Prince William and Kate Middleton's official engagement photos, shot by Mario Testino, have been released. There are two images: A formal full length photo of the couple dressed up and standing in a royal room, and a casual, closely cropped, intimate photo of the couple locked in an an embrace.
Middleton insisted on dressing herself for the shoot, the Telegraph is reporting, despite the several stylists who were on hand, at the ready with armfuls of designer duds. Instead, she rummaged through her own closet pulling out a two-year-old cream colored blouse by Whistles which retailed for £95 to wear for the intimate, less formal photo, and a cream colored dress with a ruffle up the side from Reiss, which retailed for £159 when it was in stores last year, for the formal portrait.
The blue silk jersey Issa dress Middleton during her official press conference with her new fiance spawned a spate of really poor) high-street knockoffs. So it's no surprise that both brands featured in her official engagement portraits already have plans to cash in on their good fortune to have been worn by the future princess. Reiss and Whistles will rerelease versions of the items Middleton wore in January. Middleton's style trajectory seems to be echoing Mrs. Obama's, whose style on the campaign trail and in her first 100 days as first lady spurred detailed documentation (see mrs-o.org, a blog dediciated solely to what and whom the FLOTUS is wearing) and exhaustive analysis. Mrs. O made headlines because she mixed in high street pieces with high-end ones, and often wore head-to-toe looks from H&M, J.Crew and White House/Black Market. When the first lady wore those pieces--from J.Crew or White House/Black Market--they sold out in days, and gave tremendous sales boosts to those brands. Even if Middleton's style isn't particularly fashion forward, it's tasteful and elegant and she makes a stunning model. And if she can have a Mrs. O effect on the fashion industry, that would be a very good thing.