23 August 2011

Week in Review: The Duchess of Cambridge, 14-20 August

Here's what Catherine wore from 14-20 August:

  1. a) Visiting Birmingham in the aftermath of serious rioting, 19 August, in b) Alexander McQueen. I feel like this needs to be worn with a touch of irony. With a serious hairdo, and some cheeky shoes. A touch of costume to take it into a real military tribute, with a bit of 1940s flair. But worn this way - which is the nice, appropriate way; certainly this is no time for costumes - it's more of a 1980s Diana relic sort of thing.
  2. Walking in Wales with her sister and friends, 20 August, in the same sweater she wore pre-wedding.
The question this week seems to be not whether you like outfit 1, but whether you feel it was appropriate; not usually a question we have to get into with the Duchess here. But the fact is, this outfit consists of a blouse retailing for $1,355 and a skirt for $995, along with Prada shoes. Too fancy and pricey for visiting an area this damaged, or not?

I don't have a problem with the cost here; she should look nice, and I fall in the class of people that will not magically forget that her clothes budget is the stuff of my dreams, even when she dresses from the high street. Besides, this is nothing compared to the cost of William's outfit.

But there is a public relations game at play here. Right now, the most consistently interesting thing the media has found to talk about when it comes to Kate is her clothes. (Is that the way it should be? No. But that's what it is, and my personal opinion is that until she becomes known for something else - a certain cause, that sort of thing - this is how it will remain.) So far, she's done a pretty good job of directing the media traffic as much as she can; repeating her clothes at Zara's wedding is a great example. This one, I think, was a bit of a fail in that department.

What do you think?

Photos: PA/Daily Mail/Net-a-porter/Bauer Griffin