By Yulia Tulegenova
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is one of the most influential and admired style icons of our time. Her elegant and sophisticated outfits, often featuring British designers and high-street brands, have inspired millions of women around the world to emulate her look. But how did Kate develop her signature style, and what were the cultural and historical factors that shaped it?
The Netflix series “The Crown”, which chronicles the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II and her family, offers a glimpse into Kate’s style journey in the early 2000s, when she was a college student and a girlfriend of Prince William. The series, which will release its sixth and final season on December 14, features newcomers Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy as the royal couple, and recreates some of their most memorable moments and outfits.
One of the highlights of the season is the recreation of Kate’s iconic runway strut at a university fashion show in 2002, which is said to have been the moment she first caught Prince William’s eye. Bellamy wears a sheer strapless dress over black lingerie, similar to the one Kate wore at the charity event. The dress, which was originally designed by Charlotte Todd as part of her art project, was sold at an auction in 2011 for £78,000 ($101,000).
Another notable outfit is the blue wrap dress that Kate wore to announce her engagement to Prince William in 2010. The dress, which was designed by Daniella Helayel for her label Issa, was a perfect choice for Kate, as it matched the color of her sapphire engagement ring, which belonged to Princess Diana. The dress, which cost £385 ($500), sold out within hours of the announcement, and sparked a global demand for similar styles and colors.
The costume designer of “The Crown”, Amy Roberts, who has won two Emmy Awards for her work on the show, faced several challenges and choices in recreating Kate’s style for the screen. She had to balance the accuracy of the historical details with the creative license of the fictional narrative, and also consider the budget and availability of the original pieces or their replicas.
Roberts told CNN Style that she tried to be as faithful as possible to Kate’s style, but also added some touches of her own to make it more interesting and relevant for the viewers. She said that she used a lot of vintage and second-hand clothes, as well as custom-made pieces, to achieve the look. She also said that she wanted to capture the essence and personality of Kate, rather than just copying her outfits.
Roberts said that she admired Kate’s style, and that she wanted to show how it evolved from a casual and playful college look to a more refined and polished royal look. She said that she also wanted to reflect the cultural and social changes that occurred in the 2000s, such as the rise of fast fashion, celebrity culture, and social media, and how they influenced Kate’s style and image.
Roberts said that she hoped that the viewers would appreciate and enjoy the costumes, and that they would also learn something about Kate’s style and its impact. She said that she hoped that the costumes would also inspire the viewers to be more conscious and creative with their own style, and to appreciate the value and beauty of vintage and sustainable fashion.