Monday, 29 May 2017

A New Family Photo Released as Prince William Graces the Cover of British GQ

As part of the ongoing Heads Together campaign, Prince William was interviewed by Alastair Campbell for British GQ. The spread features a black and white photograph of the Cambridges relaxing at Kensington Palace as they watch George, Charlotte and Lupo play. The photo was taken in April by Norman Jean Roy.

British GQ shared the following background on the interview "As part of the ongoing Heads Together campaign, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge has opened up about his mental health and discussed the death of his mother with GQ's Alastair Campbell, a self-described "old leftie Republican". In a wide-ranging conversation the Duke reveals his determination to get the nation talking more about emotions and feelings." The cover leads with "William, A Prince In His Prime".

Several extracts from the interview have been published and can be read in their entirety here. William spoke about a number of issues including missing his mother:

"I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her."

On the imminent 20th anniversary of his mother's death:

“I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better. It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her. It is a different situation for most people who lose someone they love, it can be hidden away or they can choose if they want to share their story.” 

William discussed the importance of family "I could not do my job without the stability of the family. Stability at home is so important to me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents. I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life."

On the ultimate goal of the Heads Together campaign:

"Smashing the taboo is our biggest aim. We cannot go anywhere much until that is done. People can’t access services till they feel less ashamed, so we must tackle the taboo, the stigma, for goodness sake, this is the 21st century. "I've been really shocked how many people live in fear and in silence because of their mental illness. I just don't understand it. I know I come across as quite reserved and shy, I don’t always have my emotions brewing, but behind closed doors I think about the issues, I get very passionate about things. I rely on people around me for opinions, and I am a great believer in communication on these issues.
"I cannot understand how families, even behind closed doors, still find it so hard to talk about it. I am shocked we are so worried about saying anything about the true feelings we have. Because mental illness is inside our heads, invisible, it means others tread so carefully, and people don’t know what to say, whereas if you have a broken leg in plaster, everyone knows what to say."

Of course many of you may recall Alastair Capbell contributed to the #OktoSay series. Best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Alastair has campaigned relentlessly to end stigma around mental health. In his film, Alastair talked to his partner Fiona about his psychotic nervous breakdown in 1986, his addiction issues and the chronic depression he has experienced over the years. He says: "The thing I always do now, I always say to you when I feel the depression coming on, even if it’s only mild, and it used to be I would just go into lockdown, now the first thing I say is: 'I think I’m getting depressed again."

Norman Jean Roy is a Canadian born portrait photographer. His portraits have appeared on the covers and pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, and Rolling Stone. His varied career has seen him shooting portraits of everyone from Justin Trudeau to Ed Sheeran, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. He has shot advertising campaigns for Oscar de la Renta, L'Oreal and Neiman Marcus.

The Duchess was casually attired for the photo in a sweater and jeans. 

Emi notes it very much looks like Kate wore the J Crew Italian Cashmere Long T-Shirt she recently wore for a visit to Farms for City Children. 

The 'heather midnight' piece features rib trim at the neck, a rolled edge at the cuffs and hem and is described as "semi-fitted". For US readers take 30% off purchases at J Crew with discount code SWEET. The piece is also available in an array of colours at Net-A-Porter.

J Crew

We can see Kate wore her Mappin &Webb Empress Pendant and possibly the matching earrings.

Mappin & Webb

It also looks like may have worn her Superga Cotu Trainers.

It's always a treat to see a new family photo of the Cambridges and to see efforts for Heads Together continuing. What do you think of the interview thus far? The full interview appears in the July 2017 issue of British GQ, available on newsstands and as a download from 1 June. Perhaps we'll see additional photographs when the issue is fully available?

If you're just joining us, we posted a new post last night wrapping up Pippa's wedding and fashion related nuggets. You can view it here!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Pippa's Wedding Wrap Up & the 'Kate Effect' Sees Favourites Reissued!

Hello and Happy Sunday, dear readers, it's been just over a week since Pippa and James Matthews' beautiful Berkshire wedding. During that time a host of information covering everything from Pippa's tiara to Kate's artwork has been reported on. Before we start a new week, I thought it might be fun to recap those nuggets of information.

The Tiara

One of the most talked about elements of Pippa's bridal look was the Robinson Pelham 'Maidenhair Fern' tiara with matching headpiece.

Vogue spoke to Robinson Pelham co-founders Zoe Benyon and Vanessa Chilton who provided information and photos: "Pippa wore a maidenhair fern tiara and matching headpiece, crafted with diamonds and 18-karat white gold. Milliner Stephen Jones designed a veil that wouldn't steal focus from either, and Robinson Pelham ensured both items would complement her lace dress. "It’s all about balance," Benyon says. "You do not want the dress and tiara to fight, so one has to take a back seat." Perhaps more importantly, they were tailored to Pippa herself. "Tiaras are like sunglasses; not every one suits every shape of face," Benyon adds. For example, a low-height tiara will flatter a slimmer face, she explains, while a taller version is ideal for those with strong cheekbones; a round or heart-shape face would benefit from height at the center."

The accompanying headpiece.

Kate's Special Sketch

Whilst it was reported the Duchess would not have an official role at her sister's wedding, she did have much to do. Kate acted as an "unofficial matron of honour" carrying out the usual duties associated with the role, from adjusting the train of the dress to looking after the pageboys and bridesmaids. The Duchess also read a prayer. Kate also contributed in another way - creating a sketch of St Mark's Church for the wedding's order of service. Reverend Nick Wynne-Jones, who officiated at the ceremony, said it was a 'lovely piece'. The Mail reports James Matthews also gave her talent a mention in his speech, saying: "To Pippa’s sister, such ability – a beautiful drawing of St Mark’s church in the order of service." With thanks to the lovely Sara for the photo.

The Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale

The reception was one of the most mysterious and intriguing aspects of the wedding without question, as not one single photo from inside the marquee showing guests has been leaked. It was, however, a delight to see floral designer Djordje Varda share several images on Instagram with the caption: "Let me tell you the story about a special wedding for very special and lovely people…..The Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale."

Beautiful floral arrangements.

A Pronovias Gown?

Guests changed into evening looks for the reception and the bride was no exception. According to various reports, there was a sea of glittering evening gowns. Mirka Federer's make-up artist Nariman shared this photo of her glamorous look for the event. It offers a feel of the evening.

Hello! reports Pippa's second wedding gown was created by Spanish bridal brand Pronovias. "The gown was a white, flowing dress which was surely a show-stopping look for the evening supper and party. Pronovias is yet to confirm they designed the dress, but Pippa will no doubt add to their already long list of famous clientele. Models Bar Rafaelli and Camilla Alves are big fans of the brand. Opting for a flowing Pronovias dress will have enabled Pippa to join in with dancing at her reception."

We don't know what Kate wore for the reception; I suspect an elegant gown by one of her tried and trusted designers with her hair down. It would be very interesting to know as one wonders how Kate's "off duty" evening style differs to her "professional wardrobe".

I had a quick glance over several of Kate's favoured designers of late and noticed myriad looks which would have been perfect for the event. I thought the Marchesa Notte Off Shoulder Lace Gown would have been a splendid choice; I adore how the beaded appliqu├ęs trim the waist. Perhaps it could be styled with her wedding earrings? The Duchess has also been loving the midi dress look and if she opted to wear the dazzling Kiki McDonough morganite earrings from the ceremony, the Temperley London Midi Onyx Wedding Dress could have worked very well.

What do you think Kate wore for the reception?

Menu & Invitations

A guest at the reception posted a look at the invitations for the evening party (one imagines these were separate to invitations for the church service). Pippa and James opted for a very simple, classic white invitation with understated green floral details.

Menu cards from the reception were personalised with the name of each guest and revealed a series of culinary delights. More from Hello!:

'The newlyweds, their family and friends began their three-course meal with Berkshire Mayfly Trout, served with marinated cucumber, confit tomatoes, horseradish cream and sauce vierge. For their main course, the couple chose a cannon of Herdwick lamb, served with lamb shoulder tortellini, aubergine puree, Yorkshire asparagus and a black olive jus. Dessert was a Glen Affric cranachan cheesecake, accompanied by a Highland whiskey honey – a clear nod to James's family ties to Scotland. The Matthews family own Affric Lodge, a large Scottish mansion which sits in a 10,000 acre estate in Glen Affric, about 15 miles from Loch Ness – and Pippa and James are set to spend a few days there following on from their tropical honeymoon in French Polynesia. The drinks menu featured Chassagne-Montrachet, 2015, Domaine Bernard Moreau, Chateau Palmer 1998 Margaux, and Affric Trait 10 year Highlands Malt.'

Apparently, Pippa and James have called in lawyers to try to keep details from the wedding under wraps. The eBay user who attempted to sell the menus has removed the listing, the florist has removed photos of the floral arrangements and guests who posted invitations have all removed them from their social media accounts in recent days. Personally, I thought it a tad over zealous to take such action as in the case of the florist she was showcasing her work and guests posting invitations were probably just incredibly excited. If possible non-disclosure agreements were signed and the aforementioned parties were in breach of course the reaction could be understandable.

Fan Art

It's been lovely to see all the creative illustrations and sketches. I love this sketch of Kate with George and Charlotte by the talented Naseeba Khader.

This illustration of Pippa and James kissing surrounded by pageboys and bridesmaids by Amelia Noyes is beautifully done.

Will we see reception photos?

That is THE question, isn't it? In this age of social media, it's quite something to see not one photo has found its way to the internet from the reception. I suspect given how public the arrivals/departures at the church were, they wanted the events afterwards to be away from the spotlight. Of course, I could be completely wrong on this one, I just fail to see the incentive to share more of their big day with the public. If there is an exclusive, it would almost certainly be with the likes of Hello! or People.

The Honeymoon

Entertainment Tonight has published a selection of photos of the happy couple enjoying their tropical honeymoon. The couple were photographed strolling along the beach holding hands. You can view the story with photos here. Pippa wore the very pretty Kate Spade New York Lantern Poplin Flounce Sundress in the photos (with thanks to Perth Fashion). It is described as: "A slender band of ladder stitching accents the fitted bodice of a sprightly poplin sundress cast in a bold quatrefoil print. Soft gathers at the inset waist and hem create breeze-catching flounce at the short skirt." It's available at Nordstrom.


Entertainment Tonight reports: "Pippa Middleton and James Matthews pulled out all the stops for their May 20 wedding -- and their honeymoon was no different! The newlyweds jetted off to Tetiaroa this week, a private and elite group of islands in French Polynesia, where they're staying at The Brando, an exclusive resort on the island once owned by Marlon Brando. When not enjoying their reported $3,000 per night accommodations, Middleton and Matthews were spotted enjoying the island's beautiful beaches." An overview of the Island - it looks heavenly!

UPDATE: It appears the photos of Pippa and James on honeymoon have been removed from ET.


In the second portion of our post we have several fashion related updates to share concerning pieces and brands favoured by the Duchess. One of Kate's most popular pieces last year was undoubtedly the Preen Finella Midi Dress; in fact Kate loved it so much she purchased it in two colours. The garment remains available in red in limited sizing at Net-A-Porter.

Undoubtedly, the brand has experienced the 'Kate Effect' and saw demand for the Finella soar after the Duchess wore it in Canada last year. For the Spring/Summer season they have re-released the piece with a ruffled skirt. The Palmer dress is described: "Preen by Thornton Bregazzi re-imagines its best-selling 'Finella' dress - made famous by the Duchess of Cambridge - into the 'Palmer' for Spring '17. Cut from vibrant fuchsia stretch-crepe, it has an asymmetric neckline, neatly folded pleats and a full midi skirt. You'll love how it nips you in at the waist."


The Palmer dress also comes in 'indigo'. What do you think of the new take on the classic style?


In our last post, we mentioned updates to Kate's green Dolce & Gabbana dress. The dress Kate wore in forest-green crepe and georgette is now available and appropriately renamed the 'Middleton'. The dress has puffed sleeves, a pretty bow tie and white buttons, evocative of styles from the '40s. It's available at Net-A-Porter.

Kate's much talked about Kate Spade New York Pretty Pom Tassel Drop Earrings have been restocked in several colours at Nordstrom.

And just in time for summer Kate's Stuart Weitzman Minx Wedges are discounted by 50% to $212 at 6 pm.

Stuart Weitzman

At present, the Duchess has nothing scheduled on her calendar, although I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that change over the next couple of days. With heightened security concerns in the UK, it's also possible we'll see an increased frequency in unannounced events. For our readers in Manchester, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this shocking and heartbreaking time. X