‘Kate in Nude Shoes Shock!’

The above picture is of a recent article in the Saturday Times (29th September) which perfectly demonstrates everything which has been previously said on this blog about the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice of shoe. Hilary Rose writes in a witty way, satirising the awful LK Bennett Sledge, the 3rd person in the royal marriage. I am sure that were Kate and Wills to have a son, Kate would want to call it Sledge as a dedication to her favourite shoe of all time.

The following are some of the best lines from this wonderful piece of writing:

“One style guru describing [sic] them as the white stiletto of the middle classes (bit harsh). But now they’re the Ugg boot of 2012, worn everywhere by everyone from WAGs to yummy mummies at the school gates, from pole dancers to celebs on the red carpet” – Describing them as the white stiletto of the middle classes is definitely not too harsh, it is a fitting description. We’re not talking a Céline or Stella McCartney-style white stiletto; instead picture a very high, pointy, patent white stiletto and that is the sister shoe of the patent heel. They look cheap. End of story. Nude shoes are not actually flattering and I will say it again and again until it becomes a widely accepted fact. They look cheap, especially the patent variety.

“Kate’s job is to be the photogenic wife of the heir to the throne.” – It has always been difficult to discuss Kate’s style without people commenting that it shouldn’t be something people care about. In one sentence Ms Rose has perfectly captured the exact reason why it is, and always will be, something we care about.

“So will she swap the shade if not the style?…According to a spokesman for LK Bennett, the Duchess owns Sledges in different shades – “cream, off-white and taupe”. So probably not, then.” – The perfect closing statement.

There is however one small sentence with which this anti-nude shoe blogger does not agree – “They go with everything”. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. They supposedly ‘go with everything’ because they are the same colour as your skin. This is hardly ever the case and they end up being some odd shade of greige which draws attention to them, whilst also having the unflattering effect of making the wearer’s skin appear greige too. And there-in lies the other problem with nude shoes; why would you want a shoe which fades away and no one looks at? There is a world of options for women and amazing shoes out there, we should celebrate and wear the most eye-catching, pretty shoes available, not the most drab, ugly ones.

How I’d Style It: Kate Middleton

I feel as though I’m missing a gene – the love of Kate Middleton’s style gene. I simply cannot fathom how she has managed to secure the top spot in so many ‘Best Dressed’ lists. She dresses like someone 10 years her senior and when she does wear a stylish dress, the allure is always ruined by her accessories. It has been said before on this blog and it will be said again – nude shoes are awful at the best of times, and when patent (like Kate’s LK Bennett Sledges) are possibly the most unflattering shoe there is. They do not go with everything, so dearest Duchess, please stop pairing them with everything. I know this is a contentious issue and there are many people who disagree, but there are also many who, like me, find it infuriating that Kate pips true style queens like Miranda Kerr and Diane Kruger to the top spot in style ranks. It is obviously not the Duchess of Cambridge’s role to be a trend-setting fashion icon, but she is a very prominent figure in the public eye and scrutiny of her appearance goes with the territory.

Were I the stylist of Kate, I would continue to push her to wear British brands (something she does often) but I would give her the more exciting, colourful, vibrant and less drab outfits. According to a recent Daily Mail colour chart, Kate wears grey 16% of the time, white 10% and cream 6%. She is also, thankfully, a fan of royal blue, one of the key colours for AW 12, so we know she does have some taste for a pop of colour in her wardrobe.

So here is a compiled list of clothes I would put Kate in from the AW12 collections. All are by British designers and all are appropriate for someone of the Duchess’ position.

Alexander McQueen – In keeping with Kate’s penchant for green.

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The New Lace

Lace has been around for ages, and frankly, I’m bored of it. It all looks the same and you can guarantee that at any wedding you attend this summer, there are bound to be throngs of women dressed just like this (incidentally, nude dress, hat, bag and shoes is not a good look):

Been there, done that, got the picture quite a few years ago now. Although it is the trend that will not go away, there are some designers and shops savvy enough to rework it into a fresh look. They have revived lace and made it exciting and stylish again, not passé and predictable. Preen, for example, have the Ingrid pencil dress, featuring the standard lace you see everywhere but in metallic blue over an orange silk background. Unexpected and refreshing. The flashes of orange at the neck, waistline and knee break it up perfectly.

Stella McCartney as always is way ahead of the game and has taken the lace look to a whole new level by printing it onto silk. This is a completely new and exciting idea which I certainly haven’t seen before. The silk print is used for trousers, a t-shirt, a shirt and a dress.

Unfortunately, such ideas haven’t made it onto the high street yet but there are still different ways to work lace out there. Richard Nicholl’s bridal collection for Topshop features lace in a different way, not the usual flowery type we are now used to seeing everywhere. The lace on the dress below reminds me of a something a child produces when they have just discovered pencils and paper.

Hopefully more designers will start to realise that many of us are over the lace dresses that have been around for years, and will follow suit to bring about a new era for this delicate fabric.

K-Midi’s Perfect Dress

Is this not the most perfect dress for the Duchess of Cambridge? It comes from Roksanda Ilincic’s Pre Fall 2012 Collection and it has everything Kate loves – a nude tone, appropriate knee-length, long sleeves, form-fitting but in a classy way and an accentuated waist. Better than that, it has some fashion potential! The blue frilled cuff adds a much-needed shot of electric colour into an otherwise drab dress. Kate could wear what she’s most comfortable in whilst giving us an unexpected dose of fashion detailing. The only small problem is that Princess Beatrice has already worn this dress, but having said that, Kate was happy to don a dress for the Jubilee pageant which had already been worn by Tulisa and Kim Kardashian. Somehow I think sharing a dress with Beatrice would not seem too dreadful to the Duchess.

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How I’d Style It: Blake Lively

Earlier last week, Blake Lively arrived at the Good Morning America studios wearing a striking red suit by Michael Kors. She would have looked chic and fresh, had it not been for a bad choice of accessories. People often underestimate the effect which shoes can have on an outfit, and in this case the effect was one of cheapening the look.

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