Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand is coming to a close and, though the royal couple has done everything from race yachts to meet marsupials, it's Kate's stylish wardrobe choices that have captured much of the media attention. Wednesday night was no different when she managed to embrace the cut-out trend in a classy way.
The 32-year-old wore a white Lela Rose dress with a cutout-style peplum and sleeves to a party at Yarralumla, the home of the Governor-General, the queen's representative in Australia. The estate is in Canberra, the country's capital.
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Kate opted for a crochet-inspired version of the cut-out look, which gave her dress a sleek and summery effect. She paired the dress with a contrasting black clutch and heels and wore simple makeup and had her hair in a trademark chignon.
Although Kate has mostly worn a combination of British and Australian designers like Alexander McQueen, L.K. Bennett, Stella McCartney, and Zimmerman on her Down Under tour, Lela Rose lives and works in the United States. The designer is known for her crisp, feminine dresses, and she has a celebrity fanbase that includes Ashley Judd, Mariska Hargitay, and fellow fashion designers the Olsen twins. Rose also has a popular line of bridal gowns, which are named after New York City landmarks like Central Park and Union Square.
Grazia magazine called the duchess's dress choice "surprising," since she's not known for wearing American designers. Meanwhile, Glamour pointed out that Kate, who is known for rewearing her favorite pieces, wore two brand-new looks in a single day – the white Lela Rose dress and, earlier, a green, belted Catherine Walker coat for a tree-planting ceremony.
At the party, Australian TV anchor Angela Bishop used her meeting with the Duchess to bring up the subject of fashion. "I asked her about Australian fashion and she said she was really interested in the designers here," Bishop told reporters outside the event. "Kate said she really wanted to go out shopping and had been driving through cities looking out the window peering into show windows. I think she was a little disappointed that she couldn't shop here."
However, Kate's lovely smile could have been marred by some bad news that she and her husband got shortly before heading to the black-tie event. Mark Shand, the brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, was in New York for a charity event when he fell and hit his head, dying almost immediately. Parker Bowles is William's stepmother, married to his father, Prince Charles. The news of the death was reported by Clarence House, Prince William's official representative in London.
As usual, style-watchers around the world tried to get their hands on Kate's latest style triumph. The dress, which retails for about $1,500, has already sold out at Nordstrom.com.