Duchess Kate in McQueen & LK Bennett on Aussie tour: lovely or lacking?

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Because of the sheer volume of photos from the royal tour from the past three days, I’m splitting the pics up into multiple posts. You’re just going to go on faith that I will get to whatever outfit you want to discuss, and please don’t threadjack. In this post, we’ll be discussing two sets of photos: a set from Saturday of Duchess Kate and Prince William’s tour of the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Brisbane, and their trip to St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney for Easter Sunday.

First look: the Royal Air Force Base trip. Kate wore a dress by LK Bennett, her favorite label for nude shoes. This is one of the more affordable looks she’s worn during the tour – it costs $425. And Mindy Kaling already wore it on The Mindy Project too! A lot of people got super-excited about this because Kate usually doesn’t go for such a bold graphic, although she does love a girly floral, and that’s what this is. I think it’s okay – it’s not my favorite, but I appreciate it. You know I love a good sleeve, and I like a good white/blue combo.

As for the Easter Sunday church service, Kate wore a “dove grey” Alexander McQueen suit and a hat by Jane Taylor. The dove grey is reading as pale blue in some photos, which is just fine with me. I might even like this suit more if I pretend it’s pale blue. This might be one of my favorite suits that Kate has ever worn – she looks sleek, professional, stylish and completely appropriate. What Kate Wore says that the House of McQueen made it for her especially, basing it on a suit from last year that they offered in pale pink. The original McQueen suit cost more than $2000, so I can only imagine what a bespoke look cost. The hat is also bespoke, meaning it was made for Kate. And of course, she used a pair of her nude LK Bennetts.

Kate wore her hair in a half-uptwist for both of these events. It’s such a great look for her, and I think it’s a good compromise for her. She obviously hates buns, chignons and having all of her hair pulled back, so I’m glad that she’s making an effort to not have her hair in her face event after event after event this time around.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

 

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89 Responses to “Duchess Kate in McQueen & LK Bennett on Aussie tour: lovely or lacking?”

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  1. thinkaboutit says:

    She looks 40. Lovely, but not at all youthful.

  2. Tatjana says:

    She looks amazing.
    I might be the only person who thinks she looks better with her hair down.

  3. GiGi says:

    I love the Easter suit! Really gorgeous!

    • LadySlippers says:

      Totally agree. I normally am not a grey fan but the McQueen suit was stunning.

      The white & blue dress I liked as well.

    • Anna says:

      I would have preferred a nice powder blue but I can make peace with the dove gray. I think a lot of pieces from this tour will be reused in the next couple of years – they are classic and versatile.

      • AM says:

        I’m interested to see what she does with repeats from this trip, considering we never saw most of what she wore in Canada/Asia again. I really love this McQueen suit and think it would look great at various services for years to come.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        @ AM, I’m thinking we never saw most of those Canadian or Asian trip clothes again, because the Queen saw pictures and probably ordered her to get rid of them. Hence the alleged input from her own dresser for this tour.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @LC,

        The help from the Angela Kelly was WAY over stated — she helped Kate with a few of QEII’s jewelry. And it ended up being one broach…

      • bluhare says:

        Do you have anything to back that up, LS? I know that there was the article ages ago that said Kelly was helping her, and then a whole lot of distancing went on, so I get where you’re coming from.

        But her clothing is quite different these days. Perhaps Kelly didn’t actually work with her directly, but I think something went down.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Yup.

        Blu, there were several when I googled them from the last post when we debunked the ‘Angela Kelly was helping the Dss of Cambridge’. It started with a DM article and then got picked up by other papers but the DM said she was helping with a few pieces from HM’s jewelry only. Everyone else blew it out of proportion.

        Hang on while I look again (hopefully they are still available).

        **ETA**

        Link:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2550166/Out-short-skirts-tiaras-Its-Kates-regal-makeover-order-Queen.html

        Quote:

        “Meanwhile, Her Majesty has offered the services of her most trusted member of staff, her personal dresser Angela Kelly, to help Kate prepare for her trip.

        She has been tasked with assisting Kate to select statement jewellery and gemstones from the Queen’s personal collection.”

        It’s the ability to wade through the fluff and crap to find the truth in the article — it’s happens to all Royals. People think it just happens to girlfriends of Royals (think the furor over whether or not Cressida is playing a PR game or not). But the truth of the matter is happens to them all.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Blu,

        Her clothing actually isn’t all that different. She’s worn all these silhouettes before — I think she’s honestly just learning and finally modifying her behaviour.

      • bluhare says:

        And interestingly, there’s been no jewelry so far except for the fern brooch.

        I think she had “discussions” about her wardrobe. I agree with most of your points but action speaks louder than articles.

      • Scal says:

        @ladyslippers
        1) I’m wondering if she still fits in alot of those dresses from the Canada tour, she was SO skinny then. Plus the Asian tour was much warmer in the subtropics, so those dresses wouldn’t work in alot of other places unless it was warm.
        2) She’s def still repeating certain dresses that didn’t make a big splash. The dress from the zoo is from the asian trip. The blue dress from the plane is from the olympics. The red suit was from the first trip to St. Andrews. She’s worn a bunch of pieces from the canada tour again. (at Wimbledon, a charity event, and a couple of weddings) I think she’s rotating them through between ‘big’ events and smaller more intimate ones. I think she got a talking to about when she wore that pink coat dress 2 weeks apart, and is repeating with a longer gap inbetween.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Blu,

        Knowing how ridiculously hands off the BRF is — my guess is Kate got a memo or a brief chat by a courtier (if that!). That’s it. Lol

        The single item of bling is really disappointing considering she even has some of Diana’s jewels too. I lurve me some pearls and that dove grey McQueen ensemble was begging for some stunning luscious pearls…

        Scal,

        Exactly, it’s not just the silhouettes she’s repeating — there are several dresses we’ve seen before too.

        I’ll bet she can wear most of her clothes again, even the Canadian ones. I thought she looked like many were too big for her so that might work well now.

      • AM says:

        There were lots and lots of sensible day dresses from both trips that we just never saw again – but it could be a size thing, or it could be that her tastes have changed.

        I agree with LS that we’ve seen these silhouettes on her before, and I think she’s shown a marked improvement on a lot of fronts on this trip, so I do think she’s learning and trying. But I also agree with bluhare that there were likely some discussions – her hemlines were getting awfully short when she was pregnant with George, and I think finally someone decided to say something.

      • LadySlippers says:

        The hard part is we don’t know if the change was prompted from inside (i.e. a courtier) or outside (i.e. press comments) as both are equally likely culprits. It could be a mix of both or none of the above too.

        I think the press ‘forgave’ her earlier missteps due to inexperience but their tone got very short and snarky with the more recent missteps (her frequent MM moments, numerous short skirts, snarky pics of kids peering up her short dresses, etc.).

      • Rosehip says:

        I love both outfits. They are appropriate and stylish. Whenever she does dress according to her function, she gets criticised for looking too old. Both outfits were a great choice in my opinion.

        I too hoped to see a bit more of the Queen’s bling on this tour than that one fern brooch, and i thought the Easter church service would have been a nice occasion.
        If she has access to all of Diana’s jewelry, i understand that she might be a little reluctant still to wear them at this point. I guess she will slowly start wearing some items in the years to come, although i doubt she would wear Diana’s most recognizable, ‘iconic’ pieces anytime soon.

        Pearl necklaces are rarely worn by women of her age nowadays, however gorgeous they might be. Pearl chokers are even harder; they looked great on Diana, and they still look great on Camilla, but if Kate would wear a pearl choker, i would definitely be in the ‘too old’ camp too.

        Kate looks very slim to me now. I can be mistaken, but i don’t think her weight is very different from the Canada tour. I agree that she was dressing rather conservatively back then as well, and i think she wore a number of outfits that are similar to what she has been wearing now, or could make a nice come-back. I’m thinking of the blue Erdem dresses and the cream McQueen dress for example. I also thought the red coat dress she wore when arriving at the airport didn’t do justice to the beautiful brooch with all those buttons, and i think it might have been nicer if she would have repeated the one from the Canada tour.

        Overall, i have quite liked her sartorial choices on this tour to be honest. And i didn’t even consider the hugely decreased hair flipping!

      • LadySlippers says:

        Rose,

        Kate doesn’t have access to all the jewels but she apparently has some. Google Diana’s will to see exactly what William and Harry were left (I haven’t read her will in ages so I don’t recall specifics).

        I’m a pearl girl and have been since my 20′s. I do know a few of my friends that are the same so I do think younger people can wear them. Diana wore a smaller pearl choker in her 20′s — I do think it can be youthful.

    • Rosehip says:

      Thanks for clearing that LadySlippers.
      Still i would understand if she wouldn’t dive too enthousiasticly into Diana’s jewels yet at this point. Did you read people commenting on Kate ‘showing off Diana’s ring all the time’? Come on! How ridiculous is that?? It’s her ring now, so she has every right to wear it, and even show it off if she would feel like that. If people per se want to drag Diana into the story again and again and go all emo about this ring, i think it would be more of an insult (to The Ring, Diana, Diana’s Son) not to wear it.

      Not sure about the pearls though. I inherited a gorgeous akoya pearl necklace from my late grandmother, but i’ve never worn it. My mum is, to prevent it from turning matte. The only pearls i wear are stud earrings, and one slightly pink, slightly baroque one as a pendant. My favourite way of wearing it is on a leather cord.
      *** I quickly go hide myself now because i suspect you are already opening the cupboard to throw some china at me ***

  4. Backwards says:

    I’m from Australia and i’m a little exhausted of the coverage now, it’s relentless and she’s not even coming to Melbourne!!. I just hope she wears something sensible and appropriate to Uluru! I’ll crack it if I see her stupid wedges again.

    Something nice: She looks great in the coat. She needs to take a cue from Mindy Lahiri and wear more colour!

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I love both looks, and think each is appropriate for its occasion. I think she’s doing a nice job with clothes on this tour, and even though I am a shoe lover and find her shoes extremely dull, I admit they usually look fine with what she’s wearing. The LK Bennetts and wedges must be comfortable, and I can’t blame her for putting comfort at the top of her priority list on a tour. Have given up on the jewelry, though. :-(

  6. HH says:

    I think both looks are lovely. I love bolder, brighter colors so the floral dress was my favorite. And I agree the half up/half down hairdo is a nice compromise.

  7. Eva says:

    Why does she always wear her engagement ring and not just her wedding ring? It looks too big for her hand.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Every woman is different with this so I’m not going to criticise what’s likely a personal preference.

    • Anastasia says:

      That engagement ring is also the wedding ring. There is no separate wedding band as far as I know. Wouldn’t that be enough for most people? ;)

      Meant to add, Diana also only wore that ring.

      • Deedee says:

        But there is a wedding ring, made from Welsh gold out of the royal vaults.

      • LAK says:

        What Deedee said.

        She wears 3 rings though the engagement ring hides the other 2 which are her gold wedding ring and her eternity ring.

      • LAK says:

        Diana also wore her gold wedding ring together with the engagement ring.

        The engagement ring is so big and eye-catching that no one notices the other rings worn with it. Ditto Fergie’s ruby engagement ring.

        Google close ups of their hands and you will see the other rings/zoom into the above pics and you can see the other rings clearly.

        EDIT: this board is the first time i’ve heard of people not wearing their engagement and wedding rings together or having the engagement ring double as a wedding ring.

      • FLORC says:

        Also, a big todo was made about the gold wedding band in the wedding coverage. Kate thought she would lose enough weight for the wedding she asked the ring be sized down to fit her for the day. William was seen pushing the ring on with a bit of force. The couple shared a quick giggle and later a statement was released as to why that happened.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It probably has a great deal of sentimental value to her, as mine does to me. I wear mine every day. It’s not as large, but that wouldn’t stop me.

    • The Original Mia says:

      She doesn’t wear it all the time. When she’s shopping, it’s been reported she wears just her bands. So I have to conclude, she wants everyone to see or assumes everyone wants to see it 3 years on. I think it’s time to put it away, especially with a growing tot and all that hair.

      • SK says:

        Why? I don’t know anyone who has put away their engagement rings – and plenty of my friends have small children and babies and long hair. My mother wears hers to this day. I can’t understand why on earth she “should” put her engagement ring away now. There’s no protocol suggesting she should, and it’s not a common thing to do. At the end of the day it’s her ring, and she can do whatever she wants with it.

      • FLORC says:

        Original Mia
        I’ve seen pics of her shopping too and she’s wearing her engagement ring. She turns the stone inward, but you can still see the band of the ring.
        Of course, pics of her shopping are usually distant and discouraged. Here and there there’s a good clear shot and you can see the wedding band and the engagement band. Or the edge of the stone from under her hand.

    • HH says:

      Well, it is just a big rock. Diana went through the catalog and picked out the biggest one could find. HA! I think it would look big on any woman’s hand.

      • LAK says:

        i am not a Diana fan, but i love the snarkiness of that move. It still makes me laugh when i read her own words regarding her thoughts on the ring.

        And it makes me laugh when people attach romantic notions to how it was acquired or chosen because that was the furthest thing from anybody’s mind.

        ps: I wonder how many rings were sold from that particular batch in the catalogue before or after she bought her one?!

      • Rockymtnprincess says:

        I thought QEII picked out the ring…maybe I’m making that up on my own…

      • LadySlippers says:

        Nope, Diana picked the ring.

        Actually it was both size and the fact that it reminded her of *her* mother’s engagement ring that made her choose it. Surprised people because they assumed she and Charles would go the custom route.

      • HH says:

        @LAK – I’m just now starting to learn a more objective(?) view of Diana. I didn’t really pay attention to her growing up and I’m only slightly younger than Harry. So I just remember her passing and then the whitewashing/glorification of her image afterwards. While I think Diana had remarkable qualities, she also had some serious demons that unfortunately may have been exacerbated by public life.

        @LadySlippers – I didn’t know the added bit about *her* mother’s ring. Very interesting as I believe her mother left the family and they weren’t particularly close. Is that correct?

      • LadySlippers says:

        HH,

        Everyone is a mix of good and bad — Diana was no exception.

        Diana watched her parents go through a bitter divorce and custody battle in which her mother, Frances, accused Johnny (Viscount Althorpe at the time) of spousal abuse. Frances had her own family side against her (common in abuse cases AND the aristocracy). It really broke Frances.

        Diana and her younger brother actually DID see their mother but the visits were heart wrenching and emotional (Diana made sure that she didn’t lose custody of her own boys and played dirty because of it. Plus, the Soveriegn has legal rights that DO trump a parents which added to Diana’s angst. However, QEII isn’t that kind of woman to seperate a mother and her children).

        Diana was closer to her mother than most people realise. Her mother paid for her flat prior to marriage and after the separation, went on most of the beach vacations Diana took with the boys. In fact, it included all the Spencer sisters and their respective children. However, like most of Diana’s relationships — it was turbulent.

        The two books I’d recommend about Diana are written by: Sarah Bradford (biographer) and Ken Wharfe (former RPO officer). Both give a very well balanced account of Diana — neither sinner nor saint.

  8. fatty says:

    d church outfit reminds me of camilla’s style. she looks great tho.

  9. Hissyfit says:

    I love the coat but that dress is hideous!

  10. Anastasia says:

    I love the dove gray suit. It made me realize this is the first time she looked (to me) properly dressed in terms of being a royal.

    But then I quickly realized I agree with others–it is a smidge too old for her. In a way, I do get it: when you’re in your 30s, it’s hard–it’s easy to look dressed too old, and it’s easy to look dressed too juvenile, too. It’s an awkward phase in the life of a woman, clothing-wise. ;)

    It gets easier in your 40s. A bit.

    Anyway, it’s a gorgeous dress and hat. And THANK GOD for half-up hair. Sheesh.

    • Aeryn39 says:

      Anastasia – I feel the same way!

      When I practiced law in my 30′s my friends said I looked too old during the work week. On the weekends I’d go for jeans, vans and a t-shirt and then my Mom said I looked like I was trying to be college-aged. Ugh! It was horrible. I have to say that since turning 40 I’ve come to accept my wardrobe, and wear a lot of long coats/jackets and dresses and don’t feel like I’m unstuck on the age continuum, LOL!

      As for Kate, I like both of these outfits, even the LK Bennett dress which surprises me because I’m not a pattern or floral person. I also really like that her hair is pulled back. I do wish more of the Queen’s jewels would have appeared during this tour. I think a brooch or some pearls would’ve looked nice with the grey suit, but that could just be my age talking, LOL!

    • Suze says:

      That half up hair was a genius move. It’s out of the way and she no longer plays with it or fights with it in the wind.

  11. Cersei says:

    The dress has sort of a mass-market look about it like the Spring and Summer dresses you see on better department store racks. To me, it looks better at a distance than close up because I’m not really digging the high waistline and pattern break at the seam. I do love the coat, though.

  12. Deedee says:

    The dove grey suit looks like it’s missing an accessory or something. It’s so understated that she almost disappears. It’s an elegant look (and we’ve seen an outfit much like this one in a gorgeous plum color a few Christmases ago). Maybe switch out the “nothing” necklace for a colored gemstone statement necklace? And I still can’t stand those shoes.

  13. L says:

    The suit is great, but needed a brooch or something. Sure it’s more formal, but they are at a Easter church service with a bishop for pete’s sake. She’s married to the future head of the church, I think it was elegant and appropriate. (and considering some of the other dresses she’s worn to church services back in England a HUGE improvement.)

    The dress with the blue flowers is perfect.

  14. OTHER RENEE says:

    I think both outfits are gorgeous. The suit doesn’t need a brooch. I cant see the color of the shoes, but to me, nude reads beigey amd that doesnt match with grey. As for accessorizing with scarves etc,, some people just don’t care for it. I’m one of those people. Stuff like that just gets in my way, and I prefer simplicity.

  15. Jackson says:

    Love the gray suit. The blue and white dress is only just ok. It fits her nicely but something about the color and/or the print makes it look budget. Reminds me of what KK wore to her engagement ‘surprise.’

  16. hmmm says:

    I really like this coat. The style suits her. The colour, however, is too pale. Makes her skin look orangish in these pix. A stunning brooch would have finished off the look perfectly. Hate the hat.

    The blue and white dress is okay. Unexciting.

    There is such a sameness to the silhouettes she chooses to wear, that there’s not much else to say.

  17. The Original Mia says:

    The Easter suit is underwhelming, but appropriate for church. I like the poppy dress, but hate the shoes.

  18. OTHER RENEE says:

    I never heard the word “bespoke” until it was attached to Kate. Is this the new IN word for “custom made?”

  19. bluhare says:

    I guess I don’t understand why everyone worries about whether she dresses too old. She’s at work, even though it was going to church. And church on Easter Sunday . . . . I think she *should* have some gravitas and dignity. I think that it’s a definite win, although I don’t particularly care for the hat.

    The LK Bennett dress should be retired. Immediately.

  20. A Fan says:

    The McQueen suit is very beautiful on her – professional, tailored, classy, and very appropriate. And I wouldn’t have guessed how good that colour is on her without seeing it. I don’t particularly like the LK Bennett dress, but that’s my own personal taste. It does look nice on her and it is appropriate.

    Like I said in a previous post, her shoes are not the greatest nor do I necessarily like them. However, I have no snark. She has to bring shoes that will complement a number of outfits, venues, temperatures, and be ones she likes (and she obviously likes heels). Sometimes, those venues are completely opposite in nature (ie. the beach then a children’s hospice). They have to be comfortable enough to walk around in for a good part of the day. We don’t know what kind of foot problems or insecurities (short legs?) she may or may not have.

    [*She's no fashionista, but so what*]

    • WillowDreamer says:

      I agree with you concerning the shoes….they have to compliment several outfits, temperature is an issue i had not thought of, and comfort. Maybe in her mind the color beige goes with everything.
      Concerning the wedges…they are very comfortable regardless of how high the heel. I’ve borrowed my daughter’s white wedges which are 5 inches or more and they are extremely comfortable.

  21. Jenna says:

    I really love the first dress, and am weirdly liking the grey as well, far more then I can really explain. (weirdly because I normally am totally anti-grey and washed out colors. I’m colorblind – red/green is fine, my issue is tones and saturation levels. Pastels honestly give me a migraine.) The grey fascinator/hat thingy is also a lovely touch. But if I have to pick, it’s the blue graphic dress all the way.

    Mainly because I’ve got something incredibly similar on my drafting table that I’m working on making a pattern for while I fabric hunt for the perfect material. I was thinking of just using a royal blue or white fabric and keeping it plain, but after seeing this dress, I am wondering about running the bolt of material through my embroidery machine and attempting something closer to this. I almost NEVER try to twin a dress I see on a celebrity, but this dress is calling me. No clue why, but why fight it? And there is NO way I’m paying $425 for an off the rack dress. That kind of dosh and I’ll make it myself and have it fit me just right!

  22. Maggie says:

    Gorgeous! Her legs are to die for.

  23. LT says:

    I must be the only woman in America who isn’t a fan of nude pumps, but I think they always look cheap. Unless you are under the age of 9, shoes lighter than your skin look cheap (my 7 year old daughter can rock a paid of white sandles, but no white or nude shoes for me). The coat is pretty, but too mature – the combo hat and coat make her look like she’s in her 40s.