The Duchess of Cambridge has been on high rotation this month at a number of social events, and her fashion choices, have, of course, been widely scrutinized and commented upon.
I like Kate as much as anyone who is vaguely interested in royalty; she has lovely hair and seems to be a nice person.
She never really puts a foot wrong; her clothing choices are classic and appropriate, if not a little dull.
Her wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, was gorgeous and will forever be in the history books, but she largely opts for simple, knee-length dresses and sensible matching coats that don’t exactly mark her as being fashion forward.
Looked at individually, her dresses are most often very pretty pale pinks and blues, eye-catching prints and some in eyelet lace. Some of her more sparkly evening dresses tick the box too. But they are not particularly memorable, nor do they seem to reflect anything particularly trendy – nothing that says ‘here we are in 2017’.
Looking back at the wardrobe of her husband’s mother, Diana, it is obvious at a glance that she really embraced and embodied the Eighties, good or bad, with all those Peter Pan collars, puffy sleeves, and dropped waist dresses.
But if you look at Kate’s wardrobe, overall it is hard to place. There are lots of nice, inoffensive clothes and more than a few beige pumps.
This is not, however, intended to be a criticism of Kate. It is difficult fashion terrain to traverse – this is taxpayer’s money after all and if she is seen to be frivolous, or extravagant, or to not be supporting UK designers, the backlash is swift.
So while the public may be thrilled that she is re-wearing a $130 Reiss draped jersey dress, the high fashion press are often less than enthused.
That’s why it was so refreshing to see her branch out a little this last week on her tour in Berlin. The red off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress was a real winner, so gorgeous against her dark hair and, very appropriate, youthful and quite sexy in a breezy way.
The dusky pink lace Marchesa evening dress she chose for a dinner last month was also touted as being a little risqué, with its ‘plunging’ neckline but in fact her décolletage was covered by a most fabulous Boucheron necklace that once belonged to the late Queen Mother.
I’d love to see her continue to push the fashion envelope, and would be more than happy to see a tiara a day, but she has a job to do and a public to please.
If we are going to hand out any sartorial accolades to royalty, mine go HRH Queen Elizabeth, who seems to have a new stylist and a brand new batch of floral long sleeved summer dresses. I love the new prints on her Majesty, put with a sensible shoe and softer hairstyle. It’s a tad Marni really. And truly fabulous to see at age 91.