Posts Tagged ‘Duchess of Cambridge’


New handbag choice as well. Gone is the clutch replaced with a handle bag by Victoria Beckham.

A new do and polka-dots, too! (Dress by Dolce & Gabbana).

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is looking fabulous this summer with a (slightly) shorter hairstyle. It’s amazing how a few inches can make a difference. (The color might also be a bit darker.)

It’s about time for a change, which offers the Duchess a style uplift.

But I’ve been wanting Kate to cut her hair for years and even shorter. She has a beautiful mane, but too long it lacks style and drags her whole look down. I think something with more shape, perhaps a shoulder-length bob, would be much sharper and keep the Duchess looking updated and chic.

Still, one can’t quibble too much about this modern style icon. Go Kate!

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Image courtesy of Barron's Educational Series.

Image courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series.

The UK is currently on baby watch, counting down till the arrival of a new prince or princess. In case you haven’t heard, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) are expecting their first child in July and just in time for the celebrations is a new book by Caroline Jones, Kate’s Style: Smart, Chic Fashion from a Royal Role Model (Barron’s Educational Series, 2013).

Ms. Jones, editor and lifestyle journalist, has studied Kate’s impeccable style from her college years right up to the baby-bump moment. With over 40 photos, she shows readers how Kate puts herself together and why what she does works every time. Closeup shots of accessories and fashion details as well as sidebars loaded with information, such as designer names and how to do it yourself, make this book invaluable for anyone who would like to emulate Kate’s style. Beyond that, it’s an excellent documentation of modern royal fashion.

In her introduction Ms. Jones says: Selecting outfit after stunning outfit for such a variety of engagements on such a public stage is an enormously tricky task, but one that Kate pulls of with aplomb and without the assistance of so much as a personal stylist. If she can do all this on her own, then there’s hope for the rest of us!

Indeed it would be a pleasure to see more fashionables donning Kate’s demure look. She approaches her style with an eye for simplicity, which usually starts with a classic dress made of interesting fabric like lace or in an eye-catching color. Her shoe of choice is almost always the pump paired with nude hose, although she’s also known to wear high heel boots with tights. Accessories might include a jaunty hat, drop earrings in pearls or a sparkle gemstone and a clutch handbag. She tends toward two color schemes matching the shoes, hat, and handbag, which might seem a bit old-school but according to Ms. Jones “… does allow the whole look to be sleek, managed, and minimal.”

Following the lead of the late Diana Princess of Wales, Kate will often add an extra touch reflecting a particular occasion or the country she’s visiting. For example she sported a cowboy hat while in Canada attending a rodeo. On a visit to her former preparatory school Kate wore a Black Watch tartan coat – a smart reference to the school’s black and green plaid uniform.

Kate’s Style is a helpful guide not just for those who admire the duchess but also for anyone who would like to improve their personal style. Afterall, you can’t go wrong with Kate as your guide.

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Designer-Sarah-Burton-008The Duchess of Cambridge has an amazing sense of grace and style. It’s a huge honor to dress her, and she is an incredible ambassador of British fashion.

Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen label, in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.

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Last week Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attended a royal event looking modern yet ladylike showing women how it’s done. As part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Catherine, Camilla, and The Queen visited the upscale shop Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly.

Catherine is sporting a smart blue coat-dress by Missoni. Note that her hem hits right above the knee showing off just enough leg, but not revealing too much if she sits down.  Her shoes are simple suede pumps, not a flashy pair of  platform stilettos. She’s also wearing stockings, which is royal protocol. Now, I am not a fan of wearing stockings because they are so darn uncomfortable but they do complete an outfit nicely. Bare legs, especially in a suit or a short tailored dress, look too casual.

Catherine is well put-together as always and a great role model for us.

It seems women these days mistakenly think that what they wear clubbing is what’s appropriate for dressy or professional occasions – business lunches, meetings, baptisms, weddings, you name it.

Somewhere along the path of fashion women, even supposed fashionable women, have become confused about what is appropriate attire. I suppose when fashion rules faded away, so did our fashion common sense. In general it seems an either/or situation – some variation on jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops or tight-fitting clubbing gear. What happened to dress suits and gowns for evening events? Demure dresses for day?  

Checking out this season’s fashion trends, I do think that Catherine is having a positive effect. The Ladylike Look is in with dresses a big player as well as longer skirts, and feminine blouses (that don’t show too much cleavage). 

OK, I am now stepping off my fashionable soap box, carefully and elegantly, like a lady of course.

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Getty Images.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge recently went solo for the first time as a royal. Stepping in for Prince Charles, who was unexpectedly called away, Catherine hosted a private charity dinner at Clarence House. 

The Duchess is stunning sporting an older design by Amanda Wakeley. The floor-length Empire waist gown accentuates Catherine’s long and lean stature. Just a bit of sparkle on the shoulder straps keeps the look elegant yet quiet. I like the flared hemline, which is feminine and also gives body to the gown.

The only hitch to my mind is the hair. It is too long and has no style. A simple updo with a few wisps around the face would give Catherine the sophisticated look she needs now that she’s a duchess.

A royal favorite, Amanda Wakeley launched her label in 1990 and soon became known to many a Hollywood celebrity as well as the late Princess Diana. In 2010, Wakeley won an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to the fashion industry. Her signature look is understated chic, which explains why Catherine is one of her clients.

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Fascinator with coquille feathers and Russian watch movement on crochet circle by Kai Joldeski.

Designer Kai Joldeski contacted me after she discovered my article on fascinators. We have much in common – she, a designer of fascinators and me, an admirer

Kai lives in Melbourne, Australia and is a self-taught artist who sells her wares on ETSY. She says she doesn’t feel complete if she hasn’t created something every day.

In addition to making fascinators, Kai is back at university studying Internet Communications. She agreed to do a little Q&A for just for you, readers.

How did you get started making fascinators and when? 

I have been making accessories (handbags, earrings, belts, scarves, bracelets, shoe clips and brooches) since I was a very young girl for myself and my friends. Fascinators were the next natural adventure. I started only this year with fascinators and set up at Etsy in April.

Do you make hats as well?

Occasionally I will make a hat, but I prefer fascinators as they can be worn to more occasions and destinations.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I like to design one-off pieces, so they are completely individual for the wearer. I enjoy the creative experience and put a great deal of effort into creating different kinds of headwear. I do incorporate the usual embellishments like feathers, fabric, and flowers and I usually include something different like crochet, as an embellishment in its own right. I might also add a rhinestone for that final point of interest. I do tend toward an asymmetrical design rather than symmetrical, as this allows further scope and interest to a piece. I rely on old-fashioned techniques in my work, such as hand stitching and crochet.

What is it about fascinators that’s so fascinating to women these days?

I think it is the accessibility and the ease of wear. A hat is worn for a specific occasion or a specific outfit, whilst a fascinator can be worn as an alternative to a hat on such formal occasions as a wedding. Indeed, a fascinator can be a casual item (as jewellery for the hair) and you can also wear a fascinator to work or even to the supermarket.

What’s hot in fascinators this fall?

I am influenced by the traditional browns and beiges in my fall series with a splash of black. Also, I’m working on a new Steampunk range.

Describe your customer. Who is she? What’s her style?

Someone that wants individuality – which is found with my one-of-a-kind pieces and for those who want something based on these fashions: Art Deco, Victorian, Steampunk, Individual.

Where do you get your design inspiration? 

Everywhere, really. Sometimes it’s just the shape of a feather, or a colour found in a fabric. Sometimes a design shapes itself based on what the crochet or other embellishment brings in the process.

If you were to design a fascinator for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge what would it be like?

Anything would look fabulous on Kate, but if I did have that privilege I would create something in red with my signature crochet embellishment, lots of curly nagorie (feather pad) and a statement feather of Lady Amherst (black & white) to finish it off.

Do you wear fascinators? What’s your fave?

I wear something every day, usually one of my combination pieces (hair clip and brooch in one) because of its duality and ease of wear. My favourite piece is this purple number (pictured right).

Thank you, Kai. Your work is truly unique and just the way we like it.

Get all the scoop on fascinators with Kai’s blog: http://fascinatings.wordpress.com/

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Shirtwaist dress with matching fascinator.

I’ve been hit with Fascinator Fever … ever since I saw Kate’s feather fascinator back in March. What’s a girl to do? Make one for herself.

At Lacis in Berkeley, I purchased a small round form. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but over time and pondering I decided to cover the form with extra fabric from my custom-made shirtwaist dress.  I simply cut out a round swatch and handsewed it to the form. Initially I was going to embellish it with a bow of the same material, but my mother suggested white flower clips instead. (She even bought them for me. Thanks Mom!) They are embellishment enough and secure the form to my hair.

I wore it for the first time the other day and wow, it’s really comfortable. I know why Kate favors fascinators –  no fuss. Not like a hat, which can be troublesome in the wind, flatten hair, and/or cause a headache. 

How about you? Do you have Fascinator Fever? Leave a comment and do tell.

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Catherine with an updo and William in tails. Courtesy of Getty Images.

I have been champing at the bit waiting for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to sport an updo. Finally, at the Epsom Derby this past Saturday the Duchess pulled back her (too) long hair into a chic chignon.

Since wind is ever-present at royal events, I have wondered why Catherine hasn’t just pulled her hair up. Beyond that, I knew an updo would be a good look for her and hey, I was right.

Dressed for a formal occasion, the royal family turned up at the Epsom Downs Racecourse outside London in support of the Queen and her colt, Carlton House. He lost … so what. (I don’t support horseracing.)

Catherine was pure elegance dressed in a cream springtime suit. She strolled in taupe pumps and carried a matching clutch. A taupe woven fascinator with a curlycue on top added a bit of whimsy.

In complete contrast to Catherine are Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were there too, looking … ah … well, like they usually do. (They remind me of the royals from the Georgian Period.)

The boys were dashing in top hats and tails and the Queen was pouty in pink after her colt came in third. Just goes to show, not even royalty get everything they want.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wearing Issa the day after her wedding. Does anyone else feel this dress is too short for her?

Are we feeling the royal void? No Kate news for weeks now. Sorry readers, we will have to get used to it.

Diana, Princess of Wales spoiled us with regular feeds of fashion and drama and perhaps we all thought that with a new princess, the good old days were back. Apparently not.

For one thing, Queen Elizabeth has granted the newlyweds a two-year reprieve from royal duties, allowing William to focus on his military job and Kate to settle into married life. For us that means fewer photo ops and Kate-fashion-plates to scrutinize.

Also, Kate will not be courting the press. It is considered bad form to outshine the future king and Kate is not Diana. According to British historian Andrew Roberts in Maclean’s magazine, Diana was a “meteor” and “blazing a trail the royals shouldn’t have blazed.” By contrast, Kate with her middle class roots is more grounded and “in it for the long haul.” She’s not going to do anything to annoy her new in-laws.

Kate is quite happy to follow her husband, literally. While on royal duties she will honor protocol and keep two steps behind her prince. Kate will not have a career, give any interviews or pose for pictures, other than official royal pics. We will rarely hear her voice and we will get to know the Duchess mostly through her fashion choices and what charities she supports.

Kate’s family will also feel the void. There won’t be any Windsor/Middleton shindigs and the Middleton family will celebrate holidays without their eldest daughter. Kate is a member of the royal family now and predictions are that she intends to tow the royal line.

(Note: The royals do have some celebrations coming up this summer. The Queen’s 85th birthday in June and Prince Philip’s 90th birthday is also in June. William and Kate are traveling to Canada in July with a stop in California on the way home. We just might get a peek at the newlyweds. Over Dressed for Life will be keeping an eye on Kate’s fashion.)

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