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Wed, May 07, 2014
Urban, The Straits Times
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Royal flush
by Leslie Kay Lim


Disembarking in Wellington

Talk about arriving in style. The Duchess wore a double-breasted coat dress by royal favourite Catherine Walker for the start of the royal tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The fit and flare silhouette made her waist look tiny but it was the accessories that really stood out.

The pill box hat by British milliner Gina Foster was pure Jackie O, bringing to mind the style favoured by the American First Lady in the 1960s, and the fern brooch borrowed from the Queen added a fun symbolic touch as it was a gift by the women of Auckland during her Commonwealth tour in 1953-1954. The other unbeatable accessory - Prince George in her arm.

Children's hospice Rainbow Place in Hamilton

According to the Daily Mirror, the Duchess was overheard telling a fan that the Duke thought this green coat from London-based label Erdem may be too bright. We say she totally pulled it off.

State reception at Government House in Wellington

The Duchess turned to another favourite label, British brand Jenny Peckham, for a bespoke cocktail dress. The long-sleeved black number would look rather boring if not for the embroidered fern with silver beading on her left shoulder. It was a tribute to New Zealand's national emblem and a clever display of sartorial diplomacy.

The Cathedral of St Paul in Dunedin

For Palm Sunday service, she wore a teal blue pleated dress from New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead. The matching bespoke hat is by British milliner Jane Taylor.

The Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua

She picked a matching jacket and skirt from New Zealand-born designer Rebecca Taylor. The dark blue colour nicely matched the army of police uniforms around her, and the collar embellishment and frayed trim kept the simple suit from looking too boring and formal.


Opera House in Sydney

The Australian leg of the royal tour started with a burst of fashion sunshine. The Duchess chose a custom graphic yellow dress from London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic. While the overall shape was a bit boxy, the white panels on the arms and at the hem created fun points of visual interest.

Royal Australian Air Force in Brisbane

Major prints are not something the Duchess wears often, so it was a sartorial treat when she opted for something different from her usual solid-coloured dresses. This white and blue floral dress from London-based label LK Bennett looked crisp and feminine at the same time.

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock

The Duchess chose a more casual checkered dress by British brand Hobbs. The white and grey, short-sleeved, fit and flare dress made her look cool in the hot environment, and matched the earth tones in Prince William's outfit too.

Royal Easter Show in Sydney

She knocked it out of the park in a white eyelet dress from Australian label Zimmerman. The angelic dress, in a flattering fit and flare silhouette, was made perfectly spring-worthy with its eyelet fabric and subtle floral detail.

Blue Mountains

For a trip to the Blue Mountain areas affected by the bushfires last year, she picked an ikat printed wrap dress from American designer Diane von Furstenberg that was casual enough for the outdoors and let her move about with ease.

This article was published on April 25 in Urban, The Straits Times.

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