany28 October 2015 at 08:31

    Quite honestly? All I can think right now - even after looking at the pictures several times, doing other stuff and going back having another look - is: NEW. DIFFERENT. YES.
    She finally seems to be experimenting. trying new things, different things. I doubt that she has herself photographed (especially with flashlights) every time she tries on a new dress in order to find out how it will look "in action". So sometimes it will be a hit, sometimes a miss - I don´t really care at the moment. Fashion has always been about "trying, daring, probing" - and she really seems to be embracing that at the moment.
    Do I like the dress? Yes. Do I like it on her? Maybe for a summer night party outside in the garden on a tour through some exotic country. For this event at this time of the year it seemed a little bit "out of place". Still, the "new and different" is just outshining everything else.
    I hope she continues to experiment. It makes this whole thing so much more exciting!!

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  106. Awesome to see Kate happy and having the confidence to make her own bold fashion statements. The fabric in this dress is sumptuous & gives the dress a stately feel.

    the silhouette is one that Diana used often in evening dresses. Sometimes with a very sexy form fitting column that made the flounce more dramatic & other times less structured. Looking back at her evening dresses using this style most seem very dated now but a couple still have the 'wow' factor. Kate's dress is an updated version of the look and the patterned fabric gives it a modern edge. It's appropriate for the event & draws the eye in all the group photos.

    It's interesting that the Orla Keely dress she wore earlier in the day fits her pretty much the same now as it did before except that she's become a bit fuller in the bust which is no surprise after two having two children. This suggests she's just gone back to her normal weight & slight, athletic build.

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  107. This blog epitomises what fashion is all about - like art, it elicits an emotional response and varied opinions. It's in the eye of the beholder. Some of us love this look, some dislike it, others appreciate some aspects of the design ... And so on.,.

    What I love is the fact that Catherine wears what she likes and what she feels comfortable in, and that she's not styled within an inch of her life, meaning we see aspects of her taste and personality shine through. And what I see shine from within her via these recent outfits and accessories is not vanity, but fun, heart, sincerity and a little bit of naivety which is an endearing combination for me.

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  108. When I first saw this dress on Kate I didn't like it although the colors of the print are colors she looks good in. But after a second look I think it is a beautiful and unusual dress and it's nice to see her in something that's not so tailored. I love her choice in earrings as well. It does seem like a more open toe shoe or dressy sandal would have looked better with the dress. She's a gorgeous woman who looks good in just about anything though. I think she pulled this look off very well. I can't imagine what it would be like to have people talk, write about, photograph every every piece of clothing and accessories I wore every time I stepped out of my house. I would be stark raving mad after a few weeks but she seems to take it all in stride and with a smile.

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  109. I don't love the dress, but perhaps I'm torn because pairing black accessories with a blue based dress is a bit odd. Agree with all the comments that it's good to see her experimenting.

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  110. Deliah, Florida, USA28 October 2015 at 10:35

    Does anyone think there will be a re-do of this dress minus the ruffle? I would like to see it without the ruffle for one of HM garden parties, along with a low heel sandal (not wedge) in the same blue as in the dress or even better RED! Please don't misunderstand, as I have already posted I love the entire look, I am just thinking since HRH will at some point, wear this dress again as she has done with so many others, that a change to eliminate that ruffle might not be a bad idea IMHO

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  111. Three black tie events, three totally different looks from the serious to the ethereal to the fun glam. How enjoyable and although the opinions have been very diverse, how delightful that the Duchess is making a statement in all her looks. Having gone back over all three events what I like most is how she managed to infuse a mood into each event through her clothes and perhaps that is going over time to be her strength, not technically perfect fashion choices that some of us crave, but an interpretation, which is more interesting and fun and gives another dimension.

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  112. Has anyone asked about the bracelet? Did the Queen lend it to her? I can't see it well enough to identify it. In the enlarged photo it looks like the biggest diamonds are yellow, but maybe it's just the lighting.

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  113. I personally love seeing her step outside her comfort zone and try new things! The colors of the dress are so rich and perfect on her - and the earrings are fabulous! I've so loved all these engagements, and I hope we'll continue to see her out and about the next few months!

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  114. Hi. I greatly appreciate your decision not to post paparazzi photos of the children although I expect this was taken by a fellow visitor and not paparazi but it's still somewhat intrusive. Now I have a website that I am totally comfortable with. I get to find out about all the official appearances Kate makes (and VERY promptly). You cover the every detail and promptly. Because of your policy I think it highly unlikely to upset her and there's no nasty gossip from contributors. I have previously had a selection of 3 sites I visit. You were in the top 3 but your decision not to include the photo has cemented it for me - I will only be looking at yours in future. I also like the way the comments in the comment section are not nasty or unkind and it's pleasant to read the views of other contributors. I love getting ideas from her clothes to help inspire me for making clothes I'd like to make for myself. I also like that you provide the links to the charities so I can read what they are all about and I can choose to support those I like. I expect the links to the charity not only provides insite to the work done by them but also helps provide extra funding for the charities. As others have mentioned it would be nice if that could do even a 5 second pose for media and fans on arrival at functions like the European royals do. I would expect it would decrease the desire for pap photos. And maybe occasionally on tours or at "selected" milestones a cute informal photo op worth the media may sate the desire - remember the candid shots and prearranged photos calls of William and Harry on the lawns of government houses across the globe. I also love the links to the charities you provide and think it a great idea to optimise donations. And their being together the various charities to optimise the impact. All in call thank you so much for the ethical website!!!

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  115. Have you ever had contact with Kate about your website?

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  116. I saw a comment on twitter about the print that really hit home for me. They said, "The occasion was to support The Art Room. If you can't use color and print for an art engagement when can you?" I thought that was a great insight to the dress and one I hadn't considered when I first saw the dress. The more I look at it in this context, the more it makes sense. I didn't like the dress initially but taking that thought makes it grow on me even more.

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  117. I think the dress is pretty by itself and the Duchess is obviously very pretty without any help but together they are somewhat of a miss. I think my problem with the dress is that it looks as though it is too bold of a print for her and it ages her. She's a beautiful 33 year old and this dress (with the bold print and bottom frills) is more well suited for her mother. She has a fantastic figure and this dress does her no help. Thankfully, because she is so pretty and skinny she never truly looks "bad" in my opinion. She just could have looked so much nicer.

    Thank you so much Charlotte for all of the posts this week!!! They have been wonderful and I've enjoyed seeing the Duchess out and about so much!

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  118. I agree that if the skirt had been a column skirt and her hair worn up with just the perfect diamond earrings the dress would have looked SO MUCH better. The dress was still not the dress for this colder season business event. A different summer event okay, but not this one.

    This dress, the blue "cloud" dress, and the light blue movie premiere dress are all three so bizarre I wonder what is going on with Kate. Trying new things is one thing, those dresses are quite another. Not money properly spent or opportunity optimally utilized. If someone is advising her I would question their loyalty and their friendship/motives, and of course, their fashion ability.

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  119. Little House on the Prairie meets Hawaii Five O, meets Penney's Drapery department and they all converge in a bad dream. wake up Kate, wake up.

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  120. Hi, Charlotte,

    Your coverage has been excellent all this week. Thank you so much for making it all so enjoyable.

    Now-I just wish I was having a better time contemplating Kate's fashions this week. It's been a real roller coaster. I'm not a fashionista so I may be off base. But, IMO, Kate needs a stylist. When outfits are consistently off because of one or two elements, it either means Kate is going it "alone" with not enough good advice dedicated to her fashion picks for appearances-or-this is all operating at some higher level with a fashion sensibility that is prefiguring trends and is way beyond my humble appreciation.

    I don't believe it's the latter because there are enough knowledgeable commentators on this site, and on other sites, who would be remarking on how fashion-forward Kate's choices are and I'm not reading that.

    Good things about this week-the jewels at the State Banquet, the beautiful shade of red chosen for Kate's gown, the plum colour chosen for the Creative reception, the shoes/clutch chosen for the same reception, the details on the Spectre gown (the back detailing, the belt/buttons), Kate's Spectre up do, the return of the Orla Kiely day dress, the Queen Mum's earrings, some elements of the Erdem gown-the fit of the top half of the dress, the luxurious silk fabric and the beautiful colours...

    Not so good things about this week-the poor/blah fit of the top half of the State Banquet gown and Kate's messy up do, the D&G evening lace in the daytime (a nicely tailored matching blazer would have made that problem go away), the Shaun the Sheep dress- that AWFUL star pattern which was an example of the very worst of British "busy print" fabric, the baggy tailoring/sizing of the Spectre gown with the choice of a different colour and fabric taking all the stylishness out of the runway version, choosing another really busy print for the Erdem gown and allowing that dust ruffle bottom...

    Please, please, Kate, a word of advice from those of us who lived through the 70s (I had several dresses as a young teenager with that very same dust ruffle finishing!). When that decade was good, it was very good but when it was bad, it was AWFUL!!!! Please hire a stylist to help you choose what was good if you want the 70s to inspire you.

    I don't think we'll see this number of engagements again until a Spring Tour so I'm sure I'll soon be lamenting not seeing HRH at all.

    Have a great day!

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  121. This editorial in the DM is dead right IMO. Don't usually agree with Amanda, but she has it right this time.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3292665/For-pity-s-sake-leave-s-going-grey-eyeliner-s-worrying-new-mum-s-way-growing-army-viciously-cruel-Kate-critics-web-AMANDA-PLATELL-message.html

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  122. I LOVE this dress and her whole look here! So much more youthful and vibrant than the piece she chose to wear to the bond premiere! Also, love your posts Charlotte-always great fun to read!

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  123. I saw the dress yesterday when the royal corrs posted cell phone pics before I had to dash out the door for an engagement of my own. After the surprise of the pattern, my first thought was that this was a Pippa dress. Seemed so much more like her than Kate. I did not like the dress and thought it quite the surprising choice for the event. Now that I've slept on it and looked at other pics, I decided that the print doesn't bother me and actually looks nice with the rich silk sheen in many photos. Nothing can fix the 80's prom dress dust ruffle of a skirt (and just like those dresses, it horribly poofs out when she walks making her anything but elegant in motion), but if she cuts it down and makes her own sleeker-than-the-Loreen version of a day dress, I'd love to see a re-wear!

    I loved seeing the QM's earrings on her. She is finally wearing royal pieces and it's nice to see them get some outings. I hope this means she is finally comfortable with the bigger jewels for gown events.

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  124. This look is so fun!! She looks wonderful and I love that we are seeing her in a new style. Keep it up, Kate!

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  125. I haven't read all of the comments over the past few weeks, so sorry if this has already been asked, but, do we think that she has a (new) stylist? She's been wearing so many new and different pieces lately and has also been experimenting more with her hair. Charlotte, do you have any info on this? She hasn't had a stylist in the past, right?

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  126. I love the dress but feel it would have better suited for another event. It's really obvious it doesn't fit in the photo with everyone at the event. All the ladies are dressed very formal and that dress feels summery and beachy to me.

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  127. The dress is hideous. However, I think she looks great from the neck up. If she has a stylist they need to be fired immediately. She needs to re-examine her wardrobe from her single days and remember what about that worked (because it did) and go from there.

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  128. I'm not a super fan of either of the last two nights' dresses, although I LOVE elements of both, but I for one thank the Duchess for giving us what we wanted - style risks, lots of bling (especially Family bling!), and better hair. This dress may be a miss in some regards, but at least its DIFFERENT. Kudos!

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  129. I like that she is open minded to different styles/fabrics. Good for her. It's a striking dress and not my favorite but so what. Can't say she is boring.

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  130. Suzanne in Colorado28 October 2015 at 16:00

    I love the Duchess, but this is the first time I have looked at her and thought "Barbie Doll"! The dress, the hair, how absurdly tiny she looks standing next to normal sized people.

    The dress was pretty on the top, but I really disliked the ruffle on the bottom. Again, Barbie-like.

    While it's fun to see her try new things, most of the last few appearances have been misses for me!

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  131. Huzzah to you, Charlotte, for having your blog link published with the online USA today article about the last three dresses Catherine wore this week! :o)

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  132. that is an aweful, aweful print! I cannot agree with some commenters who consider this "youthful" at all. The red and blue contrast makes this so matronly, boring and frumpy - as far as florals go. Not a show-stopper. She herself is radiant. That dress is a miss from cut to print. Really don't know what to say ... of all the awesome choice she has in her world... to wear such a thing! speechless

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  133. A winner, an absolute winner. THIS is HRH. She looked herself and the fashion icon that she is. HRH does not look her best in very flow-y, unstructured and ultra lacy, frilly gowns (like last night's or the green lace one from a while back–also Peckham). HRH has a very athletic, chiseled inverted triangular body shape that, in my view, does not work well with frilly, almost costume-y style. She needs a more structured tailoring and not cute-sy frilly femininty (she DOES look great in structured lace as she's shown us over the years, more recently the D & G eggplant dress-but again, that one as well as all the other lace dresses have been well structured).

    I'll stop rambling and say: she knocked it out of the ballpark with this dress. An absolute smashing hit, very HRH.

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  134. Do not like the hair or dress yuck

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  135. Oh that hair! When is she going to become the sophisticated woman we all want? An evening event with high-powered, intelligent, business women demands that you do something with your hair. Why can't she see that hair makes her look like a naive college coed? It makes her look inexperienced and unsure of herself.
    She styled it so beautifully at the state dinner... why not tonight?
    Leave it long for those fun days in the park with George, but get it out of the way for the professional events.

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  136. From all these dresses at the groupe picture I like Kate's dress and the dress of the second lady from the right the most. I think it's in Kate's style.

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  137. omg. you don't really think she is getting stylist advice on these recent outfits do you? Oh no. Get a better stylist.

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