As the Duchess of Cambridge embarks on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia, see what she chose to wear
BY Olivia Bergin, Bibby Sowray and Alice Newbold | 17 April 2014
Thursday, April 16
All wrapped up
Kate looked to the creator of the wrap dress, Diane Von Furstenberg, for suitable attire to visit Echo Point in the Blue Mountains at Katoomba. DvF’s ikat batik print ‘Patrice’ dress is from the current collection and retails at £292, and the Duchess chose to accessorise with her Stuart Weitzman ‘Corkswoon’ wedges.
Wednesday, April 16
Seen it before, let’s see it some more
Fresh from a day off from the spotlight, Kate arrived in Sydney wearing a ‘Sparkle Tweed’ skirt suit by Rebecca Taylor. As always the Duchess has recycled the heavily textured look from an April 2012 reception honoring the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole. Prada pumps, a matching navy Muse clutch by Stuart Weitzman and a Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch were her accessories of choice. Along with her royal sapphire and diamond earrings and eternity ring, of course.
Prince William gets fruity
“William said I look like a banana,” the Duchess said of the bright yellow dress she wore to Sydney’s Royal Opera House. Banana coloured it may be, but we have to disagree with Wills on this one. The Roksanda Ilincic dress with white panels signifies Kate’s more fashion forward dress sense, and brings a little bit of home (Ilincic shows her collections at London Fashion Week) with the Duchess to Sydney. Bravo.
Monday, April 14
What does a Duchess wear to play a spot of cricket in? A prim and proper post box red Luisa Spagnoli red dress and suit jacket, no less. Kate managed to negotiate the grounds at Latimer Square gardens in black suede heeled pumps, and not a ringlet fell out of place during her batting practice.
If this striking red suit looks familiar it is because the Duchess has previously worn the ‘Sushi’ jacket on a visit to St. Andrews with Prince William in February 2011.
Sunday, April 13
Here’s Kate pictured arriving at Dunedin International Airport. This aquamarine ensemble may look similar to the Alexander McQueen coat she wore earlier on in the week, but it is in fact by New Zealand-born, London-based designer Emilia Wickstead. The London Fashion Week brand is based from an atelier in upmarket Chelsea, and has kitted the Duchess in an identical pleated dress in powder pink previously (as well as dressing Samantha Cameron). Milliner Jane Taylor ensured that Kate’s hat was not a shade out.
IN PICTURES: The Duchess’s style hits and misses
Was there a memo that went round New Zealand saying ‘wine tasting = open shirt’? Apparently so, if the Duke and Duchess’s off-duty-Sloane-Ranger attire for a wine tasting date in Queenstown is anything to go by. With William safely in a trusted chino and blazer combo for the afternoon, Kate dug out her trusted navy, double-breasted Zara jacket, a gingham shirt from Gap (she was spotted in the High St Ken store before the trip) and those Stuart Weitzman wedges – which are fast becoming 2014′s answer to the ubiquitous L.K. Bennett Sledge court she so loves (and which are rumoured to not have made it into her case this time).
William’s group of youngsters might have beaten Kate’s in a special rugby match held at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, but Kate’s Jonathan Saunders knit and lilac plimsolls won in the style stakes.
Saturday, April 12
It was back to high-end designer for the Duchess’s Saturday schedule, which kicked off with a visit to the Rainbow Place children’s hospice in Waikato. She then visited the Avantidrome velodrome, where she and Prince William met Olympic athletes and were presented with a bike and tiny cycling jersey for Prince George to grow in to.
Her outfit for the day (above) consisted of a jade green Erdem wool-crepe ‘Allie’ coat, which remained fastened for the entire day, meaning her printed green tea dress by British label Suzannah was kept under wraps. The pretty green 1930s-inspired ‘Budding Heart Silk Tea Dress’ , which retails at £475, is made of silk crepe de chine and features a full skirt with smocking detail at the shoulders and under the bust. She accessoried with her faithful black suede Mulberry clutch and black Episode ‘Angel’ court shoes.
Friday, April 11
For all her elegant designer purchases and tailored high street bargains it seems that the Duchess has only one type of attire she feels confident taking on the sportier demands of her public engagements in. For the Auckland yacht race, her ready-for-action look consisted of the following formula: navy blue blazer (this time Zara) and jeans; classic blue and white Breton top (Me + Em) and navy cork-sole wedges (always the Stuart Weitzman pair, which she bought in Russell & Bromley). While it’s fair to say that the Duchess always looks chic in her stripe and denim pairing, we can’t help feel that she could step out of this style rut with just a little guidance. Here’s what we think Kate should wear for the next sporty event in her diary.
READ: Third time lucky for the Duchess of Cambridge’s sporty look
Thursday, April 10
The Duchess wowed in Jenny Packham at the art unveiling ceremony at Government House in Wellington. Featuring an embroidered silver fearn around the left shoulder, Kate’s diamond bracelet matched the bespoke dress perfectly.
Something borrowed, something blue
To view the static WWI display during the World War One Aviation Commemorative event at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim, Catherine chose a smart coat by one of her favourite London labels, Alexander McQueen. Gently pleated at the back, she accessorised with navy suede shoes, a clutch bag and diamond and sapphire earrings which subtly match her engagement ring, which of course once belonged to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Wednesday, April 9
Child’s play in Tory Burch
A playdate (at Plunkett’s Parent’s Group) demands a practical outfit, but the Duchess had to navigate bending down and getting her hair munched on by her little boy in this open-knit dress by New York Fashion Week label Tory Burch. The £390 ‘Paulina’ dress marks a new direction for Kate, who hasn’t worn the designer before.
Photos: AP/ Rex
Tuesday, April 8
It seems that admirers of little Prince George’s kangaroo backpack went hopping mad for the style, leading it to sell out in stores. Described by its makers, the Australian Koala Foundation as: ‘Perfect for children 2-5 years this backpack is soft and cuddly and of course useful! Comes with its own little joey, stitched on so he doesn’t get lost’ the £8.38 (at current exchange rate) bag is available for pre-order now
Monday, April 7
Bookmaker’s Paddy Power has wasted no time in serving up odds for what brand the Duchess will wear and which colour she will opt for when she attends the Prime Minister’s reception in the Australian capital of Canberra on April 24. Local talents such as New Zealand-born, London-based Emilia Wickstead and Karen Walker lead the way, while British high street chains such as Gap (Gap?! Seriously?) and Topshop trickle down towards the bottom.
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “It is not just all eyes on Prince George for the next three weeks and Kate’s wardrobe never fails to make the headlines. She has proved in the past she can still shine in high street attire and it is 16/1 for Zara to be her pick.”
Lady in red: Touching down in Wellington, New Zealand, after some 30 hours of flying, there were no red eyes to be seen here – just some very elegant clothes in that hue. Kate, 32, chose a buttoned coat by London-based label Catherine Walker & Co, which was a favourite of her husband’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Her Gina Foster pill box hat matched the coat perfectly, and HM The Queen lent the Duchess her diamond and platinum silver fern brooch – a piece of jewellery which she was given by the Women of Auckland on a visit to the country in 1954. Suede shoes by British brand Emmy completed her look.
While there’s no denying the Duchess’s elegance, her perfectly co-ordinated look meant that a passenger crossing her on the way to the loos might have just troubled her for a pack of peanuts and an extra blanket in confusion (and let’s not forget, her mother Carole was formerly an air hostess).
Her look was redeemed however, by the cutest accessory of all – little Prince George.
One’s travelling outfit… Consisted of a grey Max Mara wrap dress (worn previously, of course) and a pair of beige, suede Manolo Blahnik shoes with a kitten heel. The royals are pictured below in Sydney, boarding a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft to head to Wellington.
See our suggestions for the Duchess’s wardrobe Down Under
SEE: The Duchess’s style hits and misses