The Duchess of Cambridge in a Range of Her Tour Outfits [Getty]
Now the Cambridge family is well on their way back to Blighty’s shores, we can take stock on the truly important matter at hand: namely how well did Kate Middleton work her New Zealand and Australia Tour Wardrobe? As every little detail, accessory and accoutrement was bound to be picked over by the world’s press, the pressure was always on to wow the crowds.
Before the tour commenced there was much talk of the Queen exerting her influence on the DoC’s fashion choices with demands for longer hemlines and a more regal attitude mooted. Indeed the evidence does suggest that K-Middy may have taken this advice on board as many of her ensembles – especially the Catherine Walker outfits – were traditional in every sense. However, that doesn’t mean that K-Middy wasn’t true to her own style signatures. From her high street choices (LK Bennett and Hobbs) to her wedges (in and out of the sand) to her penchant for recycling (that Rebecca Taylor suit and the Roksanda frock), Kate has played her tour wardrobe by her own rules.
For the full Grazia run down on the Duchess’ tour wardrobe scroll down to read out Senior Fashion News & Features Editor, Katherine Ormerod’s Fashion Jury verdict…..
1. Catherine Walker for the arrival in NZ
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing Catherine Walker
As Kate emerged down under wearing a stiff, buttoned up coat in pillar box red, the critics were sharp. Some said she looked like an air stewardess (the jet backdrop certainly didn’t help) while others commented that the look was aging for a woman in her early thirties. Both lines of argument are not entirely untrue – but you have to remember the context. This was the moment that the British monarchy landed in the Commonwealth country and it was important that the regal tone was set. The combination of all those buttons and the brooch was however ill-advised.
2. Zimmerman dress for a trip to the beach
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing Zimmerman
When Kate lets things go a little looser she looks more accessible, beautiful and young. This pretty broderie anglaise frock by Zimmerman also had the benefit of hailing from Aussie shores – Kate wore surprisingly little from Australian designers, taking the opportunity instead to promote Brit based talent from Rokanda Illincic to Erdem. The Stuart Weitzman espadrille wedges rose eyebrows in the sand, but every girl needs a good leg lengthener in the sunshine.
3. A printed DvF wrap dress for the Blue Mountains
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing Diane Von Furstenberg
This ‘Patrice’ classic Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress reported sold out a mere 8 minutes after Kate stepped out wearing it – the Kate effect in action. Again there’s nothing revolutionary about her look, but it's appropriate and timeless, no wonder Middy is such a fan. The navy wedges were another safe choice, it would have been more interesting if she had mixed it up a bit more with a harder shoe option.
4. Roksanda Illincic dress for arrival in Sydney
The Duchess of Cambridge Wearing Roksanda Illincic
Kate has gone for a plethora of strong pigments during the tour – in a way that very much evokes the Queen’s tendency to wear head to toe strong colour. This sunshine yellow number by Roksanda Illincic, complete with white colour block inserts is a great combination of regal and London-style chic. The square neckline would have suited a necklace with a shorter chain – something which sat on the collarbone.
5. An Alexander McQueen coat for church
The Duchess of Cambridge Wearing Alexander McQueen
This beautiful grey-blue hue is an ultra chic choice for the Duchess. Here we can certainly see the new regal rules in action - the longer hemline and austere cut empahsises Kate's svelte figure and the hat tones in well. Where Kate could really make some more style noise is with her accessories. When you go this plain with your wardrobe, you need the accoutrements to do the talking.
6. LK Bennett's floral dress for Easter day
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing LK Bennett
'Cut Price Kate' has earned a reputation for making high street work at even the most formal of occasions. This pretty floral fitted dress from LK Bennett certainly doesn't look out of place in her tour wardrobe. Indeed you could never say that Kate doesn't have a signature look. It would have been great to see her experiment with seperates - skirts and blouses a la Michelle Obama or even - shock horror - some trousers. While her silhouette is immediately distinguishable, every look does somewhat blend into each other.
See ALL of Kate's looks in the gallery below and let us know which gets your vote...