Sunday, 21 January 2018

It's Time for Our Final 'End of Year' Polls: Vote for Kate's Best Skirt Suit, Hat & Designer of 2017!

Good evening, are you all having a nice weekend?

We're back with our final 'Best of 2017' polls! With just over a week until the Cambridges' tour of Sweden and Norway, and three interesting engagements scheduled for Kate, I want to wrap up with three final polls: Kate's Best Skirt Suit, Best Designer and Best Hat. At some point next weekend, we'll have the results prepared for our annual 'Kate Fashion Awards' post. It's been insightful to see your choices thus far; I'm looking forward to seeing how you all vote for these...

Best Skirt Suit of 2017

Throughout 2017, Kate debuted a selection of stylish skirt suits and brought back popular looks from her wardrobe. In fact, I think several of her most successful looks from the year fall into the separates category. For a visit to her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices in Quidenham last January, Kate looked sophisticated in the rich green Hobbs London Sinead Skirt Suit.

At the Place2Be Big Assembly, the Duchess wore her much-loved red Luisa Spagnoli suit.

It was Oscar de la Renta for the Guild of Heath Writers Conference. The violet skirt suit features a three-quarter sleeve, tailored jacket and is rendered in a wool blend, featuring a pointed collar, dual breast pockets and a pleated, flared hem.

In Wales, the Duchess wore her short and chic Paule Ka suit.

I did a double take when photos started to come in from Kate's visit to Ronald McDonald House in February. She wore a new Rebecca Taylor Sparkle Tweed Suit, which is incredibly similar to another sparkle tweed in the same colour she's worn multiple times by the designer.

Kate gave her gorgeous Eponine London skirt suit a second outing in March for an engagement with Best Beginnings. The top features a boat neck and three-quarter sleeves, while the skirt is A-line. It originally retailed for £1,200. The womenswear brand is "inspired by the elegant lines of the fifties and sixties". Every garment is designed and made in London for women who seek out individuality and who desire to be both chic and contemporary.

For a visit to the Global Academy, Kate selected a smart red skirt suit by Armani Collezioni. Made in Italy, the $848 single-breasted suit features a dart-seam front zip jacket, round collar and pencil skirt. It's a classic Armani suit which could take Kate to a number of engagements.

We mentioned Kate's original Rebecca Taylor Sparkle Tweed Suit earlier in the post. She wore it in June when she visited King's College Hospital to visit those affected by the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks.

During William and Kate's tour of Poland, Kate wore a floral top and midi skirt in Hurst Rose Print by Erdem.

And for the Cambridges' Christmas Card, Duchess Kate wore her bespoke blue Catherine Walker suit.

Kate's Best Skirt Suit of 2017 free polls

Best Hat of 2017

The Duchess has quite the collection of hats; from elegant chapeaus to wide brimmed, we saw an array of stylish millinery modelled by the Duchess in 2017. First, it's the lovely £325 navy Tiffany drop-brim hat by Lock & Co, inspired by the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's. This one is hard to beat and frames Kate's face beautifully.

On St Patrick's Day, the Duchess sported her rich green Lock & Co hat.

Kate wore her black Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co. Salsa Fascinator for a service following the Westminster attacks.

For Easter with the Queen at Windsor, the Duchess chose a cream pillbox hat with a signature bow at the back.

It was the Lock & Co 'Sweet Delight' hat for the Queen's Garden Party. The style is 100% woven straw and retailed for £875.

The Duchess wore a bespoke pink hat by milliner Jane Taylor for Pippa's wedding.

I loved Kate's Jane Taylor with exquisite swirling design for Trooping the Colour.

Kate was all white in a new bespoke hat with flower detail for Royal Ascot.

In Belgium for Commemorations, the Duchess chose her Lock & Marisabel hat. It was described as a "piece that has been handcrafted by Sylvia Fletcher, Lock & Co.'s leading milliner. The hat has been sculpted using sinamay and then finished with a curled feather in a matching tone".

And for day two in Belgium, it the Jane Taylor Fleur hat.

It was Kate's wide-brimmed Philip Treacy hat for Remembrance Sunday.

At the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service, the Duchess sported a new navy hat.

And for Christmas Day, Kate completed her festive look with the Peruvian Connection Vallnord Alpaca Fur Hat.

Kate's Best Hat of 2017 free polls

Best Designer of 2017

When I looked back over Kate's wardrobe from 2017, I decided to narrow the 'Best Designer' poll down to three options. It will come as no surprise to see Alexander McQueen front and centre with nine looks by the brand worn by the Duchess last year. Since Kate collaborated with Sarah Burton to create her wedding gown in 2011 the two have enjoyed a splendid fashion relationship which continues to produce regal results in the style department. From the off-the-shoulder gown for the BAFTAs to the elegant white Ascot dress and the vivid pink paperbag dress for Trooping, it's been another year where McQueen reigned supreme. How will the brand fare in the poll?

Jenny Packham remains Queen of the Night when it comes to Kate's evening wear choices. Once again, we saw shimmering bespoke gowns with ornate embellishment ensuring the Duchess sparkled throughout the evening. For the Diplomatic Reception, Packham created an ivory gown for Kate; here's hoping we see it on another occasion! We also saw the designer create a marigold day dress for the Germany leg of the tour.

Last but certainly not least, in 2017 Catherine Walker was cemented as a prominent, signature label in Kate's wardrobe. Owing to a selection of beautifully-tailored, bespoke coats and the gorgeous white floral dress at Wimbledon, the Duchess has become increasingly fond of the brand's timeless, fuss-free looks. The late, Diana, Princess of Wales relied on the brand to create her most iconic looks; as the Duchess transitions into the Princess of Wales, I think we might see the same!

Happy voting! :)

Kate's Best Designer of 2017 free polls

We'll see you on Tuesday when the Duchess is to launch a new mental health project for young children - the latest initiative from Heads Together - during a visit to Roe Green Junior School in Brent.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Duchess Gets Stuck in Rush Hour Traffic, a New Heads Together Programme & Vote for Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017!

The dreaded rush hour traffic! With Prince George attending school at Thomas's Battersea, it is something William and Kate will be accustomed and resigned to at this stage. The Duchess was photographed at the wheel of a Range Rover on King's Road this afternoon, likely en route to collect George. Kate wore her hair up and was wrapped up in a dark jacket. There are a couple of additional photos available on the Mail Online.

It's shaping up to be Kate's busiest January yet with less than two weeks to go until the Cambridges' four-day tour of Sweden and Norway. Before that, Kensington Palace announced three engagements for Kate's Calendar next week. Kate will unveil the next phase of Heads Together on Tuesday, 23 January when she visits Roe Green Junior School. During a speech, Kate will launch a new mental health project for young children, in the latest initiative from the campaign spearheaded by the royal trio. 

Kensington Palace added:

'Building on the success of the Heads Together campaign, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are each driving forward a series of programmes to ensure people can get access to the right help, at the right place and at the right time.
For the Duchess of Cambridge, supporting young people was always at the heart of Heads Together, and is a key focus of Her Royal Highness's work at The Royal Foundation.
One in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once before the age of 11, and many adults with mental health issues can trace their symptoms back to childhood. In many cases, it is known that children can wait up to 10 years before effective diagnosis or treatment.
Coordinated and financed by the Royal Foundation, this project has been developed by the youth-focussed charity partners of Heads Together; the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds. NAHT, the school leaders’ association, has been engaged in developing the initiative with guidance from Centre for Mental Health.'

I'm looking forward to hearing the full details of the programme on Tuesday and to see the direction Heads Together will take for 2018.

On Wednesday, 24 January Kate has two engagements focused on perinatal services and maternal mental health - a key area of focus for her recently. Kate will visit the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute to receive a briefing on its work in perinatal research before meeting with senior academics conducting research in perinatal psychiatry. 

The Duchess will then visit the Mother and Baby Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, part of South London Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The unit specialises in the treatment of antenatal and postnatal mental health illnesses including postnatal depression and post-partum psychosis. Kate will will have the chance to visit the unit's nursery area and meet with several patients who are currently undergoing treatment. The Duchess will also visit the video therapy room where she will be shown videos of mother-baby interactions used as therapeutic tool in the unit.


Best Evening Dress of 2017

Also tonight, we're asking you to vote for Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017. There's a wide selection of options in the poll, from a flowing off-the-shoulder number to knee-length fit and flare styles.

First up, it's the shimmering Erdem Rhona Dress Kate wore for the UK-India Year of Culture Reception in February. The midi-length dress features a round neckline, long semi-sheer sleeves, pleated bodice, hidden back zip and is made in the UK. The fabric is a metallic lace in silver.

Kate was Paris chic in a bespoke black McQueen dress for a reception at the British Embassy in March.

In April, ahead of Pippa's wedding, William and Kate were photographed arriving at Pippa and James Matthews' Kensington home for dinner with the groom's parents David and Jane Matthews. Kate wore the Somerset by Alice Temperley Peony Off-the-Shoulder dress.

The Duchess attended the opening night of 42nd Street wearing the Marchesa Notte Embellished Tulle Dress. The garment is detailed with tactile lattice and rosette motifs. Partially lined to create a sweetheart neckline, the fit-and-flare design has flexible boning and a defined bead and crystal-embellished waist.

For a visit to the Natural History Museum, Kate chose the lovely Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Everly Dress.

The Duchess donned a decidedly edgy creation by Polish designer Gosia Baczynska for the couple's first evening in Warsaw. The black and white dress features a plunging neckline and leaf embellishment at the waist. It was seen as quite the departure from Kate's usual style; I'll be interested to see how it fares in the poll!

Lady in Red Kate opted for a red McQueen dress for the Queen's Birthday Party in Berlin. Cut from cotton and silk-blend chiffon with a crinkled finish, this vivid red dress is shirred along the off-the-shoulder neckline and waist. The cotton and silk-blend crinkled-chiffon maxi dress was a very fresh choice for Kate.

For a reception in the vintage mirrored hall of Clärchens Ballhaus, Kate selected the 'Wild Sparrow Dress' by German designer Markus Lupfer. Again, a different look for the Duchess which she pulled off with aplomb.

Kate marked World Mental Health Day in the Temperley London Eclipse Lace Collar Dress. The piece is made from corded lace and has black velvet trims and a pleated skirt spliced with cotton-voile panels. The piece is from the Autumn '17 collection; inspired by Elizabethan and Baroque portraits of ladies wearing high necklines and ruffles.

And for the Kensington Palace staff Christmas party and a festive showing of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House, the Duchess sported the Petal Print McQueen Dress. The $2,045 garment is described as an "oversized mini dress in 100% silk crepe de chine in an all-over petal print. Featuring soft gathering on shoulder, three-quarter length sleeve with ruffled cuff and an asymmetrical ruffle detail on the hem. Finished with keyhole button fastening at the back of the neck".

Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017 free polls

The results of all the polls will be revealed in our 'Kate Fashion Awards' post later this month. I'm hoping to hold several more polls before then!

Have a great weekend!

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