It’s fashion forward at Buckingham Palace & hey there Lacorine!

The Duchess wore Erdem for tonight’s Commonwealth fashion Exchange reception at Buckingham Palace.  

Kate co-hosted the reception with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, on behalf of The Queen. Rebecca English of The daily Mail shared this video of the two arriving at the Palace’s music room this evening. 

More from the Palace news release:

The Commonwealth fashion Exchange aims to create partnerships between established and emerging talent from across the 52 member countries, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in London this April.

Over the last six months, major fashion designers such as Stella McCartney (UK), Karen Walker (New Zealand) and Bibi Russell (Bangladesh) have partnered with artisan producers in small nations who exemplify standard handcraft techniques and trades, with a view to creating a ‘skills exchange’.

Guests at tonight’s party included (l to r): Alice Temperley, Naomi Campbell, and Erin O’Connor.

Also taking part, Anna Wintour, British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, Anya Hindmarch, Stella McCartney and other industry notables.

Designs created as a result of the partnerships were featured at the reception.

The skirt and coat you see in the background are by Rizwan Beyg, “featuring motifs designed by the ‘truck artists’ of Pakistan. The pattern of the garment was first worked on by original truck artists and digitally printed on silk after which it was embroidered by the village women of Bahawalpur.”

The Duchess speaking with Stella McCartney and Anna Wintour. 

Following tonight’s party, the designs will be moved to other London locations to be showcased to the public. 

The fuchsia dress is the result of Stella McCartney’s partnership with Oshadi Silk in southern India. 

This skirt and blouse were done by Charles and Ron (based in Malta), with embellishment overseen by Khushboo in Mumbai. 

Below left, the design created by Karen Walker and Tukua Tuna. On the right, Ms. Walker hugging her design collaborator.

More about the piece from The daily Mail: 

The duchess also chatted with new Zealand designer Karen Walker and her collaborator Tukua Tuna, from the Kuki Airani creative Mamas, who originally hails from the cook Islands but is now based in Auckland. 

‘The Duchess asked us how long it had taken – 1,000 hours was the answer,’ miss Walker said. ‘And she was just amazed at the level of detail that Tukua and her team had undertaken in stitching the islands’ stunning flowers.’ 

Mrs Tuna, 74, added: ‘The Duchess couldn’t quite believe it when I told her we had used 9,000 metres of thread!’ 

Below, Kate speaking with the duo. 

This Theodore Elyett (Bahamas) dress is paired with jewelry by Catherine Rocheford in Barbados.

Some of the embellishment at the waist.

Kate and Sophie look at the piece designed by Lucian Matis (Canada) and Omba Arts depend on (Namibia). 

Burberry’s look showcases the finest quality Australian Merino Wool.

The Duchess chatting with Edward Enninful (l) and Livia Firth (c). The fashion Exchange is an initiative put together by Ms. Firth’s company, Eco-Age.   

The event was timed to take place during London fashion Week, which started this past weekend. The new endeavor is supported by both the British fashion Council and the Commonwealth fashion Council. Sophie is royal patron of the London college of Fashion; she is seen below with model Adwoah Aboah (l) and chief executive of the British fashion Council Caroline Rush.

Now to what the royals wore for this evening’s reception.

Kate was in Erdem’s “Suzi Guipure Lace Dress” ($2975). 

The dress has an empire waist, vee-neck, three-quarter sleeves, and scalloped lace detailing at the hem, sleeves and neckline. There is an applied ruffle or frill at the waistline and the sleeves have a ruffled cuff. The lace dress is 100% polyester atop a silk lining.Kate’s dress is longer than the original version, hitting below the knee by several inches. 

The dress was also available at Barney’s in a lemony yellow and white.

Kate’s earrings are by Anita Dongre, from the designer’s Pinkcity line. They were first worn in February 2017 at a Buckingham Palace reception kicking off the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture. 

Kate carried her Alexander McQueen Heart Clasp clutch first noted at the 2017 BAFTA awards. The piece is on sale at Neiman Marcus, discounted by 50% to $1347.    

The Duchess brought back her Prada Wavy Cutout suede pumps for the event. 

Sophie wore Burberry, identified by Anna of the Countess of Wessex blog as the brand’s contrast Topstitch detail Dress.

Anna Wintour also wore Erdem. Michelle of Perth’s fashion pointed out her dress is from the designer’s pre-fall 2018 collection. 

Princess Beatrice attended the reception, and she also wore Erdem.

Erdem’s a/w 2018 collection was shown at fashion Week today. 

We’ll save that for another post. I think I need an Erdem Time-Out. 


Also today, I am excited to share some background and a discount code from a new sponsor here at WKW, Lacorine. lots of readers will recognize the company’s name; Lacorine makes alpaca fur hats we have seen Kate wearing.

Most recently we saw the Duchess wearing Lacorine’s Sumac style in Oslo, Norway.

It is a design Kate is clearly fond of; she wore the piece for church services at Sandringham this past January. below we see her with the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince William.

On both occasions, the Duchess was wearing the Lacorine Sumac Hat in the chestnut brown colorway. The hat is described as “Divinely soft, fluffy and warm, with a generous brim, our luxury alpaca hat is a knock-out – best for a wintertime wedding or the races.”

Lacorine has a fascinating story. The firm was started by Antonia Valentin Jacob, who grew up in Lima, Peru. here you see her as a little girl.

All of Lacorine’s products are made using ethically sourced materials; the Peruvian alpaca fur is from animals that died naturally, most typically from Peru’s harsh wintertime climate.

Antonia travels to Peru three times a year, where she sources materials and meets with the artisans who create Lacorine’s products. More on this by means of the company’s website: 

The fact that I’m from Peru has enabled us to create lasting relationships centred on depend on and respect and the love of the alpaca itself. I spend a terrific deal of time sourcing and designing my collection while on the ground in Peru which make sure each item is of the highest quality.   

Lacorine supports marginalized small producers and independent family businesses in Peru and establishes long term safe working practices wherever possible to help producers to have safe incomes enabling them to be self-sufficient.

As Antonia told Claudia Joseph in an interview for The daily Mail, “They are artisans who have been in the industry for years, and their skills have been passed down from generation to generation.” 

Pippa Middleton is also a fan of the brand. here you see her wearing Lacorine’s Qori in chocolate brown at Cheltenham in 2013.   

The company is a member of the British association for fair trade Shops and Suppliers and committed to supporting the artisans and small service with whom it works. Ethical Hedonist magazine took note when seeing that Kate wore a hat by a certified fair trade fashion company.     

The hat also catapulted its maker, a little known certified fairtrade fashion house…….. onto the world stage and unexpectedly Fairtrade and ethical fashion is in vogue!

The age of conscious, compassionate luxury is upon us, with the prized baby alpaca fur coming from animals that have died naturally, in the midst of a harsh Peruvian winter, rather than being sheared for their precious, soft as a cloud wool.

Here at Ethical Hedonist, we have been talking about the idea of compassionate luxury for years, and we are interested to see this capture the collective imagination.

Below, Kate wears the Sumac in silver grey when attending church services at Sandringham in January 2017.  

The Sumac comes in a variety of colors. From left to right: white, champagne, copper, chestnut brown, and chocolate.

It is also carried in silver grey, grey, black and red. 

Hats are just one of the lots of products offered by Lacorine. The company also offers soft toys (including darling alpacas) and scarves.

If you have been pondering the possibility of purchasing a Lacorine for yourself, or maybe as a gift for someone else, now is the best time because we have a discount code you can use: use promo code WKW at checkout to receive 10% off your purchase. (The special offer ends February 28th.) You can also follow Lacorine on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and Instagram.    


Read the news release, see the sketches and photos of all of the designs by clicking here

The Commonwealth fashion Council website is here; its Facebook page is here


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