Tag Archives: Kate Middleton

Red Carpet Rundown: I ♥ Kate Middleton/Duchess of Cambridge/Princess Kate

There was a time when I didn’t even like Kate Middleton much. I even preferred Prince Harry’s spunkier beau, Chelsea Davy, because she actually seemed to be doing something with her life, as opposed to just hanging around with immaculate hair waiting for her boyfriend to pop the question.

How times have changed.

Now I can’t get enough of Princess Kate. Thankfully, the media can’t either, so I have been happily gorging on photos of her daily thanks to Wills & Kate’s Great North American Adventure. And now I don’t just want her hair… I want her wardrobe too!

Kate’s style has been criticised as ‘boring’, but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t think she looked lovely. Isn’t it refreshing to see a young woman in the public eye who isn’t slavishly following every trend going or trying to reveal as much boob as possible? Kate’s style is elegant, refined and obviously, totally her own. No stylist required.

Obviously, being a royal means there’s some element of conservatism to her look – yes, wah wah wah, she has to wear skin-coloured tights but frankly, she wears them so well that I’m considering buying some! Yet she still looks young and fresh, un-stuffy and gorgeous – and I suppose being in love with the future King of England helps too.

My favourite looks from the North American tour are numerous… so this post is as much for my personal squee-ing viewing pleasure as for yours.

I knew it was going to be a good few weeks when Kate’s first look was this navy lace shift dress from Erdem. Subconsciously, I’d been longing for Kate to wear Erdem since… well, forever. Erdem does lacy florals in a way that is so far away from grannie’s doilies and cushion covers that you’ll forget chintz even existed; instead, they’re contemporary, chic and oh-so-breathtakingly pretty dresses every time. I LOVE this dress. I want it. You’ll hear this phrase a lot this post.

The marriage made in heaven (and I’m talking Kate & Erdem, not Kate & Wills!) continued with this second Erdem dress. This time it’s a more vibrant shade of royal blue, a colour we’ve seen Kate wear a lot recently, obviously purely coincidentally setting off that engagement ring. Again, I love it. I want it less than the navy one though. The navy was just SO effortlessly classy yet still a little bit sexy. This is beautiful though. See what I mean? Modern yet conservative and still young and fresh. Delightful.

Another designer that Kate should wear more of is Jenny Packham. Packham is actually British-born, yet has so far received more attention from young American starlet types who are drawn magpie-esque to her sparkly feminine designs (see Emma Roberts, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Jayma Mays and Sandra Bullock). This is also an excuse for me to shoehorn in my second-favourite Princess Kate look of all time (second to THE wedding dress, obvs) courtesy of Ms Packham from the ARK Gala – delicate blush colour, shimmering silver sequins, a floating romantic princess dream topped off with ribbons on her shoes. She looked stunning in every single photo, from every single angle – the power of a totally magical dress.

But back to the dresses from the tour. They’re just such a perfect fit for Kate. Delightful, charming and pretty, simple yet with an easy sophistication. She got a bit windswept in the primrose yellow frock so I’m hoping this will get another Reiss engagement dress re-run because it’s utterly gorgeous. Easy and breezy without a Covergirl advert in sight. It’s a shame Kate tends towards nudes and neutrals as colours like this really light her up. She looks years younger. Adorable.

Similarly, she should totally wear more prints. She can carry them off – and so easily too! Ideally, she needs to amalgamate these two looks and do *quelle horreur* a bright print! Baby steps, I know… This is yet another effortlessly gorgeous outfit and the print, in an array of pale neutral hues, is just beautiful, light and chic. I love the way those butterfly-like sleeves fall too. It’s the little details!

Onto the Alexander McQueens, forever destined to be overshadowed by THE wedding dress. Part of her duty as a royal is to champion British fashion so well done Kate for finding McQueen pieces that work with her sensibilities – and not only work, but weeerk (you know, said with a Tyra hip thrust or Mr Jay finger wag). This vaguely nautical-themed cream cable-knit dress is just that little bit quirkier than Kate’s usual choices; it was worn for her visit to the place where Anne Of Green Gables was set and she just looks… delightful. What’s the word count for that adjective already? Classic but cute. Hair up looks good too, huh?!

The biggie of the tour was this full-length lavender ball-gown with a crystallised waistband worn for the Baftas Brits To Watch event. If this isn’t a princess dress, I’m not sure what is. It looks like it was designed by Disney artists for that final romantic waltz in the clouds accompanied by the Disney choir reaching crescendo. The sparkly waist reminds me of the after-wedding McQueen gown, whilst accessories are strictly from the school of sparkly princess stuff too. It’s so soft and silky and swooning. On a night when Hollywood’s A-List were out strutting their stuff (and, in celeb anecdote gold, J.Lo was apparently shoving Mary Louise Parker out the way), Princess Kate wafted down the red carpet like she’s been doing it for years. Beautiful.

So these dresses are the proof why Kate should give colour a few more spins. Look how much brighter and vibrant and youthful she looks in these bold eye-popping shades. The purple Issa and green Diane Von Furstenberg are both very simple shapes that let the colour do all the talking – but it’s one hell of a conversation! Issa’s speciality is flattering shapes in vivid colours (remember the engagement announcement dress?) and this is no exception. I just wish I could make unforgiving jersey look this easy! Meanwhile, it’s always been one of my aims in life to buy myself a DVF – the designer has a reputation for making flattering, quality clothing for women of any age in all kinds of lively prints and colours. This is just selling the brand to me even more.

One of my other favourites from the tour was rather understated and underrated. I’ve loved Roksanda Ilincic’s designs for a long time now – there’s just something about the way she drapes her fabrics that’s artful, interesting, tactile and feminine; structured but unstructured, if that makes sense. She isn’t afraid of a bright colour either and most of her pieces have an effortless grace to them, yet are still very modern. In short, Kate should be wearing this British designer much more! And also in short, I obviously want this lavender pale blue grey Peridot dress for my own. See that twist at the neckline? The way the material folds so beautifully around the figure? The way it just feels feather-light and delicate and dreamy yet could see you through practically any occasion? LOVE.

I have to mention the Reiss Nanette dress re-run too. It’s always endearing to see celebs wear outfits again – Camilla recently trotted out her entire wedding guest garb! – and it feels a very British thing too. It’s such a high-profile dress to recycle (worn for one of the official engagement photos) yet shows how much new life can be breathed into an outfit through stylish accessorising… and of course there’s the whole Canadian flag, red-and-white theme going on. The Lock & Co red maple leaf fascinator is charmingly quirky, the Lulu Guinness fan clutch is AMAZING and I want one, the maple leaf brooch borrowed from Her Majesty herself is a lovely touch and the ruby heels tie everything together. And the dress is still the very gorgeous clean crisp and modern thing it always was.

Finally, the Catherine Walkers, my least favourite of the favourites. For me, these are a little too mature for Kate yet still have some exquisite features about them. The dress-coat feels a little old-fashioned for Kate (I think it’s that heavy collar) but the shape of that full skirt is rather wonderful and I’m getting a cute Mary Poppins vibe off the whole outfit. Kate’s colouring actually suits red very well and I’d love to see her wear it more often.

The grey pencil dress is a little too formal – it feels too much like work-wear and consequently feels a little uptight. But the collar is very cute on Kate and from the back – well, it’s a whole much nicer, more interesting, more modern dress.

For those that can’t be bothered to traipse through 1500-odd words of fawning, here’s the short version: Princess Kate, I love you, can I have your clothes now please?

Awwwww…

Photos: Daily Mail, Just Jared, Go Fug Yourself, My Hollywood Life

Here comes the bride…

Traditional but modern, simple but extravagant, classic but youthful, a homage to Diana but absolutely nothing like Diana’s at all… it seems like everyone has an opinion on what THE dress should be like. THE dress being (obviously! what else!) Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.

As you might already know, I am impossibly excited about the Royal Wedding – seriously, I’ve been welling up just watching the archive stuff in the documentaries that every channel over here is showing – and I can’t wait to see what Princess Catherine will be wearing down the aisle. It seems I’m not the only one though; there have been dozens of designers queuing up to offer their take on a suitable outfit – well, I guess it’s not every day you get to dress a real princess!

Two of my favourites by Alberta Ferretti and Valentino (inspired by a Botticellian Venus)

Since you know I’m also a fan of pretty things, dress sketches (like those gorgeous Robert Best Barbie ones), weddings and the idea of being a princess in general, these wedding dress drawings are like a culmination of everything that gets me cooing with pleasure. Some were done for a feature on WWD, others by Project Runway alumni for My Lifetime.com (the folk behind William & Kate: The Movie), others for The Times fashion section (scanned in thanks to the paywall, sorry for the quality) and Mad Men designer Janie Bryant (banner picture) seems to have done it solely for her own pleasure!

There were some wacky ones – black, yellow, red, Gothic, futuristic, Boudicca-inspired, denim, feathers, knitwear – and some interpretations of Princess Kate’s face leave a little to be desired but these are a collection of my favourites. Enjoy!

Series of three amazing gowns designed by Pronovias from Confetti.co.uk

From the WWD feature (see all dresses here)

Two of my favourites, J. Mendel and Jason Wu

Two of the most romantic designs by Nina Ricci and Lela Rose

‘A patchwork lace dress reminds us all that a true princess can mend and make do!’ Nanette Lepore

Yigal Azrouel, Tommy Hilfilger


Tory Burch, Lyn Devon (one of the more successful minimalist designs), Rachel Roy

Reem Acra, Rebecca Taylor

Monique Lhuillier

Doo.Ri, Vera Wang (whose bride looks angry! I found Vera’s a bit disappointing as she’s renowned for her bridalwear)

Prabal Gurung

Chado Ralph Rucci (‘NO GLITTER!’), Maria Grachvogel (from The Times)

From the My Lifetime.com feature (see all dresses here)

Simone Le Blanc, Ivy Higa

Irina Shabayeva (more of a runway dress but still stunning) and Carol Hannah Whitfield, which features a removable overskirt for the ‘par-tay!’

Mila Hermanovski with my favourite minimal design of the lot, Leanne Marshall (I love how it looks like a blooming flower or like it’s rising from the ocean froth)

Heidi Nora, Shirin Askari

Two of the more conceptual dresses that actually worked, even if I can’t imagine Kate actually wearing them! Gordana Gelhausen’s Maid Marian-esque gown and Michael Drummond’s fusion between ‘ancient folklore’ and two of his favourite British fashion houses, Marchesa and McQueen

Wesley Nault, Vincent Libretti (love that abstract drawing style, even if the design itself doesn’t amount to much!)

Daniel Franco, Christopher Collins (that skirt looks like a butterfly wing!)

Scanned from The Times

Suzanne Neville, Mark Fast (famous for his use of knitwear)

Viktor & Rolf: quirky and obviously not suitable, but too cute not to include!

China Glaze First Mate nail polish review

As some of you may know, I’m just a little excited about the Royal Wedding (she says, drinking out of a commemorative Royal Wedding mug, dining on commemorative Royal Wedding crockery and contemplating her giant commemorative Royal Wedding poster). I’ve also become obsessed with Kate Middleton – or to be more exact her amazing hair, which survives everything that horrible British weather and scores of unflattering paparazzi shots throw at it and still comes out looking beauty pageant perfect every time. So it was with Princess Kate in mind that I selected my next nail polish – China Glaze’s First Mate.

If you’re thinking that blue doesn’t seem a likely choice for the future Queen of England’s manicure (pretty neutrals all the way, right?), you’d be correct. I was in fact thinking of this iconic Kate moment in choosing it:

The royal blue Issa dress that Kate wore for the engagement announcement was just stunning. Flattering, sophisticated, just that little bit sexy and in an eye-popping shade that *stroke of genius moment* matches the iconic sapphire engagement ring. Apart from lusting after the dress (get me a cheapo high street copy, stat!), it’s had me lusting after that particular shade of cobalt for weeks on end. Enter First Mate, which has been photographed on many people’s blogs looking like this, i.e. a gorgeous hue of that striking blue:

(Note the long-suffering boyfriend’s look of disgust in the background, as I whip out a camera to take pictures of my nails yet again whilst probably droning on about Kate Middleton’s hair yet again.)

However, as I swiftly learned, First Mate only turns this colour in strong bright beating sunlight. Damn you bloggers with your indiscriminate use of flash! Under normal conditions, it actually looks like this:

That’s an inky, very dark, even a little dull, take on navy blue. Under most lightings, it’s actually almost black and is definitely a whole lot darker than the, dare I say it, Issa dress colour of the bottle. It’s got a nautical feel – well, it is from the Anchors Away Collection! – and also a certain Parisian chic to it. Navy in general is an underrated colour that’s extremely versatile and looks smart all year round, even if it isn’t a natural fit for spring. However, as has been well-documented, I’m just not a fan of dark colours on my nails, however great the polish.

This, incidentally, is First Mate’s middle ground, found in normal daylight. A nice enough navy but not exactly set to striking:

Application-wise, this was another China Glaze stellar performer. Nice smooth consistency, opaque in just one coat (though you might want to go two for added glossiness) and a steadfast defiance towards chipping.

I suppose First Mate will just about complement the royal blue found in the Union Jacks I’ll be frantically waving come April 29 and after all that, it looks like Kate’s dress, without the benefit of a million flash bulbs popping at it, also turns a similar inky navy too (see below)! So whilst First Mate is still flattering, sophisticated and just that little bit sexy, it’s just not the colour I was looking for. Even if that was the wrong colour in the first place… oh, never mind. God Save The Queen!

Looks good with: red, Breton stripes, the nautical look
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 7 days

China Glaze First Mate nail polish, Spring 2011 Anchors Away Collection, $60, Cher2