Sunday, 20 August 2017

William and Kate Photographed Arriving at Crathie Kirk

As hoped for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were photographed arriving at Crathie Kirk for Sunday service with Her Majesty, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward and Mike and Zara Tindall. As you can see in the photos on the Mail Online, William and Kate travelled with Prince Andrew who was driving. Unfortunately, photos are scarce with only a handful of car images taken.

The annual sojourn to Balmoral offers the perfect opportunity for members of the royal family to catch up and relax at the Scottish retreat before returning to London to begin an Autumn schedule of duties. No doubt Prince George and Princess Charlotte are having a ball exploring the outdoors with Mia Tindall and their other cousins. William and Kate adore the outdoors, and are likely soaking up the scenic surroundings on the estate.

I imagine the Cambridges have been there for almost a week as Prince William joined his father on Wednesday for the Edinburgh Tattoo and a special performance at the Palace of Holyrood.

Crathie Kirk is a small Church of Scotland parish church in the village of Crathie. The walls are built of local granite and the roof made of Scots Pine. Building materials were donated by the surrounding estates, and £5000 raised by the local population to fund construction. It is known as a regular place of worship for the British Royal family when they are staying in nearby Balmoral. The Princess Royal married her second husband, Timothy Laurence, at the church because she was divorced and, at the time, not permitted to marry in the Church of England.

Is Kate's Hobbs London Celeste coat her favourite? Judging by the multiple times the Duchess has chosen it, I think we can safely assume it's right up there. It's a very wearable and versatile coat perfect for everything from church with the royals to a day of engagements. The chestnut brown double crepe wool coat subtly flares from the hips.

Hobbs London

Kate also wore the coat for service at Crathie Kirk in 2015.

Below we see Kate wearing it on Christmas Day in 2012 and 2016.

For fans of the brand, Hobbs London are offering 30% off selected lines for UK customers and 20% off everything with discount code ALL20 for US shoppers.

The Duchess wore her Lock & Co Tiffany drop-brim hat. The £325 hat is described as "Crafted from 100% rabbit fur felt, this 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' hat is a style saviour. The stunning, lipped drop-brim and wide Petersham band make this hat a real classic which is perfect for dressier social engagements."

Lock & Co

You may recall Kate first wore it in March for for a service of dedication unveiling the new Iraq Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment Gardens.

We can also see Kate wore her L.K. Bennett Addison dress. The Duchess debuted the dress when the young royals hosted the Obamas at Kensington Palace in April 2016.

The £325 dress features a jewel-toned print, transparent sleeves and ankle-grazing length. It's described as: "Ideal for events both formal and casual, timeless in its style and fashion forward in its execution." It's available in very limited sizing.

L.K. Bennett

Speaking of L.K. Bennett, I was browsing their website last week and was very impressed with the Autumn 2017 Collection. They have done a tremendous job of encompassing the staples of a versatile professional wardrobe whilst incorporating trends, colour, prints and statement pieces. Kate could stroll into her nearest store and easily leave with a wardrobe which would carry her through the majority of events on the agenda for the remainder of the year.

The camapign  was shot against the prestigious backdrop of London’s imposing Old Royal Naval College. Entitled ‘A Modern Portrait’, the campaign is inspired by the authentic style and sophisticated elegance of the ‘L.K.Bennett Woman’. Capturing empowered, modern women’s lives and style in motion.

Shot by Spanish photographer Daniel Riera and styled by Tank Fashion Director Caroline Issa, the campaign’s "creative handwriting abounds with confident femininity, showcasing the season in a series of vibrant, layered portraits".

The Charl Cream Jacket and matching cream tweed skirt are very Chanel.

L.K. Bennett

The Elva Blue Check Silk Dress is cut with a flowing skirt, high neckline and elegant bracelet sleeves. Its nipped-in waist complemented by a D-ring belt. It also comes in black check.

L.K. Bennett

The Ria Blush Leather Coat would be another great addition to Kate's coats. We also see my favourite piece from the collection - the Shippa Pink Tweed Dress. I love the fifties silhouette and full skirt. You can view the full collection here. I certainly hope we'll see the Duchess in at least a couple of pieces in the coming months.

L.K. Bennett

It's always nice to catch a glimpse of the royals enjoying their summer break at Balmoral. I expect we'll hear engagement announcements shortly for September. In the meantime, I've been very much enjoying putting your dream looks for the Duchess together. Prepare yourself for an array of stylish splendour and sparkle. We'll be back with that post in a couple of days :)

Friday, 11 August 2017

Styling Kate: Submit Your Choices for Royal Ascot & a Royal Premiere!

For the third consecutive year we're asking you to indulge your inner stylist and share your dream looks for the Duchess. In yesterday's poll, we asked you which event you would like to 'Style Kate' for. The 'Evening Gala' option was an instant winner with 'Royal Ascot' taking second. As we've done evening looks each time previously, I thought it might be fun to have both options available with a specific event in mind for the gala - a movie premiere.

Look One:

The Duchess made her debut at Royal Ascot in 2016 and has decidedly favoured white for the event. For her first appearance, the Duchess drew comparison to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in a white Dolce & Gabbana cotton-blend midi dress with a nipped waist and tiered swishy skirt. Kate styled the dress with a matching Jane Taylor hat, her Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps and L.K. Bennett Natalie clutch.

This year, Kate opted for white lace again, this time an Alexander McQueen design featuring delicate pleats, a high neck, three-quarter sleeves and a flared skirt. I loved this dress, and thought it a far superior piece to the Dolce & Gabbana. Kate wore a white bespoke hat, the Queen's Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings, carried a Loeffler Randall clutch, and completed the ensemble with her trusty Gianvito Rossi Praline pumps.

Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance. The event is considered a spectacle of fashion, with ladies decked out in their finery. There is a strict dress code for the Royal Enclosure with the following requirements:

Two fabulous sample looks suggested in the Royal Ascot style guide.

Look Two:

When considering which event to feature for the 'Evening Gala' look, I thought it interesting to select something different from the white-tie/tiara category we've favoured over the past two years. The Duchess attended the premiere of Spectre in a bespoke Jenny Packham gown with sheer overlay and sleeves. Ms Packham is the Queen of evening wear in my opinion, however, the drape and fit of this particular gown swamped Kate and didn't quite fit the bill for such a glamorous evening. The most interesting aspect of the look was the gorgeous Robinson Pelham blue topaz earrings Kate borrowed from her mother Carole. The look was completed with Kate's Jimmy Choo Vamp sandals and Casa clutch.

Perhaps you will choose a new gown for the Duchess or select one already in her closet which you would like to see again and style differently. There's an array of dazzling pieces only worn once which would be perfect for a premiere. Speaking of Jenny Packham, this teal number deserves another outing. The detail on the back is beautifully done.

Designers and Retailers:

Your look can consist of couture, high street choices, favoured designers of the Duchess, completely new ones or pieces already in Kate's wardrobe. To help you get started we've compiled a list of retailers with clothing, shoes and accessories suitable for the events:

If planning to add jewellery from Her Majesty, the best resource is Her Majesty's Jewel Vault. If planning to add a piece worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Diana's Jewels.

Before You Get Started:

  • Leave a comment with your suggestions. Please include links to the designer/retailer in order for me to obtain images and to share your selection.
  • Don't forget to leave a name or a moniker of some sort to ensure I can appropriately credit your look.
  • The look can simply consist of one item, for example, a dress. If you wish, however, you can include footwear, jewellery, a clutch, bag, etc. It can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Remember you're the stylist!
  • Please only submit one look for Royal Ascot and one for the premiere.
  • Submissions for the post showcasing all looks will be accepted until midnight on Monday.

Most importantly, this is a fun exercise which I hope will encourage lurkers to participate and lend itself to an even greater sense of community on the blog. It isn't a competition, but merely an opportunity to indulge our love for fashion and get to know one another a little better. I'm very excited to see what you all come with. Judging by previous years, I have no doubt we're in for many a visual treat! :)

Kate's Favourites