At first blush I actually thought that Kate was making her second recycle of the day by bringing back the crimson Paule Ka separates she wore back in 2012. But no! Instead Kate has given us a major designer debut by wearing a plum-colored Oscar de la Renta skirt suit, a brand whose clothes the Duchess has never publicly been seen in before. (In October 2016 she did wear a pair of their earrings with an Erdem coat for an engagement in Manchester.)
This follows a trend that has been ongoing since Kate returned from maternity leave in the autumn of 2015 where she is slowly but surely seguing her wardrobe towards higher-end labels. The last time there was a new brand introduced into the mix on this scale was when she showed up to a meeting during the 2015 Chinese state visit wearing a lace cocktail dress by Dolce & Gabbana.
Both debuts are particularly noticeable because they aren’t British brands – Oscar de la Renta is, of course, a Dominican-American designer who first rose to prominence in the 1960s by dressing then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
I must say, however, that while I’m pleased Kate is branching out into new designers and isn’t afraid to take on the larger fashion houses I’m a bit underwhelmed by this choice. (I was underwhelmed by her D&G pick as well, though for different reasons – that dress struck me as way too intense for a day event.) I like the idea behind this skirt suit, and I love the color, but get the same feeling I often do with Kate’s outfits, which is that it’s a half-formed thought. Because of the volume of the skirt, I think this look would have been vastly improved by an updo and ditching the black stockings.
This evening’s engagement was held by the Guild of Health Writers at Chandos House in London, where they hosted a conference on the “Anxiety Epidemic.” The conference is supported by William and Kate’s joint initiative, Heads Together, which they patronize alongside Prince Harry.
The couple met with members of the Guild and William made a speech on the topic of mental health and male suicide. BBC reporter Peter Hunt tweeted this quote:
And the Kensington Palace Twitter handle included this photo:
You can better see here the detailing and texture of the suit here:
For now, the next item on the agenda is this coming Sunday when William and Kate are expected to attend the BAFTAs. Fingers crossed we get a new evening gown from the Duchess.
See all of the looks from Kate’s recent engagements here.