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The sartorial hat-trick that proves there's no need for a stylist

July 1, 2011
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The Duchess of Cambridge’s decision to embark upon her official tour of North America without a stylist or dresser was initially seen as risky and perhaps naive. But charming Kate proved her sartorial clout during her first day of the visit on Thursday, achieving a fashion hat-trick with three style successes. For her departure from Heathrow airport, the charismatic brunette was elegant in a fitted navy Roland Mouret shift dress, a Smythe blazer featuring beautiful gold buttons and navy Manolo Blahnik court heels.


She teamed the sleek outfit with next season’s black Mulberry satchel bag. For her touch down in Ottawa, the 29-year-old changed into a navy lace overlay shift dress by Erdem, a label popular with the likes of Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron. It was a diplomatic choice that carefully referenced both nations, as the designer was raised in Canada and is now based in London. Her hair, which had presumably been styled on-board by her hairdresser James Pryce, was half pinned up in a chic demi-chignon. Her pretty look was finished off with a pair of nude patent platform heels, and the Duchess was picture-perfect for her walkabout with Prince William.


Kate’s final outfit of the day, chosen for an informal barbecue to meet young Canadians, was a wrap dress by Issa, a designer that the Duchess has favoured in the past. The bird-print pattern was fun and the floaty, flirty hemline injected just the right amount of casual into the occasion. Given the scrutiny that surrounds her wardrobe, it's admirable that Kate follows her own fashion instincts, rather than relying on a stylist – as is the case with most women in the public eye. But she is said to receive a little help from Amy Eastell, the PA to her husband’s private secretary, who accompanies her on shopping trips to provide a second opinion.


And she has been known to use style advisers at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Her recent outfits indicate a shift in Kate’s style – of late, she has been opting for expensive designer creations, rather than the high-street labels that she has famously championed. And prior to her trip, she was spotted at the Alexander McQueen store in London and the Belgravia boutique Emilia Wickstead, where prices start at £350.

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