Alice Wyllie: Kate Middleton’s brand is ‘safe and pretty’

Vivienne Westwood has criticised the Duchess' style. Picture: Reuters
Vivienne Westwood has criticised the Duchess' style. Picture: Reuters
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VIVIENNE Westwood may not be a fan of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe choices, but one designer’s collection will definitely appeal to two of its most loyal fans; Middletons Pippa and Kate, writes Alice Wyllie.

The sisters are often spotted in designs by Alice Temperley, whose polished, Sloaney aesthetic speaks to their tastes.

Unveiled in the suitably grand surroundings of the Dorchester Hotel, Temperley’s AW13 collection paid homage to full-skirted Hitchcock heroines. As ever, the pieces did not break boundaries or scream for attention, but then that is probably the point.

A succession of fit-and-flare dresses and skirts were pretty, polished and demure while a largely monochrome palette was broken up with pale gold accents and cool blues and greens.

Referencing débutantes, Park Avenue princesses and Hollywood royalty, restrained bling came in the form of crystals clustered around the throat and shoulders.

Slim evening dresses featured sequins arranged in scalloped patterns, while shoulders and decolletes remained covered. Skirts sat just above the knee and dresses were worn with prim little cropped leather gloves. Coats were swingy and A-line, dresses had neat little cap sleeves and waists were nipped in with skinny belts. This is a blue-blooded label that the Duchess of Cambridge looks to for her red carpet appearances – and there was plenty for her to choose from post-pregnancy.

It is a brand that is safe, reliable and pretty, even if the fashion world does not tend to find it particularly exciting.

As such it is perfect for the not-all-that-fashionable royal style icon. So enamoured is the Duchess with Temperley’s style that she has chosen to wear the same dress by the designer to more than one event, provoking generally favourable comments from the fashion world. In November last year, she turned up for a 600th anniversary event at St Andrews University wearing the same black lace gown which she’d worn to attend a London film premier ten months previously.