The Duchess of Cambridge – Let’s give Kate a break.

Well, it had to happen, the knives are already out in the fashion world for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. The always immaculate Duchess is being criticised online for her choice of wardrobe for the tour of Canada.

I am beginning to feel  really sorry for Kate, it seems that she really can’t please all the people, all the time. When she wears the High Street she is told she should be supporting British Designers by the likes of Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman and Grazia’s Laura Craik. When she recycles outfits there are moans about wearing something new. And now she is being accused of playing it too safe and being boring!

The latest round of comments have been posted on one of my most beloved fashion websites, ‘The red carpet fashion awards’. Looking at the latest Kate outfit yesterday, the beautiful Alexander McQueen wool knit dress that evoked the style of early 1920s Chanel,I was surprised by the vitriolic comments that had been posted. ‘Bored’, ‘so bored of her already’, ‘so basic’, ‘aging by the day’, ‘disappointed’, ‘looks like a grandma’s outfit’, the comments go on and on. So I think it’s about time someone spoke up in Kate’s defence.

I think Kate has done a fabulous job on this tour so far.She has produced a wardrobe,without the aid of a stylist or dresser, that has been able to showcase British High Street (Reiss, LK Bennett), British based designers (McQueen, Issa, Roland Mouret, Catherine Walker), and also Canadian designers- as a tribute to  the host nation (Erdem  on two occasions). She has recycled looks to avoid the tag of spendthrift – the Issa dress and the Reiss Nannette. She has worn her hair in many variations and hasn’t worn too many fascinators. She has worn fashion forward looks – particularly the Erdem, and has also managed to boost sales for Joseph and Anya Hindmarch. She has done all this whilst remaining elegant, smart, stylish, appropriately Duchess like and retaining elements of wardrobe control. What exactly is not to like?

Kate is accused of being boring – but she is a Duchess, she can’t dress sexy like Cheryl Cole or any  other member of Girls Aloud. She has to maintain dignity, but also be comfortable, being on her feet for long  periods of time – hence the low heeled shoes. She also has to promote the British Fashion Industry without appearing overly spendthrift during difficult times. There have been moans about the amount of column  dresses and shift dresses she has worn, with calls to mix it up. But these genuinely suit Kate and her figure, and true style icons don’t mix it up all that much – think Jackie Kennedy and her shift dresses and pill box hats, Kate Moss in her endless wardrobe of skinny jeans and Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy. When  members of the Royal family do mix it up, they often face ridicule anyway – think Beatrice and Eugenie at the Royal wedding, or Diana in America with her wet look hair and Galliano dress that  was said to look like a nightie – fashion forward but not for Royalty.

Kate is still developing her own royal style and this doesn’t happen overnight,  let any of us try to adapt that suddenly to a wardrobe full of constraints. So what if she loves navy, this is probably her alternative to black, and she looks fab in this strong shade. I hope that the Kate critics take a step back and give her a break. She couldn’t go out looking like Lady Gaga, even if she wanted too!

Kate’s amazing Canadian wardrobe…This woman really knows how to dress!

William and Kate have begun their Canadian tour in some style, with all eyes on Kate and her amazing array of outfits. There are some old favourites making a reappearance, but also some amazing new pieces with true designer credentials. These are looks that will have fashion editors salivating over the new saviour of British fashion. Here is the low down on the outfits so far.

Airport chic

This outfit would be sure to guarantee you an upgrade! Kate looked super smart when she left the UK to begin her Canadian Odyssey. Head to toe in navy, Kate wore a Roland Mouret ‘Manon’ dress, a blazer by Canadian brand Smythe and a lustworthy Mulberry Polly Push Lock bag. This was a very businesslike outfit that looked super chic on Kate, although one comment in the London Metro said that Kate resembled an air hostess. and claimed she had put ‘comfort before style.’ What tosh!

Arriving in Canada

Princess Diana was always very clever in acknowledging fashion from a host nation whenever she was on a tour, wearing Chanel in France and Escada in Germany. Kate has obviously been paying attention to this little fashion tribute, and emerged from the aeroplane to give Canada its first glimpse of its future Queen, wearing a dress by Canadian designer Erdem. This was a show-stopping, navy and stone, scooped back shift dress that Kate teamed with trusty nude accessories from LK Bennett. An absolute triumph, and one of my favourite Kate outfits so far.

Outfit 3 – An old favourite reappears

Kate dug deep into her wardrobe to find an old favourite to wear for an informal barbecue on her first evening in Canada. The swallow print Issa dress was the same one that Kate wore the night before her wedding at the Goring hotel. With those trusty LK Bennett wedges that were recently relaunched in UK dress stores, Kate hits all the right fashion notes in an outfit that was perfectly appropriate for a more relaxed event.

Canada Day Celebrations

Another day, another old favourite. Kate cleverly dresses to echo the colours of the Canada flag on Canada Day wearing the Reiss Nannette dress last seen on Mario Testino’s lovely engagement shots. She added an already sold out clutch from Anya Hindmarch and a red Sylvia Fletcher fascinator, that looked like it had maple leaves on the top. The finishing touch was the diamond maple leaf pin from the Queen’s personal jewellery collection. This look really revamped the Nannette dress and is a great advert for the struggling British High Street.

evening gown uk

So far you would have to award Kate an A for effort. She has been flawless and there has been enough old and new to please the fashion pack. With 30 outfits promised for this tour, I really can’t wait to see what comes next!