We all know that Catherine Middleton is fond of a coat dress or two, of that we are sure. We also know that the Duchess is no stranger to the high street and flies the flag for chic-but-cheap finds. We are well versed on Kate’s repeat wears and resourcefully versatile wardrobe.
But - and this is a big but - we never expected to see the cost-per-wear-aware KM bring out a high street coat dress we’ve never seen before when we were waiting for her to turn up to her first solo appearance wearing something ridonkulously grand! What's more, Jesiré is a slightly random label that is now *GASP* defunct.
We’ve googled, we’ve eBayed, we’ve phoned former PRs and ex-stockists of the brand, but this particular piece is turning out to be a total and utter mystery. Where and when did the Duchess get it? How much did it cost? Has it been sitting in her wardrobe for yonks or did she recently buy it from her favourite second-hand store?
What we do know is in March 2011, the likes of John Lewis and House of Fraser were holding a closing down clearance sale for Jesiré. We also know that the Middletons are regular visitors at Jeanne Petit in Hungerford, Berkshire, where they've been seen buying one-off pieces. They also shop at The Stock Exchange in Sunninghill, Berkshire, which sells second-hand clothing and is described on the website as 'the premier venue for the fashion conscious bargain hunter'. Hmm, maybe this high-profile outing for Jesiré will lead to a revival for the brand?
Either way, we think this thrifty selection from the Duchess should be applauded. Why? Most girls, given the opportunity to attend the opening night of the Lucian Freud Portraits Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, would fast opt for a mega-bucks gown - but not Kate. Plus, not only does she look as elegant and understated as ever, but that fit-and-flare silhouette does technically follow the mid-20th century ‘New Look’ that Dior once trail blazed and is currently reappearing on the Spring Summer 2012 catwalks. It also keeps anyone who’s interested on their toes with such a surprise choice.
But the real question is, will her die-hard followers EVER be able to get their hands on the same item? There's a K-Middy fanclub melt-down on the horizon...