Ever since announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, we've spent a lot of time covering the fashion worn by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex — in fact, we dedicated a whole series to tracking her outfits. At the same time, we backed down from tracking Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, as her style choices changed while she settled into her roles as a mother and future Queen of England. (Please note that this is not a question of preference, as we are very #TeamBoth here at Fashionista!)
As any avid follower of Elizabeth Holmes's #SoManyThoughts series will note, the Duchess of Cambridge has a fairly reliable pattern of outfit repeating and "dressing for the slideshow" in silhouettes and shades she feels best in. But every now and then, she shows up in an outfit that stops us in our tracks, like the Gucci gown worn to the gala dinner to aid "Mentally Healthy Schools" with the 100 Women in Finance's Philanthropic Initiatives group of which she serves as patron.
While nothing about this outfit screams "Gucci" — there are no oversized, trompe l'oeil bows or piles of sequins — it's certainly a stunning, show-stopping gown. The mix of the palest, nearly cream pink with a rose hue is offset by the deep burgundy color of the velvet belt (with matching clutch, natch — K.Midd isn't reinventing her wheel here). Everything about the dress, from the ruching at the bustline to the cut at the waist, is clearly tailored to fit her precisely.
In an unusually playful move for the Duchess of Cambridge, she goes for a matching, rosy pink eyeshadow, which happens to contrast with her diamond drop earrings, the only jewelry she chose for the evening. The one miss here is the pair of sparkly pumps; a sandal would have worked better, though admittedly would not be particularly seasonable.
Of course, it must be noted that the Duchess of Cambridge didn't exactly pick the best week to wear Gucci, a brand which is currently under fire for releasing a sweater which bears an alarming resemblance to blackface. (It was, in fact, a bad optics day for fashion all around, with the Duchess also choosing a Dolce & Gabbana suit for another appearance earlier on Wednesday; the Italian fashion house has yet to bounce back from a racist incident of their own.)
Still, this placement is a much-needed win for Gucci and a reminder that the Duchess of Cambridge has style surprises in her yet.