Kate in Ice Blue Jenny Packham for First Night in Paris

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For the day’s fourth and final engagement, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were received at a black tie dinner at the British Embassy. The 18th century ballroom was full of about 150 guests, including film and sports stars, and William made another brief speech expressing the Queen’s warm feelings towards France and its people.

One element of the entertainment was the group Kids United, who sang Pharrell’s “Happy,” one of the songs to which William was filmed dancing while in Verbier. According to the press coverage the only reaction William had was to briefly glance at Kate, and when the song was over he graciously stood up and congratulated the children on their performance.

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Kate’s wearing of Jenny Packham marks the third British designer she has showcased in Paris, however the label is very much one she favors for high-stakes formal events. In this case, I thought it was a beautiful choice. I love the color and the drama that the sequins and embellishments lent the gown when it moved. I particularly love its vintage-feeling neckline and sleeves. Something about it made me feel as though Princess Margaret or even Jacqueline Kennedy wouldn’t have looked out of place wearing it in the early 1960s.

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Kate paired the gown with champagne-colored accessories and the sparkling Oscar de la Renta heels she first debuted at the UK-India reception at Buckingham Palace last month.

The dress’s closest sister in Kate’s wardrobe is the pink Jenny Packham she first wore shortly after her 2011 wedding, but I think I prefer last night’s blue. It feels like the slightly more grown up version and I think it was pitch perfect for the setting.

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While I think many were excited to see Kate show off a slew of French labels and step outside her style’s comfort zone, more and more she has shied away from basing her wardrobe on fashion of her host country. It was certainly far more dominant a trend during the Cambridges’ 2011 and 2012 overseas tours, and considerably tapered off for their 2014 and 2016 tours.

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She sticks by not only British brands, but those in which she feels comfortable and knows will do the job. Would it have been more exciting if she had walked into the room in a showstopping Balmain? Sure, but it would also have looked a bit like the Duchess was playing dress up and I can get why she’s wary of doing so.

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Anyway, seeing as today’s engagements have already happened I’m playing catch up and will move on to writing those up!

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