Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Duchess Kate Presents Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design

The Duchess of Cambridge continued a relatively new royal tradition today when she presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design at an event hosted by the British Fashion Council at London's Design Museum on Kensington High Street.

Whilst headlines relating to the Cambridges are currently being dominated by their Windsor move (expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks), behind the scenes it's very much full steam ahead with just a month to go until the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend. I'm expecting this month to be primarily focused on the jubilee, with visits expected around the country. Today's surprise engagement was planned with the jubilee year in mind -- and a show of support for the British fashion industry.

The award is in its fifth year. A Palace spokesperson said it "aims to provide continuing recognition of the cultural and trade role the British design and fashion industry has played, and continues to play, throughout Her Majesty's reign". The Queen paid her first visit to London Fashion Week in 2018 to present the inaugural award to Richard Quinn. Seated beside US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the outing made for a memorable set of photographs.

Since then, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex have presented the award. Today, Kate joined the budding tradition.

The trophy is inspired by the Queen Elizabeth rose. It was hand-produced in 2018 by Lucy Price at Bauhinia Studios in Birmingham's famous jewellery quarter.

Ahead of awarding an emerging talent in British design, Kate met recipients from the British Fashion Council Foundation’s designer initiatives: NEWGEN, Fashion Trust and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion fund and BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund.

These funds provide up and coming designers with financial support, showcasing opportunities and mentoring as they work to build their brands. Previous winners have included Alexander McQueen and Erdem.

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The Duchess spent time with a number of leading figures in the industry, including Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful and Richard Quinn, the inaugural prize winner.

Vogue has been celebrating the Jubilee and featured a 1957 image of the Monarch taken by Lord Snowdon in 1957 for their April edition. It's also been announced the Duchess of Cornwall will appear on the July cover.

The Duchess was delighted to present the award to Saul Nash.

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Kate said it gave her "great pleasure in this Platinum Jubilee year" to announce the winner.

Speaking afterwards, Hello! reports the talented designer said: "It's always such an honour and quite surreal to have it presented by the Duchess herself. I feel truly honoured. I grew up in London and after my sixth form college I went to study performance. I never set out to be a fashion designer, it kind of evolved. I have always wanted to create sportswear and challenge pre-conceived notions around sportswear. I don't really like to dress to occasions, I wear what I like to wear when I like to wear it. It’s about self-liberation. My job as a designer is to propose new questions. A lot of those dancers are my friends, they have been in previous seasons. I am very collaborative."

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A peek at Saul's SS22 collection.

People reports:

'Nash — both a designer and a choreographer — is being recognized for his innovative take on design; developing new materials while actively pioneering a new frontier within the industry – imbuing sportswear design with an exploration of heritage, performance and technical innovation'.

Kate congratulating Saul.

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The designer was also named winner of the Woolmark Prize last week. Vogue reports:

Saul Nash is one to watch. The London designer snapped up the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design just one week after winning the International Woolmark Prize.

“Nash has a unique way of combining function, tech and tailoring in his design practice which has resulted in a new take on luxe sportswear. His work explores the relationship between performance and menswear and is often showcased through beautiful and show-stopping choreography,” said British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush in a statement. “We are incredibly proud to recognise Saul and look forward to seeing his brand grow.”

Kate enjoyed an immersive fashion show by Saul afterwards.

A sea of vibrant colours.

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The Design Museum exhibits product, industrial, graphic, fashion, and architectural design. In 2018, the museum won the European Museum of the Year Award.


The view across the top floor.

For an engagement celebrating British fashion, the Duchess turned to British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee and a fresh, contemporary dress perfect for the occasion.

The £785 Pedernal Dress features a high, draped neck with dropped shoulders, tie detail sleeves and a fitted flare skirt.


The piece is striking in multiple shades of green, as shown at Harrods.

The dress is described: "The Pedernal Dress has ease and elegance to its fit, with a loose fitting bodice, high neck and fitted waist with removable belt featuring Ivory fabric covered buckles. The skirt has a slim line that flares at the hem and an adjustable tie closure at the elbow. The Pedernal Dress works beautifully on a wide range of body types. It is easy and comfortable, but simultaneously sleek and elegant."

Edeline Lee was born in Vancouver. She graduated from the prestigious Central St Martin's in 2008 before interning at Kate's signature label Alexander McQueen, launching her own label in 2014. The designer has become the toast of London and her designs are loved by Gemma Chan, Olivia Colman, Elie Goulding, Helen Mirren and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.


Kate accessorised with her Nadia Irena Maya earrings...

...and carried her vivid green Emmy London Rebecca clutch...

...with matching Emmy London pumps.




Next Tuesday, the Cambridges will travel to Manchester for the official opening of the Glade of Light memorial -- commemorating the victims of the 2017 Manchester arena attack.

47 comments:

  1. Tammy from California4 May 2022 at 16:59

    No need to post anymore, I already LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. It is wonderful that Kate is wearing a British design. Unfortunately, I do not care for the dress. The fabric is too lightweight for the heavy belt buckle and the tie sleeve detail is not the best look on Kate.

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    1. I agree! Kate looks lovely & the color is good but I don't like anything about the dress from the neckline to bows on the sleeves to the belt I think it's just awful. If it looks good in any way it's because of Kate herself & not the dress.

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  3. I've been eying Edeline Lee designs for quite a while, and I love the sophisticated silhouette of this dress. It's a step up in terms of style from many of the Duchess's day dresses, and a nice choice for a fashion event. I could have wished for the Duchess to be a bit more adventurous with color -- Lee offers some interesting colorways -- but this is an elegant look. Well done.

    Unfortunately, though I'm willing to spend a lot on clothes, Lee's prices are a bit above my comfort zone, and her clothes aren't so widely available that we have a good chance of finding them on sale and in a range of sizes. I live in hope.

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  4. Gorgeous dress. Catherine looks great. Ali

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  5. WOW! I think she looks amazing. Love the dress, love her hair, lover her makeup. Stunning.

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  6. She looks absolutely lovely and the color favors her quite well!!

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  7. Beautiful. I love green on her anyway but this is a stunning shade. Nice cut and perfect fit. I really love the texture of the fabric. Great to show support for up and coming designers. Thanks Charlotte and any idea when we will see The Duchess next. S. ☺

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  8. Hello, the next announced engagement is in Manchester next Tuesday.

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    1. Charlotte, thanks for the info and quick response. S. ☺

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  9. Beautiful Kate - she looks amazing

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  10. What a nice surprise! I wasn't expecting Kate at this event, but it's great to see her, of course. I love the dress and the color is perfect on her. She always looks great in all shades of green! This teal reminds me of the Jenny Peckham long gown she wore previously.. So beautiful!

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  11. This is a gorgeous new look for her. Green is always great on her, but this look is exceptional! I generally prefer waves but this straight hair is sleek and pretty, too.

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  12. I love Catherine's long straight hair, but I like a side part more than a part in the middle. The earrings fit well with the hairstyle. Great length on the dress but I wish someone had taken scissors and removed those bows at the bottom of the sleeves. Aside from those sleeve bows this a great look from head to toe.

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  13. I love this dress on her. The color and the double belt style is great. I really liked the immersive fashion show , too.

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  14. Susan in Florida4 May 2022 at 22:55

    Love the fabric on this dress, the Duchess looks great in greenish-blues. Thanks for adding the fashion show clip, I liked it.

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  15. Her look is beyond perfect and I love these surprise engagements announced in the middle of the day. Dress is very unique, love it so much.

    DP

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  16. Unfortunately for me this fashion statement is a miss. I find the total look to be a distraction. Between the double belt buckles, the hanging ties on the sleeves, the attempted match of the shoes and bag and the flat ironed center part. Yikes!

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    Replies
    1. High-end fashion is often not understood or/ appreciated by the masses - these styles are not meant for everyone, but for a select few who can appreciate their artistic forward-thinking design.

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    2. USA Granny, I'm with you. I find there is too much going on with the sleeve detail and the two metal buckles on the belt.

      I noticed with the teal dress Kate is wearing, that people seem to love it, or it is not for them. There seems to be little middle ground.

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  17. Allison in US5 May 2022 at 00:14

    Nice surprise. She looked great in the dress, up close, from afar, while walking, and standing still. Wonderful choice. :)

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  18. I love this sophisticated look on Catherine!

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  19. Tammy from California5 May 2022 at 00:42

    I think Kate has found the perfect style for long hair: a long sleek look. I feel she looks foot forward and I think she knocked today's look out of the park.

    That 3rd picture of her is absolutely stunning!

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  20. It’s always fun to learn about a new designer (to me). I checked out the website and there are some beautiful looks. This is a pretty color on Kate and has some very interesting and flattering elements. I like the flare at bottom, length of sleeves and neckline. Thanks Charlotte! Sue

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  21. As always Kate looks good. The detail sleeves with dangling ties is an untidy distraction especially when the wearer is delivering a speech and talking.

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  22. the duchess looks styunning

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  23. oooh those earrings are fabulous, they are sold out but will keep them on my watch list.

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  24. This is a style miss. I am not a huge fan of Kate in green. I might have been one of the few that didn't like the green evening gown she wore during the tour either. As for this particular dress, I just feel the belt is too bulky for this light dress and the tie on the sleeves is weird. Her hair seems really flat today too. Overall, I do not care for this look

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  25. Some beautiful pictures in the update. Doesn't The Queen look amazing on the cover of Vogue. I remember Angela attending the awards with the Queen. I don't think I've ever seen a member of the Queens staff take such a high profile at any events. In light of the recent comments in the press, I think this goes to show that she is more than a employee. Obviously they're good friends. Her updated book on spending lockdown with the Queen should be a good read. Speaks for itself she stayed by The Queens side during the worst of it. S. ☺

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  26. I think Kate looks wonderful as always but I do think her hair looks lovelier with a side part and wavy like she used to wear it!

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    1. Zora from Prague5 May 2022 at 15:37

      I agree about Kate's hair, Anon. Otherwise, a beautiful look, very elegant.

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  27. I love everything about this outfit! Her hair is amazing long and straight.

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  28. This look is absolutely spot on. I love the muted gold highlights against the muted textured teal, the drape of the fabric, the neckline.... I really like the sleeves although I bet they're really annoying to wear! I also think the centre parting is not only great with this whole look, it makes her look younger.

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  29. I’m not sure I like the dress I’m getting 70’s retro vibes especially with Kates hair being straight and middle part. I like the colour but I think I would have liked her to be a bit more adventurous and could have worn the multi green colour version. It would always be very hard to choose what to wear at a fashion event!

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  30. This dress has some lovely features. The draped neck and dropped shoulders as well as the flared skirt, I feel look great, but the tie detailing at the sleeves is unnecessary, distracting and unattractive, as well as the belt buckles, I don't like these. Regardless of how I feel its a contemporary dress, that looks fabulous on the Duchess, the color is divine, suits her wonderfully and the length is good. Her choice of shoe color and clutch is fabulous. Love the earrings.

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  31. Kate looks good. But who is the lady in white with the red handbag? Love her look

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  32. I wish Kate would wear green more often!

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  33. As always, elegant, refined, stylish, appropriate, beautiful. BUT...is it just me, or does anyone else see a hint of 1970's Cher, with the long, flat hair, center part, and oversized earrings?

    The first picture of Kate walking in the dress is very relatable -- we've all had that problem of a dress clinging rather than draping smoothly. Too bad the dress didn't have some sort of built-in slip to prevent that. I always imagined that when one shops above a certain price-point, that fashion would come with built-in solutions to common problems. Doesn't reflect well on this dress designer that the dress doesn't "fall" elegantly, even when worn by the most elegant woman in the world.

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    1. I think the fall and drape of the dress are quite elegant -- that's one of the things I like about Edeline Lee's designs. The silky fabric is supposed to show off one's form a bit, and the Pedernal dress does have a viscose lining. However, I'll agree that one can sometimes be surprised to find that expensive clothes lack certain features you'd expect to be standard at those price points. Linings may be among these.

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    2. I agree. Needs a lined skirt. Have to say my cats would love the dangly toy on the sleeve and I would arrive with scratched forearms.

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  34. She looks nice. She should more like this rather than the granny style she has been sporting lately

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  35. The skirt length is perfect and I do like the colour a lot. But the heavy belt kind of pulls on the light fabric. Overall the dress doesn’t work great on Kate. It might be the combination with the flat hair and middle parting, but she doesn’t look well but rather emaciated. I hope she is ok, no one can look their best 24/7.

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  36. Love the color of the dress, it is a great color on Duchess Kate. I am not a fan of the harsh, straight hair style that Kate has been sporting lately. I don't think it is flattering on her and miss her signature bouncy, fuller, hair style. I can understand wanting to switch things up a bit, however, this is not the best look for the gorgeous Duchess. I think even her own natural, wavy hair, similar to the 40th birthday portraits, would be a better option.

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  37. Kate looks lovely as always. A couple of thoughts:
    So glad that Kate chose to wear an up and coming designer and NEW designer.
    The color is wonderful on Kate and the fabric has a beautiful sheen and texture.
    While when I first saw the dress, thought "why are there two buckles and what's going on with the sleeves?" I was happy to see that Kate didn't ask for anything to be bespoke or altered. Edeline Lee's design should have stayed true to her design (although, I see that that Kate did add a bow to the sleeves instead of the knot as shown).
    The way Kate has her hair styled works well IMHO. Kate can pull off anything and she does here.

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  38. Big no on the dress. Weird, distracting, dangling sleeve detail, cheap looking overwhelming belt. The drapey bodice is nice, but Catherine looks like a skeleton in this clingy fabric. Other designs by this house are much more intriguing.
    Karen in Virginia

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