Kate Features German Designer Markus Lupfer at Claerchens Ballhaus

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I’m a little late to the party, but before we cover today’s engagements in Hamburg we need to wrap up last night’s rather fabulous reception in Berlin. If you missed it, you can catch up on Heidelberg here.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ended their second day in Germany with another reception, this time at Claerchens Ballhaus. Over a century old, the venue is one of the last remaining ballrooms in Berlin, featuring a mirrored hall in which the event was held.

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Meant to introduce the couple to Germany’s biggest names in art, fashion, technology and culture, it was quite the soiree, even including a playlist by DJ Goldierocks.

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You can get a sense of the atmosphere from video that Kensington Palace posted on Twitter:

Frankly, it seemed like a pretty fun party, for all that it was “work.” Similar to the reception in Warsaw during which Kate picked a Polish designer, she featured a German designer tonight by wearing a dress by Markus Lupfer. The brand, while new to Kate (in public at least), has been wore by her sister, Pippa Middleton, and a slew of celebrities.

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This particular gown features a sparrow print, which shows up on a number of the label’s pre-fall apparel. And while overall the designs seem somewhat edgy for our usually traditional duchess, this particular dress is right up her alley. The high neckline, ability to belt it, midi-esque length and bold print – you can see why this appealed to Kate.

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I like to imagine they’re just staring each other down here

While I wouldn’t necessarily choose this dress for myself, I quite like the print and I think it looks gorgeous on Kate. Taking a look at the tour’s wardrobe as a whole, I would almost have swapped last night’s look with Wednesday’s in terms of matching them to each venue, but I also think each was still completely appropriate.

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She paired this dress with the same Prada sandals she wore on Wednesday, as well as a pearl bracelet that once belonged to the late Princess of Wales. It always causes a little flurry when Diana’s jewelry makes an appearance and last night was no different. I like the unspoken nod to her mother-in-law – elements of Diana’s famous sense of style silently showing up at today’s royal engagements seems like a fitting way to honor her now and again.

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I noticed today that something has been going on this tour that I don’t think we’ve seen since the 2011 tour of Canada and the U.S., though it might have during the Southeast Asia tour in 2012 and I’m just forgetting. Kate hasn’t worn a single repeat look clothing-wise. While some of her shoes and accessories are recycles, each and every garment has been a debut.

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Even in Paris, the fashion capitol of the world, Kate wore a red Carolina Herrera coat first worn in Canada last year. In my opinion, we’ve certainly seen a style shift over the last couple of weeks, one that has been (in)consistently in the making since she returned from maternity leave with Princess Charlotte. It certainly seems like Kate is feeling more comfortable having fun with her fashion, which makes sense – not only is she more confident in her role as time goes on, but it’s certainly easier to have the head space for it once the children are a little older.

Then again, my entire theory might be blown to pieces later today by whatever Kate wears for Hamburg and the final departure. Either way, I’ll see you then!

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