Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sporty Kate Wears Bespoke McQueen to Les Voisins Reception

Friday, March 17, 2017

After their welcome at the Élysée Palace, the Cambridges made their way just a short distance down the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to Hôtel de Charost, the Residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, where they were billed to attend a reception celebrating the launch of Les Voisins (the neighbors), a year celebrating the links between Britain and France. 


The reception brought together "young entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, musicians and other selected guests" to support the continued ties between Britain and France.

KP

Prince William was the keynote and gave a speech highlighting these connections between the two nations. Many have billed this trip Brexit Charm Offensive, a smoothing over of diplomatic relations after Brits voted to separate from the EU, and crucially now, as the British government moves toward triggering Article 50. The heart of William's address and the mission of the trip, came toward the end of William's remarks:
Like all neighbours, sometimes our two nations encourage each other through mutual support. Sometimes we attempt to outdo the other through rivalry - as we will see tomorrow when Wales play France at the rugby. But always our two nations continually inspire one another to become better: more creative, more prosperous, more innovative.
This partnership will continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship and the breadth of our cooperation will not change.
So I am proud to be here this evening with you to launch Les Voisins to recount those ties and to strengthen them even further.
KP

It took me a bit to get my bearings on the fashion here, because I incorrectly thought this was the black-tie event. You can imagine how perplexed I felt scrolling through the pictures. Once I got my bearings, though, I was very interested to see how Kate mixed the elements of this ensemble to create a look that was both formal and relaxed, feminine and sporty.

Roya Nikkhah
Everything about tonight made me think of Kate in the mid-2000s. Since becoming a duchess, Kate has gravitated away from sleeveless, we still see cap-sleeves, or the occasional sleeveless with a high neckline, but in her single days, she really favored looks like tonight.


This picture, with her hair just a little messy the way it would end up while she was running around London, looks like it could have been snapped in 2007.


Tonight's dress is a bespoke cocktail by McQueen. It looks to be made of a lacey knit with lots of stretch. This kind of fabric is not forgiving, it has enough stretch to mold very closely, but not enough structure to really provide help "shaping." I have a skirt like this and every now and again I look at it and think, maybe in a month or two... Happily, Kate is fantastically fit and can pull it off. Living vicariously through her here.


Back in the day, Kate loved chunky statement jewelry and tonight she revealed yet another suite that looks right up Kate Middleton's alley. We have seen these Balenciaga earrings on several occasions. Kate debuted them at Trooping last year and she wore them again for her first day commemorating the Battle of the Somme.  Tonight, she wore a necklace and large cocktail ring that match.


That cocktail ring was a third throwback! I am trying to think of a ring she has worn, other than her wedding/engagement/eternity, since her engagement. I'm drawing a blank. But, before she married, Kate was the absolute Queen of the Cocktail rings. She had perpetual rings on both hands, and had a number of signature statement pieces she'd wear with regularity.


I wasn't over the moon about this dress when I first saw it, but after I realized that the event as a whole was far less formal than I thought, I realized that the dress is meant to be more causal. In that light, Kate really captured the right note here, wearing a dress that checks the boxes for formality and a little bit of glamour, within the parameters of the dress code.



Although it is just a personal opinion, I also think that French women have a very unique ability to make casual hip, cool, and even glamorous. This dress is very simple and the sleeveless look here comes across as almost sporty--another French trait. :) She looked young and confident with a little bit of allusive French sex appeal. 


The Cambridges are staying at Hotel de Charost, I think, so the two were able to retire to their room for a little rest and to prep for the very glitzy dinner. That post is next! 

31 comments:

  1. Splendid. Gorgeous and so gracious. My admiration for the Duchess is off the charts right now. Britain is LUCKY to have her. The Duke, I'm still so angry at him. What a moron. Makes me wonder if the Duchess has two toddlers and a 34 year old child she's still raising. This trip to France is of enormous importance and he has to go mess it up like that---how juvenile, my gosh. It's going to take quite a while for people to forget this lamentable episode. It takes years to cultivate the terrific image and the united front that both the Duke and Duchess have vis a vis the UK and global public. Cameras are everywhere at all times. You would have thought that William, especially after the invasive topless photo episode, would have learned that. Silvia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice indeed. I like the length of the dress and the shoe straps add a playful touch. It's also nice to see her experiment with larger jewelry.

    What a long day for the Cambridge's and I think Kate pulled it off like the pro she is. Well done, Duchess!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Catherine looks absolutely fabulous! This is one of my favourite Kate looks ever. Love the hair, the black dress, the new shoes and the jewelry (even though it's costume jewelry, it's gorgeous!). Love love love it :)

    Still a bit annoyed with William for his antics last weekend, and that's irrational on my part since it has nothing to do with me, but still....honestly, unwind in a safe setting, William, and plan your personal outings a little more carefully so they don't interfere with important royal events. And remember smartphones with cameras are lurking everywhere. Ugh :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought the same thing when I first saw that picture with her tossed back a bit! It felt like a quick blast to the past!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So did I, very vintage Kate Middleton.

      Delete
    2. I thought the same when I saw the picture of her looking up. Kate--pre-engagement. Very pretty!

      Delete
  5. Cool! Very nice post!
    She has worn rings after her marriage, for the 100 in Hedge Fund Gala (2013) she wore a small ring, and I thought I remembered more but I don´t :p
    I like your comments on the outfit, she looked nice and the pearls are HUGE! :O
    I am not a fan of pearls, yet somehow I really like those :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. The outfit reminded me of a St. John knit, only a bit hipper. Not a fan of the shoes, loved the necklace - fresh and new.

    I don't agree about Kate having statement pieces when they were dating. Honestly, when they announced the engagement I thought, she can finally get some nice jewelry. I really thought Will was lacking in giving Kate jewelry gifts while they dated. I mean they were together forever. He seemed a bit stingy to me. Besides the Audi, there was nothing big. And I think we would have seen it, she was photographed all the time. I don't think girlfriends should be grabby, but I think serious, long term boyfriends should be generous, equal to their ability and mindful of financial goals. Neither of which were a concern for W. Now I think Harry would spoil you rotten!:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think she looks fabulous! I would have preferred this look minus the watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay, you are so right!
      The watch is chunky and clunky and detracts from an otherwise beautiful look.

      Delete
  8. Do not like the jewelry but love love the dress. Her jewelry just looks inexpensive and misses the mark for a "contemporary" look. The dress is gorgeous and very modern. Shoes and hair great.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kate looks gorgeous. She is class personified, more royal in stature than her husband. What an asset to Great Britain. I thought she carried off the day superbly.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Didn't she wear a ring (I think with a ruby stone) at times while pregnant with George? Between about February to April 2013?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anyone else want to straighten the bow on her belt? Otherwise fun, flirty and a change up. She looked like she was having fun and felt comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Liked the dress, though was a little confused at first, thinking it was for the "black tie" do
    Loved the jewellery: the necklace seemed just perfect with that neckline.
    Not too keen on the shoes. Ankle straps have been "in fashion" several time during my lifetime and have never been able to like them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am afraid I am in the minority here - I really disliked this dress. I felt it was quite aging on the Duchess. The Jenny Peckham gown later that night also lacked impact. I would have really loved to see some French couture, Dior, Chanel etc. but perhaps Kate must wear British designers for such events.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry but I'm just not getting this look. The shoes are interesting and a nice change but they seem an odd style with the dress length. i think they would look wonderful with a shorter length. I'm not that into lace myself but even if I was, the belt seems a very odd choice for a cocktail look. The pearls everywhere seem a bit too overdone and too much of a matchy set but OK. Still why not leave off the watch? I don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the same thing about the watch but I'm guessing she forgot she had it on and so forgot to take it off.

      Delete
  15. Love. This. Look.
    I agree, it reminds me of her younger days attending social events around London. The fabric of this dress gives her curves & I think the pearl jewellery makes a nice fashion statement. My favourite bit of the whole outfit are those shoes, I love the ankle straps!

    ReplyDelete
  16. A very elegant, youthful, and charming outfit. Love the straps on the shoes, the edgey finish on the dress. Kate looked very relaxed and is a fantastic embassador for the UK. The pearls were a little large and distracting. I think a thin black pearl necklace tied in an elegant knot would have looked great.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I, too, was struck by how many of these photos reminded me of Kate during her pre-engagement years. I do not mean to bring up a hot topic in a negative way, but I think she has gained a few (healthy) pounds that are not due to pregnancy. I like seeing her look not as rail-thin as we have seen in the past. She is still long, lean, toned and very skinny, but with a bit more curve and fullness to her.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello all....

    So much to catch up on so I am going to jump in here. The dress is fine...I think the neckline is very flattering and I like Kate in sleeveless tops....show off those amazing arms. Not a big fan of lace but like I said it is fine. Quite like the ankle strap shoes. I really like ankle staps with the right outfit but find I only wear them on special occasions as they take some time to get them on!!! I also see them more for "day wear" then "evening wear" unless they are open toed sandals. But I thought these worked lovely and I am happy whenever the Duchess wears a new pair of shoes!

    But let's talk pearls! Less then a week ago there was a conversation here by some of the "regulars" (you know who you are!!)whose views I respect .....the jist of the conversation was wondering and wishing why Kate didn't wear pearls. As I read the conversation I cringed because "pearls" scream "grandma" to me. I think of Camilla, Barbara Bush and The Queen....all very respectful ladies but not ones I think Kate should fashion her satorical choices after. I read the comments and quietly thought...please don't Kate.

    But now...I have to eat my words. If you are going to wear pearls...this is the way to do it!! I LOVE this necklace. Very fresh and contemporary take on pearls. Did someone say this was costume jewelry?? Is there a slimmer of hope that this might fit in my budget?? I would have switched out the earrings for something else...simpler and understated....and not of the pearl variety. The necklace, the ring and the earrings is one to many matching pieces. But the necklace makes the day for me!

    Off to catch up on the other posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, once upon I time, I was not a fan of pearls. Until Diana came along, that is. She showed just how contemporary they can be... :-)

      http://www.dianasjewels.net/pearlnecklaces.htm

      Delete
  19. Hello all....

    So much to catch up on so I am going to jump in here. The dress is fine...I think the neckline is very flattering and I like Kate in sleeveless tops....show off those amazing arms. Not a big fan of lace but like I said it is fine. Quite like the ankle strap shoes. I really like ankle staps with the right outfit but find I only wear them on special occasions as they take some time to get them on!!! I also see them more for "day wear" then "evening wear" unless they are open toed sandals. But I thought these worked lovely and I am happy whenever the Duchess wears a new pair of shoes!

    But let's talk pearls! Less then a week ago there was a conversation here by some of the "regulars" (you know who you are!!)whose views I respect .....the jist of the conversation was wondering and wishing why Kate didn't wear pearls. As I read the conversation I cringed because "pearls" scream "grandma" to me. I think of Camilla, Barbara Bush and The Queen....all very respectful ladies but not ones I think Kate should fashion her satorical choices after. I read the comments and quietly thought...please don't Kate.

    But now...I have to eat my words. If you are going to wear pearls...this is the way to do it!! I LOVE this necklace. Very fresh and contemporary take on pearls. Did someone say this was costume jewelry?? Is there a slimmer of hope that this might fit in my budget?? I would have switched out the earrings for something else...simpler and understated....and not of the pearl variety. The necklace, the ring and the earrings is one to many matching pieces. But the necklace makes the day for me!

    Off to catch up on the other posts!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This ensemble was Kate's second home run on the day! I loved the dress, the shoes, and the jewelry! We were just talking about her wearing a pearl necklace and there she is. Not traditional pearls but very current and stylish. I also noticed the return of a cocktail ring and was surprised to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. She looks Fit & Fabulous & to me She puts The "Power" in "Power Couple"! She will Not let this ship sink even if she has to drag William along in a Life Jacket! She Clearly Respects & Honors Her Family & Her Country! Go Kate! What A Royal Gem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch. Can't drag an unwilling spouse anywhere just ask Diana. People hell bent on cheating and ruining their families do just that. Let's hope W has learned his lesson.

      Delete
    2. I do not believe William was "hell bent" on any such thing. I also believe it's hurtful to Kate to even suggest it. As I stated elsewhere, I truly hope that the couple is allowed to move on with their lives.

      Delete
  22. I felt a little confused by this look as well at first. I think there's too much going on with the jewelery and it's sending mixed messages with the watch. If she wants the pearls--and I'm not sure I do here, but let's say--I'd keep the earrings, ring, and watch and ditch the necklace. I like the necklace, just not here. The watch and an open v neck capture a more sporty I-just-threw-this-on look while the matching jewelery set says formality and tradition. Or I suppose one might ditch the watch...but I like it with the neckline and the occasion. Save the necklace for later! It all looks great on her though.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The length of this dress makes my teeth hurt. I hate it! I hate the way it cuts off Kate's amazingly beautiful legs and long, slim body. Then the ankle straps too - ugh! Another chop off her legs. How to make a tall, stunning woman look short and dowdy. The lace is a little aging - I don't mind the neckline and the fit at the waist, but the necklace is totally wrong, too chunky, too overwhelming, the belt is wierd, and that length - is a fail. Then she follows up this strange look with that ice-blue bollywood bling maxi dress. What in the world?! Remember the gowns she used to wear when she was a "newly minted princess"? Each one so beautiful, so flattering, she was radiant. Now she is like a cult member - always covered from the neck to the toes to the wrists, lost in the 70's, and the 80's...remember when her legs were so slim and tan - now they are pallid white and covered in hose. If Kate's not careful she is going to become Camilla, and then the Queen, sartorially speaking.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dress is ok, I love her shoes!

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!