Your Favorite 2023 New Dress & Fashion Notes – What Kate Wore

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Two very quick news updates on the health of the King and the Princess of Wales. Yesterday, the King held his first weekly meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak since his cancer diagnosis. 

When chatting with the PM, King Charles shared that the many messages of support “reduced me to tears.” The King also held a Privy Council meeting yesterday; both events were at Buckingham Palace. 

We remain in the “no news is good news” zone with the Princess’s health. The Wales family is believed to be back in Windsor, as the children’s mid-term break from school ended on Monday.  

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Now for our poll looking at the new dress styles worn by the Princess of Wales in 2023. We begin with the Cefinn Studio dress worn for mid-January engagements with the Prince of Wales in Merseyside. 

The Princess chose a navy blue Cefinn Studio Eva Dress in navy. Made of a ribbed merino wool knit with a touch of nylon, the Eva is a key piece for the label. On the site, it is described as “…the perfect versatile knit. Crafted in a super-soft merino-wool blend that’s both machine-washable and pill-proof, you’ll feel pulled together even on the busiest of days.”

Accessories included the Princess’s Mulberry Amberley Small Satchel Handbag, navy suede Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps, and her sapphire and diamond earrings. 

Later in January, for the official launch of her “Shaping Us” campaign today in Leeds, the Princess chose a dress by Victoria Beckham.

The Cotton-blend Midi Dress is made in a cotton/elastane/polyamide/viscose fabric. It features a fit and flare silhouette with pointelle knitwork, a mockneck with yellow tipping, the same tipping above the cuffs, and ribbed sleeves. In the accessories department, we saw the return of the Gianvito Rossi bespoke boots, the Micro Bold Leather Shoulder Bag by Manu Atelier, the Shyla London Biarritz Squiggle Earrings, and a new belt by Vanzetti.  

When visiting Birmingham in April, the Princess was in a dress by Karen Millen

The Woven Pleated Midi Trench Dress (now sold out) is made of polyester and described this way: “Part dress, part trench coat, this beautifully cut design shows off neat notched lapels, a waist tie, and crisp pleats lining the skirt. Cinch it in for a nipped-in silhouette…”. The Princess accessorized with her Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps in Bordeaux suede and Sézane’ Dina’ earrings.

The Princess wore the Mortimer Ditsy Floral Print Dress in early May for a coronation rehearsal at Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos from this event, so I have not included it in the poll, but wanted to note it here. 

At a pre-coronation reception and walkabout, the Princess chose what is likely a Jenny Packham design.

The creamy white dress featured a classic sheath silhouette, with the addition of black trim at the neckline and the waist. Accessories included the Aquazzura Bow Tie Pumps, black Prada clutch, and the Bahrain Pearl and Diamond Drop earrings.

The white dress is similar to the blue sheath the Princess wore in Northern Ireland in October 2022 and the black design worn to view floral tributes at Windsor following the Queen’s death in 2022. There are some minor differences, but I thought at the time the white dress was worn, it was likely a bespoke Jenny Packham piece, and I still feel that way.

At a second reception ahead of the coronation, the Princess was in a deep blue Self-Portrait dress.

The Self-Portrait Stretch Crepe Twisted Collar Midi Dress (now sold out) is 100% polyester. It features a ruched and asymmetrically draped skirt, twisted neckline, puffed sleeves, and oversized diamante buttons at the shoulder.

The Princess accessorized with her Aquazzura Love Link Sling Heels in ‘blueberry’ grosgrain, Jenny Packham’ Casa’ clutch, and the Queen Mother’s Sapphire and Diamond Earrings. 

We saw a familiar piece in a new color when the Princess wore the emerald green version of Suzannah’s Flippy Wiggle Dress for a visit to the Anna Freud Centre in April. The Princess has worn this design in white.

The shirtdress-style design is made of Italian silk crepe with pintucks at the waist and yoke, puffed short sleeves, and navy silk-covered buttons, and it comes with a thin self-belt. For accessories, the Princess selected her Alessandra Rich Fab 85 Two-Tone Pumps in Beige Black (now sold out) and a new pair of Accessorize earrings. 

For a mid-June Early Years engagement, the Princess was in another Cefinn Studio design, the label’s ‘Petra’ Leopard-Print Silk Dress (no longer available).

The all-silk design showcases Cefinn’s signature leopard pansy print. The midi-length shirtwaist style featured a spread collar, button front, side slit, elastic at the waist, a self-tie, pleated and raised shoulders, and a back yoke.

The Princess accessorized with her Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody Bag, Jimmy Choo Romy 85 pumps, and a new pair of Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Pear Drop Earrings.

June brings many high-profile events, including Trooping the Colour. This year, the Princess chose a dress by Andrew Gn, a Singaporean designer whose label is based in Paris. In the blog post, I initially referred to the style as a coatdress, but a reader pointed out the back zipper on the garment, so I have it in the dress category.

The vivid green piece showcases brooch-like embellishments atop fabric bands at the hip and bodice and a smooth satin band at the neckline. The black version of the dress is a viscose/acetate/silk blend; it’s possible the Princess’s dress is made in the same fabric blend.

The Princess accessorized with a Philip Treacy hat, the Aquazzura ‘Purist’ 105 heels in emerald green, her LK Bennett Dora Envelope Clutch, diamond and sapphire earrings, and the Cartier Shamrock brooch. 

Next on the June calendar was Order of the Garter, where the Princess opted for an Alessandra Rich design.

The custom design was crafted in a fine polka dot print in a midi-length. It included puffed, raised sleeves, a high gathered neck, and a cinched-in waist defined by gathered fabric.

The Princess accessorized with a new pair of two-tone slingback heels by Jennifer Chamandi, a new Strathberry clutch, a new Philip Treacy hat, the Collingwood Earrings, and the Nigel Milne triple-strand pearl bracelet. 

The busy June week also included an engagement marking the official reopening of the National Portrait Gallery. 

For this event, the Princess chose a Self-Portrait design. The label’s Metallic Bouclé and Chiffon Midi Dress featured a tailored bouclé ‘jacket’ with a pleated skirt, both made of polyester. The jacket has a cinched waist and belt, shoulder pads, contrasting crystal-embellished trim at the neckline, center front, and cuffs. The pleated chiffon skirt has a floaty, soft feel.

The Princess paired a new Chanel clutch with her Aquazzura Bow Tie pumps and wore her Imitation Pearl and Diamond Earrings by Heavenly London. 

A busy June wrapped up with Royal Ascot when the Princess wore a vibrant red dress by Alexander McQueen.

The flowing design featured a v-neck with tucks, a wrap-effect bodice, raised, puffed shoulders, a defined waist, and a full A-line skirt. The bright color was a departure from the ivory and pale blue ensembles the Princess previously wore for this event. (NOTE: This could also be the dress worn by the Princess when visiting the Welsh Guards on St. David’s Day.)

She accessorized with a new Philip Treacy hat, a new pair of red suede heels by Jennifer Chamandi, a vintage Hermès clutch, and a pair of past-season Sézane earrings. 

In early July, the Princess wore a Beulah London dress for a charity polo match. 

The ‘Sonia’ dress (no longer available) in cornflower blue was 100% silk crepe de chine. It showcased a placed print, stand collar, fitted and pleated bodice, blouson sleeves with elastic at the cuff, and a full skirt.

Accessories for this ensemble included a new pair of Camilla Elphick slingback shoes, Mulberry’s Harlow Small Satchel Bag, her Lenique Louis Gold Spine Hoop Earrings, and a Sézane bracelet.

Wimbledon always brings interesting fashion, and last year was no different. The Princess of Wales chose a Self-Portrait dress for the Women’s Singles Final.

The Lime Boucle Collared Chiffon Midi Dress incorporated a tailored top with a full, floaty skirt and an appearance of wearing separates when it was just one piece. The jacket offered bodice darts, four decorative pocket flaps, self-covered buttons, and a self-belt. The midi-length skirt portion was pleated and fully lined.

The Princess accessorized with her Natasha handbag in blush suede by Emmy London, a pair of Gianvito Rossi Ribbon Sling Pumps, the Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Stud Earrings, and a Halcyon Days Salamander Torque Aquamarine and Gold Bangle

The Princess opted for a deep green Roland Mouret design for the Gentlemen’s Singles Final the next day.

The Ruffle Detail Asymmetrical Midi Dress was a blend of 97% viscose and 3% elastane. It featured draped fabric at the shoulder, short sleeves, a lined bodice, a concealed back zipper, and back vent.

Accessories included the Natasha bag carried for the Women’s Final match, Gianvito Rossi 105 Bisque Suede Pumps, a new pair of earrings by Milina London, the Green Onyx Gemstone style, and a new Halcyon Days Salamander Torque Bangle in Forget Me Not.

When hosting Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden at Windsor Castle in November, the Princess wore what appeared to be an Emilia Wickstead design. 

The Princess accessorized with her Emmy Rebecca heels in the ‘greenway’ color and her diamond and sapphire cabochon cluster earrings.

And here is the poll!

 

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A couple of quick retail notes today, beginning with news from our friends at Earsass, the company offering the Issy Star Earrings ($33) given to the Princess as a gift by Sarah Renton. The earrings were created in memory of Sarah’s daughter, Issy, who took her life in April of last year. The earrings are being sold at Earsass as a fundraiser for mental health charity Brave Mind. Below, the Princess wearing the earrings at a SportsAid workshop in October of last year. (The featured photo at the top of the post also shows the Princess wearing the earrings.)

Earsass has now raised more than £12000 for Brave Mind. In gratitude, they have launched an earring dedicated to the Princess called the “Catherine” ($35). Available in gold-plated or silver-plated finish, the earrings showcase eleven glass beads on an oval frame. They were so popular they sold out in a few hours, but they can be pre-ordered with an estimated delivery four weeks after an order is placed. Thank you to everyone who emailed and messaged about the earrings.

Also today, word of a collaborative collection between Target and a designer the Princess has worn, Diane von Furstenberg.  

More from this Vogue piece about the collection. 

Along with wrap dresses, cargo pants, sweaters, outerwear, activewear, loungewear, and intimates, there will also be beauty, home decor and even made-to-order furniture that can be customized in one of seven exclusive Diane von Furstenberg for Target fabrics. Prices start at $4, with most of the clothing (women’s, girls’ and baby apparel, and accessories!) under $50. Of course, the Target version of the signature wrap dress will be included in the assortment too.

And this via People’s article.

As for the prints you’ll see in the collection, the designer told Vogue that she pulled from her own archives to adapt for Target, as prints have played a huge role in her eponymous brand’s own history. One print is a poppy design that resembles animal print that dates back decades. Another is ginkgo that she told Vogue is a “big print” for the brand because of how fond she’s always been of it.

If unfamiliar with the ginkgo pattern, you see an example of it in green at DVF and another at Nordstrom in ‘antique pink.’

The Diane von Furstenberg for Target collection debuts in most Target stores and on Target.com on March 23. The discount retailer suggests those interested in the collection check this page or sign up on this page to receive email updates on the collection. Thank you to my friend Micki for the tip on this collection!

 

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