Hello and welcome to an August post as the Wales family enjoys some down time. It’s the summer of Barbie – the film is a resounding success.
Along with the popularity of the film, we see the color pink. Everywhere. Below, Margot Robbie at the film’s premiere in London.
We also see many Princess of Wales sets called “Barbie Pink”, as these sets worn at the Foundling Museum in May.
More than British vogue may article about visiting the museum.
In fact, it looks like even the Princess of Wales can’t resist the candy pink vibe this summer. The royal stepped out for an engagement at the Foundling Museum in London wearing a pastel pink suit by Alexander McQueen, which she teamed with a matching blouse underneath and a pair of white pumps (a shoe choice that is become a new summer staple for Kate). Finish the look? A trendy white belt with a beaded buckle reminiscent of the kitschy accessories worn by our favorite Mattel doll.
Many articles associated the princess dressed in pink with the popularity of “pink Barbie”. It made me dig a bit into the WKW archives to see just how much pink the Princess of Wales has worn over the years. It’s not one of his most worn colors, but it’s a shade we’ve seen several times a year most years, albeit in different versions of the color. Here is an overview of some of these styles.
On several occasions we have seen bright and vibrant pink tones. On the left, the Alexander McQueen drawing worn for Trooping the Color in 2017 with its pleated neckline and paper bag waist. Next is RIXO’s “Izzy dress” in a pattern called pink marble zebra, worn on the last day of the Caribbean Tour 2022. Many will recognize the ME+EM Color Block Silk Shirt Dress originally worn when the Duchess of Cambridge met Mila Sneddon, 5 years old in May 2021, seen a second time during a children’s picnic in May at the Chelsea Flower Show. On the right, the pink Runaway Belted Coat from Max & Co. and the Hambleden Scallop Sweater from Boden seen at a school visit in March 2021.
In some cases, the princess opted for softer shades, including some in what I would call dusty pink. Bottom left, the Beulah London “Ahana crepe midi dress,described as “blush hued” by the brand, seen here at the reopening of this month of June from the Young V&A Museum. First of all worn at Wimbledon in July 2021, the dress features a buckle and button closure in the front and a belt. Second from left, Alexander McQueen’s “Wool and Cashmere Peplum Dress” originally worn on the 2014 Australian tour and brought back for a Engagement of the National Portrait Gallery 2016. The dress has a V-neckline, a full skirt and a structured peplum at the waist. Then the Lela Rose “Double-Faced Twill Elbow Sleeve Dress” worn in 2016 for a engagement day in cornwall. The fit and flare style featured stitch detailing at the sleeves and upper part of the skirt. On the right, the McQueen maternity style coat worn for the first time Color Parade 2013 then brought back for the 2015 Commonwealth Day Service. The tailored design featured an oversized collar, large pearl buttons, flap pockets and bracelet length sleeves.
Two other “pretty in pink” looks: the Alexander McQueen model worn for a May 2019 Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, featuring a double-breasted silhouette with pleats falling from the pocket flaps, and a version of Emilia Wickstead’s “Alice dress”. This model was first worn for the Queen’s Sovereigns Luncheon in May 2012 then again for a garden party 2012. The dress has a square neckline, a fitted waist and a pleated skirt.
The princess opted for rich berry hues. On the left you see the “A light sleeper” Vampire’s Wife dress, in metallic pink with a fitted bodice and fluttering sleeves, worn for a Belize March 2022 Reception. For the last day of Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in June 2022the Duchess chose an edited version of Stella McCartney’s Twill Wrap Midi Dress with a draped bodice and bias cut skirt. In November 2021, the Duchess sported a separates by Hobbs London: THE Tilda coat And Lara turtleneck sweater in merino wool. When participating the october 2018 wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the Duchess chose a bespoke Alexander McQueen pleated dress at the neckline and skirt and paper bag waist.
The dress worn for Princess Eugenie’s wedding looked almost identical to the 2017 Trooping the Color dress seen above. The most noticeable difference between the two dresses: the bay-colored dress had distinctly puffed sleeves.
Other bright pieces include Alexander McQueen’s ‘Leaf Midi Pencil Dress’ in a color officially called ‘Dahlia Pink’, featuring round neckline pleats, structured short sleeves and a belt; it was worn for a joint commitment 2021 with the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden. In the center, the vintage Oscar de la Renta dress worn for a reception in March 2020 in Dublin, which featured a pie crust collar, a jabot trimmed with black velvet, double-banded cuffs also trimmed with black velvet, and a black velvet waistband. On the right, the Mulberry double-breasted Cerise Coat noted for the first time during the visit to New York in 2014 and carried again in March 2015 for his last day of engagements before Princess Charlotte was born. The coat was seen a third time in January 2018 for a day of engagements in Coventry.
A look at the Mulberry coat worn over the years.
Evening dresses were more in shades of pink and blush. We start with Jenny Packham’s much-loved style described as a “pearl rose” that has been brought for the first time to a gala dinner in June 2011and again for one June 2016 dinner. Second from the left, the Gucci dress seen during a February 2019 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner; it featured an off-the-shoulder design with an intricate gathered bodice and a floaty, flowing skirt layered in pleated tulle. Two more recent styles come from the June royal wedding in Jordan. The Elie Saab design (third from left) featured a high collar, intricate pleats and floral appliques, and a full skirt. The sequined Jenny Packham (far right) worn for the formal wedding reception was accented with crystal embellishments on the bodice and at the waist.
A preview of the Jenny Packham dress worn in 2011 and again in 2016.
And a close-up view of the neckline and bodice detailing both years.
There is an evening dress which we have only seen a glimpse of and which was worn for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party in 2018. Hopefully we’ll see the full dress at some point in the future.
Some models had only the faintest whisper of color. Below is the Alexander McQueen cape effect dress with embellished neckline worn in 2018 for a black-tie dinner in Oslo and the highly controversial Alexander McQueen dress that was worn for Pippa Middleton’s wedding in May 2017. On the right, the joseph “Scala Stretch Crepe Dress” seen when the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen Buckingham Palace exhibition preview highlighting her wedding dress, with its deep V neckline and three-quarter sleeves.
On several occasions, the princess was in shades more leaning towards the salmon/coral/peach family. Here you see her (left to right) in an Emilia Wickstead coat dress at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party 2022; the Goat Fashion “Scarlett Pleat-Front Dress” (in a color officially called Geranium) worn during a school visit in July 2014; a Stella McCartney dress seen at the Baptism of July 2019 by Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor; the Orla Kiely floral dress worn at Paddington Station in October 2017; the Tara Jarmon cotton twill collarless coat worn while visiting Naomi House Children’s Hospice in April 2013.
There have been a few pink prints over the years, but not many. Here you see the Jenny Packham dress worn when arrived in Singapore in 2012; the “Madison” chiffon dress from LK Bennett seen at a July 2019 Polo Match; the Kate Spade “Encore Rose Chiffon Dress” seen at a engagement marking World Mental Health Day in 2016; the hand-dyed bright orange and pink batik print dress worn a dinner in the Solomon Islands during the 2012 Jubilee Tour.
We end with two sets of partings; the “ice pink” Alexander McQueen jacket and trousers first noticed during a June 2022 Early Childhood Roundtable and seen again in may for London commitments, and the Marks and Spencer pieces. Separations were first seen during a commitment in March 2020 in a London Ambulance call center and repeated in a photo published by Kensington Palacewith the pants worn again for a September 2020 engagement.
It was great fun to put together. There were more pieces than I expected, including several that I had forgotten about, like the Lela Rose and RIXO dresses. I’m going to do an article on the most polarizing looks worn by the princess; if you have any that come to mind, be sure to leave a comment with suggestions for this post.