Cathy Cambridge’s Eleganza

Posted on May 14, 2012

Miss Cathy generally likes her Jenny Packham dresses, and the brand has served her well plenty of times, but they really knocked it out of the park for the Duchess this time.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the ‘Our Greatest Team Rises -BOA Olympic Concert’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London in a gown (and clutch) by Jenny Packham paired with Jimmy Choo sandals.

Jenny Packham Spring 2012 Collection

Jimmy Choo ‘Vamp’ Sandal

What a stunning color on her. What a beautiful back on that dress. What a head-turner she is wearing it. And it’s so nice to see her in tiara-ready hair. We don’t know why she avoids up ‘dos so much; she looks amazing. This may be a personal best for Miss Cathy. This’ll be on the cover of the next hastily put-together style book about her.

Too bad about the super-matchy purse, though.


[Photo Credit: Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images,,]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Sobaika

    She looks fabulous, but the shoes and clutch wouldn’t have been my first choice.

    • teachmusik

      I think those are the same shoes that she wore with the white dress in the other post. I think they’re gorgeous 🙂

      • megohd

        I LOVE that she wore the shoes again!

        • MoreShoes

          Exactly. That’s what I like the most. She didn’t mind to wear the same shoes.

    • Joey Melliza

      true — question – do you really have to have a clutch? i mean seriously – doesn’t someone carry your stuff for you – or maybe have your husband carry the mobile in his jacket…

      • luciaphile

        The Queen carries a handbag most of the time. People have been speculating for years on why.

      • miagain

         My husband’s jackets are always full of my lipsticks… I’d rather clutch him than a purse!!

      • Lipstick, Kleenex, maybe a tampon?  Definitely not things I’d ask my husband to carry for me, or a lackey.

        • leftcoastpickle

          the Queen keeps her cigarettes in her purse! And Cath looks amazing with her hair up.

        • gubblebumm

           I love a good clutch, its like another piece of the outfit, and I lke holding something, and when you are single and going out you need to have that clutch to hold emergency money, ID, phone,a nd the habit is a good one…I feel odd not having a purse of some discription when I go out, even if its just for show, and I don’t want to have to ask my husband to hold my personal stuff, he tends to whine

  • rainwood1

    Gorgeous dress.  And kill me, I like the matchy purse with it because it blends in rather than distracts the eye from all the loveliness.  

    • Pennymac

      I agree. She doesn’t need contrast on the purse because there is no pop of color necessary here. The updo, the shoes, the modifications on the runway presentation, all work perfectly. Stunning!!!!!

      • Cathy S

         I agree. It all works. She looks amazing.

  • completely stunning

  • I sort of wish the bustline was higher or she wore cups or something. It’s slightly off below the neck and above the belt.Which is gorgeous,by the way.

  • Cecilia Evans

    Yay, I’ve been waiting for you to post this one 🙂 She looks amazing!  Up ‘do and open toes, you go Cathy!

  • I love it all. This was a perfect dress to wear the hair up with.

  • Laurie Bergman

    She is a tall cool refreshing drink of water in that dress.  The alterations they made to the runway version suit her perfectly and her updo has some intricate detail but as a whole is quite composed. I agree that a less matchy clutch would have been better; perhaps a silver to match those gorgeous Choos? Still, this is a WERQ for me.

  • Vaniljekjeks

    That dress is amazing.  

  • susu11

    OoooOo I love that color on her! It is a shame about that matchy purse, and I kinda find her eye shadow a bit questionable in the second to last shot, but otherwise she really did hit it out of the park.

    • MissAnnieRN

      Yeah, no kidding. I’m viewing this on my phone so I can’t tell, but is she wearing – gasp – navy blue eyeliner?? I’ve noticed she has toned down her use of eyeliner for less formal occasions. But girl has it on en force. Never been a fan of the heavy under eye eyeliner.

  • mommyca

    oh come on! No pictures of the back??? the back looks every more amazing! (or is it because you are “laced-out”? 🙂 

  • NC_Meg

    My very favorite look of hers. Girlfriend killed it.

  • Her hair looks amazing, especially from the front.

  • Elizabeth Riley

    Can I be her when I grow up?

    • jessieroset

      Seriously.  I want to be a mix of her, Diane Lane, and Helen Mirren. 

      • Melvis Velour

        That much consolidated fabuliciousness might be too much for this universe…

  • Gorgeous!

  • Jessica Weare

    No complaints about the platform sandals with an evening gown?

    • alyce1213

      They’re not very high platforms, so they work I think.

  • Those rows of teeny-tiny buttons always make me want to squeal. I think they did that thing here where it’s not actual buttons, though, just a decoration on a zipper. WHATEVER. Love them, and that is certainly much easier for everyone.

    I think I prefer this dress in the green on the model, but this pretty blue is much, much better on Kate, so I’m really not gonna fight about it. She looks amazing.

    • kimmeister

      I had a similar row of buttons on the back of my wedding dress.  That was probably my maid-of-honor’s most time-consuming job, helping me button and unbutton those things!

      • That is basically the only thing I KNOW I want on my hypothetical future wedding dress.

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        Me too!  I thought they looked so gorgeous, and I love them on this gown, also.  Absolutely stunning gown!

  • Anathema_Device

    I LOVE this look: the dress style, color, the lace back with the buttons. I’m not usually the breathy fan-girl type, but this look made me all breathy and fan-girly when I saw it over the weekend.. Her hair looks so great up. I’m glad she didn’t obscure the detail on the back with her long hair.

    And she’s re-wearing her Jimmy Choos! Good for her. A silver purse would have been better. Yes, I know, matchy to the shoes, but better than blending with the dress.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      Me too! Wow.  

  • suzq

    Thank you for wearing your hair up, Kate!  Harrah!

    She’s worn those shoes before, no?  If so, how thrifty!  Love it!

    • NC_Meg

      Yep! A few times, actually.

  • nancylee61

    I love the dress – stunning. Really gorgeous. But what color is it? The softer color is lovely, but I like the pics where it is really aqua! 

  • hughman

    Beautiful dress and color but gah, the thought of having to fasten all those buttons on the back gives me nightmares. At the end of the night after a few drinks I’d be like “GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF, IT BURNS!”

  • sagecreek

    Gorgeous dress AND an updo! Finally! A++++, Duchess!

  • Judy_J

    This dress is so beautiful, and she looks so beautiful in it that I don’t mind the matchy purse at all.

  • MzzPants

    She is fabulous.

  • TheDivineMissAnn


  • Rebecca Johnson

    Having Duchess Cathy and the FLOTUS in the same room might cause a singularity of WERQ.

    • MilaXX

       Agreed. I would LOVE to see a pic of them both hitting it out of the park fashion wise.

      • NC_Meg

        Me too. There are pictures from when the Obamas visited Buckingham Palace last year but Shelly dropped the ball with that dress and bolero thing.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    What a stunning color, and what a nice rework of the bodice for a smidge of royal modesty.  It echoes the sleeves and integrates seamlessly.  What a beautiful back.  [No underpinnings above the waist with this decolletage and that back, I’m thinking.] Her hairdo!  How long did it take for her hairdresser to achieve that gorgeous coif?   What a lovely dose of pretty at the end of a rainy day.

  • aimee_parrott


  • How lovely to see a nice delicate lace instead of all the antique tablecloths being trotted around lately.  With all the big, heavy doilies draped on teeny weeny starlets, I find myself forgetting how beautiful lace can be.

  • LOVE the hair, LOVE the color, LOVE THE SANDALS!  She’s getting better all the time.

  • One of the reasons she always looks so good is that they’re her clothes and are always tailored to fit PERFECTLY. 

    After the whole Hollywood starlet borrowed finery malarkey, it is so refreshing…

  • Beth G

    I think she’s put the nail in the coffin of anyone ever finding her lacking next to Princess Di.

  • I like the dress, alot, especially the back.  I like the green the model is wearing more than the blue. 

  • SapphoPoet

    She’s wearing a color! Her hair is up! It’s a miracle! She does look so, so gorgeous in that dress and hairdo. When does she get to wear a tiara?

    And who cares what he’s wearing? It’s all about the babe in the dress. 

  • kikisayshi

    I thought the front was gorgeous, and then I saw the back! Love!

  • Kate4queen

    Lovely 🙂

  • BeeBeauNYC

    Crazy beautiful.

  • How much would we hate that dress on a whole bunch of other gals? But it suits her to a T.

  • turtleemily

    I want to be her when I grow up.

    Didn’t someone else wear those shoes recently? They look familiar.

    • MsKitty

      I was thinking the same thing.  If so, good for her.

      • She has worm those shoes on several other occasions. I really appreciate her down-to-earth thriftiness. 

  • TheOriginalLulu


  • Lina_bee

     I’m completely distracted by the lace at the collarbones. Otherwise it’s lovely, but I keep wanting to edit that part of the neckline so it’s as smooth as the part below. And I totally agree about her hair! SO great to see it up.

  • Little_Olive

    SO like to see her put her hair up. 

    I wish she bought/grew a set of hips. 

  • I so wanted to like this dress, but I think there’s just too much going on in front.  To my eye, the different colors and textures come across as distracting, and the cap sleeves don’t sit right.  (Would sleeveless have been better?)  From the back, it’s exquisite, and the covered buttons are fabulously delicate. 

    I read that the purse is bespoke and comes with the dress, which explains why the color and fabric are spot on.

    Kate’s hair is gorgeous, especially when I add an imaginary tiara to it.

    In other pictures, the shoes show more and the slight platform looks awkward with the suppleness of the skirt.

    The Duchess still effortlessly makes Beatrice, Eugenie, et al. look fussy in comparison.

    • luciaphile

      There are questions about what jewels she actually has access to. Some of Diana’s stuff belongs to the State or whatever they call it in the UK. The Queen isn’t known for lending out her jewels the way a lot of the other European monarchs do. TLo, I think someone else pointed this out before, but in the captions, I think she’s supposed be styled “The Duchess of Cambridge.” Isn’t the “first name, title” how a dowager’s title would read?

  • CassandraMortmain

    Absolute perfection!  Gorgeous, gorgeous dress in a really beautiful color and the hair is stunning.  Love the way it’s sleek in front but intricate in back with the braid .  A coif ready for a crown.  The Jimmy Choos really work and she gets points for recycling some items in her wardrobe.  I don’t even mind the matchy clutch.  In fact, I like the way it blends right in with that lovely sea of aqua.  Well done, Kate, very well done! 

  • And she re-used her Jimmy Choos. She’s so practical…for a princess that is.


  • LinXGUA


  • Absolutely gorgeous. What a magnificent color–and I’m head over heels for that back!

  • mjude

    kate is just fab

  • AWS

    I love it all.  She can do no wrong…

  • kimmeister

    I am crazy about the hairdo!
    The dress is fantastic.  I only wish it was a little more voluminous in the skirt, because it draws attention to her lack of hips.

  • Maluca

    Truly stunning! Color suits her so!

    His tux is horrifying though. 

  • Susan Crawford

    THAT is definitely Cathy’s color! She looks just gorgeous. And the dress is a beaut – that lace buttoned-up back is sooo sexy without an ounce of slutitude. And now that she broke the ice by wearing an updo, I’m glad to see she’s going for it again. She has such a graceful carriage that a chignon-style really suits her.

    I think I would have tried a different clutch with this dress – perhaps something metallic or in a rich coppery tone. But this is a mere quibble, as our gal looks terrific.

    Wills, please make friends with Tom Ford and get away from the double-breasted look. You need long and lean.

  • marilyn

    Beautiful color on her.  I wish she had worn her hair this way at her wedding.  

  • Gorgeous.

  • MilaXX

    Love the hair, love the dress and the shoes. Don’t mind the matchy purse since it seems to be a royals thing. Minor quibble her shoulders look a little linebaker-esque in certain shots.

  • She looks incredibly beautiful here. She looks like a XXIth century Queen. Go Kate! 

  • I’m gonna need everybody to forget this, so I can steal the entire look for my wedding.

  • whitrome

    SWOON! Get it girl!

  • Valdri8

    So nice to see her with her hair up. i do not like the jewely thing on the belt.

  • piecesofconfetti

    So in love with this dress.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    I’m thinking the hair was dictated by the back of the dress. It would have been a crime to hide, right? Regardless, the whole look is fabulous, and the minute I saw it I waited for you two to cover it. I was hoping you gay gasped, and I think you did. 

  • msdamselfly

    Did not like her hairdo from the front   I find her look always the same and pretty uniterresting

  • KaileeM

    I am in love with her hair! And the dress is a knock-out too. Indeed, a personal best!

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    She looks exquisite. What a phenomenal color on her. 

  • Patricia Gillett

    She gets a pass on the matchy purse because she is killing it with that color. Go Cathy!

  • Does Jenny Packham have a bridal collection this season? That’s actually how I first heard of her, flipping through the bridal magazines 7 or 8 years ago. I would love to see that…

  • giiiirrrr

    The color is just spectacular on her.  But the lace makes the dress look just a tiny bit cheap.  Still, if we were in-inning or outting, it’s an all-caps, double-snaps IN.

  • I actually squeaked like a little girl when I saw these pictures–beautifully done, Cathy Cambridge!!!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    She will be making so much mileage on those Jimmy Choos. They will be her summer version of those black pumps she loves so much.

    That said, this is a gorgeous dress and I wish I could wear it.

  • I’m sorry- she does look pretty, but there are a lot of elements that aren’t working. First of all, the hair looks gorgeous from the back (and I so appreciate an interesting undo for once) but from the front it is limp and sad looking. Also, the color, while objectively pretty on her, looks really tacky and prom-dressy on that dress and with the exposed bra. So from the back- totally beautiful. From the front- sad, inappropriate, and juvenile (and too much lace). 

    • Adriana_Paula

      What exposed bra?  I think that’s just the strap of the dress.

  • Call me Bee

    When I first saw this dress on the news, I wan’t crazy about it.  But now looking closer–it’s fabulous.  Love all the details and the pleats!  It fits her perfectly, and the shoes add a bit of sparkle.  I agree about the bag–maybe a little silver one would have been more interesting.  Or a tiny Judith Leiber with different colored jewels on it.  Yeah–that’s the ticket!  But that’s just a quibble.  She is beauitful. 

  • carolynmo

    Doesn’t she look wonderful??!!!! Love her, love the dress!

    Now, we need to work on his tux! Yikes.

  • Pretty, but not amazing.  It has always been this case for her. 

  • This might be my favorite dress I have ever seen. I’ve been swooning over it for days.

  • Lisa Kramp

    I don’t mind the matchy purse…the whole look is elegantly stunning. But the shot of her coming out of the limo pointed out to me that the dress is very sheer…I see London, I see France….

  • She looks a teeny bit like Keri Russell in three-quarter profile.  I hate Keri Russell.

    I’m ambivalent about the color, but I like the silhouette.

  • Gorgeous!!!!  Love the color an the updo! Rock on, Cathy! 

  • Her best look so far.  Stunning.

  • Monabel

    That dress makes her look a bit round-shouldered.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    When your elbow is WIDER THAN YOUR ARM, there’s a problem.  

  • Deedles

    I really like the look, but I can hear my mom now. “Do you see how the breeze pastes the dress on her legs to the point where she looks like she’s wearing ‘harem pants’? She’s not wearing a slip! Very un-ladylike for a princess.”  “Mom, the dress is lined. It’s fine.” “No, it’s not.” At that point, I would lose the argument!

  • mixedupfiles

    The dress is fantastic, makes her legs look a mile long, and I love the modifications from the runway to make it suitable for a duchess. 

    But there’s something about the way the shoulders are gathered that makes me have to look twice to be sure she’s not hunching. Apart from that tiny issue, it’s such a great dress.

  • TieDye64

    Looking gorgeous! So pretty with her hair up.

  • golspie

    I don’t know, I think that T-Lo has, for once, made an error in taste. The dress seems old fashioned on the young Duchess and the lace seems not just busy but prudish with the pleating of the other material. 

  • Lisa

    I’ll give her a pass on the match-matchy purse – she looks spectacular!

  • LOVE!  And I foresee many brides copying that updo.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Cathy Cambridge is definitely WERQing it!  Love, love the dress-the color, the fabulous back. sigh.

  • EliseC

    Does she ever get it wrong?  Gorgeous.

  • She looks gorgeous.  Is it just me, or is Bill wearing a toupee?

    • Mary_Shelley

      Great catch!  Or maybe he just got the plugs on his latest overseas tour?

  • quiltrx

    That really is an incredible dress, and it’s perfect for her.

  • JaneDC

    She looks incredibly elegant with her hair up. She usually looks quite pretty and young, but this is a whole new level.

  • formerlyAnon

    She’s worn those shoes before, I like them. She looks good in the dress, OF COURSE, but it’s not a style I love. The back is great, I must admit. 

    Whoever did her hair needs a bit more practice (or judicious use of product) to make sure the back stays as sleek as the front. But I love her hair. 

  • siriuslover

    Man, she’s beautiful. Just striking. And that color looks glorious on her! I love this version of the dress better than the runway version. And is it just me, or is Wills growing his hair back now that he’s married?  That’s more head on his head than I’ve seen in a long time.

    •  I’m sure you meant “hair” on his head! But yes! It looks fuller, and more fluffy, where it was looking mighty sparse! Did he have something done, I wonder?  Looking good!

      • siriuslover

        OMG, I can’t believe I said that! Ugh. Yes, I did mean hair. I was taking a quick break from working at home. See where that gets me! I just laughed out loud at my own mistake.

  • that is literally the most gorgeous her hair has ever looked, ever. i am literally in awe. it doesnt even look real, how perfect it is.


  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Love the dress, love the shoes, love the hair and makeup.  She looks flawless and beautiful.  Man, I wish I had her hair!

  • DesertDweller79

    Beautiful!  One of my favorite looks on her so far!  And it is eye catching enough that you didn’t even complain about his tux.

  • cleep1000

    So pretty!

  • RzYoung

    She looks stunning, the hair is gorgeous,I think i would have liked to see her in the lime green version of the dress though.

  • bellafigura1

    Wow, ok, I’m finally impressed with her (minus the clutch, natch).

  • Larkin21


  • sweetlilvoice

    Amazing! And he looks good too.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    It all works, even the purse. Beautiful on this rainy day.

  • lordandtaylor

    Hey, he looks good. Always looks good. I do wish he might try a “fun” tie or color shirt some time. She is fab..again. I wish people in Hollywood would take note on how to do it right.

  • EEKstl

    Her best yet – and THANK YOU, Cathy, for finally wearing your hair up so we can see the full effect of the dress and your lovely face.

  • Lilithcat

    Loathe!  The color is vile and it looks like a nightgown.  Not to mention that there is way too much happening on top:  sparkly belt and floppy shoulder pieces and drapy pleats and peek-a-boo lace.  EDIT, folks, EDIT!

  • Thundar99

    The back is nice but there’s something doily-ish about the front. Enh.

  • guest2visits

    Of course she looks beautiful; and I hope that the dress is that more vibrant shade of blue as apposed to the faintly aqua.
    Can’t be sure what it really was. The color that the model wore was pretty too.  The only thing I wish was a little different;
     would be the way the lace came together at the front, at the shoulders. But that’s the designer, not her.

  • Qitkat

    The back is so lovely it almost takes my breath away. I’ve always been a sucker for those tiny fabric covered buttons.
    And her hair, exquisite.

    I think I’ll add this dress to my fantasy dress closet. Or I could start a Pinterest board.

  • afabulous50

    Stunning – boy I wish I had her figure!

  • Lipchap

    Are those rhinestones or sequins on the back? I think this looks like something RuPaul has worn. Minus the sleeves. But all those extensions in her hair are working for her in this updo!

  • Scott Edwards

    So gorgeous that no one, not even T and Lo, as gfar as I can tell said anything about his outfit.

  • YolandaHawkins

    “Tiara-ready hair”!  Exactly what I was thinking.  I love the dress and she had to wear it up so we could all see the gorgeous back of the dress.  I think the clutch is a fine choice because it doesn’t take away from the dress. 

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    gorgeous, as usual!!!!!!!

  • The bodice on the dress seems really wonky though.

  • YolandaHawkins

    People magazine has Duchess Cathy in this dress on the cover of its hastily put-together issue for next week.