Fashion news and features director
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin Credit: Reuters

It’s been a long time coming, but I think we can now say with some certainty that the Duchess of Cambridge has shaken off the reluctance she once showed, understandably, to explore the ‘fashion’ side of getting dressed for her role. 

On Tuesday, the first day of a three day visit to Ireland, the duchess debuted two new dresses, both worthy of the most fabulous, impeccably tasteful and luxe-leaning of wardrobes. 

The first look involved a Catherine Walker coat layered over a rose patterned green dress in shades ranging from grass to bottle. With its pleated bodice, crystal buttons, balloon sleeves and peplum waist, the Alessandra Rich design had far more going on than most of Kate’s usual repertoire, yet she was still happy to add a padded headband, an accessory with which she’s now become synonymous. 

For an evening visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the duchess changed into a sparkling, fittingly emerald dress by The Vampire’s Wife, a label loved by the fashion cognoscenti for its vintage-influenced, feminine designs. She was once again unafraid to amp up an already bold look, wearing a pair of oversized gold circular earrings with her newly trimmed hair. The ‘Falconetti’ dress retails for £1,595 and is made using ‘iridescent emerald metallic silk chiffon’.

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the £1,595 Falconetti dress by The Vampire's Wife Credit: Chris Jackson/ Getty

The Vampire’s Wife was founded by model Susie Cave三级成人视频 in 2014 and began as a tiny enterprise, making bespoke designs for private clients from an atelier in Brighton. Cave, who is married to singer/ songwriter Nick Cave, is known for her exquisitely ethereal personal style and is the woman Kate Moss cites as her fashion inspiration. Now, the brand has become a favourite among everyone from Hollywood celebrities to royalty and cultural influencers. 

Margot Robbie, Courtney Love and Felicity Jones have all worn Cave’s designs in the past few months and Princess Beatrice recently attended the wedding of Prince Christophe Napoleon Bonapartre and Countess Olimpia von und zu Arco wearing a floral Vampire’s Wife frock. The Vampire’s Wife is certainly one of the edgiest labels the duchess has supported.  

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Kate’s journey to choosing trend-cognisant outfits has been long and carefully managed. There was a time when pieces by of-the-moment labels would be worn, only for the next look to take her back on to safer ground. Over the past eighteen months, her look has developed, with more adventurous silhouettes and brands being introduced. Now, with two dresses by sophisticated names in one day, neither of which shirk from elevated detailing, we truly have a fashion-loving Duchess in our midst.

The Duchess of Cambridge wearing The Vampire's Wife Credit: AFP

The Duchess’s willingness to show her fashion nous三级成人视频 has been gently guided by Virginia Chadwyck-Healy, her university friend, former Vogue retail editor and Sunday Telegraph columnist who has been offering advice since Kate returned from her maternity leave after the birth of Prince Louis. But her newfound confidence also speaks of her coming into her own in the royal family, cementing her place as a future Queen by taking on more solo projects and engagements. She recently gave a 30 minute interview to Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, opening up about the joys and struggles of motherhood. 

There was a time when the Duchess was careful to avoid comparisons with Princess Diana, who became known as fashion icon. Now that Kate is confidently her own person, her own style is shining through.