Kate Middleton joined Prince William and the soon-to-be-newlyweds Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for a wedding rehearsal in Windsor. While this marked the duchess’s first public drive through town since giving birth to baby Louis, she appeared bright — and that probably had something to do with her dress.
Kate chose a lovely floral Michael Michael Kors shirtdress ($175) for the occasion, which is a breezy number that was probably pretty comfortable for the day’s agenda. The duchess accessorized with oversize Givenchy sunglasses.
While Meghan opted for an ivory bodysuit blouse and gorgeous diamonds to prepare for the ceremony, Kate’s laid-back, free-spirited outfit is definitely our speed this time of year. Read on for another glimpse, then check out Kate’s exact design and shop plenty of similar looks.
Kate’s Exact Michael Michael Kors Dress
Saloni Izzie Dress
Saloni Molly Dress
Lane Bryant Faux Surplice Maxi Dress
Borgo De Nor Sonia Dress
City Chic Trendy Plus Size Floral-Print Maxi Dress
Zara Crossed Dress
H&M Pleated Dress
H&M Chiffon Dress
Marchesa Notte Guipure Lace Cocktail Dress
Daoroka Sexy Floral Maxi
The dress of the summer isn’t by a famous high street brand, nor is it popular because it has been worn by a chart-topping singer or famous actor. The dress everyone wants to get their hands on is by the London-based label Kitri after an influential blogger shared it with her 344,000 Instagram followers.
The £145 Gabriella dress – a green, belted shirt-style garment with a black and white flower print – has amassed ann 800-strong waiting list of 800 people after Charlotte Groeneveld posted a picture on Instagram mid-February as a part of a paid partnership between her and the one-year-old brand. When the dress became available to purchase on Kitri’s website a month later, almost 200 units sold out in 45 minutes. A new waiting list is now open.
“We’ve worked with influencers before, but I don’t think that we’ve ever garnered this much attention with a dress,” says Kitri’s founder, Haeni Kim. Being a digital-first business allows it to reduce any price mark-up through wholesaling to retailers and eliminate the cost of a standalone store. Kitri retails between £45 for a T-shirt and £225 for a dress.
The hype and subsequent sales of the Gabriella dress suggest that social-media influencers remain a major resource for brands to tap.
Kitri is not alone in tapping into the world of influencers to profitable effect. Matchesfashion.com says its partnership with Leandra Medine Cohen (who has 626,000 followers) on its Shop With initiative produced a notably strong seller after she instagramed a photo of herself wearing a Toga coat. The post received 75,000 likes. Elsewhere, Swedish brand Ganni attributes the sellout of its Banana T-shirt, which shifted 969 units within 10 weeks in 2016, to Instagram influencers such as Pernille Teisbaek (542,000 followers), Lucy Williams (322,000 followers) and Veronika Heilbrunner (158,000 followers) wearing it.
Crucially, says Groeneveld, the secret to its success as a strategy is that it must feel authentic to work.
“I’ve built a community of people who share similar style and like similar things, so in that sense it’s more likely that [my followers] agree with the things I believe we should buy, save, or toss, than from a random person they don’t have that relationship with. The personal relationship is all that matters and gives you all credibility.”
Figures vary for paid partnerships and exact remuneration remains under wraps, but last year a study found 33% of marketers now allocate upwards of $500,000 to influencer marketing and brand partnerships, according to the trend forecasting firm WGSN. Another 2017 study, this time by the Influencer Marketing Hub, found 57% of marketers also have a standalone influencer budget. which, according to Sarah Owen of WGSN, “speaks volumes to the projected relevance this area will continue seeing”.
She adds: “Forward-thinking brands are utilising micro-influencers for Instagram campaigns in order to promote their brand to a wider, yet more targeted audience.”
Kitri is responsive. Its strategy of producing limited quantities of its designs also allows the label to generate additional drops in an agile manner when interest, just like that seen after Groeneveld’s post, picks up, without the risk of leftover stock. Kitri’s 10-person team is “working hard” to restock the Gabriella dress by the end of April or beginning of May, says Kim.
“Influencers democratised aspiration,” says Owen. “Once considered a fleeting marketing tool, the influencer ecosystem has proved to be a longstanding, viable segment for brands seeking to convert likes to sales, all the while increasing brand recognition.”
With the royal wedding a matter of weeks away, preparations for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials have stepped up a gear – and yes, that means that the planning for Prince Harry’s stag do is well under way.
According to a new report in Vanity Fair from Katie Nicholl, who recently authored the new biography Harry: Life, Loss and Love, the Prince has asked his brother William and best friend Tom Inskip to over-see the arrangements, with the latter tasked with finding a suitable location for the festivities.
Tom, who is known as ‘Skippy’ amongst his friends, was apparently spotted at a boutique hotel in Mexico last week, which could prove a potential venue for the event.
‘Tom is in charge of finding the location,’ a source told Vanity Fair, explaining that the Prince has a specific set of criteria. ‘It has to be somewhere they won’t be found and a place they can completely take over,’ they said. ‘Tom was checking out this fabulous place in Mexico last week and he loved it. It might be a step too far for everyone to go to Mexico but it’s one of the places on the wish list.’
William, meanwhile, has reportedly been asked to ensure that things don’t get too wild. ‘Harry is a lot tamer and less of a party boy these days,’ a further source told the magazine. ‘Meghan has really calmed him down. He smokes less, although Meghan hasn’t yet managed to get him to quit smoking. And he doesn’t drink as much. He’s determined that there will be no repeats of Vegas on this stag do.’ Though William previously joked that his younger brother ‘hadn’t asked him‘ to be best man, we can safely assume that he will play an important part in wedding preparations.
While it was previously reported that Meghan enjoyed a low-key hen do at Soho Farmhouse at the start of March, it seems that was just a pre-amble. The royal-to-be has apparently enlisted her friend Markus Anderson to plan her event. ‘It is going to be fabulous, glamorous and every exclusive,’ a source close to the Soho House consultant revealed. ‘Marcus knows some wonderful venues, [but] saying that, I bet he’ll keep it simple and close to home.’
From left: 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £9,600, Chanel. White gold and diamond bracelet, £153,200, Van Cleef & Arpels. White gold and diamond ring, £34,700, Dior Joaillerie. White gold and diamond necklace, £66,600, Chaumet. Titanium, sapphire and diamond earrings, price on application, Adler. Muse morganite and 0.35-carat pave diamond earrings, £7,000, and snowflake 1.48-carat diamond cluster stud earrings, £6,500, both Birks, from Mappin & Webb. Pearl necklace, £2,190, Mikimoto. Snowflake crown diamond necklace, £108,000, Birks. White gold, black rhodium and diamond ring, £10,500, Annoushka. Rosee du matin double row flex diamond bracelet, £7,000, Birks, from Mappin & Webb. iamond and pearl bracelet, price on application, Mikimoto. Blouse, £350, Bella Freud, from Browns. Cards (part of set), £65, Thomas Lyte.
From top: snowflake diamond and akoya pearl necklace, £150,000, Birks. 18-carat rose gold and diamond interlocking bracelet and 18-carat yellow-gold and diamond interlocking, £4,950 each, both Shaun Leane. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £26,000, Messika. 18-carat white gold and diamond bracelet, £25,500, Chanel. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £32,728, Fabergé, from Harrods. Blazer, £720, Bella Freud. Champagne glass, £75, Lee Broom. Poker chips, price on application, Geoffrey Parker. Dice, £5, Aspinal of London.
From top: 18-carat white gold, diamond and tourmaline ring, price on application, David Morris, from Harrods. white gold and diamond, opal, sapphire and emerald necklace, price on application, Moussaieff. multi-strand diamond bracelet, £36,850, William & Son. 18-carat white gold and white diamond bangle, price on application, Stephen Webster. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, price on application, Boucheron. Chess set, £690, Luke Honey. Dress, £580, MaxMara
Clockwise from top left: 18-carat white gold and diamond ring set, £12,600, Shaun Leane. White gold and diamond double row bracelet, £8,450, De Beers. White gold and diamond link bracelet, price on application, Pomellato. White gold and diamond fringe earrings, £16,000, Mappin & Webb. White gold, aquamarine and pave diamond ring, £8,400, Bulgari. White gold and diamond bow ring, £14,000, and white gold and diamond necklace, £66,600, both Chaumet
From left: platinum and diamond bracelet and platinum and diamond ring, both price on application, Harry Winston. Platinum and diamond collar, price on application, Boodles. Tourmaline and diamond ring, price on application, Garrard. 18-carat white gold, Mother of pearl, diamond and sapphire watch, £96,000, Breguet. Backgammon board, £4,250, Geoffrey Parker
Photographs Emma Thaler
Styling Bettina Vetter
Fashion assistant Stephanie Sofokleous
Make-up Amy Conley at Stella Creative Artists using Tom Ford Beauty
Nails Kimberley Nkosi using Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir and La Crème Main
Models Dominique and Marta at Established
Producer Lucy Coghlan
The beret is… divisive. I know this first-hand, as I wear them regularly, in black, grey and raspberry. And while much discussion may be found online as to the angle at which one should be worn (pulled forward, or jauntily to the side, or covering your whole head, your hair croissanted up inside), of more help I think is the following tip. The trick to wearing a beret is to avoid eye contact with strangers. Then, when they shout something at you such as, “Bonjour!” (you’re from Hove) or, “Ooh Betty!” (you’re too young to get the reference), it’s far easier to pretend you haven’t noticed and carry on walking. Because in your head you’reMarlene Dietrich, as opposed to “all French people”. You’re Faye Dunaway. You’reDebbie Harry, pretending she’s Patty Hearst, pretending she’s a leftwing terrorist called Tania, with a machine gun and a cosy head. You’re Rembrandt, idiot.
It slides in and out of favour, the beret. The first examples were found by archaeologists in bronze age tombs, with berets also seen on sculptures in 12th-century Europe. Some were bigger, some floppier, but all were made of felt, the oldest form of cloth, created by pressing wool, hard. Shepherds used to fill their shoes with tufts from the sheep; as they worked and sweated, felt was made. Berets were adopted by peasants, then royalty, then the military, then artists. But in 2002 the market had all but dried up – 40 years earlier there had been 15 beret factories in Oloron-Sainte-Marie (France’s beret capital); by then there was just one. “We suffer from the savagery of fashion,” said Bernard Fargues, head of Beatex, the last beret maker in town. Which means today their luck could be changing. The beret is back.
In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s A/W 17 collection for Dior, every look came topped with a beret – the models were styled as romantic revolutionaries – and Rihanna wore hers in the front row, too. Vogue said the beret is “shaping up to be one of Fall 2017’s most ubiquitous items for gals and guys”. Which of course I applaud. Because there are few accessories as odd as the beret, few that signify conservative uniform as well as revolution and rebellious rock’n’roll. I mean, my dad has a beret. No, he has two, one French, after Picasso, one Spanish, like a Basque separatist. I’ve worn one since I was a child, photographed gazing wistfully out across a reservoir, then at art school, and on days when it rains. I lean towards a beret worn with buoyancy, after Princess Diana, and one fitted snugly, like Eddie Izzard protesting against Brexit.
To list famous beret wearers is to moodboard the entire 20th century: Benny Hill,Audrey Hepburn, Frank Spencer, Ernest Hemingway, Che Guevara. It’s hard to make a list like this and not imagine the dinner party, and the absolute laugh they’d all have. Jean-Paul Sartre, Monica Lewinsky, Johnny Rotten, the Pink Panther, posh schoolgirls, Edith Piaf, the Black Panthers, Beyoncé, mime artists, all of them balancing a nippled plate of felt on their head as if marching off to battle.
A beret is perceived as a hat with power, whether the power to remain poised in a storm or to keep your hair on tight while you change the world. Today, with all that baggage, it is also perceived as a bit mannered. A bit whimsical. For example, a lot of Tesco’s fancy dress costumes come with a small polyester beret. We once bought a beret the size of a Pringle for my late cat (RIP). So, much as I love them, I understand the desire to roll an eye at the sight of one approaching on an urban street. For a hat that can fold up to the size of an Oyster card, this one comes with a lot of crap to carry around. But it’s worth it, as long as you realise that by wearing a beret, you’re always on the frontline.
Fashion Week is a circus, and no one relishes the big top more than Jeremy Scott.
The designer’s February runway show had fashionistas sweltering in an 80-degree room as they waited for attendee Kylie Jenner to appear, 45 minutes late and with TV crew in tow. Gate-crashers stole seats, relegating top editors from Elle and Teen Vogue to watching a live stream of the presentation in a screening room. Model Gigi Hadid stormed the runway in velvet bell-bottoms emblazoned with the face of Jesus; Anna Cleveland sashayed in a gaudy, Vegas-era Elvis cape.
The industry Web sitecalled the event a “s – – tshow,” while other critics scoffed at the C-listers, such as Sofia Richie, mugging in the front row. But for Scott, that embrace of chaos, celebrity and kitsch is the whole point.
“I’ve always been inspired by pop culture,” the 42-year-old designer told The Post. “I’ve always been very democratic about my view of fashion and iconography.” As for his haters?
“I would say that they’re stuffy and they could go to another show.”
They do so at their own peril. This Fashion Week marks the 20th anniversary of Scott’s namesake brand — his show on Friday will be a retrospective of his career — and, love him or hate him, his postmodern, cartoon aesthetic is everywhere.
It’s on TV, with Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus strutting in his eye-popping designs at the MTV Video Music Awards. It’s on newsstands, where reality stars are on the cover of Vogue. It’s even on the Paris runway, with revered labels such as Vetements and Gucci splattering images from “Titanic” or Disney cartoons onto their clothes.
Having begun her career with small roles in CSI: NY and 90210 – as well as a small stint as a ‘briefcase girl’ on Deal or no Deal –Meghan Markle shot to fame in 2011 when she was cast as paralegal Rachel Zane in Suits.
Not her only reason for being in the spotlight, however, Markle has also been dating Prince Harry for the last nine months.
Confirming their relationship last November, Harry made an emotional appeal for the couple to be left in peace.
Instructing Kensington Palace to issue a statement on his behalf, Harry called Markle his “girlfriend” and noted that she had been the “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment” including a torrent of racist and sexist slurs by “social media trolls”.
Previously relatively quiet on the celebrity circuit, Markle met Prince Harry in Toronto in May 2016 during his promotional visit for the Invictus Games. Soon after she was photographed taking her seat in the royal box at Wimbledon.
While she is an ambassador for World Vision Canada as well as an advocate for United Nations Women, Markle’s father is a Hollywood lighting director and her mother a yoga instructor.
Sitting front row during a number of shows at New York Fashion Week, Markle has shown her support to designers such as Tory Burch, Wes Gordon, Marchesa, Herve Leger and Tracy Reese.