Monday, 19 February 2018

Kate and Sophie Join Forces for Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen during London Fashion Week to celebrate and showcase a new creative initiative - the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.


I was very pleased to hear Kate and Sophie were teaming up when the engagement was announced. I think it's a terrific strategy for two members of the royal family to join forces in support of a shared interest. Both ladies are avid supporters of British fashion, making tonight's event a great fit for them.


They both returned to duties this week following half-term break with their children. Sophie and Edward went skiing with their children in the Swiss Alps; unfortunately 14-year-old Lady Louise fractured her left leg before the family returned to London.


The pair were also joined by Princess Beatrice.


Upon arrival, Kate and Sophie looked at several of the designs.


Launched earlier this month, by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange aims to create partnerships between established and emerging talent from across the 52 member countries, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.


The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is one of the most important events on the royal calendar this year. From April 16-20, leaders from all member countries will gather in London and Windsor. They will come together to reaffirm common values, address the shared global challenges faced and agree how to work to create a better future for all Commonwealth citizens, particularly young people. It is slated to be the biggest summit ever held in Britain. Politically, the event has added significance because of Brexit and the government are eager to deploy the Royal family throughout the week. An array of forums, meetings and a glittering State Banquet are on the agenda. The Telegraph reports it will conclude with a special celebration marking the Queen's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall marking her lifelong commitment to the Commonwealth. The Duchess, who is expecting her third baby in April, will be on maternity leave during the week, the timing of tonight's Fashion Exchange meant she could still participate in one of the events leading up to it.


The reception brought together influential people from across the global fashion industry, including designers, manufacturers, textile producers and craftspeople.


Below, Kate chatting with Stella McCartney and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.


The Duchess meeting guests.


The Countess is patron of London College of Fashion.


Princess Beatrice admires the creations.


The initiative uses fashion as a common language and platform to help people understand the modern Commonwealth in a different way. It celebrates creativity, sustainable production and manufacturing, trade links and ethical supply chains across the fashion industry, from business and design to textile and fabric design and manufacturing, to craft and artisan skills.


Over the last six months, major fashion designers have partnered with artisan producers in small nations who exemplify traditional handcraft techniques and trades, with a view to creating a 'skills exchange'.


Selected design talent includes major names such as Karen Walker representing New Zealand, Bibi Russell representing Bangladesh and Burberry and Stella McCartney representing the UK.


Several looks on display at the Palace.


The headdresses displayed on each of the mannequins in the State Rooms were created using 6,000 pieces of reclaimed paper from the film Fast & Furious 6.


A map of the exchanges.



The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, said: “The modern Commonwealth is young and creative. It represents a third of the world’s population, 60 percent of whom are under the age of 30. So fashion, alongside music and sport, represents a powerful common language and platform through which to influence young people around key issues.


Livia Firth's (if you recognise the name, Livia is married to Colin Firth) firm Eco-Age - a brand/marketing consultancy that helps businesses to grow, by creating, implementing and communicating sustainability solutions - will manage the initiative. Below, Kate and Livia tonight.


Speaking about the initiative she said:

“This is a project rich in partnerships and creative co-design. For example, one of our very talented designers from India is paired with an artisan group in Tuvalu. As someone who is passionate about joining the threads of global fashion and creating real partnerships you can imagine how exciting it is for us to be involved.”

More on the collaboration Livia mentioned: "Behno has originated a signature style for the brand that combines innovative textiles with strong masculine tailoring. For the fashion exchange, Benho created a repurposed wool coat featuring Indian mirror-work and a sheer dress made from remnants of blue silk organza, embellished with Swarovski upcycled crystals, with black crochet 'kolose' panels. Five women from Tuvalu, artisans from a cooperative called Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa, spent a month creating the panels, using a crochet technique that is particularly popular in the region".


For the UK-India partnership, Stella McCartney created a gown using Oshadi’s peace silk, produced using ancient hand-weaving techniques, and naturally dyed by local skilled craftsmen in Tamil Nadu. Peace silk is reeled from empty cocoons, meaning that silkworms are left to hatch into moths before the silk is spun from the cocoons in a way similar to spinning wool. It takes a weaver one day to create 5m of hand woven peace silk using a hand loom, compared to hundreds that can be produced by machines.


Kate and Sophie viewing Stella's design tonight.


A selfie from Stella at the reception.


Burberry designed a look created using the highest quality Oeko-Tex certified Australian Merino wool to create a reimagined trench coat, accompanied by woollen trousers made with Oeko-Tex certified yarns, and knitwear made with non-muelsed wool. The suppliers and manufacturers involved in creating the look are part of Burberry’s 2020 project, involved in capacity building programmes encompassing training relating to ethical performance, audits, chemical management practices, and adhering to Burberry’s code of conduct.


Two beautiful designs created for the exchange.


You can read all the fashion exchange stories here.


The Duchess met artisans from around the Commonwealth and heard about a partnership between Karen Walker and a cooperative of women from the Cook Islands, who are expert in the craft of 'tivaivai'.


More from the Mail Online:

'Among those Kate chatted to was Nigerian designer Nkwo, who said she had been fascinated to learn about the heading process and how long it had taken her. ‘I explained to her that everything had been hand sewn. The only time a machine was used was for the lining. She couldn’t believe it. ‘The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange has been such a wonderful experience. I really hope it will help to put us on the map - not as African fashion, but simply as fashion.’
The Duchess also chatted with New Zealand designer Karen Walker and her collaborator Tukua Tuna, from the Kuki Airani Creative Mamas, who originally hails from the Cook Islands but is now based in Auckland. ‘The Duchess asked us how long it had taken - 1,000 hours was the answer,’ Miss Walker said. ‘And she was just amazed at the level of detail that Tukua and her team had undertaken in stitching the islands’ beautiful flowers. It was such a wonderful, open and liberating process to work together. Mrs Tuna, 74, added: ‘The Duchess couldn’t quite believe it when I told her we had used 9,000 metres of thread!’

Iridescent Fashion was set up by 17-year-olds Keeanna Ible and Shavaneice Lake and is based in St Kitts & Nevis. It was paired with artisan Neisha La Touche from Grenada to create this outfit inspired by carnival.


The reception showcased the best of Commonwealth contemporary fashion and creativity with an exhibition of some of the bespoke fashion 'looks' which are the result of the designer-producer partnerships. Following their royal debut at Buckingham Palace, the looks will be displayed at a public exhibition at London’s Australia House on February 21 and other various London locations in the run up to Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April. The clothes will travel to New York in September when an edited collection will be launched at Matches Fashion.


The Duchess wore a bespoke version of the Erdem Suzi Dress tonight.


The £2,150 piece is described as: "Pretty floral lace takes on an unexpectedly graphic edge in striking black and white. The ultra-flattering fit and flare Suzi Dress hits just above the knee, and is finished with scallop edging around the ¾ length sleeves, neck and hem and soft gently frilled detailing at the waist. A deep V-neck finishes the flirty design. Nude crepe de chine lining. Made in the UK."

Erdem

The pretty floral print.


I believe Anna Wintour and Princess Beatrice also wore Erdem.

Kate teamed the dress with her Prada Suede Cutout Wavy pumps. The $750 pumps are described as "feminine suede pumps with cutout detail". Made in Italy, they feature a pointed toe and self-covered heel.


Kate accessorised her Anita Dongre pearl earrings.


Kate debuted the pair at the UK-India Year of Culture Reception last year.


Earlier, I noted on Twitter, I thought it quite likely we would see at least one of the royal ladies wearing one of the participating designers such as Stella McCartney or Burberry. The Countess of Wessex did just that opting for Burberry's Contrast Topstitch Detail Crepe V-neck Dress. You can read more about Sophie on the terrific Countess of Wessex blog.


More from Bethan Holt's piece for The Telegraph:

'With London Fashion Week in full swing, the Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening to celebrate The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, a new initiative which brings together the biggest talents in artisanal and luxury design from across its 52 countries.
And while Kate and Sophie both fly the flag for British fashion regularly with their fashion choices, it felt like they had both made a special effort for the fashion crowd in attendance. 
The Duchess of Cambridge, now seven months pregnant, opted for a black and white guipure lace dress by Erdem, who had showed his Autumn/ Winter 2018 collection earlier in the day at the National Portrait Gallery. She frequently turns to the Canadian-Turkish designer for eveningwear, choosing two of his dresses during the recent tour to Norway and Sweden. Princess Beatrice also joined the reception wearing an Erdem dress. 
Meanwhile, the Countess of Wessex nodded to the biggest story of London Fashion Week- the departure of Christopher Bailey from Burberry- by wearing a black cocktail dress from the house. Burberry is one of the design partners representing the UK in the programe which is also supported by Swarovski and The Woolmark Company and has been created ahead of April's Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.'

We'll see William and Kate on Wednesday for their visit to Sunderland. They will first visit The Fire Station, one of Sunderland’s most iconic buildings, recently converted into a music and arts hub. The Duke and Duchess will then travel to see the Northern Spire, an ambitious and striking new bridge over the River Wear, due to open in spring 2018.

209 comments:

  1. THIS dress!!
    Finally, she has pulled off an Erdem print in such a lovely way. I think it’s the small size of the print- it work better with her proportions.
    She looks great and it looks like a lovely, fun event.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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    1. In total agreement. Up to this point I had my doubts about Erdem and our favorite princess! The fabric is
      much more forgiving in the way it hugs Kates form. The original design in the shorter length is very sassy and really cute.

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    2. Sophie looks so smart. Nice to see the two of them in a joint effort of support.

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    3. I think it's a combination of many things. The few and "basic" colours, the shorter sleeve and lower neck. It's still a "fussy Erdem" but done right!

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    4. Rebecca-yes!! It has all the signature parts but they work together, not against each other.

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  2. I like this dress on Kate and feel it's perfect for her at this point in her pregnancy. The kit of the ruffle at the bottom gives the dress a nice movement. The fabric is lovely.

    Also, Kate's hair looks very shiny and sleek at the event tonight. Looking forward to someone id'ing Kate's earrings. Have we seen them before?

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    1. I saw a reporter say they were Anita Dongre. Probably the same earrings she wore with a glittering dress and her Oscar de la Renta shoes at an Indian-UK engagement at Buckingham (Just going of memory so might be way off!)

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    2. On Twitter, Rebecca English said the earrings were by Anita Dongre.

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    3. I think her earrings are the Anita Dongre earrings she wore at the India UK festival at BP. I'm amazed at how tall Kate is compared to Sophie even with heels on. The Erdem dress is pretty although, I was hoping for a recycle of her other dresses..Thank You Charlotte!!XOXO

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  3. Wow, great reporting Charlotte! Love seeing these two ladies together and both look really great. Side note on Livia Firth: saw her pic in the Daily News - that woman really knows how to wear color in a way that doesn’t look dowdy and traditional! Guess she deserves Mr. Darcy :)

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  4. So fun seeing Kate and Sophie at an event together! So uncommon for these mixed royal events other than when they are big groups. I understand that it's more effective not to double up too often but I love the unity and family feeling it shows when they do events with royals they don't usually team up with.

    And what a fun and interesting event! A great way to share creativity! It's one of those universal languages that can speak over boundries but also be so culturally unique!

    These are the kind of Erdem dresses I like. Still fussy and frilly but with some air in the fabric and neckline. It's not overwhealming. It looks very pretty for this stage of her pregnancy as well!

    Looking forward to seeing Kate and William really soon :)

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    1. Yes, Rebecca-Sweden, I was thinking the same thing. It is fun to see several royals together at an event. Just wait until they can add Meghan to the mix! Now that will be fun.

      Rebecca Portnoy, I had to laugh at your comment. It does take a special woman to deserve Mr. Darcy!

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  5. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)19 February 2018 at 22:03

    What a fantastic initiative! Blending creativity and commerce, and providing a platform for a diverse group of young designers and artisans is brilliant. The designs that we've been able to see in this post are stunning and the headdresses made from re-purposed movie scripts were fabulous. I would LOVE to be there right now to see this exhibit in person.
    Kate and Sophie looked lovely (although I do wish Sophie had chosen a different shoe), and Ms. Anna Wintour slayed! That dress with those boots...I will take the whole ensemble, please!
    Have a great week, everyone!
    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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    1. Vogue editor Anna Wintour's dress is nice.

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  6. She looks lovely and I love the deep side part in her hair today. I mean she’s 8 months pregnant and still wearing heels so well done!

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  7. I am so dissapointed in both these looks! I thought, considering the events, they would nail this one. I get Kate needs to be comfy considering shes pregnant, but she can have anything custom made! why this? I love the scalloped neckline and the scalloped sleeves, but the rest of the print is whats throwing me off. Kates hair looks messy to me tonight too in some pics.As for Sophie, I just don't like the dress, but also thought she would nail this one too, considering the event! her hair looks like it was quickly thrown back too. While they still look Nice, I'm still disappointed about their choices for a fashion event! I do love her pale pink suede/ satin shoes though!

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    1. Floral, I actually thought that Sophie's hair was well done. The way it curls at the end - I don't think she put it up, that has to have been done by a hairdresser. Funny how everyone sees things differently.

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    2. I think the problem with Sophie's hair is that she just doesn't have enough of it to do a proper updo. I am glad to see that she isn't wearing that chignon hairpiece she has worn in the past. It just wasn't a good look.

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  8. She looks very pretty but I will pass on the dress, too much floral and ruffle for me. Fun to see her and Sophie together.

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  9. For an Erdem dress this one is really 'simple' and not 'heavy' at all! Ask myself how she can still walk on those heels...I can't even without a baby bump.

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  10. A fascinating and important project - the creativity is amazing. It's very nice to see Kate and Sophie together.

    It will be interesting to see how the Matches clothes turn out from these unique ideas.

    I didn't really fall in love with any of the clothes guests were wearing and there seemed a mixture of long and short. Kate's hair looked lovely as it did at the BAFTA's. She looks very graceful for being so heavily pregnant. Erdem of course is a reasonable Commonwealth choice if she is going to stay with her usual designers, likely when she is pregnant. I'm not wild about her dress but the length is better than on the model - and from some angles it's quite slimming. I'm not too wild about Sophie's either - it seems bland but it's nice she chose something from one of the featured designers. So my hopes for some beautiful fashions didn't quite make it but it certainly is an intriguing event.

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    1. It really is crazy how at various angles on any given day, Kate doesn't even look pregnant this far along! :O

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  11. Have to say when I saw one of the headlines "Duchess Wears Floral Erdem", I audibly said "oh no"....and a coworker asked if I was okay :). From the photos it looks like a print, but the close-up of the workmanship and the pattern of the dress is beautiful. Kate looks lovely, glowing, and I love the side part in her hair!! I like Sophie's dress as well and its a nice juxtaposition to have the two dresses next to each other. Both look appropriate and what a nice pairing of the two royals. Must be wonderful to see these designs up close!! cc

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    1. LOL. CeCe. I didn’t know anyone else disliked Erdem as much as me. :)
      Your reaction was so funny.

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    2. I share your feelings, CeCe :)
      Thank you for a great post, Charlotte!

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    3. I think some of us need to lighten up about this fashion stuff.

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    4. ๐ŸŒธ Women “lightening up about fashion stuff”???? Maybe. When pigs fly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  12. Love that Kate and Sophie are working together. I hope we get more of that. Looking forward to pics of Beatrice. I love the original Erdem dress. It translated fairly well to 8 months pregnant. Can you imagine the stress of looking posh and polished for all the big fashion names and being 8 months pregnant. Talking to Anna Wintour would be a touch stressful (love Anna’s look). What a fun event. Hope she gets inspired by these ethical supply chains. Very cool.

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  13. ๐ŸŒธ Finally.... An Erdem dress that makes sense to me, lol. I didn’t think one existed. Kate looked better than anyone else I saw there. It was a nice, pretty, basic dress.

    Didn’t like Sophie’s dress at all, especially the red darts. I agree with Shantel in that Sophie’s choice of shoes had nothing to do with her outfit, especially the sheen of the shoe.

    I am very happy that Kate and Sophie got to spend some “girl time”, “fashion fun” together and still do good things in supporting industry, and in supporting the Commonwealth designers being celebrated and sponsored by established designers. Brilliant. So awesome. So fun. :)

    Anne Windor (?) head of Vogue, seems a lovely person but she could perhaps use a better hairstyle.
    Although I am a big fan of a polished bob, hers is a little too voluminous.

    Kate and Sophie looked like they are good friends and that warms my heart.

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    1. Yeah, Anna's had that same haircut for Years! It's her signature cut along with wearing sunglasses & having her hair partially cover her face!

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    2. Apparently that is Anna Wintour's signature look and she's had it for years and years. I have a friend who is a flight attendant and has served her on a few flights and even on a flight that hair is that same thick, shiny, "helmet" look with not a hair out of place (and her signature look usually includes sunglasses). She is the person who The Devil Wears Prada was loosely based on (Meryl Streep's character).

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    3. surfer girl, I agree re: Anna Wintour. In my opinion her entire look was quite dated. She hasn't changed her hair style in decades it seems. Her particular pairing of dress & boots just seemed so dated and didn't work for me.

      I also enjoyed seeing Kate and Sophie work together. =) I do love Kate's shorter hair length and am glad she's keeping it.

      In the video, Livia Firth merely bowed her head slightly as she shook hands with Catherine and didn't curtsy--I thought it was expected for at least British subjects to do so?

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    4. Surfer girl, it would seem that Anna WIntour has had this hair style for decades. Although I don't usually care for Erden, Anna certainly rocks this look, with perfect accessories and pizazz.

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    5. FYI: This video about Anna Wintour says she has worn the hairstyle since age 14. Also, in watching the video I became aware of Anna's extensive collection of statement necklaces…not necessarily genuine jewels but chunky beaded wonders.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LLdZHmU5YU

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    6. MizBev from Colorado20 February 2018 at 18:00

      Surfer Girl,

      I am confused about the statement that "finally an Erdem that makes sense" She has worn some dresses by the designer that go way back, like to their tour to Canada. There are even two that got high marks in the polls on this blog. Just because a couple are not to people's liking does not mean she has never, before last night, worn one that did not look good.

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    7. ๐ŸŒธ Sorry, MizBev. I think I am still in shock over the gold dress. Although I have never been a fan of Erdem, but to be fair I will take a look see at the earlier Erdems you mentioned. It might help me recover from that gold gown. A little bit maybe. :)

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    8. ๐ŸŒธ Laura. I hear what you are saying. :)
      I think the volume of her hairstyle isn’t proportionately correct to her frame. To me, that makes it look more like a hair helmet.
      I love a good bob. It’s a classic and I love the classics. But Anna’s is a little too poufy.

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    9. ๐ŸŒธ I thought of that movie also. But from what I’ve seen of her, photos with her daughter, etc. she doesn’t appear shrewish at all.

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    10. I'm always having crazy ideas and I wondered during the post-baby gap, if Charlotte might do a couple of features on particular designers and their clothes Kate has worn over the years. Erdem would be an interesting one. I'm remembering little blue lace dresses that went over very well in Canada (a natural place to wear Erdem) on the first tour, and then a couple of patterned maternity dresses - can't recall if it was during her pregnancy for George or Charlotte - that weren't bad.

      The first time I recall not liking Erdem was that long gown Kate wore - I'm thinking to the Hedge Fund gala. The print was quite pretty if big, but to my eyes the style smothered Kate - the skirt was full and flounced and the bodice cut very oddly. Strangely, one of the fashions sites - Net or Matches had the same print in a pretty cocktail dress - similar in cut to the cocktail dress Kate wore in Poland that I think would have been a much better choice as the print was allowed to shine without so many details and looked less overwhelming when cut away from the face.

      I liked the floral Erdem Kate wore in Poland although it wouldn't have been my choice for the camp visit -- I just looked and there's a grey Erdem coat I'd forgotten about but which I liked and a very pretty dress from the Asian tour.

      Kate and Mette-Marit also wore that champagne Erdem I thought quite lovely - so I'm thinking of that poem by Longfellow of the little girl with a curl.

      To paraphrase my feelings - When Erdem is good he can be very good indeed but when he is bad, he is horrid. And those two Swedish dresses were awful in my opinion - the gold especially - which is a hard colour for many people's skin tones - and the style brought that colour right up to Kate's face.

      It doesn't help that the styles at the moment are featuring the sort of dresses I wore in the early seventies that went to charity shops long since, and prints - some of which I would have loved when I was eight - but don't think really become adult women that well - I admit I prefer a professional look over silly girlish styles but apart from that - I just don't think a lot of those looks are becoming on anyone.

      Some of Kate's designers like Packham and Walker mostly ignore the fads and stick to their own signatures - but Erdem is right in the front of that craze. I've seen some Erdems online that I like but a lot have too many elements and too wild prints.

      When the fad fades and surely it's reaching its expiration time - perhaps Erdem will change too.

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  14. I know Kate works with & has relationships with various big name designers & their fashion houses, but "seeing" her actually cracking up with Stella McCartney & Anna Wintour!!! Boooooosh! Consider my mind Blown! :O lol It brought on a Flashback of her walking in the St. Andrews Fashion Show that "Started It All"!! Then remembering Carole saying that Kate was never really into fashion..... Well, She's in it Now!!!!! lol Like in "The Elite Epicenter!!" :)

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    1. Becca, enjoyed reading your comment. I didn't "think back" to all that. I do typically think about what it must be like for Kate - who could even imagine meeting all of that people that Kate has been introduced to? - at the dinners, tours, events, etc.

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    2. Elle, it is pretty mind boggling to think about sometimes, isn't it? When I remember "Waity Katie" I smile! Kate is such a perfect partner for William & I love seeing how much fun they still have together! They are so great! Just like Harry finding Meghan. William is so blessed to have found Kate! :) xoxo

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    3. ๐ŸŒธ Becca. You brought up a good point. Kate did model on the fashion runway and she worked as an accessories buyer and even designed a necklace. She definitely seemed into fashion while dating William and during the first part of her marriage. So. Where people come up with Kate not being into fashion doesn’t make sense to me. Even her mom saying that Kate’s not into fashion doesn’t make sense to me. I think Kate was into fashion and would love to be into more again just like she was once upon a time.

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    4. I think it is a matter of degree and priorities, surfer girl. I think most women like pretty or interesting clothes. Kate just has other interests and responsibilities that take priority now. Her view of fashion for herself may be less what makes her look good and more what reflects the environment she is in.
      Of course, pregnancy adds an extra challenge that she seems to work around rather than with, if that makes sense.

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    5. SG, if I remember correctly, a Kate blogger introduced herself to Carole at some tennis event. They chatted briefly, according to the blogger, Carole told her, “Kate was not into fashion when she was your age”. May be the blogger was in her early 20s. Another thing I remember is Kate chatting with a student during a visit to St. Andrews. The SAU student was about to be in some similar school fashion show. Kate told her, "You never know what you will be asked to wear". In a way that was also in defense of her own self, that she wore the see- through, that famous evening, because she was asked to model in it.

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    6. ๐ŸŒธ true, Anon 15. I just remembered that photo of Kate and William walking to class, where she was carrying books. That was the first photo of them together and it made the headlines. She looked “messy” and so did William, lol. Perhaps once she saw the photo more polish came. It seems so. :)
      And her comment about the fashion show shows courage in her participating. :)
      I have read that that famous see-through piece was to be worn as a skirt but Kate “designed” the piece to her liking. And the rest is history. ๐Ÿ‘‘
      (was that an early spark of fashion sense from Kate?)

      (little side note. I read interviews with their fellow students and friends from St. Andrew who all said that William and Kate were close friends way before the fashion show. Once again, history misrepresented.)

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  15. Makeup so much softer tonight—she looks much better. Finally, an Erdem dress that suits her.

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    1. MizBev from Colorado20 February 2018 at 17:55

      Oh my goodness, she has worn so many Erdem outfits, even ones that have been tops in the polls here. I often wonder why so many people only associate the ones worn in Sweden and the red and blue floral one as the only Erdem outfits she has worn. In their first tour of Canada she wore two beautiful blue dresses that were by the designer so they go way back.

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    2. Maggie - Minneapolis20 February 2018 at 22:53

      Haha fair point MizBev. In fairness to those of us on the gross Erdem train :P, I think it's probably bc kate has worn several other designers who like Erdem have also produced dresses we've loved, but those other designers haven't also produced as many clothes for kate inspiring some serious dislike or even almost "horror" with erdem seeming to regularly/most often be the culprit when it comes to truly stronooong negative opinions of an outfit from a large portion of commenters.

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    3. Lol, it is true about the "horror". In some cases the reaction included some annoyance and tantrum. People have some serious reactions to Erdem clothes, positive and negative. Someone commented on this blog, Erdem is Erdem, love him or hate him. That is another polarity it also creates. He might turn into some comical or cartoon character. I have liked some of his designs, and not others. The closest to disdain for me, was the blue Erdem Kate wore in Norway. The blue lace dress she wore in Canada was nice. The red and blue floral maxi was interesting. The dress Kate wears tonight looks breathy with a comfortable flow for her. I like some prints, but not necessarily this one. The overall cut is reasonably a comfortable dress although I did not expect it for an evening. Take Rebecca’s info that the dress code is day wear, well whatever works for the person.

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    4. Breathy? May be I was breathing for her in those high heels ( did not like high heels after the 7th month). Only after I left the comment, walked to the window and felt the breezy air on an exceptionaly nice February, did I realize the error on a word.

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  16. It was nice to see the Royals team up at an event. They both looked like day dresses and not cocktail/evening party dresses to me. Charlotte, your coverage of the event was the highlight of this post. Thank you.

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    1. I agree - I really enjoyed reading about this initiative. I was quite disappointed with both outfits. They are fine but don't feel suitable for an evening event.

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  17. Ok I love that Sophie is wearing a fitbit๐Ÿ˜„

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    1. She has to get her steps in!

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    2. Well, it must be working because I think Sophie looks very trim! Note to self: get a fitbit!! cc

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    3. LOL, I feel inspired to get one myself :) She looks great!

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  18. This Erdem is perfection (although I prefer the original design, I understand the longer length)! If it somehow crept into my closet.... I wouldn't be sad about it!!

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    1. I, too, prefer the length of the original & wouldn’t mind it turning up in my closet either ;)

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    2. Wouldn't it be nice if beautiful dresses somehow actively crept into our closets once in a while, Briggs? :) Your comment made me smile!

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    3. Kiwi Gal- it's just so beautiful and elegant but still fun. When Erdem gets it right, they really get it right!!

      Zora - I have managed to track down some really beautiful pieces on eBay and in consignment stores, but this one will be hard to find I imagine. If you somehow find a way to beam dresses into your closet, be sure to send one my way :P

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    4. Hi Zora. I just saw your comment to me on MAM and replied but in case you don't get back over there, I'm so glad you liked the Boston area. Its a great place to visit.

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    5. Sure, Briggs - I'll do that beaming with pleasure! ๐Ÿ˜ and thank you for the tip!
      Erika, thank you for the message! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  19. I love the Burberry dress Sophie is wearing. So simple and classic. I do also love the Erdem that Kate is wearing, very pretty.

    Kate looks so good when she's pregnant and has a fuller face.

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    1. Sophie's dress is wonderful,but I feel it is all wrong for this occasion. It is far too conservative and business like for a gala fashion event. Also her shoes do not go with the dress. Red of black shoes would have been better.

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    2. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 16:38

      I really liked Sophie's dress, especially from head-on. I really like her shoes, but not for this dress, agree black would have popped more. appreciate her wearing a dress from one of the present designers.

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    3. I think her shoes look fine with the dress. Red or black would have been too matchy-matchy. They seem to have, at least on my computer screen, a pinkish hue that coordinates with the red in the dress. But yes, compared to what others are wearing, it's a daytime look.

      But look at what Stella McCartney is wearing! If you shorten the sleeves and change the color to blue, it could be the bridesmaid dress I had to wear once in the 90's.

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    4. Haha, Pam! I definitely thought Stella’s outfit was a throwback to another decade but I couldn’t quite put my finger on which one! :)

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  20. She looks lovely and I love the deep side part in her hair today. I mean she’s 8 months pregnant and still wearing heels so well done!

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  21. I agree. This one is quite beautiful on her, although I’m in a minority that liked the red and blue floral evening gown with the very elaborate skirt. The smaller print suits her, as you said.
    I like Sophie’s dress too. I hope this collaboration will flourish.

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    1. I liked the red and blue floral evening gown as well. The fabric was so beautiful and looked so rich.

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    2. MizBev from Colorado20 February 2018 at 17:49

      I also liked the red and blue Erdem. I though the fabric was beautiful and it must have felt like a million bucks. Just a matter of taste I guess.

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    3. Caroline in Montana21 February 2018 at 17:36

      I also really like the red and blue! I think that Erdem is just as hit and miss as all the other designers! I feel like he's getting a bad name:)

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  22. What does everyone think about the Erdem that Anna Wintour is wearing? And I believe Beatrice's dress is Erdem as well. I haven't seen a good picture of hers but Anna's dress is lovely on her.

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    1. Whatever Anna Wintour wears is supposedly "Divine" but can you imagine if Kate wore it????? Yikes! lol :)
      Especially with boots? Do I hear the phrase "Double Standard" hanging in the air?? lol

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    2. I do think Anna could pull off the golden floral Erdem Kate wore in Sweden. On Anna it'd be raved about, on Kate she was torn apart... I know they have different jobs, but I'm talking about the focus on the exact fabric & style (complete with Edwardian Neckline, Ruffles & the Big Prairie Ruffle on The bottom, & also the bell sleeves) I do think it would be lauded if worn by Anna! Which makes me think that some of this can be about "The Emperors New Clothes". Thoughts?

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    3. Erdem may have redeemed themselves with me tonight.

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    4. I like Anna's better than Kate's. But still not a favorite.

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    5. I liked it on Anna, she looks quite youthful in it (how old is she anyway?). I haven’t seen any good pics of Bea yet, so can’t make a judgement call.

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    6. Becca, I agree, I thought of "The Emperors New Clothes" too!! I don't think there are many who would ever dare tell Anna Wintour she "wasn't fashionable"!! So if Anna Wintour is wearing Erdem, you have to know he is "in the in crowd". Good, bad, or indifferent, Erdem is certainly getting a lot of press lately! cc

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    7. I like this Erdem, but I would have loved it shorter...Oh I love the designer version. But for Kate at this stage of pregnancy not as short as the designer model, but perhaps knee length. Oh, and with different shoes. Or much longer. Something about the proportion at this length bothers me.

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    8. I feel like Anna looks terrible most of the time but that's just my opinion. I really dislike her hair, which is her signature and a lot of the stuff she wears is just over the top for me. She's a fashion editor though, not a future Queen, so she's supposed to wear "crazy" stuff. Most of the editorials I see in Vogue aren't close to anything I would ever wear... individual pieces, maybe, if I had an unlimited budget but the combinations are pretty out there and I would seriously question anyone I saw walking on the street in some of those outfits!

      I don't think there's a "double standard", it's just a different standard. As for Anna's outfit for this function, the dress does have a print, but it's not a loud floral print and while it does have a higher neckline and a bit of a puff sleeve, there aren't a million ruffles and the dress doesn't go all the way to the ground. She's also much shorter than Kate, so there's a lot less dress right from the get go. The boots are a neutral color and since it's still "winter", they make sense to me. Do I think she looks amazing, or divine? To me, it's an ok outfit, but she looks like the Anna Wintour I would expect to see. I think part of the problem for Kate is that we see her in a lot of solid colors with matching accessories and then when she tries something different, it's a loud print combined with bright/odd colors, ruffles, high necklines and long sleeves/long dresses so the effect is a lot more jarring. That gold/lime/yellow Erdem in Sweden swallowed her up because there was so much of it. When I saw photos of her sitting on a couch from the waist up, I actually thought it would make a beautiful blouse. I could even have gotten behind it with a more tailored sleeve with the ruffle at the bottom cut off.

      Wearing "high-fashion" designs is tricky, plain and simple. Kate has the figure for a lot of the clothes, but she may just not be "edgy" enough to pull a lot of them off. I'll stop now since this is longer than I intended :)

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    9. Anna Wintour is 68. I'd say, being a year younger than she, that there's some very skillful plastic surgery and regular refreshing happening. I don't think she'd wear the Golden Disaster, but if she did, it might work a bit better with her golden brown hair color than Kate's more cool toned coloring. I love that Erdem Wintour is wearing, and her boots are to die for.

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    10. Wow, 68! There’s definitely some skilful plastic surgery going on there, Greybird!

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    11. Maggie - Minneapolis20 February 2018 at 22:45

      I agree with Briggs abt it being different standards not a double standard. I think things like posture, confidence, etc matter too (tho ofc some of it is us just projecting what we think/want to think of a person regardless of if they actually appear that way)...but some designs can be seen as fashion forward when worn by someone with a straight back who carries their head in cert way too, while being seen as frumpy on person with rounded shoulders and slumping. Imo many of Erdems designs esp rely on very confident (and thin! Tho that isn't issue w kate obvi) body posture and such. Kate's posture ofc is really not very good (her posture in top pic on here gave me sympathy back pain when I first saw it for how her back is inev going to feel later on bc oh man that's so much pressure on her back) and she often projects a quiet and shy aura, which isnt a bad thing, just risks being overwhelmed by certain styles while benefitting from others imo. I guess basically a lot of times there are dresses that would seem little girly on Kate imo but modern and hip on others - unfortunately it seems she likes these dresses lol. But anyways I think she looks best when there aren't too many design elements - fun, bold prints are fine just esp can't be combined with ruffles everywhere etc. Do I rmbr right,was that beautiful sheath style dress she wore w/great hair at a HT briefing last yr by Erdem? Bc that one I thought was perfect - bold colors that didn't wash Kate out like her usual pastels do, but not too overwhelming bc bright print but on structured knee length dress.
      Plus ofc Anna Wintour is just expected bc of her job to be a little...interesting.
      And since kate spends tons of money on new, expensive, and bespoke dresses very regularly, I feel like it's OK for our expectations to be on higher side.

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    12. Becca, thanks for making me lol. Briggs, gotta say, agree with you. Maggie - I get your point.

      We need one of those "who wore it better" type of posts. Kate is so fortunate to be tall and slim. It isn't until you see her next to Sophie who is looking so petite now, and an Anna Wintour (also petite) that you understand there's a different perspective. There are dresses that Kate has worn that both of them could wear and look better in. I just don't "expect" that to be the case. Would be interesting to see some comparisons. Agree that Anna could wear that gold Erdem gown from Sweden and look stunning.

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  23. It is an ambitious powerhouse towards global fashion which member countries are from across continents, diverse and from different cultures.

    My expectation was may be too high for Kate and Sophie. There may be a reason for their understated look as hosts for a fashion display. They both looked comfortable in their outfits, and in-sync with each other. That is as important as any exceptional fashion they could have been seen wearing.

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    1. I think both Kate & Sophie hit the right note in their low key looks & let the focus be on the designers & their creations. It’s really fascinating to see the different collaborations between the countries involved. It’s also nice to see the Commonwealth being highlighted & to celebrate the special relationships & skills that we share with each other.

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    2. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 16:42

      I agree with you about Kate and Sophie, they look very comfortable and I am very happy to see them together, wish it was more often. This event was Not about their fashion, but the designs on display.

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  24. I don't love this dress on Kate and I don't hate it. If you're going to go with black and white at an event that celebrates fashion then you better go with great textiles, and she has done that here. I think the shoes give it a mumsy feel but when you're seven months pregnant I think you could get away with wearing Ugg slippers if that's what gets you up and about, so I give that a pass. This is a 'win' for me but barely.

    Do we know what earrings she has on?

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    1. Anon 00:16 i am not fond of the dress but I think you have hit on a great point, a different pair of shoes might have really helped. Maybe why the model had on such unusual shoes, which I did not like, but a pair of boots or some more unusual shoe design or color would have really helped.

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  25. Wow! What a trooper! Her ankles look so swollen and she still has a smile on her face. Poor thing, she should have chooses a longer length dress at this stage of her pregnancy.

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    1. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 16:45

      actually I thought her ankles looked pretty good, and I made a point of looking! don't see why she should have chosen a longer dress? it was already modified to be longer if you look at the model. no poor thing about her that I can see!!

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    2. Her ankles are definitely swollen, which I’m sure she’s aware of. I don’t think she has any need to hide them.

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  26. Its nice too see the royals team up. For these evenr really love the dress and the fashion. Im looking forward on these yes its a powerhouse towards the fashion i love erdem.very much Sophie the countess of essex the duchess of cambeidge and princess beatrice york. Looks in sync with each othet And most impornant the fashion they should be wearing

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  27. Wonderful post, detailed and very informative regarding the initiative as well as the particulars of the evening my. However, I think the Erdem genie needs to be put back in the bottle for a while.

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  28. I'm enjoying different maternity fashions this pregnancy. It seems that previous pregnancies have been mostly coats while we've had long and short dresses this time around. Might just be my memory, but I am thankful for the "indoor" look and I enjoyed the Erdem tonight.

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  29. I Love the first photo of Kate with her reflexion in the mirrored door! :) Something about her fuller face & this length of & style of hair reminds me of her early St. Andrews years. At times like this I have to do a double take & remind myself that They "Did" Get Married (after all those years of debate) & here she is as they are expecting their 3rd Child! Wow! Never Say Never & Man Does Time Ever Fly By Fast! Whew! :)

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  30. How lovely to see Kate and Sophie together. They seem so relaxed in each other's company. I think they both look simple but lovely too. I shuddered when I first read Erdem but I actually really like this one! Beautiful lace bodice that just complements her bump wonderfully. On a side note, what was Naomi Campbell wearing? Lol

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    1. a costume. a weird costume. :)

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    2. I thought Naomi looked absolutely ridiculous but I suppose she can get away with almost anything!

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    3. LOL, surfer girl :)

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    4. ๐ŸŒธ Kiwi Gal. Umm. Not this time. That, whatever it was, gives fashion a bad name. lol
      Like a high school freshman sewing class was assigned to design the worst outfit ever. And voila’ they got Naomi to wear it.
      Maybe appropriate for Comic-Con here in San Diego. :)

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    5. I thought "There's Naomi...... looking like Naomi"! lol :)

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    6. Curiosity got the best of me so I had to look up what Naomi was wearing! Wow! The article I read stated about her dress: "This is what we, in the fashion industry, refer to as a "lewk." Had to look up lewk and found: "To use the term of art, a lewk is a personal style signature so individual it's almost indivisible from you. It connotes something noticeable: wearing jeans every day isn't a lewk, but wearing a Schiaparelli lobster hat might be". That costume was Naomi's "lewk"....who knew? cc

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    7. ๐ŸŒธ CeCe, lol. Thanks. I know now, that regarding “lewks”, “I am not amused”. :)

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  31. Has anyone seen a photo of Princess Beatrice? I would love to see what she is wearing.

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    1. Me, too. I still can’t find a clear shot of the Erdem she is wearing, which is a shame.

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  32. Duchess Kate looks lovely. Though I have to admit, my first thought from the BAFTAs and this event was, "Oh, tsk. The poor dear in those shoes with her pregnancy swollen feet".

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  33. I love all of it. All of it. I thought Kate looked great. Finally, an Erdem dress that doesn't make me cringe. It has all of the elements but they work together and complement each other. And the neckline-low enough, but not so low it's scandalous. I think the length is perfect for an evening reception. The hair looks good, I also like the side part. I might be in the minority, but I really like Sophie's dress. I really like the contrasting color for the embroidery/seams. And I think the shoes may have looked better in different lighting. They almost had a reddish hint but it seemed to change based on flash, etc.

    I also just love the whole point of the reception. An event showcasing the combination of fashion and artistic talent alongside business and working in sustainability. That hits all the marks for me. Each doesn't exist in a vacuum. They have to be partnered and work together.

    Plus, I love Kate and Sophie together. I secretly envision them snickering together in the corner of Sandringham telling off-color jokes. They are close enough in age to enjoy a healthy aunt/niece'ish relationship with a healthy dose of adult. And I really like that Beatrice was there. I know Sophie is patron of something connected to tonight, but I could easily see Beatrice also assuming a patronage. Somehow it just fits in my mind.

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    1. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 17:16

      OH Katie, you how you had me laughing!! I can also picture them in the corner together laughing. I really wish that they would have paired them together more before and in the future. but I'm afraid it will all be Kate with Meghan. I feel that Kate and Sophie are different enough that they do not draw as much negative comparison when they do events together. not sure I'm saying that right?!

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    2. Oh Katie You Wrapped It All Up So Well! lol :) Agree 100% Thanks for The Images! lol :)

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    3. Nope, makes total sense to me! Meghan and Kate will also have comparisons but Kate and Sophie are in different enough positions that companions don't work as well and wouldn't be as clear.

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    4. I love seeing royals work together - whatever the combination. Katie's image of Sophie and Kate is very sweet - I'd like to think there is truth in it.

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    5. ๐ŸŒธ I believe there is Julia. I don’t think those two would be very good at faking it. They interacted as true friends I think. Hopefully. :)

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  34. Not a fan of either Kate's nor Sophie's dress for this event. Kate's dress looks a bit too daytime to me for this event. She surely likes her ditzy prints - if it were not for the fact this fabric has lace in it, I would say this dress is only a step above house frau.

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    1. The dress code was actually "Day dress or national dress" even though the event was in the evening :P

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    2. It was a very strange dress code so little wonder guests were all over the place in length and formality. 'Cocktail or National Dress' (which is almost always suitable) would have seemed appropriate for this event. Perhaps they thought some of the attendees have limited budgets but cocktail is accessible to most.

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  35. I've been excited for this event ever since it was announced. I am so happy to see Sophie and Kate working together! I wish the different generations of the royal family worked publicly together more often. That said, I have to say the fashions the royals were all wearing underwhelmed me. I was expecting cocktail attire, but there looks read day to me (Am I mistaken that this is an evening event?). Wish we could have seen Kate in a custom Stella McCartney (I love the often-repeated blue dress and would have loved to see something simply classic) instead of another busy Erdem.

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  36. Great that the two Royals are working together. Both seem to enjoy one another and work well with each other. Charlotte, the research is great. The info that you gather just makes the post(s) soooo interesting. Global fashion exchange is a great idea. Glad to see it in operation with the Duchess of Cambridge and Countess Sophie.

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    1. Yes, Charlotte this was an amazingly detailed post! Thank you for All The Research & Prep work you put into all of these Posts! So much of this information we would Never have known! :) xoxo

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  37. Well, I commented before I love how beautiful Kate looks, but she has very much entered into her last few months of pregnancy:):). She has suddenly started looking like most of us do during those last months, very full all over:):). Gorgeous. She truly looks at this point like her child will arrive by April 15th. I actually wondered in a few of those pics if she was getting a few good kicks:):).

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    1. I agree! I too was wondering if Baby was restless? :) Methinks Baby might be ready to appear in early April?

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    2. I hope it’s early April, so she has time to rest before the big wedding.

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  38. She looks good, but you can see her lower legs/ankles are swollen. I mean, they look like anyone else’s normal legs, but for her - swollen. I bet she was glad to get home and take those shoes of!

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    1. I've noticed that too during this pregnancy. Ahhh being a woman. :)

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  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Well, this dress may have already been planned and made well before the planning omg black for the BAFTAS. But, you could always argue that both Kate and Sophie wearing black tonight at an event signals support for #metoo Can't wear it on a specific night, but will wear it the next night. I don't think it's true, but you could argue it.

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    2. Ha ha.. Anett - the irony is unmistakable.

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    3. I don't appreciate my suggestion being dismissed as 'silly fan girl fiction'. I said I didn't think it was necessarily true, but I also don't assume the worst of Kate each time she does something.

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    4. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 17:19

      I sure hope that Sophie has more experience and confidence, if memory serves, she HAS been doing this longer!! and I for one am glad that the royal family stays out of the political fray.

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    5. I kept all my illusions, I thought Kate behaved and dressed like a future queen yesterday, and she won my respect. It isn't about fans anymore, I am glad to say.

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    6. MizBev from Colorado20 February 2018 at 17:43

      I do not understand how this dress and the long EVENING dress she wore the night before has anything to do with one another. And I personally do not see how this is ironic. Very big stretch there as these were two completely different events. Shaking my head. If this made you lose all of your illusions I am very sorry for you.

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    7. Maggie - Minneapolis20 February 2018 at 19:07

      It (ironically) seems a little sexist to just blow off an opposing viewpoint by disdainful calling it "silly fan girl fiction".
      Also while I was disappointed with Kate's choice not to wear black, I really don't get how the dress for this event somehow makes it worse or anything. It's not like she could have worn this dress to bafta's. It's a very typical dress for kate so I feel like it was probably just designed for this event and her typical styling preferences, with nothing else in mind. Perhaps not the best move image-wise to wear black and remind ppl when the baftas debate is still fresh in their minds that she can and does wear black (often in fact). But even that, in my mind, doesn't make anything about her baftas choice different aside from disproving the silly articles about how she could wear black bc of royal protocol (tho if they actually knew anything abt the royals they wouldn't need this particular dress to realize kate does indeed wear black often and the protocol stuff is nonsense).

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    8. I am disappointed that one poster would dismiss another’s thoughts as “silly fangirl fiction.” There’s no call to express your personal disappointment by disparaging someone else.

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    10. I think wearing a black patterned dress the day after the BAFTAs was a bit on the tone deaf side.

      Kate went to the BAFTAs as her husband is patron of the organization. She wears black gowns and dresses to events. Yet the one event that it would have actually meant something to wear black, she didn't. But she wore a black dress tonight. I don't think the me too and times up movements are all about the entertainment industry either. It's about getting respect in the workplace, and if that's a political issue, apparently I don't understand politics. So how a woman can't support that by wearing a black dress is beyond me. Goodness knows she gives nods and homages according to you guys all the time. It's even more beyond me that she and her husband were all about wearing headbands for Heads Together at the marathon -- and also asked people to raise money by wearing said headbands -- to start a conversation about mental health. How is that different than wearing a black dress? Mental health isn't political either (although there is an argument to be made about the NHS being unable to cope with demand as they're underfunded, and to get more funding does become a political issue). It even affects people who've been harassed and abused in the workplace too.

      So I agree with Anett on this one. I don't think the last two days have been particular highlights on the Kate trajectory.

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    11. Julia from Leominster21 February 2018 at 17:48

      I'm sure Theresa May will be delighted that - in spite of Me Too supporters holding placards demanding she take action - that she and Parliament needn't get involved because equal pay and protection from harassment is not a political issue.

      Social and political issues overlap all the time - and the royals have to be very careful. Here, I think the risk of setting a precedent for other equally worthy and borderline political causes (It could be PETA in pink next year) combined with the fact that the black dress movement was not an official part of the BAFTA programme is what made the decision. It speaks more to the forum and the grass roots organisation promoting a dress code outside the official event than the cause.

      I doubt Kate had free choice on this issue. I was certain before I ever saw what she wore that if she didn't wear black, she had been advised not to. Royals are not free in such regards to do as they wish.

      Head's Together - which is the royal's own organisation and thus in their control, has been careful to avoid 'political' issues such as criticism of the government or discussion of NHS funding - in fact, they have been criticised for suggesting seeking help without pointing out that help may not be easily available.

      Me Too and Time's Up - are seeking political action - they are activist groups - as well they should be political in my opinion because long-term that's where real remedies lie.

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    12. Caroline in Montana21 February 2018 at 18:55

      Thank you Julia, I could not put that into better words!! I can see how people want her/them to wear what the latest craze of colors are that match the latest political goings on, they need to stay above the fray. period.

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  40. What an interesting event. Significant too in that this is the first time the Queen has asked Kate to host a Commonwealth event. (All other times she was with William who acted on behalf of the Queen when traveling.) It may have come about because of the timing of the birth... but it also has a bit of a Charles feel in that he does more of the work as an acting head due to the Queen's age and he may want his immediate family more visual. Curious to see if Sophie will be less involved (or at lower profile events) as Meghan joins the family.

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    1. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 17:21

      Florida Moxie, good to see you! I hope you are wrong about Sophie, I have always liked her and she is a great credit to the BRF. Time will tell I suppose, but fingers are crossed.

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    2. ๐ŸŒธ Florida Moxie. Yep. Good to hear from you again. I doubt that Sophie will be bumped from the charities, etc. that Sophie has so diligently been supporting all these years. There is plenty of work to go around. Plus Harry and Meghan seem to already have their area of concerns already fairly mapped out. That kind of mapping I think ties in with the Queen having Kate host a Commonwealth event. And an easy one for starters. Fun and fashion with a Royal friend to help. Could be that the Palace has finally figured out that joint ventures like the one with Kate and Sophie are worth their weight in gold in presenting a unified front and in using the beauty of Sophie in the forefront as an added asset in terms of PR. Sounds shallow perhaps but image counts in the world of PR.

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    3. I love this aspect too! I am truly enjoying & appreciating watching as William & Kate step into History. I am so glad they have had a soft run up to it, being able to have what I like to call "Their Malta Years", to become established as a Family & Couple. Those Malta years were so important to The Queen, & having that part of their life cut short truly left an impact on both Her & Phillip. Tho they more than rose to the occasion. So glad She saw fit to ensure William & Kate had "Their Time". HM is one Wise Woman! :)

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    4. My understanding is this is Sophie's event and Kate was the tag along. Can't say for sure though; so I could be wrong. But I think I saw someone saying Sophie's patron somewhere today.

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    5. Hi Surfer Girl. I completely agree with you. Sophie in the forefront is an added asset. In fact, seeing the two side by side it is evident that Sophie is much more comfortable and at ease in front of the cameras. After 7 years in the BRF Kate still looks quite nervous, doesn't know quite what to do with her hands, and not as engaged as Sophie. This is not criticism of Kate, merely an observation. We all have different personalities and I get the distinct impression that Kate doesn't enjoy these engagements and can't wait to get back home. Being 8 months pregnant doesn't help. She knows what is expected of her and she takes that responsibility seriously to be sure but there are going to be the inevitable comparisons when she starts doing joint appearances with Meghan and at least in the beginning, that may be tough on Kate.

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  41. Oh wow, this is the most beautiful I have ever seen Kate. I love the Duchess and the Countess together, they seem to have a very friendly, easygoing and jovial friendship. Kate's dress is her best pregnancy look EVER, and that amazing streamlined dress on Sophie is just incredibly flattering. Sophie's shoes are amazing as well, such shine!

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  42. This is such an interesting event bringing together talent from around the Commonwealth and showcasing artistic talent through fashion. I love Kate and Sophie together. They seem to get along well and it makes sense to have them pair up for an event like this. I was thinking when this was announced that maybe there paired them up incase Kate could not attend so late in her pregnancy. Kate is absolutely glowing. As others have said, finally a Erdem that is flattering! Sophie is beautiful as well.

    Hope from USA


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  43. I love her beautiful baby bump and love her hair

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  44. I really love those shoes of Sophie's. Does anyone know what brand they are? I didn't see it mentioned.

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    1. According to the Sophie blog they're the Jimmy Choo Romy 100 velvet pumps in ballet pink.
      I love them too! :)

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    2. Many thanks - when I looked the Sophie blog didn't have the event up yet.

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    3. ๐ŸŒธ The shoes themselves are unusual and beautiful but clash with the dress a whole lot. The choice of those shoes with that dress is a mystery to me. :)

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  45. From Canada
    Totally off the fashion topic, but as the ladies were on their own at this event, I was wondering if they followed the curtsy protocol. Who curtsied to whom? According to the protocol, Kate should have curtsied to Beatrice, right? Do they actually follow these rules???

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    1. HRHs do not curtsy to one another. Everyone in the family only curtsy to HM and Phillip

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    2. The story has been that Beatrice would have had precedence because she's royal by birth, but it was very clear that Kate entered first and had the precedence. Of course, Kate & Sophie were the "hosts" and Beatrice was a guest. (Not talking curtseying, just who goes in first.)

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    3. Kate may have already seen Beatrice. They only curtsey the first time they see each other that day/occasion. According to the new protocols Kate would be obliged to curtsey to Beatrice when Kate is not with William as Beatrice is a blood princess but reverse that if Kate is with William. I do not know if they actually follow that or not. If they do follow that then Kate may have already see Beatrice before they walked in.

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    4. Risha Bhattacharjee20 February 2018 at 18:59

      Yeah I think Kate entered first bc she had precedence among the hosts (her and Sophie ofc) but so technically would have had to curtsy to Beatrice the first time she saw her (and Sophie curtsy to Kate) but it seems clear no one curtsies to anyone cept the Queen and Prince Philip. Otherwise I feel like we'd have seen kate curtsy to Charles and Camilla at some point and as far as I can recall, that's never happened publicly that ppl have noticed at least.

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    5. I was really struck by that video of the 3 women coming in. It truly looked like Kate was the Senior Hostess. It was one of those moments when I get a flash of what it will be like seeing her as Future Queen Consort! Always Gracious & Elegant, but with more of a Regal presence about her!

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    6. Risha, I assume the same. They only curtsy to the Queen and probably only in public.

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    7. Kate has to curtsy to Beatrice if she is not with William. If she is, Beatrice curtsys to her. Poor Sophie has to curtsy to everyone.

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  46. I feel like we haven't really seen Kate this heavily pregnant before- though I may be mistaken. In some daily mail photos I noticed she doesn't quite know what to do with her hands and was almost looking like she was "picking" at her nails- until- finally- there wear a couple photos of her resting a hand on her belly. So precious (though I'm sure she tries to avoid this). I really enjoyed today's event and thought she finally nailed an Erdem this year! And Sophie! Oh I love her. Always so understated and chic. I would wear her dress in my daily life (though I wouldn't pay Burberry prices for it- maybe Ralph Lauren?) Thanks Charlotte!

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    1. I had the same thought, as she was glowing at The Baftas. I too love seeing her hands land on her bump. There's something very sweet about this pregnancy to me. Kate seems different? Maybe it's the lack of pomp, since they already have an heir & a spare, as well as a boy & a girl? She is just glowing in a way I don't remember during her last 2 pregnancies. I too agree that I don't believe we've seen her this heavily pregnant before? We'll know how far along she's been, once the Baby arrives. :)

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    2. Nicole from france20 February 2018 at 23:03

      Ce Cee from KY , we did see her that much pregnant , e.g. When she named a ship while,pregnant with George's, but she then wore a very well designed coat , while this Erdem dress looks nothing for a pregnant woman ! (Yes, I admit it, I am really bored with that man and his old shabby curtain like Clothes.....) . I am always astonished to see how she easily walks with those high stilettos .....

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    3. In the apricot coat and dress she wore for that church service... Queen's official birthday? Walking down the aisle. I think about five- six weeks to go, but I don't remember which baby. I think George.

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  47. I love to see Kate and Sophie together. They seems to be close friends. They enjoyed their discussion and meeting with fashion. Both ladies looked beautiful- Sophie smart and classic,Kate lovely and charming. I know that I 'm in minority but I like this dress so much.It has something fresh,femine and soft.
    And I want this shoes !

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  48. What a fun and interesting event! So many unique and interesting blending of cultures to create beautiful things. So nice to see Kate and Sophie together—they are two of my favorites in the royal family.

    I thought they both looked lovely and were very engaged with everyone there. It was good of Kate to give the Erdem label a chance to redeem itself after the beating it took on the Norway trip๐Ÿคฃ. She looked lovely, and, as others have said, absolutely amazing in this stage of her pregnancy!

    Like others, I had excepted something more formal and cocktail party oriented in the attire, but I think Rebecca’s clarification of the dress code just shows that my expectation was off. Besides, Kate and Sophie complemented each other very well, and, as the hostesses of the event, their attire sets the standard of formality for the event. They were both lovely in appearance and, more important, in the way they interact with each other and the others there.

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  49. Love the Erdem, Catherine has looked amazing at her last two events. I would have loved to talk with the New Zealand/Cook Island collaboration folks. Their designs are fabulous.

    Border Terrier Lover :-)

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    1. I agree! That outfit was my favourite (& not just because I love Karen Walker!), it was such a unique design & really showcased the Polynesian culture.

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    2. Hello, Border Terrier lover - what splendid little dogs! I had a terrier cross in my youth and he was such a jolly sparky fellow and the keenest ratter - although my spaniels like ratting too, given a chance - mercifully not often.

      I hope we will see some of those collaborations on future tours by both Kate and Sophie.

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  50. Although she looked fabulous as usual and I did like the shape of the dress, the busyness does seem to allow her a little more coverage in areas where she might feel uncomfortable this late in her pregnancy, which is great. I think however as far as Erdem goes the dress alone is horrible because so sorry it just seems like a terrible remake of something from 1992, for Kate’s sake I hope donates to a materials recycling business so hopefully they can turn it into something beautiful. Sorry just not a fan.

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  51. I'm in the minority but can't say I like this Erdem. The lace work is gorgeous but the mid calf length with the ruffle is dowdy. I think I would have liked it a whole lot better if her dress had been shorter or longer. Also, the horizontal floral bands are not flattering at this stage in her pregnancy. A vertical or random pattern would have been infinitely more flattering. Lastly, different shoes would have transformed the look of this dress but get that she is 8 mos. along and comfort is key. Disappointed in her outfit. Since it was a fashion event, I was expecting something, well, fashionable.

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    1. To me, looking at Kate's Erdem dress compared to Anna's, I much preferred Kate's.

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    2. @Erika Same here... :( Afraid to say that reminded me of a dressing gown... Duchess Kate's make up & hair were done well, though. Instead, the McQueen metallic wool blend tweed dress she wore on day 2 in Stockholm with different shoes would have been quite elegant. Sophie looked very chic for the event.

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  52. Caroline in Montana20 February 2018 at 17:36

    loved both dresses! glad to see Kate and Sophie together and wish it was more often.

    my major question is - did Kate actually come out that mirrored door??

    it almost looked like she did with her hand on the knob? otherwise that looks like a funny position to be in in front of the mirror/door that way, facing away from everyone? it was a great shot but then it would be so posed? I confess I love the idea of secret doors/rooms/staircases around the palace:)

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    1. I love the idea that it could be a hidden door! :) It did look like she emerged from there, LOL! It’s such an interesting shot...it highlights the side-part in her hair & fullness in her face beautifully.

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  53. SierrafromMontana20 February 2018 at 18:38

    Anna Wintour and Kate in one room - omg - yes! All I see is Meryl Streep saying "that's all." I would love to hear their conversation. And the Queen and Anna are together today. I'm sure both have seen so much change in fashion. Erdem is Erdem - love it or hate it. No real in between.

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    1. I definitely had Devil wears Prada scenes streaming through my head. Ha! lol :) I did reflect however, on the concept of the power Anna wields determining trends & approving designers... it wasn't lost on me that Anna was wearing Erdem.... Hmmm....?

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    2. I Love that shot! I was also stunned by the contrast between these photos & the one from last year. She looks so much younger when her face etc is more full during pregnancy?

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    3. Eve Massachusetts20 February 2018 at 23:21

      Becca, I agree! With the fuller face....not by any means too full...just fuller, she looks like she did in her early twenties.

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    4. Kate is at her best when she has a bit of weight on her. Just ethereal. She is one of the most beautiful women in the world when pregnant. I realized that her bicep, at her pregnant best is the size of my normal bicep.. LOL. I do wish she wouldn't shrink down after the delivery, but she probably will.

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  54. What a horrible dress!!! I usually do not comment on her dresses and like most of them but this just looks old and totally out of style.. .

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  55. Maggie - Minneapolis20 February 2018 at 19:29

    This event was about a group of designers around the commonwealth collaborating to champion artisan skills/smaller businesses entrepreneurs in the fashion industry and their role in the supply chain, which is so important bc those designers and artisans are usually people in poor areas of different countries around the world who struggle to compete with big companies who can afford scaling up and all of the benefits related to that. It's often women who are the entrepreneurs in these cases, making this effort important for tackling not just poverty but also gender inequality in diff parts of the world. The other big thing being championed is sustainable fashion. The collaboration's own website talks about the fashion industry's detrimental impact on the environment, esp as waste multiplies due to consumers buying more and more new clothes with less rewearing.
    So championing designers around the commonwealth, esp lesser known ones/artisans, along with promoting more sustainability in the industry, and Kate decides to wear a new bespoke Erdem, who isn't even one of the bigger designers involved with the initiative? This was a perfect opportunity to collaborate on a dress with an artisan and/or smaller business from areas of the world who aren't typically seen as fashion powerhouses. Obviously her pregnancy is a factor, but it would be insulting to these amazing designers to think/say they couldn't come up with a dress that would work if given measurements and reminded that the outfit must be a bit flexible to a changing bump.
    Otherwise, instead of spending so much money on yet another expensive bespoke dress that can probably never be worn again once this pregnancy ends. Since the other major concept for this initiative is about sustainability.
    All kate could bother doing is putting on a pair of small likely to be unnoticed earrings she's already worn before and by one of the more famous designers already on India as her nod to the broader commonwealth? At the very least she could have done as Sophie did and wear one one of the British designers actually taking part in the initiative.

    As for the actual Erdem dress she did wear, I don't actively dislike it, unlike the ones on the last tour, but I don't really like it either. The original dress is actually an Erdem design I like, but I think it's bc the shorter length is key to the print/lace design not becoming too busy. But on this longer dress, that print/design definitely is too busy for my tastes. And I'm not a fan of the awkward in bw length either - just not very flattering. Rebecca English of Daily Mail said something on Twitter during the tour that I think I really agree with - that a lot of Erdem's designs can only be pulled off if your body is pretty much a stick. I agree tho I think women should wear whatever they are comfortable with regardless of body shape obviously...im just confused as to why Kate would turn to Erdem so regularly all of a sudden for dresses esp evening wear during late pregnancy of all times. Obviously she has always been an Erdem fan but it feels more regular and often within a certain time frame than ever before.

    Kate herself has looked beautiful the past two days of events I must say. I wonder if they managed to sneak away to mustique for a week or if it's just having both kids settled into going to school bc despite her body looking very pregnant, her face looks quite well rested and happy,which is ofc wonderful to see :)

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    1. Caroline in Montana21 February 2018 at 19:10

      "All Kate could bother to do"?? you crack me up Maggie!

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  56. Maggie - Minneapolis20 February 2018 at 19:36

    P.s. Interestingly, Erdem held its Fashion Week runway show at the National Portrait Gallery. It was the first time the NPG, a publicly funded institution, was closed to the public for a day for private commercial use. There's some obvious possible problems with a public institution receiving government money for its service to the public being unavailable to the public on a regular business day, and it becomes even more interesting given Kate not only obviously loves Erdem but also is patron of the National portrait Gallery.
    Now to be fair the NPG has said it had to rent itself out for a private commercial event for the first time due to budget shortfalls making them desperately seek new ways of making money. But surely the National Portait Gallery can find other ways. It seems like at least a bit of a negative statement on Kate as patron if her patronage is struggling more than ever before for funding. I do hope Erdem doing its runway show at the NPG has nothing to do with Kate or why she's been wearing the label esp often lately.

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    1. Maggie, I always appreciate your point of view. And I totally agree that working with a designer participating would have been a great way to showcase their talent.

      Not quite sure what to think about NPG; I'm inclined to believe they have a budget shortfall they need to make up but it is an interesting coincidence! I'm much less excited that she chose to wear a black dress one day after the BAFTAs though.

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  57. I think Kate looks great!

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  58. if it werent for the fact that you had to look to notice that Kate's dress was a two tone guipure lace, and NOT a "print"- I would have said it was a house frau dress...In truth, this two tone guipure lace is mass- produced by the tonnage- and is hardly "all that special." I've seen that lace all the time on factory floors in corners collecting dust and ready for the rubbish bins for years....( in my former life as a clothing designer).
    Now THIS is an Erdem I truly don't like. The fact that they did a bespoke version for her- and it looked like that! even worse! The cut, the ruffles , the length is just NOT flattering for a pregnant woman- but I'll give them that they don't exactly design for pregnant women either..
    Came off entirely dowdy in my book. Now THIS would have been the spot -on perfect place to have worn the gold Erdem!!... She and Anna Wintour would have coordinated perfectly and it all been a huge success!
    What a "miss"..
    Sophie - much better than Kate- she delivered as she usually does- not overly exciting though. To me, it appears like Bea ( who can miss far more than she hits)- seems to have been the only one of the royal ladies there that nailed it..can't quite tell, but she seems to have hit the mark.
    All that and the Queen and Anna at a runway show today, too... what a day to have really tried to "hit it right."
    But I'll cut poor kate a break- who would want to attend a fashion event 8 months pregnant either? Bless!

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    1. As you said, if the material is of low grade, why the price tag of almost $3,000.00?

      I wonder what it was like to be a designer. Someone can be creative; I can imagine it also takes some perseverance, network with the right people, have business acumen, outbid the competition, and have patience until one makes a name in the industry.

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    2. Erdem does seem to like to play with lace - making prints that look like lace and lace that looks like print. (And generally I love guipure.)

      I didn't dislike this dress but didn't love it wildly either. I do think that length on Kate during pregnancy is very becoming - the short skirts make her look so much bigger - this dress did make for a good line - although I'm valence phobic and could have done without that.

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  59. Nicole from france20 February 2018 at 22:56

    I so much wish Kate would stop wearing Erdem clothes..... that man makes clothes for his Grandmother ! And moreover, it is absolutely not adapted to a pregnant woman, while Kate has such allure and elegance when she is pregnant ! Can't understand how she can choose that kind of old curtain thing and beautiful gowns as she recently wore ...... Sophie was absolutely perfect !

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    1. I always laugh when people mention the grandmother look because my granny was a very stylish lady - she wore bias cut gowns to die for and suits I could still wear decades later to work that had amazing tailoring - she wouldn't have been caught dead in that gold or blue velvet Erdem - or anything with valences.

      But I know it does tie in with the 'granny' look of the seventies - alas, I was one of its victims.

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    2. I took a tip from someone (sorry I can't remember who?) & I went back to The 2011 Canada/America Tour. She did wear 2 lace Erdem dresses & They are 2 of my all time Favs! I had not remembered that & I'm glad to know it now! Very different to what we are seeing these days, but Wow Those 2 American Tour Erdem Lace Dresses are Wonderful! I can't remember if we've ever seen a repeat of those dresses?

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  60. Maggie- The budgeting situation is not pretty in the UK right now for just about anything- public, government -controlled or private. ( and on top of that, we have Brexit.) Museums and the arts everywhere are all struggling as people turn to the internet for everything. I'd hardly think that there is any negative backfall on the Duchess with the National Portrait Gallery's struggles.
    I also do not find it odd given the fact that she is both an NPG patron AND an Erdem fan. Saying that, it could be entirely possible that the Duchess had something to do with it. Kind words get spoken and situations "arranged". She is a patron after all- and one of their functions is to bring in £££. That's kinda what its' all about... I'm not saying she DID arrange it, but I am saying it is entirely possible. And, whilst "sad" for the "occassional tourist " that didn't note the clousre on the website and was turned away on the day; I'm quite sure the damage done to that reatively small lot of humans paled in comparison to the £££ the Erdem show brought in.
    It pains me to see museums having to do this sort of thing in order to recover funding, but that's the way it is anymore. If hte Duchess had anything to do with it- well, I'd say she was just doing her job.

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    1. Thx Oliver, you have wonderfully raised a lot of good points! I agree!

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  61. Is Sophie wearing a FitBit? How modern!

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