Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Our Stylists' Canada Looks for Kate (Part One)

We're back with our first batch of submissions from our 'Choose Your Dream Tour Looks for Kate' post (with apologies, I had hoped to have it written up sooner, bit it's been a much busier month than anticipated with various commitments). As with last year's submissions, I have been blown away by the creativity and variety from international readers and thoroughly impressed with the thought and care shown in each and every look put together. Specifically focusing on the upcoming royal tour of Canada offered another layer of interest and it was such fun to see the level of sartorial diplomacy implemented. Its's also been wonderful to hear from readers who don't usually comment, and of course to see so many taking time to compliment one another's elegant looks. A huge thank you to everyone who participated and commented!

Beth W7372 - A silver sequin Jenny Packham gown from the Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection with the Gianvito Rossi Muna wrap around suede sandal with a bracelet heel.

Sonja from Bavaria - Look one is styled for a meeting with the Prime Minister in his office; the lace embroidered Catherine Walker Capri Dress styled with the Auliné Collection red blazer, the Queen's Maple Leaf Brooch, a red maple leaf bag and the Jimmy Choo Ivory Satin Lucy 100 pumps. The evening gala look comprises of the Naeem Khan Cap Sleeve Embroidered Gazar Peplum GownSapphire and Diamond Drop Earrings, the bracelet HM loaned Kate for the state banquet, a silver clutch and Ivanka Trump dark blue satin shoes.

Maria from Germany - We have the colour-block Hobbs Sierra Dress and the Modischer Pastel Blazer accssorised with the Suzannah Floral Leather Headband, a royal blue clutch and Tommy Hilfiger wedges. Maria noted she would love to see Kate wearing more blazers over sheath dresses, adding: "They would be perfect for a day where they visit the sights of a bigger city." For the evening gala look, it's the Monique Lhuilier Embroidered Gown with Draped Top, a burgundy clutch, the maple leaf brooch, and the Jimmy Choo Romy 85 Pointy Toe Pumps.

German Girl - For the Cambridges airport arrival in Canada with the focus on the dress as a tribute to the Canadian flag it's the Ellen Tracy Pleat Ponte Fit & Flare Dress, the Sweeping Curved Saucer Hat by Suzannah, a nude clutch and Rainiza Satin Stilettos in light gold. For the gala look, the Aidan Mattox Embroidered Ballgown, the gold Kotur Clutch, gold pumps, and a leaf design H Samuel bracelet.

Julia from Leominster - Look one for a formal dinner in Vancouver of Victoria features a green gown by Canadian designer Mikael D. with emerald satin Ralph & Russo pumps accessorised with the Queen's jade dogwood set given to her in British Columbia. For a formal event at Butchart Gardens the Ralph & Russo pumps are teamed with a cocktail dress from Lucian Matis' F/W 2016 Collection and a necklace: "Another rare and mysterious Canadian necklace here - either a wedding gift from British Columbia to the queen or possibly from a 1952 visit. It wasn't really the Queen's look but would be perfect for Kate."

Another evening look consists of a bronze off-the-shoulder gown by British Colombian designer Catherine Regehr with the Ralph & Russo pumps in another colourway. Two royal necklace choices - Queen Alexandra's wedding necklace or the Reena Ahluwalia Canoe Canadian Diamond Necklace. Another evening look features a tuxedo suit by Franco Mirabelli, black courts and the Diamond Bear Brooch Kate received during the Canada tour in 2011. And for an engagement with children in Yukon a selection of Canadian designers bring this ensemble together. The Pink Tartan Keyhold Crewneck and Tapered Pants worn with a coat by Ca Va de Soi. The look is accessorised with the Hand Carved Otter Bracelet and Earrings by Harold Alfred and a pendant by Michel de Bellefeuille. The Pink Tartan Jacqui Bag and Sebago Nell Ankle Boots complete the ensemble.

April Girl - A green fitted Dolce & Gabbana dress styled with Kate's L.K. Bennett Floret pumps and Nina clutch and Kate's Kiki green tourmaline and green amethyst oval drop earrings. The daytime look would be completed with an updo. For the evening look, the Mango Sequin Embroidered Dress, Jimmy Choo Vamp sandals, Kate's Kiki lavender amethyst pear and oval drop earrings, and the Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Cuff. Kate's grey clutch and an updo finishes off the look.

Bluefire - A daytime look from a favoured retailer of the Duchess includes the Reiss Truth Merino Wool Sweater and the Adalie Midi Skirt. The ensemble is teamed with the Jimmy Choo army green suede pointy pumps.  Look two, the black stretch viscose Roland Mouret Beaumont Gown with the designer's Palais Royal Clutch and L.K. Bennett Elizabeth suede courts.

Bluefire also put together the Asos Floral Print Tea Dress with a Chloé croossbody bag and Schutz Juliana Heels. We also have the Chi Chi London Decadent Midi Dress styled with a leather shoulder bag and Jimmy Choo Abel Pointy Toe Pumps.

Anonymous - Look one, an Autumn/Winter 2016 design from Erdem styled with the Jimmy Choo Black Shiny Vienna 100 pumps. It's another design from Erdem's AW16 collection for the evening look, with the black lace Jimmy Choo Luna pumps. 

Rote - For either an arrival or daytime look, a fitted red dress by DSQUARED2: "It is a Dsquared2 design which is perfect as the brand is run by identical twins Dean and Dan Caten who are Canadians now based in London." The dress is styled with a partial/half updo, the Maple Leaf Brooch, Kate's red Gianvito Rossi pumps, Empress drop earrings, and the Natasha clutch by Emmy London. The evening look features a Greta Constantine dress: "This year’s winner of the Canadian Fashion Awards Womenswear Designer of the Year and aims to offer clothing with a modern sensibility for truly effortless dressing.' It is accessorised with an updo to show off Carole Middleton's blue topaz Robinson Pelham earrings, Jimmy Choo Vamp sandals and Jenny Packham 'Casa' clutch.

Mellie - Vancouverite Mellie is incredibly excited ahead of the royal visit and hopes to see the Cambridges during the tour. She chose Canadian designers beginning with the Pink Tartan Hexagon Scallop Hem Dress and an evening look by Chris Gelinas.

Little Miss Sunshine - The Roland Mouret Thomey Top and Caroline Herrera Silk Pencil Skirt is styled with a cream coat, Gianvito Rossi Ankle Strap Pumps and a statement necklace. "I'd have Kate wear this outfit including the eye-catching statement necklace for a visit to a charity in Canada, for example to talk to inner-city people about mental health." Look two, the pink David Meister One-Shoulder A-line Gown with the Jimmy Choo Alex pumps, Kate's art deco bracelet, and Anya Hindmarch Marano Suede Clutch.

Ros138 - Look one, the Whistles Tie Front Knot Dress, the Reiss Truman Jacket and the LK. Bennett Marcella Pumps accessorised with a pair of Bentley and Skinner pearl and diamond acorn earrings, the Canadian polar bear brooch, a small Mulberry Bayswater bag and a Canada-themed silk hermes scarf. For a black-tie event the Pre-Fall 2016 Roland Mouret Rocher Gown styled with Christian Louboutin Fifi Pumps, a Manolo Blahnik clutch and the Graff Carissa earrings.

Pam from Boston - Chose Erdem for her selections. For a lunch meeting with the Prime Minister the Erdem Betty Dress, designed for the 2015 Green Carpet Challenge and available exclusively at Erdem. The dress is teamed with Kate's trusty nude pumps, and as a nod to Canada, the Jimmy Choo Margot Clutch in red. For a formal evening event; the Erdem Samira Gown styled with the ivory satin Jimmy Choo Louise sandals.

Rachel from Ireland - Styled an evening look with a Black Nude Lace Floor Length Dress by Jovani with the vivid red Rupert Sanderson Elba pumps, a red satin and lace clutch bag, and a statement necklace by Ambaji Shinde.

Sunny - For a relaxed engagement with George and Charlotte, such as a park visit, we have the textured boucle mesh Roland Mouret Sancroft Jacket, the Icon Skinny Jeans by Joe's, and black suede ankle boots from New Look. The gala evening look features the Kay Unger New York Sleeveless Crepe & Printed Chiffon Gown, a YSL clutch, H&M sandals, and Anna Beth Onyx Earrings by Dana Rebecca.

Royalfan - For an evening gala look, a one-shoulder, beaded Jenny Packham gown styled with Gianvito Rossi Portofino Suede Ankle-Strap Sandals, a red McQueen clutch, sparkling statement earrings and an updo to complete the ensemble.

Couch Potato - For the Canada arrival or a day of engagements, the Leina Broughton Clara Coat Dress in berry styled with Kate's Gina Foster 'Seaford' pillbox hat, L.K. Bennett Floret pumps and the Mulbery Continental Clutch. The evening look, the merlot Badgley Mischka Striped Gown with Kate's L.K. Bennett Fern shoes in orange suede, the Queen's Baring Ruby Necklace, and a burgundy Marchesa clutch.

Jo from York - To spend a day with the Prime Minister and his family, Emilio Pucci's lightweight ruffled silk crepe de chine blouse, Dolce & Gabbana cropped tapered pants and floral wedges by the Italian brand. A pair of Bottega Veneta Oxidized silver malachite earrings and an updo complete the look. For a black-tie event, the Alexander McQueen Cotton-Blend Lace Gown with the Gianvito Rossi Brocade Sandals, the Edie Parker Jean Solid Clutch, the Kiki McDonough Smoky Quartz and Lemon Quartz Drop Earrings and an updo.

Louise, London - A gala evening dinner look starring the '70s-inspired Roland Mouret Galaham One Shoulder Silk-Blend Lamé Gown, the Gianvito Rossi Marshal Sandals, the Dolce & Gabbana Vanda small swarovski crystal embellished clutch. For jewels, Louise turned to the royal collection selecting the Delhi Durbar bracelet and earrings.

Chic Designer - "A Stella McCartney outfit for high tea at the beautiful Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, or the Grand Pacific Hotel, both overlooking Victoria's inner harbor. Tea would follow visits to Butchart Gardens and, with the children, to the wonderful Royal BC Museum near the hotels." Stella McCartney's Goldie Shirt and Kyle Culottes with Kate's Rupert Sanderson Malory Pumps and Annoushka pearls.

Chic Designer also put together an outfit for Princess Charlotte to wear to the same event: the Carters Toddler Girl Geo Lace Dress and Metallic Ribbed Cardigan with the Nina 'Lil Seeley' Mary Jane shoes and white tights from Land's End. Other possibilities for Princess Charlotte include the Sparkle Cable Knit Cardigan from Oshkosh with the 'Classic Short' Uggs. We also see the Sparkle Fair Isle Cardi and Western Chief Firechief 2 Rain Boots. Both looks would be worn with "sturdy pants or jeans like mom's".

Balbina, Austria - A daywear look features the Saint Laurent Double Breasted Velvet Blazer, Roland Mouret Lucanas Wide Leg Pants with Kate's red Gianvito Rossi pumps, a checked Stella McCartney clutch and vintage Tiffany maple leaf earrings. The Duchess would have her hair in a high pony tail. For the evening look, it's the Marchesa Tiered Fil Coupé Organza Gown with the Gianvito Rossi Crisscross Ankle-Wrap Suede Sandals, a Bottega Veneta Clutch and Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Earrings. "Both outfits have an autumn like feel to me which I find rather fitting for late September in Canada. Bold, but not too bold. I wanted to pick up the red of the canadian flag, but in a very subtle way. Autumn for me is a time of natural and earthy tones."

Bxrlvr - A pleated georgette top from MICHAEL Michael Kors styled with Episode Ankle Length Trousers with gold zip detail, Kate's UFO black pearl earrings, her Catherine Zoraida Spead Your Wings bracelet, and Monsoon Fleur wedges. Another day outfit with dressy pants is the Roland Mouret Lucanas Wide Leg Pants (a popular choice with our readers) and the Hato Gathered Wool-Crepe Top. It's accessorised with Kate's Rupert Sanderson Calice pumps and Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Cluster Drop Earrings.

For a less-formal evening look, the midi-length Temperley London Antila Dress with the neutral DVF Jalen Sandals and Solid Gold Violeta Ruby Diamond Earrings.

SMP - " I'd love to see Kate step out of her comfort zone and wear a jumpsuit. They are very en vogue this year and Kate is tall enough to wear one and show off her long legs." A look at the Roksanda Kenzey Peplum Jumpsuit, burgundy Manolo Blahnik Suede Point-Toe Pumps, Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop earrings and the L.K. Bennett Natalie Raffia Box Clutch. For the evening look, it's the magenta Jenny Packham Silk Evening Embellished Gown with the Casadei Metallic Leather pumps, a Jimmy Choo clutch and the Adorn Katey Pendant.

Amazing looks, I think you'll agree! If there are any errors/inaccuracies in any of them please don't hesitate to let me know. There are many, many more to come in our next write-up. In the meantime, a reminder William and Kate have two packed days of engagements in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Thursday and Friday. It should be a very interesting couple of days. :)

Thursday, 25 August 2016

UPDATED: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visit YoungMinds Helpline Service

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued their Heads Together campaign to end mental health stigma today with a visit to YoungMinds UK helpline service.

The engagement was embargoed, most likely due to the sensitive nature of the work carried out at the helpline, however, upon their arrival, word quickly spread the couple were in the area. Rebecca English was told William and Kate were keen "to see what actually happens when people seek support".

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. The organisation is one of eight charity partners of William, Kate and Harry's mental health campaign Heads Together. The aim of the campaign is to challenge mental health stigma and change the national conversation on mental wellbeing. I expect we'll see the young royals carry out a variety of engagements with the other charities involved in the coming months.

Young Minds

The Parents Helpline is one of YoungMinds longest-running services and remains crucial to the work of the organisation. The helpline was established as an innovative response after its founders discovered that parents were frustrated, worried and desperately needed information, reassurance and advice. As a result, the service developed its current two-tier structure to serve these parents' needs: a freephone telephone helpline staffed by experienced frontline workers; and a call-back service staffed by mental health professionals. Today, the service has grown vastly and provides comprehensive telephone and online support for parents and carers of children and young people experiencing emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties.

The visit began at meeting with the volunteers who man the helplines.

More from the Mail Online:

One, Saida Tahir, told him it was a busy time for self-harm because many teenagers were affected by their exam results. Recalling his own exam worries, William said: 'It still gives me the heebie-jeebies. I still get sweaty thinking about it.'
The couple heard harrowing tales of parents who had contacted the helpline, including one of a mother whose son had been mugged of his mobile phone when he was 13. He became too anxious to leave the home, and when he was 17 his anxiety levels 'went through the roof'.
His mother told the helpline: 'He was so distressed he was determined to end his life. He told us this quite blatantly. My husband spent weeks sleeping in the hall so our son could not escape from the house at night and head for the bridge.'

The couple received some of the essential training given to volunteers.

The couple listening in on a training talk.

The Duke and Duchess sat in on a volunteer call session.

William said: "Can I have an easy one please? I'm carrying a lot of things at the moment. I will be in floods of tears at the end otherwise. I've had too many sad stories with the Air Ambulance. I can't deal with any more stuff. Just maybe at the lower level, if I can. I'm steeling myself the best I can."

After listening to live calls, Kate said she could tell from the caller's voice, the emotion at the beginning, and then the acceptance: 'OK, this is what I need to do.' To relief towards the end: 'OK, I've been listened to, I know what my next steps are.'

Kate spoke about taking calls to chief executive Sarah Brennan:

'William and I found it absolutely fascinating, from hearing the case study and also taking the calls. She said the types of calls were so varied - 'what their worries are, their concerns'. She added: 'What we've taken away is just how normal it is. We are parents ourselves, I am sure we will face worries - we do face worries, because we've got small young children. If those worries escalate, how vital it is to get support - and you are providing that support.'
She added: 'As a parent and as a mother, having that feeling that there is somebody there that is non-judgemental, that can provide the professional support, and that can really provide helping hand at a really difficult time.'

I thought today's visit an impressive one and it's wonderful to see a focus on mental health in support of the Heads Together campaign continuing. Once again, we saw very interesting comments from the couple, especially Kate noting as parents they face worries "because we've got small children". Rebecca English noted William has been "much more engaged and engaging" than she's every seen him before. It was also excellent to see the tremendous work of the helpline promoted, if you would like to find out more about the YoungMinds helpline please click here.

We saw Kate bring back her much-loved L.K. Bennett Lasa dress yesterday - today she debuted another gorgeous dress by the brand.

The L.K. Bennett Eugenia dress is a vibrant red summery dress with short sleeves and falls just above the knee for a classic finish. It's a very feminine, floaty dress and was clearly a hit with customers as it's entirely sold out.

L.K. Bennett
The shade of red used.

L.K. Bennett

Kate carried her L.K. Bennett Nina clutch again today.

L.K. Bennett

Kate wore her effortlessly stylish Gianvito Rossi 105 Suede Pumps. They are described as "hand-finished in Italy from luxuriously soft suede. A 105mm heel and pointed toe create an elegant, flattering silhouette. The warm antique-rose hue complements every skin tone". The pumps retail for $675 at Net-A-Porter.

Kate completed the look with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

And Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.


Finally, a look at Kate's partially-up hairstyle today; I thought it worked very well with the ensemble.

You can view a video shared by Kensington Palace which includes William and Kate speaking about what they learned from their visit.

What do you think of today's engagement and Kate's look?

Finally, I was delighted to chat with talented writer Peter Balkus about the blog. If you would like to read the piece you can do so by clicking here :)