Alessandra Rich ‘can’t ever say I’m not thrilled’ that Duchess Kate wears her dresses

The Duchess of Cambridge has been wearing a lot of Alessandra Rich looks this year. None of them have been very good, but the Rich dresses are all very “Kate.” There is usually a retro vibe to the looks, something pinched, ‘80s, shoulder padded and heavy on the Diana cosplay. I’m including photos of some of Kate’s Rich dresses in this post! I always thought that Kate or her people were going to Rich and her team to customize the looks. Not so much, as it turns out. Alessandra Rich gave an interesting interview to the Telegraph and the whole piece is about how Kate has been wearing a lot of Rich’s designs, but that Kate’s high-profile looks have sort of given Rich’s designs a weird reputation for being too fussy and conservative. You can read the Telegraph piece here. Some highlights:

Rich hasn’t even met Kate: Rich has never actually met the Duchess of Cambridge but since her polka dots emerged as Kate’s all-but official uniform for 2022, the designer has been thrust into the spotlight like never before. “It was a huge surprise for me,” says Rich in her strong Italian accent. “We only know she’s wearing one of the dresses when we see her in it – we’re never told anything in advance. We don’t ask and they don’t say.”

Most of Rich’s designs seem “rather too racy for our future Queen.” There are diamante-encrusted micro-mini dresses, bulky camouflage jackets and high-waisted leather trousers, all of which peddle a very different version of Italian style to the covered-up numbers Kate is so fond of. “Not everything I make is long dresses,” says Rich, almost sharply. “If you see Dua Lipa or Hailey Bieber wearing my brand, you will see there are many different types of women and clothing.” I ask if her popularity with the Duchess of Cambridge can be frustrating as it leaves her typecast, and she laughs. “I am super grateful. The buyers know the collection is bigger so it is fine that the public mostly knows the more conservative pieces. The Duchess of Cambridge is such a style icon, I can’t ever say I’m not thrilled she likes my clothes.”

Rich has never been particularly focused on appealing to the young. “I love my age, I love having clients who aren’t super young, because you know yourself better, you know what you want – this is true for everyone, so it must be true for the Duchess. I am just happy that what she wants at this stage of her life is my clothes.”

Rich’s favorite look on Kate was the dress she wore at Ascot: “She looked so beautiful. It was in crepe de chine, with an asymmetrical hem – she was like light in it, she looked amazing. It was the perfect choice for this incredible event. We don’t have things like Ascot in Italy so it’s wonderful for me to see women like the Duchess dressing up for it here.”

[From The Telegraph]

I think it’s interesting that Kate and Rich have never met! I really assumed that Kate worked with various designers or ateliers to customize certain looks to make them more “Kate.” You know, adding bows, ruffles, BUTTONS, shoulder puffs, frills, peplums and more buttons. It sounds like Rich just accidentally designed a bunch of fussy ‘80s stuff and Kate was like “yes please.” The rest of the interview is funny too – pointing out that Kate wears the most conservative pieces from her collections and that Rich isn’t interested in only appealing to young celebrities. LOL. I mean, yes, most 21-year-olds don’t want to look like prissy secretaries in 1982, but 40-year-old duchesses absolutely love it.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Instar.

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83 Responses to “Alessandra Rich ‘can’t ever say I’m not thrilled’ that Duchess Kate wears her dresses”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    The more I see pictures from the service for Philip, the more I realize how “off” Kate looked compared to the other guests, even in her own family. William, Charlotte and George are all wearing the same shade of blue and Kate’s in that black dress with the slit up the side and that huge ass hat.

    I don’t mind all of the Alessandra Rich dresses that Kate buys, but some require a lot more panache or sense of style to carry off and Kate just can’t do it. That yellow one was just ugly though.

    • Julia K says:

      Hijacking Philip’s funeral service was her ” I’m ready for my close up moment”, courtesy of her very own photographer and daytime diamonds.

      • Becks1 says:

        Oh yeah, that actual funeral was all about her, but I’m talking about the memorial service a year later, where she was in the Alessandra Rich with the big hat and George and Charlotte were there. She looked so different from everyone else there. Not even the Queen was wearing all black.

      • Jais says:

        Ah, my mind went to the black widow funeral costume too. The memorial is when she wore polka dots whereas mostly everyone else was dressed in low key solid colors. You know for a memorial.

      • Julia K says:

        Wrong service! Agree about the dress and hat.

      • Lux says:

        They were so worried about Meghan potentially coming and hijacking attention from the funeral that they forgot to check in with Keen to make sure she knew the dress code. Little did they know, her diamonds were polished and her black mask, tailored—ready for her Murder Mystery debut.

    • Jais says:

      So I really disliked all of the Rich polka dot dresses on Kate. Old fashioned and not even in a fun retro way. But for some reason @Becks1, I kind of love the yellow one… it’s weird I know.
      It looks like something a character from Murder She Wrote would have worn, so yeah it’s pretty costumey. So maybe I just want to wear it to a costume party and that’s prob not what Kate was going for. At the same time, the funeral outfit was pretty costumey too.

      • Becks1 says:

        for an 80s costume party, that yellow one would be perfect. I don’t think that’s what Kate was going for though LOL.

      • Jais says:

        Now, I’m imagining a royal version of clue. It was Andrew at Balmoral with the pedophile. It was William at Anmer with the pruning shears. It was Kate at Windsor Castle with the tears.

      • SarahCS says:

        I had a barbie in the 80’s and I swear she had that yellow dress as an outfit.

      • Deering24 says:

        Jais—🤣🤣 Or Kate at Adelaide with the buttons. 😈🤪

    • Geegee says:

      Preening in 80s couture is hilarious. She thought she looked good. And she looked like she came eight of the dynasty set….pure 80s soap opera villan.

    • Nic919 says:

      I had read that the Rich outfits were supposed to be worn ironically but Kate styles them literally because she thinks they are replica 80s outfits. As in the polka dot dresses get worn with doc martens or something like that.

      Kate just doesn’t get it and I think that’s what Rich was trying to say without being too obvious.

      • Harper says:

        That’s my impression too. Add pigtails or something too, like an anime character, not a keen Duchess.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        Agreed. Dare I say, I’d be able to pull off that Ascot look (though with different shoes, girl!) because you need to wear it with a wink and some panache. She doesn’t have that.

    • Nic919 says:

      She dressed like Wallis Simpson at the funeral and Mary Poppins at the memorial service. In both cases she was out of place.

    • Sunday says:

      100%. Will, George, and Charlotte are all nicely coordinated and look like a matching unit, and then there’s Kate. It’s true that she likes to stand out (hot pink at the 9/11 memorial), but she could have done that while still incorporating the blue into her outfit. Given what we’ve seen lately, it does make you go hmmmm, like how George was wearing a stifling suit when he arrived with her but Charlotte was wearing age-appropriate sandals and sundress when she arrived with William. It really gives the impression that someone else handles the dressing at William’s.

      This whole article is pretty weird, not exactly the fawning coverage she usually gets.

    • Geegee says:

      You guys have to do an ugliest dresses countdown for kate. That yellow monstrosity has to be on it.

    • Andrea says:

      Every time I see that picture from the memorial, her huge smile gets even more bizarre. Lady, it’s a funeral! Just because you see a camera pointed at your face doesn’t mean you should break out your huge fake grin.

    • Betsy says:

      I was just thinking the same thing – like if she had a personality or something endearing, I’d really like her banana crap crazy clothing. Like a Chris Pine type deal.

      Her clothes are SO BAD that I love them as costumes though. I mean they’re just not clothes, they’re a uniform of attention hogging.

  2. raindrop says:

    “I can’t ever say I’m not thrilled.” Subtle.

    • DouchesOfCambridge says:

      “I love having clients who aren’t super young“ 😂 she’s not gonna wear that brand ever again 😂

      • Lux says:

        So hilarious, indeed! The truth is, I really didn’t know that young women wore her stuff; I don’t keep up with Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa (who are both gorgeous and can pull off anything) and I’m glad Rich pointed them out because my association w her stuff is literally polka dotted, high-collared button down dresses. I don’t think “young” and I definitely don’t think “fashion forward.” Good for her for setting the record straight 😅

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I don’t like any of the Rich looks on Kate, though I kind of like the 80’s call back. I don’t like KKKate so I’ll be honest, I can’t separate what may or may not look good on her. Mostly everything looks awful.

    • kelleybelle says:

      Some of her outfits look like 1950s secretary garb. Some of the hats? Just no. She’s only 40, not 65.

    • Lizzie says:

      I lived through the 80’s and managed to stay away from this supper fussy look. Never wore a bow or ruffles. Not one of these dresses would I give a nickel.

      • sparky says:

        Right? I had my fair share of Laura Ashley dresses but none were as over the top as a typical Kate outfit!

  4. Julia K says:

    That 2 piece yellow monstrosity lives on in my nightmares. I cannot believe she designed this fully expecting someone to buy it.

    • Chloe says:

      First time i saw the pictures of her in that dress i recoiled. A dress of my nightmares. I genuinely don’t understand how kate thought that was a good look. It’s too fussy even for her taste.

      • Em says:

        I think she and her people know that *hideous* style is appreciated by her stuffy, conservative, and traditional fanbase. That’s my only guess.

        I mean she’s basically broadcasting that she is not a progressive, modern woman with that dress. And they love her for that.

    • Lorelei says:

      Same. I would pay to never have a photo of that monstrosity pop up on my screen ever again. It’s so ugly it pains me to even have to look at her in that thing

  5. Aurora says:

    I think it’s interesting that Kate doesn’t collaborate with the designers she wears. I’ll bet the changes she makes to the clothes are done by her private tailor. Kate doesn’t realize she’s being offensive altering designs in a way that subverts the designers vision. No wonder a lot of the designers don’t mention Kate on their websites.

    It’s obvious Meghan collaborates with designers. Dior & Valentino were happy to mention her.

    • Eurydice says:

      It’s an interesting message – I like your designs, but…not so much.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Kate definitely works with Jenny Packham, McQueen and Emilia Wickstead. I just assumed she did the same with Rich. If the changes were subtle it would be fine but some of the changes Kate has made have changed the designer’s vision for her clothes and I would understand if she was pissed off by that.

    • Green girl says:

      It’s offensive to make her level of alterations (beyond a simple adjustment to the hem or similar). It can also send the wrong message about the designer and give people the wrong impression of their work. If you don’t know how much Kate altered a dress, you might think it’s how the designer envisioned it and think poorly of them.

      • Nic919 says:

        A tweet from 2019 popped this weekend stating that while H and M were always pleasant to deal with, kate and her mother have been banned from certain dressmakers because of their rudeness.

  6. Lady D says:

    I guess I should check out her whole collection, but at the moment I’m seriously underwhelmed by her designs. There is not one dress on Kate here that I would wear.

  7. Chloe says:

    I sincerely hope kate sticks with these dresses because they are absolutely hideous

    • Lady D says:

      LOL. That’s not at all evil. Can I be your friend?

    • windyriver says:

      “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.” (Alice Roosevelt)

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @Chloe, AWESOME. You expressed my thoughts and I love polka dots. I hate that Kate’s excessive wearing of them is turning me off. Then again, when I wear polka dots, it’s not with ruffles, buttons, fluffery and big @ss hats. Simple(polka dots) is best with a splash of colorl

      We’ve been hearing for years how Kate is coming into her own. Cackled that Rich said, “I am just happy that what she wants at THIS STAGE OF HER LIFE is my clothes.”.

  8. AmelieOriginal says:

    I’ve pretty much disliked every single Alessandra Rich dress Kate has worn so I’m curious to see what the rest of the designer’s collection looks like because Kate truly wears the most hideous ones. The only one I’ve been “okay not so bad” is the one Alessandra mentions, the white brown polka dot dress Kate wore at Ascot! So we agree on that. Oh and she wore an Alessandra Rich navy blue polka dot skirt with a white top and that was okay too.

    • ILady D says:

      I just checked out her F/W collection and I remain seriously underwhelmed with her fashion. Her earrings are a big no for me too.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Just took a look myself. Not my style at all. Lacks sophistication and refinement. Having said that, Kate manages to make her clothes look even worse than they are. Quite an accomplishment.

  9. Laalaa says:

    Wow, I just checked her collection and it is so different than Kate makes it seem!

    • Moira's Rose's Garden says:

      I did the same and was actually surprised that the collection is so different that what we see on KKKHate.

      Of course, my money’s on her wearing this one next time

      • Jais says:

        Omg. That dress. The model wearing it looks kind of edgy but Kate would wear it so literally. I cannot unsee her in it now, esp. with the sister wife collar.

      • Erin says:

        Yikes! That one might me the worst one I’ve seen yet and I bet Kate already has it being tailored somewhere to make it a high ruffle neck instead of that deep v cut.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Moira, omg that one is DEFINITELY in her closet (wherever her closet is these days, lol) already. It positively screams “Kate”

      • Becks1 says:

        omg, she definitely has that, it reminds me of that hideous pink Dior she wore in Ireland.

        But its a good example of what people are saying above – look how its styled on the website, with the tstrap pumps and the belt and the necklace. It’s definitely an edgier look, Kate would wear it literally.

      • SarahCS says:

        OH MY EYES.

        And yes, if this isn’t already in one of her (many) wardrobes it’s on the wishlist.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        Dying! I just looked at the collection and picked that SAME dress for her!

      • Lux says:

        All that money for something my mother didn’t think twice about donating to Goodwill.

        I will admit that they styled the model well. The belt, necklace and shoes distract from the “hideum” and turn it into weird girl chic.

      • Red Weather Tiger says:

        She’ll definitely be rocking the “Miss Beadle” for fall 2022!

      • Osty says:

        It’s not about how she styles it, Kate can style it exactly as the model in the pic but still look foolish in it. Its the person wearing it and Kate doesn’t have it . She is a lightweight

      • Deering24 says:

        Yipes! Damn, that dress is awful. How did Rich think this would look good on anyone?

  10. Amy Bee says:

    I get the feeling that Ms Rich is not thrilled that Kate is wearing her designs. She does tend to make a brand appear to be dowdy. She’s done that with McQueen and we know that is far from the truth.

    • Nic919 says:

      McQueen when he was alive used to be fashion forward and on the edge. Sarah Burton has dulled the brand to mediocrity starting with being known for Kate’s wedding dress.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Lee McQueen would most likely have refused to dress Kate had he been alive when she married into the BRF. He hated the royals.

  11. M says:

    The problem with Kate wearing this brand is that the designs are meant to be fun and kind of campy but Kate makes them so…literal? I have a hard time believing that the designer thrilled to see Kate in her clothes mainly because she’s the brands biggest celebrity fan and they absolutely never post on Instagram about her when she wears one of their dresses like they normally do for others.

    • Lorelei says:

      I can see brands like LK Bennett or Reiss being happy when she wears them, because her fans actually do buy a lot of her stuff when it’s in that price range, so they directly profit from it.

      But her fans are not spending four figures on a dress, so there’s nothing in it for Rich. Except a reputation for hideous designs.

      • The Hench says:

        One could argue that it might actually harm her business. The kind of fashion forward people who can afford Alessandra Rich prices are not the kind of people who want to be thought to be following Keen’s fashion lead.

  12. Woke says:

    She loves the attention it brings but not the reputation of being a brand that only does retro and fussy designs. She’s being subtle about it.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    Rich’s comments confirm to me that Khate mostly buys off rack and then alters herself with her stylist, hence the sh!t tailoring work. I still think she works with Burton at McQueen for all those coatdresses.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    Of course Kate hasn’t met the Designer as THAT would require being savvy regarding the media & branding…which would mean Kate would have to WORK…and Kate has shown AD NASEUM that she IS NOT about that WORK life.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Gaad the 80s dresses. No no no no no. I gladly left the 80s Dec. 31st 1989 with a big fat party and refuse to wear anything from that decade lol. Except my combat boots.

  16. February Pisces says:

    Kate has a unique ability to make every outfit she wears look dead. She tall and thin and should be able to wear anything, yet everything she wears does nothing for her, or the brand. If seen some of their other clothes and the brand has way more of an edge that you would realise from looking at kate. I think the designer really want people to know they are actually ‘cool’ because kate makes the pieces she wears look dowdy af.

    • Nic919 says:

      Exactly. Abigail Spencer wore a dress to the wedding that kate has also worn, but it did not look Ike a sister wife special on Abigail.

      • February Pisces says:

        I know which dress you mean. Sarah Jessica Parker wore the same dress and looked amazing in it.

    • Duchess of Hazard says:

      With Kate, everything looks as if it’s from Boden or Joules or Seasalt. Middle class, English , conservative Tory voting

  17. Lorelei says:

    Damning by faint praise!

  18. Buddy says:

    When I first saw that yellow dress, for the life of me, I could not figure out what the designer was going for. It was like all the craziest trends from the 80s in one dress. Then Tatiana Santo Domingo Casiraghi stepped out in a dark blue/black version of the dress (not actually sure who wore it first) and it made much more sense. It looks really really good with modern accessories. Kate actually then wore the same one to Wimbledon somehow making it seem super dated again.

  19. Colleen says:

    Is this the same yellow dress as above? It looks way better on the model.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      With Khate everything looks better on the model – in fact it looks better on the hanger.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      Rich’s looks are kind of a retro 80s trashy, rich bitch, kept woman vibe, all tongue in cheek, especially the way she styles it. There is definitely a bit of irony to her looks. Sometimes the issue in general that Kate sometimes makes style wise, is that assuming because you’re thin you can wear everything. Everyone, regardless of size, has their body quirks and not everything works for them. She definitely seems most comfortable style wise in these types of dresses and coat dresses, a bit fussy and dated. She often looks like a tour guide when she wears more modern suits because she often gets the proportions wrong.

  20. Kokiri says:

    That’s just sad, and pathetic.

    Here is yet another chance for K to do something, she could highlight this designer. Promote her line, send out photos of them. Not that the designer needs it, but it’s something nice to do as a thank you for creating a dress K likes.
    To not even tell her is weird. I think, considering the free time K has, networking with the designers she wears to official functions would be a given.

  21. L4Frimaire says:

    I generally find her dresses Kate wears too fussy with too much detail, too much shoulder, but agree that the Ascot dress was a good look, partly because it’s a simpler design and the proportions are good on her. She can keep the rest though, especially that yellow curtain.

    • Nic919 says:

      She ruined that white ascot dress with the Mary poppins straw hat. Again she was too literal and it looked like cosplay. The brown shoes weren’t great either. But the ascot did provide a gif of her giving a real bitch face to someone and it really did provide a window on her true self, even though she was in public

  22. TEALIEF says:

    Rich has a definitive 80’s design pov and aesthetic. So much so, it comes across as costume design rather than fashion design.  It requires styling, a je ne sais quoi cool, a chill person to lighten the heavy-handed design elements. Kate isn’t chill. She’s chilly, rigid and forced. She is literal in everything does, and, by extension, everything she wears. There is no irony, no metaphor, no subtext. Kate is a literal anchor dragging down already weighted and dated design.

  23. Carrie says:

    I thought the yellow dress looked like something Eva Peron would wear.

  24. Likeyoucare says:

    Why do i read the article and thought that the designer didnt want kate to wear their design cause kate cheapen their style aesthetic value.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Likeyoucare, I wouldn’t be surprised. Think of all of the women who probably don’t bother to look at her collections because of seeing what Kate looks like while wearing her dresses.

    • Nic919 says:

      It’s subtle but there. People who like Kate’s style don’t have the money to buy these dresses. They are just royalist ass kissers who praise her sister wife nonsense. The women who are known as arbiters of style and can set a trend are who Rich wants to wear her stuff. Kate might be known, but her style isn’t ground breaking and she is the anti Diana with her fashion sense. Basically if kate has worn it the style is dead. Or she’s copying a trend already started by someone else.