Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The Duchess in Very Familiar McQueen Gown for The Portrait Gala

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the glamorous 2019 Portrait Gala at her patronage the National Portrait Gallery tonight.


The Duchess arriving.


The scene outside the National Portrait Gallery tonight.


Tonight marks the third time Kate has attended the gala.


Funds raised will directly support the National Portrait Gallery's work. This year, the Portrait Gala will support Inspiring People: Transforming our National Portrait Gallery, a project for the complete renewal of the gallery that will see a significant refurbishment of the building.


Kensington Palace said: "In addition to the work at St Martin’s Place, Inspiring People will also see the gallery’s most extensive programme of activities nationwide with plans to engage audiences’ onsite, locally, regionally and online. Activity includes a UK-wide schools programme for teaching history and art, a national skills-sharing collaboration with other museums and galleries and new partnerships with organisations throughout the country. As part of this programme the gallery will work with museums in Cornwall, Coventry, Sheffield and Southampton on the Creative Connections project; a co-curated exhibition programme for young people, which will result in students creating new art works alongside artists and a display of portraits from the gallery’s collection at each venue."


The major transformation will mark the gallery's biggest development since its opening in 1896.


The proposed new entrance and forecourt on the North Façade of the Gallery will create a more welcoming and generous entrance and relieve the existing congested visitor access.


More from the NPG: "The project provides the unique opportunity to re-display the entire Collection as well as upgrade the gallery spaces, while celebrating the existing architecture and decorative features. Maintaining a chronological approach, this comprehensive top-to-bottom re-hang will display works that are relevant to a wider range of audiences and present missing or hidden stories from British history. Set amongst the Gallery’s best-loved paintings will be more works from our collection of 250,000 photographs, ranging from 1840 to the present day."


Kate with Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the NPG.


Mr Cullinan introduced Kate to a group involved in 'Inspiring People'.


The Duchess met members of the gallery’s Youth Forum and viewed artwork produced by some of the National Portrait Gallery’s outreach programmes.


Kate met a selection of guests.


Including British Vogue's editor-in-chief Edward Enninful.


More from The Mirror:

'The art-loving mum-of-three has said she wants five-year-old Prince George to experience the National Portrait Gallery. The revelation came as she spoke to members of the gallery's youth forum before its 2019 Portrait Gala on Tuesday evening .
Forum member Savanna Achampong said afterwards: "She (Kate) said she was thinking of bringing George here. "She said that maybe she could speak to us so we could recommend what paintings they should come and see. "She was really genuine and down to earth, really nice."
Fellow forum member Isabella Titherington, 18, said she spoke to the duchess about how galleries can seem "inaccessible and intimidating" to young people. She added: "She did agree that sometimes galleries can seem inaccessible to younger generations and it is good to open them up to that demographic."

Guests included David and Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Bianca Jagger.

Embed from Getty Images

Princess Beatrice was also in attendance with her boyfriend Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Embed from Getty Images

When the Duchess attended the 2014 Portrait Gala she donned her much-loved sweeping, ink-blue Jenny Packham gown teamed with the Queen's dazzling Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.


In 2017, it was an elegant dark green lace Temperley London gown.


Tonight, Kate chose a very familiar Alexander McQueen gown.


The Duchess first wore the off-the-shoulder black gown with floral print and tiered skirt for the BAFTA Awards in 2017. As you can see, it appears the gown has undergone quite a bit of alternation since. It looks like the piece has been substantially reworked with the bodice replaced and cap sleeves added. You'll notice the flower placement is different on the new bodice. Fashion experts on social media believe elements of the skirt are different too; suggesting it may be a new piece entirely. It's something of a mystery for the moment. Certainly, it would seem more likely the original has been repurposed.


It appears Kate wore her Jimmy Choo Cosmic pumps. The black suede shoes have been a staple in her closet since 2011.


Kate accessorised with her statement Kiki McDonough morganite earrings. Kate first wore the £7,000 special edition pair for Pippa's wedding.


And carried her black Prada clutch.


If you're just joining us, click here to view today's earlier post covering Kate's visit to the Henry Fawcett centre.


The Palace confirmed we'll see William and Kate on Sunday for St Patrick's Day and announced another engagement for Kate on Monday. Here's an overview of Kate's calendar:

17 March - The Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, accompanied by The Duchess of Cambridge, will visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow.
19 March - The Duchess of Cambridge will join the Queen to open Bush House, King's College London.
19 March - The Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Foundling Museum to understand how they use art to make a positive contribution to society by engaging with vulnerable and marginalised young people.

What do you think of Kate's reworked McQueen gown?

143 comments:

  1. One of my favorite gowns,and I love the added sleeves!

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    1. I like it so much better with the reworked sleeves beautiful!

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  2. SierrafromMontana12 March 2019 at 20:22

    NOOOO!!! What did she do to the sleeves???

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    1. I know! That was the best part 😱

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    2. The original sleeve looks like you can't move your arm. She probably wanted something more practical.

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    3. Eliza, agree, the off shoulder look is gorgeous but I also wondered about he practical aspect of it.

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    4. This used to be one of my all time favourite gowns and now she’s made it much more boring and safe. Boo!

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    5. I like both. Incredible how they look so different

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    6. I agree. Loved the off shoulder look on her. Lovely skin.

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  3. Zora from Prague12 March 2019 at 20:22

    Oh, I like this dress so much more than its previous version! :) Kate looks lovely!

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    1. So do I! :)

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    2. Royal 👑 Watcher13 March 2019 at 00:50

      I prefer this version of the dress also, very pretty.

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  4. Rebecca - Sweden12 March 2019 at 20:24

    Oh, nice to see a repeat. This works very well to a more creative event and I like when she repeats to events with alot of celebrities since it's such an uncommon thing for events like those. I think I like the way she reworked it. Might be more usable as well (Well... as usable as a floral floor length McQueen gown can be!!). And I like the fact that it's reworked just for the simple reason that it gives me hope for the future that some pieces that might have become dated can still come back with a twist. I remember her having reworked 2 pieces before (of the top of my head). The red Luisa Spagnolia (?) skirt suit and a beige coat from pre-marriage/engagement.

    I have to confess a smidge of disappointment in the earrings. They're perfectly pretty but the magpie in me was greedily hoping for some vault jewels. Either way, Kate's a stunning woman and she's looking great.

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    1. I am also very excited by this remake, since it is the first time that she did a proper remake especially of an evening gown. This boad well for the future.
      And this was a great gown to start with. Even though the off-the-shoulder look is still fashionable, it is very much of the time. Within a couple of years the dress would have been dated. Now she can get another couple of rewears out of it.

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    2. Zora from Prague12 March 2019 at 20:39

      Rebecca, the magpie in you made me laugh! :)

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    3. Oh my gosh I agree I hope this means more reworked items in the future

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  5. Very interesting. I prefer the BAFTA look. The sleeves somehow make the waist area look odd. But, overall both are nice - I'd wear either! Lol Busy day for her today :)

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  6. I hated this dress the first time she wore it. But I like the reworked version. I think the sleeves help balance out the dust ruffle bottom.

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  7. I love the new sleeves and glad to see this dress again.

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  8. Not sure which version I like better. But I'm very happy that she has done this and maybe she will do it to other dresses in the future. For instance CP Mary of Denmark does this somewhat regularly.

    Fun idea for a quiet period - deciding what prior dress we'd like to see her revamp.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden12 March 2019 at 20:32

      Mary was the first one I thought of as well!! She's really good at reworking pieces for longer use!

      That would be a really fun idea and I'm sure together we'd come up with tons of creative suggestions!

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    2. I think that’s a wonderful idea! Charlotte, perhaps we can try that!

      Liv

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    3. Gorgeous!!!!!! I love this version and so smart to rework a beautiful gown. Princess D often did that. She looks so pretty and has such a tiny waist😱.

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    4. Count me in. I love ripping up dresses and making them into something new!

      Meanwhile, I really like the changes to this gown.

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    5. Marci, as in"'Pretty in Pink?" (wasn't her name Andy?) I actually liked the 60's version of the prom dress better than the updated version but I admire anyone who can look at something and see something entirely new in it. Like a butterfly from a cocoon.

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  9. I actually prefer the sleeves!!!! This dress never really jived with me. The dimensions, the way it was off the shoulders just didn’t work as well.
    This is the rare moment that more covered actually works!!!!
    This is awesome that this got tweaked. Good repurposing.

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    1. I agree, 20:30. The sleeves add a much needed balance to the heavy skirt.

      I must say, though, that I will never like this dress. Too much going on, and with the hair down, everything is just ... too much.

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  10. i need those earrings in my life! gorgeous & classy!

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  11. Caroline in Montana12 March 2019 at 20:38

    i liked this dress the first time around. I like the re-work. I think the full sleeves look better and balance the dress. cant wait for a full post!

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    1. Caroline in Montana12 March 2019 at 21:18

      forgot to add I love it way better with her hair down!

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    2. I liked the dress then and I like the rework now, good for Kate to recycle the dress with a different style. XOXO Siddhii

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  12. I prefer the dress now. The Duchess is a vision tonight.
    Federica

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  13. Can somebody who make their own clothes maybe chip in on how the remake was done? Did they replace the whole bodice? Or is the strap on her shoulder the “off-shoulder” part and they just added the capped sleeves? Would that even be possible?

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    1. I do not think it is a remake, only you can wear them up or down. Last time the chest line was odd.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden12 March 2019 at 21:09

      I don't make clothes but I would bet on a change from the upper wait band thingy. (The technical term, clearly!). I saw comments on twitter that the placement of the flowers on the bodice is not the same. I think trying to just change the sleeves would end up in some weird seams and maybe some structural issues. (This makes me wonder if they maybe kept the old sleeve top and can change them since there is a ribbon in the waist that could mask some temporary fastenings.. Maybe my mind is getting the better of me but I love flexible fashion!

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    3. Caroline in Montana12 March 2019 at 21:17

      I'm not sure, but it looks like the bodice is a completely different piece (was trying to study the flower placements?) and maybe it was cut to the first black ribbon and added up from there? does she get extra fabric when she buys a dress just for future rework? I also would love to know how its done!

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    4. I made all of my clothes - including my bathing suits - when I was growing up. Don't sew anymore however. I've looked at this, immediately zoomed in on the two photos to try and compare. It definitely looks like the put an entirely new bodice onto the skirt. And honestly, that would be the easy method IMHO. Although hard to tell with her hair down.

      If you look along the neckline, you'll see on the new bodice three lilies across the top and it doesn't appear the same on the "off the shoulder" gown. Secondly, this high-end designer - McQueen would never have added a seam to extend (create) that shoulder section - where the sleeve is attached. The bodices are two different patterns and cut differently. Hope that helps.

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    5. Rachel it looks as though they have reworked the entire bodice and perhaps deconstructed it from the waist up. If you look at the front of the bodice, it appears that the flowers are in different places, indicating a complete bodice replacement. That would be the easier way rather than having to rework the sleeves. Intriguing because that means that enough materials would have been saved to rework the gown. Clever girl our Kate.

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    6. My guess is that they got the extra fabric from the skirt or the stomach area. The stomach area looked ruched above the hip ribbon but now it's completely flat. The skirt also looks less full than the BAFTA's version.

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  14. Interesting to see people's different opinions on this. Personally, I prefer the BAFTA version, but I'm happy to see Kate in a repeat gown and that it was reworked in a way that she can wear for future events.

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  15. I love the added sleeves the bodice seems to work better this way, beautiful dress


    Silvia

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  16. Hmmm...I didn't like this dress the first time and I still don't, but I like this version of it more than the first one. Something about the dust ruffles... BUT, her hair and earrings look lovely and props to her for being creative with the re-wear.

    Morgan

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    1. Agree, the dress is odd, but it worksa bit better now. But it will never be my favourite.
      She lools nice though.

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    2. I agree about the bottom dust ruffles. I think she looks wonderful though. I love the color, the neckline, the bodice & sleeves but the bottom with the ruffles is just odd.

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    3. I agree. I think the pattern plus the ruffles plus the black ribbon makes it too busy. I also think the middle black ribbon is misplaced.

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    4. You're right! I knew there was something off besides the ruffles but couldn't put my finger on it. Now that you've said about the ribbon I noticed it's not spaced properly. After that ribbon there's gathering & then the ruffles start. I see after reading your comment Denise that there's another ribbon lower which I hadn't notice. It blends in with the dress in the picture on my computer. It's just strange the whole setup. Might be a bit better if there was just the ribbon at the waist.

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  17. She looks fantastic. Love both versions of the dress. Prefer the first off shoulder look but maybe after wearing it for an evening she discovered dealing with that off shoulder style was a bit of a pain. Actually it looks like they reworked the area from the waist to the first tier and eliminated the bit of ruffle/pleats in the fabric. Not sure I like that reworked area.

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    1. I think the dress looks more balanced with the cap sleeves. The lower part seemed to dominate the garment with the bare top. I wonder if part of the alteration in the bodice and waist area might have been promoted by changes in her figure.

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    2. Anon 02:00, I also wondered about figure changes over the years.

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  18. I think there is a strong possibility she just gathered the sleeves down for the first evening wear. The fabric lends itself to that possibility. Many dress styles give you that option at a certain price point. Personally, the first wearing is so much more attractive then the little cap sleeve which for me makes it less fashionable and dated.

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    1. USA, I think you may have something there. We may be over thinking this. I think some of the perceived changes may relate to differences in camera angles, as someone mentioned, and lighting-someone remarked about sheen in one photo. Surely if it were a different material all the photos would show the sheen. Maybe not. The changes in pattern appearance: ever wear a patterned dress, gained or lost ten-fifteen pounds, and then noticed the pattern has shifted somewhat? That illusion may be at work here.

      It is fun to speculate on clothing details. It sure beats some other topics. ;) However, I still go with my original idea that the bodice was altered for size and the sleeve change a little extra innovation, perhaps to distract from that. In the photo of the previous wearing the fit was perfect; yet, judging from side by side photos, I think her figure has shifted around somewhat since Louis.
      I really doubt this is an entirely new gown.

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  19. Silvia from Tuscany12 March 2019 at 20:58

    I think the rework is a great idea! A lovely way to wear an "old" dress once again just refreshing it. Something everybody can normally do... I appreciate this second version with sleeves more than the Bafta one. I hope we'll have the occasion to see more remakes in the future!

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  20. Not a fan of this dress the first time out; however, I like it a lot more with the re-worked sleeves.

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  21. Loved this dress first time around, the addition of sleeves has improved it considerably and is more flattering on Catherine. Lovely seeing repeat wears, it would by very easy for Catherine to wear something new. Would love to see the Erdem tulip print evening dress again maybe reworked somehow.

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  22. HER HAIR!!!!!! In all its glory! Loooove!!!

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  23. I love this version with the added sleeves, seems to me more balanced and it's an old dress with a new feel. It's the third outfit that I recall that she modified :The Luisa Spagnolli suit, her maternity Catherine walker coat and now this but today I feel that this show a more experienced and seasoned confident royal.

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  24. I'm loving this. I really loved it when she attended the BAFTAs event and I'm so pleased that she is not only recycling but re-styling as well. Very smart.

    I thought this fabric was beautiful and the overall design "fun" and it really works for this event. Well done Kate!

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  25. What a great idea to rework this. It looks better this time in my opinion. Catherine is down to earth and it shows a frugal common sense side to her. She is trying to get good value out of her working wardrobe. Maybe even some of her maternity clothes can be reworked now...if she is finished having children that is. I read she has a private dressmaker now.

    Just because you can spend thousands on clothes does not mean you have to throw money around in a silly wasteful manner. I respect that.

    I truly believe the Duchess looks more beautiful now a a grown women than she did as a young twenty something. To think she has had three children as well...stunning.

    She just gets better and better

    Sandra from Canada

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    1. Very well said Sandra. I agree 100%!

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    2. Rita in Florida12 March 2019 at 22:38

      Well said Sandra - she does just get better and better with age! I like the re-working of the dress.

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    3. Zora from Prague13 March 2019 at 08:56

      Sandra, this is exactly what I thought yesterday when I saw the engagement photos! She has always been pretty but as she gets older she seems to be more beautiful; being more mature adds new lovely traits to her beauty.

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    4. I agree ladies, and I loved how you expressed it Sandra and Zora. There is depth to her beauty that isn't just defined by her prettiness, we are watching her grow into this lovely woman. cc

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    5. I have heard that when you are young, you have the face you were born with... and as you get older, you have the face you deserve... :) Kate certainly has grown in to her beauty with age. Carla

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  26. We can't complain that her re-wears are "boring" because she never changes the look. (someone has actually said that here, at least once recently) CP Mary was given as the model for stylish re-wears. The last three outfits, for example, have included re--wears. With the red great coat she had different hair, purse, shoes, and hat. The slacks different blouse, shoes, purse. Now a reworking of the top of the McQueen gown.

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  27. Hair and Makeup is gorgeous!As for the dress,I think I prefer the BAFTA version,I just don't like the added sleeves.

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  28. A very nice remake. I prefer the original- I liked the contrast between the "daring" off the shoulder with the "prim" ruffle. How can anyone maintain as small a waist as Kate seems to after three children?

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  29. Very nice remake! I like both versions,probably second one better.

    It also gives hope that a floor lenght blue/red/white floral Erdem (that Catherine once wore to an evening event) can be saved by shortening to a knee lenght. It was a fabulous material ruined by awful design with a ruffle... I hoped for a remake of that dress since I first saw it and now it's not just wishful thinking any more!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 March 2019 at 10:25

      Haha, this was also the first thing I thought about when thinking about remakes. I didn't hate the original as many others did, but it could really look fabulous in a cocktail style!

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  30. Not my favorite dress, I am not a big fan of a floral/print on a full length dress. Kate has some beautiful gowns in her wardrobe that I would prefer to see again but that’s just my personal taste. Sinead

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    1. I am with you on this one, it is not my cup of tea either. Similar jewellery too. Blah. Let's hope it does not turn out to be a completely new dress.

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    2. Totally agree. It wasn't a great dress originally, and it's not now. Too busy, and too much with her long hair.

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  31. I actually think it’s another gown. I don’t think it’s been redone I think it’s a whole other version. Look at the flower line up around the stomach on bottom and top it’s not the same locations as it was last time. I like both versions, stunning gown both ways.

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    1. I looked carefully & the flowers look the same to me. The belt at the waist might be a smidge shifted but flowers looks exactly the same upon my zooming in & looking at another picture from tonight taken from the same angle as the BAFTAs.

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    2. Maybe. If yes,then I think it is absolutely wasteful though. However it could also be that the dress was remade overall, to better fit her current shape.

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    3. I think in order to add the sleeves they had to rework the whole top of the dress. That's why the placement doesn't match.

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  32. Is this a new dress or were just sleeves attached?

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  33. I saw some other pictures on Getty Images. I was wondering who the other lady was who drove with Kate. Any ideas? Black dress, shoulder-length blonde hair.

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  34. I love this version of the dress, and her hair is spectacular.

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  35. I’m not a fan of the new sleeves - it throws off the silhouette somehow. I loved the BAFTA look.

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    1. I think so too. Something is off with the proportions now.

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  36. I like what the Duchess of Cambridge is doing with the “repeats”. She looks lovely. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  37. Hmm I like the BAFTA look better. I think the off-the-shoulder look with the updo created a real evening look. The new sleeves look like a day-dress attached to an evening-gown-skirt, if that makes sense. Nevertheless I loved the print and peplum the first time and it's cool to see her recycle her clothes with slight tweaks, and Kate has had a rather busy March! Good to see her out and about so much!

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    1. I agree with you Ivy Lin, I really liked the BAFTA look best, it was very elegant. You are right about this rework having a "day-dress" look but I like it and think it was a very clever way to repurpose the gown. I've always loved the dainty print of this material. She styled both looks very well and each were appropriate for the occasion, that's a knack Kate seems to have. LOVE that her March has been so busy and so excited for her to attend the St. Patricks Day engagement AND the joint appearance with the Queen. cc

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  38. I like this dress with the sleeves now, it was one of my least favorite evening gowns of Kate's, possibly for her too so maybe that's why it's been changed?.

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  39. I agree with everything you said! Her hair is gorgeous tonight.

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  40. I like the new version much better.

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  41. I don’t like this dress at all, reworked or not the pattern is way too busy and clashes with her hair. I’m sorry but to me it looks like a 1970’s curtain. I thought she looked stunning this morning in the purple Gucci blouse and Jigsaw pants. I really hope we don’t see this dress again, the only thing worse in her wardrobe is the mustard satin Erdem!

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    1. I totally agree on all points! Especially about the mustard Erdem, yuck!

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  42. Princess Beatrice’s boyfriend is handsome!

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    1. Caroline in Montana14 March 2019 at 15:32

      I had to go check him out, he is handsome and they look great together!! Is it just me or does Bea get more attractive the older she gets? Would not mind seeing that Royal Wedding:)

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  43. I preferred the BAFTA look which was breathtaking but I think this is a thrifty and smart way to get more wear out of this type of dress. I wasn't too sure about the sleeves at first but now I have seen them in more pictures I do think they were a good change. I think this look would be better with a bracelet and maybe a ponytail so we can see those lovely earrings.

    Finally, I know Kate holds on to a lot of her wardrobe and we should applaud her for that but those Choos need to be thrown away. They are so outdated it hurts. She has gotten 8 years of wear out of them so I dont think it would be wasteful to get rid of them now.

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    1. Haha! I love her cosmic pumps. But then, I still have clothes from the 60's on in my closet.

      I rarely bought trendy-usually classic and good quality. On a whole, I believe Kate follows this practice. Except for those pumps. I think they might be like wearing lacy under garments under a uniform. You know they're there.

      Besides, those shoes look very comfortable for standing around.

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    2. Caroline in Montana13 March 2019 at 18:07

      interesting take. I often resole my shoes, especially the broken in Italian leather ones. nothing at all wrong the Choos. wasteful to throw out a perfectly good pair of shoes. a pair of black heels is like a black dress, they don't go out of style.

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    3. They’re platform pumps.... i don’t see how they’re outdated since you see shoes like these everywhere... and they’re black. I don’t think Choos ever go out of style anyway.

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  44. To me, it looks like everything above the top ruffly bit has been reworked. The fitted part below the waistband at the bodice look reworked to me. She perhaps got extra fabric to have things altered or changed, but to me the ruffled/tiered parts look the same. It’s just the more fitted parts above and below the waistband look changed. Anyway, I think I like the original look better. Still, she looks nice though.

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  45. So interesting. Diana used to alter outfits so I wondered if Kate ever would. Kate, on the other hand, gets outfits made that look almost identical. So I'm not sure if we will ever know. She sure got the headlines tonight though with the mystery of the dress! Glad she's not being criticized as I am tired of the recent attacks. She looks so warm and friendly

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  46. I like the remake of this dress because I felt like the off the shoulder gown made Catherine's shoulders look too wide. This new variation looks lovely! I like the idea that she is thrifty "in her world". It will be interesting to see future remakes. It is tricky! CP Mary has had some successes with her remakes and some failures IMHO. I loved her Bambi dress with the additional cape/skirt. That just wowed me, but some others have not. I am sorry I can't think of the specific other item of CP Mary that she remade that I didn't like. It seems like it was a black formal/long dress, also.

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  47. Tammy from California13 March 2019 at 02:38

    Ahhhhhh, that Jenny Packham gown was just a show stopper for me. Of course the necklace that went with it was out of this world too. Hearts and stars for that one...

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  48. I thought the original version of the gown needed wider shoulder straps. The narrow ones seemed out of proportion with the rest of the design. But I would never have envisioned adding sleeves. I am not sure I like this version. It is of course less grand and more suited to a quieter evening. But I am not convinced that the sleeves and new bodice are as graceful as the original.

    This alteration also required additional fabric. Either McQueen had some on hand, or Kate had purchased extra, probably the former. It all seems quite thrifty, but the fabric and labor for the change would cost quite a bit. Not as much as a new gown, of course, but still substantial.

    Thank you, Charlotte, for your detailed coverage of Kate's events today. It is not your fault that her two sartorial choices have been unusual, and rather overshadowed her work!

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  49. Very pretty and I have always loved those shoes!

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  50. When I first saw this dress at the Baftas, I was not expecting Kate to be wearing it. I liked it but had to marinate on it. I like this incarnation too, but I thought the bare shoulders put an edgier, artistic spin to a rather ordinary silhouette. I bet Kate fell in love with the print on this fabric and felt too bare in it. Plus, she talks with her hands, so chatting with tonight's guests may have made her feel too exposed and she may have thought she might open herself up to a wardrobe malfunction. I am sure Sarah Burton would've been happy to alter it at her request. Now the dress. for me, is pretty but just ok. Suitably princess but not artsy. Knowing that the Beckhams attended, I would've tried a Victoria Beckham creation. Or I am just waiting for her to rewear that killer blue Roland Mouret slinky number she wore to a Kensington Palace reception. Attending these museum galas (where a lot of money is raised by well-to-do philanthropists), Kate can go a little more fashion forward and artistic in her dress choice. Out of the three appearances, I prefer the slinkier dark green lace dress with the great earrings. She still is very beautiful and I love seeing her in a gown!!! I also had hoped we might see her in the pink McQueen she wore to Prince Charles' birthday dinner!!!

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  51. If you look closely at the pictures I believe both the bodice and the area from her waist to the first tier of the skirt have been reworked. The flowers are different. Also in the new version with the sleeves the area from the waist to the hip seems more fitted. I like the first version but I like this one even better.

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    1. I agree with you that the refit was done between the first and second tier of the skirt.

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    2. Caroline in Montana13 March 2019 at 17:31

      I agree, it also seems to have a different sheen? I also wondered if its a tad shorter, or if she has on taller shoes, it does not seem to drag as much this time.

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  52. Rienks in Africa13 March 2019 at 06:21

    Kate looks gorgeous. Fabulous repeat and a great remake. But nothing comes close to her 2014 attendance in the ink-blue Jenny Packham with the Hyderabad necklace!

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  53. I do like the reinvented version. Much more flattering. She looks so vibrant.

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  54. The sleeves are different, the bodice as well, and if you look closely, the skirt also seems to be different. She has another dress in a near identical version. Im slightly disappointed i have to admit.

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    1. It seems it is the same dress, thoroughly reworked. It was common practice, until a few decades ago, a garment would be reworked and handed down to the next generation until the material felt apart. Any good dress maker would be able to do it.

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    2. I agree. Considering Kates history of buying very similar dresses (some of them we had to discuss whether it is the same or a different dress) versus Her small history of alterations (mostly changing hemlines, plus one maternity coat), it makes sense to assume that she purchased two similar dresses. Combining that with the fact that the flower-pattern is not exactly the same, it is difficult to believe for me that this is a remake. But she can afford it, and its a nice variation of the previous dress.

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  55. I personally do not think that this is an entirely new dress...I liked the first neckline more, it was really pretty.

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  56. I love how she has reworked the gown! It seems she has an outstanding seamstress, the reworking of the Norwegian maternity coat was also impeccable. I guess it must be the work of the mysterious unidentified dressmaker. Or would the fashion houses rework each their own? In any case, a lot of time and planning involved.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 March 2019 at 11:19

      In this case, considering Kate works so closely with McQueen, I would bet the fashion house themselves made the alterations. In other cases when she doesn't have a close partnership I think a seamstress changes it. But that's just my speculation!

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  57. I love that Kate reworked the dress. I agree that the bodice looks completely new. In one photo, it also gas less sheen, indicating that there may have been a change in the direction of the grain.
    I worked for a designer who did alterations such as this. It was not uncommon to take the entire dress apart and start over, reusing the fabric, turning it upside own, etc. Most ladies who did this often and who wanted a custom fit would buy a dress several sizes too large, then have it tailored down. The remaining fabric could then be used later to change sleeves, etc. I've often wondered if royals did this too. Often their dresses are longer than what you see in the store. That can be accomplished by buying a too big dress and altering it down, instead of adding a bottom panel. If they aren't buying a too big dress, the dress maker could probably ring the original designer and ask to order more fabric for a rework. It foes take a considerable amount, even for a small size like Kate.
    My mom used to say that she loved Diana's style for this reason. She said Diana was known for reworking her dresses to the point that they looked completely new with every wear. Oh to be a royal dress maker! I think it would be the best job!

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    1. Maybe you can answer a question I have. The original off-shoulder was a Alexander McQueen custom design. When I buy a dress at H&M I can obviously do with it what I want, but does the same apply to custom designs?
      Let’s say Kate’s dressmaker did the redo of the bodice and sleeves, is it still considered a McQueen dress?
      What if Sarah Burton hates the changes Kate made?

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden13 March 2019 at 11:52

      Thank you so much for the insight!

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    3. I agree, Rachel, those gowns are works of art. Like when you buy a Picasso, it is yours but if you paint on it, it isn't quite a Picasso anymore... I think those dresses should end in a museum.

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    4. Rachel, I would imagine she sent it back to McQueen to be reworked.

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    5. I would love it if it was the original piece reworked. Jill thank you for all your information. Dressmaking and "alterations" is a true art.

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  58. I followed Diana news back in the day & it was reported she frequently reworked her wardrobe to update pieces. Maybe Kate does the same?

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    1. The Princess Royal does this a lot with her older dresses too. Also Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

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  59. Pam from Boston13 March 2019 at 13:31

    I think it's an entirely different dress.

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    1. Me too. Considering the changes, the whole dress would have had to been gutted and reworked. Far easier just to make a different dress.

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  60. Of cours you can take some fabric out of the flounce and make cap sleeves of it...
    it is obvious...

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    1. JustCallMeMrsDarcy13 March 2019 at 23:38

      I believe the skirt is a more sheer fabric with a larger pattern. The flowers on the skirt have long stems while the bodice has blossoms. A good idea though! That would work on another dress!

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  61. i think when you bought the dress it is yours... you can do anything you want with it... even eat on it... haha...

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  62. Reworked sleeves on this dress makes sense. Duchess Kate looks comfortable and the dress is better balanced too.

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    1. JustCallMeMrsDarcy13 March 2019 at 20:44

      Exactly what I thought, much more balanced!
      I'm not convinced it's all new. The neckline had to be adjusted too, raised slightly so, for me, that explains the new pattern placement. And the pattern placement on the skirt, I imagine that in the removing and attaching the bodice the skirt might have ben put on on a slightly different direction. OR the top tier had to be re-gathered and so flowers that were in the folds are now visible.
      I wonder did she find the original dress heavy, so the sleeves had a practical purpose as well as being stylish.

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  63. Amy, Detroit MI13 March 2019 at 15:45

    I just don't like it. Didn't like it then, don't like it now. It looks too much like a lampshade.

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    1. fully agree! Too busy, too much fabric, she is drowning in it, despite the fitted bodice, the skirt ruins the look for me, sorry Kate...

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  64. I don’t like this dress at all. It seems like curtains and seems very old for a young lady. But great evening thank you Charlotte for the report

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  65. I love the sleeves better this way, the Duchess looks lovely, beautiful Prada satin bag, love it.

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  66. I think I'm in the minority here, but I just cant stand the tiered ruffles on this dress. I think the pattern is lovely, and I like the little sleeves, but from the waist down I just want to scream about how tacky it looks. Of course, she can pull off anything, and she looks lovely, but I do not like this dress.

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  67. i wonder if she had 2 dresses originally with different necklines and ended up liking both. Obviously, she has such a good relationship with Sarah Burton and Alexander mcQueen, i sort of wonder if that could have happened.
    both necklines look fantastic on her, but overall, i like the look with the sleeves better because it balances the dress so well.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  68. No, you are not alone, I feel exactly the same! I think ruffles never look good on an already very busy pattern, it's too much for the eye and, frankly, not necessary - the gown would have been way better if the skirt was simply an A-line without all the ruffles...

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  69. I read a very insightful comment on WhatKatewore, from a seamstress, explaining how a sleeveless dress must be always perfectly fitted because big dresses without sleeves need a perfect fit to carry the weight of a large skirt. her take was that it probably had to be altered after another baby. As the bodice had to be reworked, they opted for a more comfortable neckline, easier to wear. I think it makes a lot of sense.

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    1. Thanks Natacha, makes sense and I enjoy reading about the ins and outs of design and reworking clothing.

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  70. This dress was much better before.

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  71. She looks sensational. I like this new version of the gown much better than the previous: more balance to the silhouette; the wide "boat" neckline & sleeves better enhance her beautiful neck and shoulders. Just love the way she plucks items from her wardrobe (obviously with behind the scene assistance) and produces a new look with a previously clothing. As I've commented often, Kate seldom lets her clothes wear her -- she lets her glorious face, figure, posture, come to the forefront; the clothes are the backdrop.

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  72. I might be in the minority but I absolutely love this dress, in both styles. For me, a lot of the appeal is how a garment moves with the wearer, and I imagine the ruffled skirt is quite spectacular. The Duchess's tiny waist--good gravy, and that after three babies! Simply beautiful.

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    1. Agreed, Unk 1:37 and Jeanne 21:36. Kate looks fabulous; I could only dream of being half as fit as her after my two children, and she’s had three! IMO she also appears more comfortable in the reworked gown than I thought she did in the original. And the floral pattern, while a little ‘busy,’ is beautiful against the black background.

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  73. What happens to Kate’s initiative launch?

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