Kate Middleton’s Tour of Thirty Style Statements


OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 30: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, waves during an official welcoming ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 30, 2011 in Ottowa, Canada.(Photo by Chris Wattie-Pool/Getty Images) (Pool/GETTY IMAGES)

The former Kate Middleton did not take a “dresser” or stylist on the transcontinental tour that began Thursday in Ottawa; but so far, the British press is hailing the Duchess’ sartorial choices. Catherine is not scheduled to speak publicly during any leg of the tour, but her choice of designers is making a diplomatic statement.

The standout piece of the day was a navy lace sheath by Erdem. The dress was a diplomatic nod to British and Canadian ties, as designer Erdem Moralioglu is based in London but Canada-born.

The British press noted that most Erdem dresses can sell for over $2000. Catherine’s lacy frock is part of his 2012 resort collection, indicating that she wore a sample. It is likely that most of her clothing for the tour will be borrowed samples from high-end designers, not purchased clothing. Sample dresses, which are normally constructed in US sizes 2 and 4, are often sent to celebrities by designers to gain exposure for upcoming collections. She will not be keeping any samples she wears.


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 30: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow Airport on June 30, 2011 in London, England. (WPA Pool/GETTY IMAGES)

Catherine departed from London wearing a navy Roland Mouret shift dress and a navy Smythe blazer with gold buttons. She paired the demure ensemble with Manolo Blahnik pumps and a Mulberry handbag from the company’s 2011 collection.

She ended the day in a casual bird-print dress by London-based label Issa, the same label she wore for her engagement announcement.

Now that Catherine is representing Britain officially, she is expected to wear British designers exclusively, particularly when the British economy is struggling. Showing support for designers from the British Commonwealth has a financial impact on their businesses, as many garments sell out online only 24 hours after Middleton wears them.

While she does not have a personal stylist, the British press reports that she is consulting style advisers at luxury department stores like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. It appears Catherine has moved gradually away from her favorite High Street designers.

Katherine Boyle reports on arts, museums and culture for the Style section.
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