t’s the final day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s European tour today. After wearing a chic bird-printed cocktail dress last night which symbolised the creative ties between the UK and Germany (it was by Markus Lupfer, a German-born, London-based designer), the Duchess took the chance today to fly the flag for British fashion as she headed to Hamburg this morning.
Kate turned to one of her favoured British designers, Emilia Wickstead, for an elegant lilac day dress reminiscent of numerous Wickstead creations which she already has in her wardrobe. The New Zealand-born designer, whose modernly tasteful and ladylike aesthetic has proved a hit with the world’s in-the-know socialites, has made many of the Duchess’s looks for everything from garden parties at Buckingham Palace to royal tours and military engagements.
Although Wickstead’s sleek signature is a familiar part of Kate’s wardrobe, she switched the usual effect up a notch today by carrying an Anya Hindmarch clutch bag in a ginger shade which gave the outfit a more fashion-forward spin. She chose her favourite beige suede heels by Gianvito Rossi and a pair of lavender amethyst earrings by Kiki McDonough to finish the look.
Lilac is sometimes considered a tricky hue to pull off, but the saturated tone of Kate’s dress works well with her brunette hair. This week, she has shown an experimental attitude to colour, wearing a yellow jacquard dress by Jenny Packham yesterday. Both looks suggest that she understands The Queen’s mantra that ‘I have to be seen to be believed’ and is dressing to delight the crowds of fans who have turned out to greet the royal couple this week.
Lavender was also a key colour on the catwalks at the latest round of fashion shows, appearing on eiderdown coats at Mulberry, brocade dresses at Miu Miu and sweeping cashmere coats at Valentino.
The last time that the Duchess of Cambridge looked to Emilia Wickstead was for another of her recent ‘charm offensive’ pre-Brexit deployments to Europe, when she visited Luxembourg wearing a sky blue wrap coat; her designs strike a suitably polished tone for these diplomatic missions. It was 2012 when Kate first turned to Wickstead for a bottle green coat which she wore to visit the Irish Guards on St Patrick’s Day and has worn on several occasions since.
Wickstead- who always attracts an audience of international It girls to her London fashion week shows- draws inspiration from graceful women and art of years gone by; her collections have been inspired by photographer Erwin Blumenfeld’s striking mid-century Vogue images while her recently unveiled Resort collection combined Frida Kahlo and Picasso as references.
Although Wickstead is now top of the speed dial for some of the world’s best-dressed women and is charmingly elegant in person, she worked hard to establish her business. “One thing my mother always taught me was to just pick up the phone and ask for it. Don’t think, how am I going to meet that person? Just do it. I think that’s very much part of my New Zealand heritage. We don’t just give up – where there’s a will there’s a way. My mother instilled that in me from an early age,’ she told The Telegraph in 2015. ‘If I’d really known how hard I was going to have to work behind the scenes to have any kind of business, I think I would have stopped,’ she added.
Following a busy day in Hamburg, the Duke and Duchess will depart Germany with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte this afternoon. Perhaps, Charlotte will have a lilac dress to match her mum’s?