This morning the Queen kicked off her first garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace. Kate likes to bunch her engagements, so I don't think anyone was surprised to see the lovely duchess behind the the Sovereign on the steps of BP. Prince William, who only attended his first garden party last year, seems to have acquired a taste for it, and was at his wife's side.
This is the third time Kate has worn the shiny Christopher Kane. All who know me know I am not the first huzzah when this ensemble is trotted out. Let's review the illustrious history of the Shiny CK. Kate debuted this at a reception for the London Olympic in 2012. There were limited photos at that event, so we didn't get a fair view of the coat. It is not at its best in truncated version, and I intensely disliked it at the time. No way to sugar coat it...
To my surprise, Kate gave it a second wear, and at the prestigious Order of the Garter, no less! Kate wore this in 2014 and paired it with a new hat that I have dubbed "The Oyster" by Lock & Co. The full-length view of this coat vastly improved my overall impression, but I can't say it edged it into the win category.
I am surprised to see it again today. I just don't think the sheen works. Kate likes materials that are traditionally associated with night, most obviously lace, but also her penchant for chiffon. I am almost always up for lace and I have welcomed the near universal acceptance of lace as a day-time fabric, but to me, this super satiny coat is still just a little too "boudoir-ish" for my taste.
It is better in motion, I give it that:
Video: Kate at today's Buckingham Palace garden party pic.twitter.com/BUxW3pVcu0— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) May 16, 2017
I think Kate is wearing the silver dress she wore with her Jane Troughton coat in 2009 to the wedding of Nicholas van Custom. I loved that ensemble so much, and because Kate tends to keep her clothes for years and recycles with regularity, I think this is likely the same dress.
The Duchess wore her brand new Kikis a second time today. Kiki McDonough truly produces mouth-wateringly beautiful brilliants. These eye-popping earrings were just debuted in Luxembourg by the Duchess and match her ensemble today perfectly. I am not in love with the coat, but the accessories are A+.
Kate's clutch is new, too, and I absolutely love it. The pattern looks like a medieval tapestry or the border of an illuminated manuscript! This clutch is unusual for her style as a Duchess, but Kate has shown interest in vintage purses in the past, so perhaps this is an older piece. I will let you know if there is an ID on it.
This week has been full of Pippa news. One of Kate's own hair stylists, Amanda Tucker, was photographed at Pippa's house along with her signature suitcase full of (presumably) tools and products, and assistants have been seen entering with large dress bags holding Pip's wedding gown. Additionally, the big headlines just today report a massive glass menagerie is being erected in the Middletons' garden. It is going to be a very chic wedding. Kate told guests that she is nervous about whether George and Charlotte will behave in their respective wedding roles, and excitement is clearly high for Pippa's big day.
In this video, just at the end, you can hear William telling guests that a trip to Norway is hopefully coming up soon for the Cambridges!
Kate was again accompanied by Rebecca Deacon, who is apparently continuing to work for Kate through the summer. You can see her pictured below, in a navy ensemble and nude pumps, to our right of the duchess.
The verdict is a mixed one. Time has not erased my gut-reaction to this coat, but I think it has softened it. The coat is always better in motion and with some perspective. I loved the new clutch and thought it was unusual, but a fun addition to the ensemble. Because I love everything Kate Middleton, a piece from 2009 puts a smile on my face and makes me nostalgic for the old days of royal watching. I don't think this ensemble was a miss, but today is win because we got to see Kate, not on the merits of the Shiny CK.
The good news is that we saw Kate today. The bad news is that I am going offline for some days and won't be covering Pippa's wedding on the actual day. Yesterday I finished my last final, today I popped by the Passport Agency office and got my new passport, and tomorrow I fly east...sans laptop. As you may have heard, Homeland Security has been mulling the possibility of banning laptops on flights coming from Europe to the U.S., and I don't want that to happen while I am away. I am going to a wedding on Pippa's wedding day and then I am running all over the countryside for some days after, so there won't be much time for blogging anyway. Wherever I am on Saturday, I'll be trying to catch enough of a signal to get a peek at her dress! Enjoy the excitement of the big day and I look forward to catching up with you all when I am back state-side. A bientôt!