Kate Middleton – The Nation’s New Style Icon?

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Johanna Payton

Kate Middleton in a Burberry TrenchRoyal wedding fervor is gaining pace, and Kate Middleton is more and more in the spotlight than ever. Specifically, Kate Middleton as the nation’s beloved new style icon. Whether she likes it or not the bride-to-be is now on every fashion brand and editors’ radar, because, quite simply, she is good for sales – sales of the clothes she wears and the papers she’s pictured in. Take, for example, the recently re-issued Whistles ‘Kate’ blouse – the one she wore in the engagement photos; the sapphire engagement ring inspiring many a copycat; the ‘sold-out-in-a-day’ Burberry trench coat. What’s more Kate, her mother Carole and sister Pippa’s penchant for knee-high boots seems set to boost sales on this front too.

This is all very well, but does Kate have what it takes to fill the iconic shoes of global stage predecessors (Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy) and contemporaries (Michelle Obama, Carla Bruni)? These are big shoes to fill and it’s interesting to note that while the fashion world went loopy trying to predict who will design Kate’s wedding dress (Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen is the current favourite) and many a designer churned out simpering praise of Kate’s style, she still hasn’t got the top-end stamp of approval. British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman comments that she doesn’t think Kate “wants to be a fashion personality” but admits that she “does have an impact on sales which is wonderful for the British fashion industry.” She says Kate has “consistency” in how she dresses, and for her wedding day she’ll want to dress “how her husband wants her to look.”

Not a particularly lavish lauding of Kate as a style icon. For the fashion world, although Kate may be good for it in terms of sales she is not up there pushing the style boundaries. Her Sloaney approach to dressing – cropped blazers, floral dresses, kitten heels and knee-high boots may suit a certain west London or Home Counties crowd but for anyone looking for something a bit edgy, different or inspiring, Kate is not it. Kate will always look the part, but don’t expect any style surprises.

However, on the other end of the spectrum there are numerous blogs devoted to Kate’s style. So she’s definitely doing something right. In light of which we will be keeping a close eye on Kate’s style to see if she takes things up a notch.

So where do you fall? Is Kate your new style icon? We’d love to know!

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12th April, 2011  4:47 pm | Posted by: |News | No Comments »

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