Kate's Royal Tour Style Gets the Thumbs Up Down Under
The Duchess of Cambridge's wardrobe choices are earning high marks from experts
Having left her fashionable mark on New Zealand and made a bright entrance in Australia, royal watchers agree there were no fashion faux pas, but instead an array of beautiful and smart dress coats with a good mix of mostly British and New Zealand designers.
“If part of Kate’s role is to look ‘pleasing’ then job done!” says Lisa Armstrong, fashion editor at the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, adding, “She has obviously worked out what suits her.”
From a bespoke cornflower blue utility coat dress by Alexander McQueen worn to a service of remembrance to her fave casual combo of skinny jeans and breton top to go yacht racing, Kate’s choices are always appropriate and well thought out. But except for a diamond fern brooch loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II (a gift to the Queen during her first tour of New Zealand) there have been fewer of the literal fashion gestures we saw in Canada, like her maple leaf hat.
“Kate hasn’t gone over the top referencing New Zealand designers,” says Claudia Bradby, a jewelry designer who has worked with Kate in the past. “Her wardrobe so far has worked brilliantly. She has obviously approached it very professionally with her thoughtful nod to local designers [Kate wore a dress by Emilia Wickstead and a Rebecca Taylor suit, both New Zealand-born], colors and customs.”
Kate also managed to squeeze in a little of her signature rewear magic by sporting a Luisa Spagnoli red dress and jacket that she wore in 2011. “She looks amazing in red and she knows it!” Nicoletta Spagnoli, CEO and president of Luisa Spagnoli, tells PEOPLE. It was a particularly poignant choice, as she had previously worn the Italian-made dress to sign the book of condolence in London for the victims of the New Zealand earthquake (and the red-and-black hues nodded to the traditional colors of the region).
While her style choices seems to be growing in confidence and the “Kate effect” is very much a thing (her recent Diane von Furstenberg dress sold out in eight minutes!), does the Duchess of Cambridge really set trends? “I think she has genuinely brought hats back into fashion for younger women – no one was wearing hats to weddings before, like they do now,” Armstrong says. “Kate does do traditional very well – I think she is being very true to herself.”
Bradby, who attended the royal wedding in 2011, couldn’t agree more. “Kate’s look is very in tune with her character: understated, classy and loyal.”