What Kate wore: Duchess of Cambridge brings royal style to Canada
All eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge from the moment she stepped off the plane this weekend, wearing an elegant blue dress and matching hat.
Voted the U.K.’s most influential style icon earlier this month, Kate Middleton is closely watched by royal fans and fashion lovers around the world.
Fashion expert Jeannie Beker joined CTV News Channel to share her take on the Duchess’ outfits and their subtle nods to Canada, the Royal Family and their history.
The Royal Family arrived in Victoria, B.C. all dressed in blue. Princess Charlotte wore a blue and white print dress and her brother wore a sweater with his signature shorts, high socks and collared shirt combination. The Duke of Cambridge wore a navy blue suit and the Duchess wore a cobalt Jenny Packham bespoke dress with puffed sleeves and princess seaming along the bodice. She accessorized with a custom Lock & Co felt hat adorned with maple leaves.
Her crowning accessory, according to fashion expert Jeanne Beker, was her maple leaf brooch, which also made an appearance during the 2011 tour. The Duchess wore the Queen’s platinum and diamond maple leaf brooch, which was originally a gift from King George ahead of a Canadian visit in 1939.
“That has great sentimental value for both the Royal Family and Canadians who know the history,” Beker told CTV News Channel on Monday.
When Sophie Gregoire Trudeau also wore a jewel tone dress and hat, the Daily Mail declared a “fashion war.”
Beker was quick to dismiss the rivalry.
“The Brits really had a field day,” she said. She said it’s hard to say why they wore comparable colours: two women may have spoken to each other to get on the same page or they share a similar sense of style.
The Duchess of Cambridge, right, smiles after being greeted by Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in Victoria, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2016. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)
For the second day of the royal visit, the Duchess of Cambridge donned a red and white Alexander McQueen dress in Vancouver. The dress from the Resort 2017 collection was modified with fitted sleeves to accentuate the empire waist and pleated tiers.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greet well-wishers after a tour of Sheway, a centre that provides support for native women, in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)
“What a great go-to label when you really want to make a statement,” Beker said. She said the Alexander McQueen label seems to resonate with Kate especially since the fashion house designed her wedding dress.
Beker said the feminine dress was a welcome surprise that showed the duchess’ playful side. Beker was also a fan of Kate’s accessories, a red Miu Miu clutch and suede heels, as she says “matchy-matchy” is back in a big way.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ditched city life to visit the remote community of Bella Bella on B.C.'s coast.
Taking in a welcoming ceremony from the Heiltsuk First Nation, the Duchess opted for knee-high brown boots, jeans and a beige jacket to combat the rainy weather. A much more dressed down outfit compared to the Alexander McQueen dress she wore on Sunday while visiting Vancouver.
She finished the outfit with a blue sweater and a gingham collared shirt.
Opting to go low-key in terms of accessories, she chose gold earrings made by Canadian-born jeweller Pippa Small.
At a reception held at Government House in Victoria, B.C., the Duchess went again with a formal look.
According to a statement from Canadian Heritage, the Duchess wore a red Preen dress at the event.
Prince William stepped off the plane in Kelowna wearing a blue blazer, white dress shirt and brown trousers, while Kate was sporting a bottle-green dress from Dolce & Gabanna.
The Duchess of Cambridge waves to people at the University of British Columbia campus in Kelowna, B.C., Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (The Canadian Press / Jonathan Hayward)
The dress, which is made from smooth stretch-crepe, includes a self-fastening neck tie and polished gold-tone acetate buttons, according to the website Matches Fashion. The site sells a version of the dress, which includes a pocket-watch applique, for $4,495.
However, Kate's look did not include the pocket-watch applique when she made her appearance at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the day in Yukon dressed warmly.
Kate wore a long red-collared coat by designer Carolina Herrera while in Whitehorse. The designer tweeted a photo of the Duchess saying she wore it to "royal perfection." She paired the outfit with chunky heels with a decorative buckle.
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour the MacBride Museum of Yukon History in Whitehorse, Yukon, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Later that day, Kate attended a marketplace in Carcross, Yukon in this heather-grey wrap coat with ribbed sleeves by Canadian designer Sentaler, a Toronto-based brand sometimes worn by Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Sentaler tweeted that it was "beyond proud and excited" to see the Duchess of Cambridge in the outfit.
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, watch native youth dancers perform during a welcoming ceremony in Carcross, Yukon, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward)
The Duchess was also sporting Ulu earrings made by Canadian designer Shelley Macdonald.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at a welcoming ceremony in Carcross, Yukon, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
The Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince William and their two children attended a tea party at Government House in Victoria on Thursday. The Duchess showed up in a cream-coloured dress and beige pumps.
Prince William blows up a balloon as he and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, take part in a tea party with their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Government House in Victoria, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Many people on social media jumped to point out Kate's dress was by designer Chloé.
Meanwhile, Spanish clothing company Pepa & Co took to twitter to announce its delight the royal family picked a dress by their brand for Princess Charlotte.
In a trip to the Haidi Gwaii archipelago on Friday, Kate donned an army green blazer by Toronto-based designer Smythe –- a brand she wore during her last trip to Canada.
A young girl sits on the floor as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, speak with mothers and their children at the new Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre, in Haida Gwaii, B.C., on Friday September 29, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Darryl Dyck)
She paired the coat -- dubbed the “Duchess” blazer in Smythe’s fall collection -- with a simple white blouse and earth tone pants.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a navy blue version of the blazer during her 2011 royal tour of Canada, and the Canadian-made coat was later spotted in her day-to-day wardrobe back in the U.K.
"We design with a woman like Kate Middleton in mind: tailored and effortlessly chic," Smythe told The Canadian Press in a statement.
The royal couple spent the day paddling in a replica Haida war canoe, learning about Haida culture at a heritage museum and touring the region’s new hospital in Queen Charlotte, B.C.
On the final day of the royal tour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a café in Victoria to meet with members of a mental health resources centre. The royal couple also unveiled a statue in Victoria to pay respect to a local organization that offers programming for people with brain injuries, victims of domestic violence, and care for infants and seniors.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with Kelty Mental Health Resources Centre members during a discussion and demonstration at the Breakwater Cafe in Victoria, B.C., Saturday, October 1, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Chad Hipolito)
According to fashion watchers, Kate donned a simple cream blazer and dark skinny jeans, both by Zara, during her last day in Canada. She paired the outfit with a pair of tasseled loafers by J. Crew.
Wrap-up of the Duchess of Cambridge’s style this royal visit
Style expert Lisa Tant thinks the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe choices during her royal visit were superb.
“She looked fabulous,” she told Your Morning co-host Anne Marie Mediwake on Friday. ‘”She always looks so elegant. And that’s a word I don’t use very often. She’s appropriate. She looks beautiful.”
Tant also praised the duchess for wearing pieces of clothing that were perfectly fit to her slim body.
“She’s always well dressed. Her pieces are tailored….If it fits in the shoulders and fits in the waist, it makes a perfect photograph and they (the Royals) know that.”
The style expert also commented on some of her favourite looks from the duchess during this royal visit.
In particular, she loved the red Preen dress Middleton wore during a reception at Government House, as well as the grey-wrap coat by Canadian designer Sentaler that she sported while in Yukon.
“This will get that young Canadian designer global attention,” said Tant. “She’ll probably be getting calls from around the world right now, so that’ll make a huge difference to her business.”
Overall, Tant said Kate Middleton’s style is a great example for young women everywhere.
“She’s the epitome of elegance. Everyone now is so out there and showing everything and she’s always put together,” said Tant. “We aspire to look like her. I think there’s not a lot of people out there now that make you want to dress like that.”