Kate Middleton’s classic style has often been unkindly called ‘unexciting’ by some fashion, editors, especially ones who have never actually seen her.
Well, not any more – Not since Kate rolled up at last weekend’s Yorkshire wedding in that eye-catching black silk chiffon dress with its plunging neckline.
Those fashion mavens didn’t seem to realise she had worn it before – beneath a pink jacket – at Peter Phillips’ wedding in 2008, when Kate met the Queen for the first time.
Recycling outfits was a trick Princess Diana used repeatedly when she went to a wedding. If she had dressed up in some dazzling new number she would have upstaged the bride, so William’s mother always chose an outfit we had seen before.
It was a kind and thoughtful gesture, so typical of Diana, who knew that clothes could send a message we could all understand. She wore dull colours when she wanted the world to know she was unhappy and rosy shades or red when she felt wonderful.
So what does Kate’s wardrobe say about her?
I think it tells us that William’s stunning fiancée has always been a fire and ice kind of girl. Her cool exterior clearly conceals a sizzling core. Let’s not forget the see-through mini-dress she wore to dazzle William at a university fashion show all those years ago. Or, the sequinned hotpants and halter-neck top she sported at a charity roller disco.
She may look demure at first, but she can be daring too. So I can’t wait for the first big occasion when Kate rocks up at a big evening bash wearing a killer evening gown with that billion kilowatt smile.
While Kate says she never met Diana, I think she has already been inspired by the late Princess’s dazzling example.
As for wearing black when friends marry, it’s a sensible but also slinky choice for a winter wedding.
Last month on a snowy evening I went to a friend’s wedding at the crypt in the House of Commons. Actress Tamsin Outhwaite, one of the bride’s dearest friends, was the best-dressed woman there (apart from the bride, of course, who was wearing Viv Westwood).
The West End and TV star was wearing a black shift-shaped crepe dress,adorned only with black beading around the cuffs of the elbow length sleeves. As we left the Houses of Parliament Tamsin slipped on a black wool cape to ward against the freezing weather.
She looked very on trend in a classic way and every other woman in colourful ruffled and frilly outfits looked wildly overdressed by comparison. When the dancing started later at the reception Tamsin looked simply perfect.
Kate Middleton, I suspect, like Tamsin, will never stray on to the wilder shores of fashion and thank goodness for that. She is doing enough for the British fashion industry already by favouring High Street fashion chains like Reiss and Whistles.
But she may choose a hot designer to create her wedding gown, and who wouldn’t in her stiletto pumps? This frock has to be amazing, a drop dead gorgeous knockout of a dress.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Kate had already selected the fashion house to make her dream dress and is keeping the name under wraps. But I doubt if it will stay secret for very long.