You can accuse the Duchess of Cambridge of many things, but not having brand loyalty isn’t one of them. Kate accompanied the Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as the organization’s president, to the annual BAFTA awards show today, held at Royal Albert Hall in London. There was much anticipation over what Kate would wear and I think all of us had our fingers crossed for a new evening gown – for a woman known for her sartorial restraint and responsible outfit recycling, true red carpet “wow” moments can be few and far between. But Kate stepped out in what appears to be a bespoke version of an off-the-shoulder gown from the 2016 resort line of Alexander McQueen, complete with a floral print, dramatic updo and larger jewelry than what she usually favors. Personally, I think she killed it.
William and Kate arriving on the red carpet:
Aaand entering the auditorium:
Let’s start with the gown: Besides being beautiful, I think this dress is a perfect blend of elements which Kate prefers, while still being the slight step outside her comfort zone that the rest of us like to occasionally see. The ruffle is reminiscent of the controversial floral Erdem she wore in the autumn of 2015, but it’s been pretty clear over the years that Kate enjoys her ruffles, and why not? She swapped out the slim straps of the original gown for an off-the-shoulder look, most recently seen by her Barbara Casasola dress in 2016, but one that Kate hasn’t shied away from even as far back as her strapless black velvet McQueen in December 2011.
Historically, royalty has steered clear of wearing black for formal engagements, but that rule has been broken many times before and Kate, for one, has never seemed bothered by it. In this case, I like that what could be a very fitted, low-cut black evening gown has been given a slight touch of whimsy with the floral print, lightening its overall effect. It adds a pop of color, it makes the gown a bit bolder and it ties in nicely with Kate’s clear attraction towards prints – and God knows, she has the height for it.
Whoever did Kate’s hair should be given a knighthood. While Kate has been relying on updos, mainly chignons, more and more over the last 18 months, it’s only sometimes that they deliver their desired effect. Here she has volume without forgoing the soft looseness of her hair framing her face, a style that perfectly complements the off-the-shoulder detailing of the gown’s neckline.
Her earrings, which are a bit larger than what Kate generally wears, are, to-date, unidentified, but they’re a nice touch of bling without the addition of a necklace that would have distracted from the gown.
All in all, a win.
Now, in the lead up to this event there was widespread speculation that BAFTA had asked William not to bring Kate due to fear she would overshadow the celebrities attending. Did she? Yes, of course. But BAFTA has denied those claims and, frankly, it’s a little difficult to believe the story because why in God’s name would you ask that one of the most photographed women in the world not show up to your awards show? In any event, the last time William attended was in 2014, which he did solo. You can read more on the issue here.
We’ll next see Kate on Tuesday when she visits a development camp at RAF Wittering in Peterborough.
To see the looks from all of Kate’s engagements this year, see here.