Ever since her engagement to Prince William was made official, Kate Middleton’s rise to fashion icon was nothing but supersonic. For the announcement of the engagement, Kate went with a blue dress from the brand Issa, and within 24 hours the dress sold out online-and alas the “Kate effect” was born. And with each year as social media began really to grow, so did Kate’s influence on the fashion choices of many, quickly becoming a style influencer.
Bethan Holt, fashion news and features director at The Telegraph, has taken a deep dive into the last 10 years of Kate’s royal ‘career’, looking back on every outfit and choice the Duchess made and explaining why Kate had such an effect on the public over the year. In the book, titled “The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Modern Royal Style”, she writes: “Would any dress have had the same effect? No.”
“There was something about the Issa. It made Kate look glamorous yet respectful; she wasn’t trying to seem more mature than she was, but nor did the dress depict her as a slave to fashion.”
According to Holt one thing that Kate does perfectly is balancing her styles, be it formal and casual, youthful or serious, fabulous or down-to-earth. Going outfit by outfit, detail by detail, the book documents all the behind-the-scenes stories about how it all came together, speaking to designers and learning more about the team of assistants who help the royal out. “She’s found this circle of people that she obviously really trusts,” Holt said in a recent interview. “If you go to anyone in that inner circle they don’t want to talk about their relationship with her because it is quite a sacred thing.”
One reoccurring theme in the book is the way that Kate’s wardrobe choices rewrite royal rules. When we look at Queen Elizabeth, her closet is full of custom-designed skirt suits and Princess Diana, who defined the style of the age with show-stopping designer looks, Kate, on the other hand, has a wardrobe filled with off-the-rack outfits from all kinds of high-street brands. This helps her in her goal of looking relatable, something she has been doing from the very beginning. Holt points out that her clothing also reflects the way the world has changed since the Queen took the throne back in 1952.