With Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s due date now confirmed for July, Drexel’s expert on fashion trends past and present, Clare Sauro, weighed in with us about what to expect from Kate’s maternity wardrobe – and how we commoners can copy her look.
Q: How will Kate’s maternity style differ from Princess Diana’s?
A: Diana’s early style was heavily influenced by the British “New Romantic” trend of the early 1980s. Her wedding dress and the “Eugenie” hat she popularized are good examples of this. During her pregnancy she retained this personal style with sweet, enveloping styles with historical elements (ruffles, smocking and floppy bows) that seemed to accentuate her youthful innocence. Some of her most memorable looks included a red silk gown worn in March 1982 which recalled the rococo gowns of the 18th century and the medieval inspired white and silver gown worn during both pregnancies. Both of these stunning gowns were created for her by British design house Bellville Sassoon.
Kate’s personal style is much more sharp and tailored than Diana’s. This is a reflection both of changing styles (we are in a different century!) and personal preference. The Duchess of Cambridge is older than Diana was during her first pregnancy and this is reflected in her more sophisticated personal style. She favors sharp tailoring, sleek lines and jewel tones accentuated by flowing, bouncy hair. It is likely that she will retain this look throughout her pregnancy. Her wardrobe will be shorter and more closely fitted than Diana’s but still relatively conservative due to Royal protocol.
Q: So what/who will she wear?
A: Kate has been known to wear draped dresses/gowns by Issa (ie. her blue “engagement dress”) and it is likely that she will continue to do so since they have a maternity line. It is also likely that she will lean toward more structured shapes with an elevated waistline such as the dress Victoria Beckham wore to the royal wedding in 2011. These shapes and crisp silhouettes are a big trend for spring 2013.
Q: What trends will we see in maternity for spring/summer 2013?
A: Structured “bubble” shapes seen on the runways will likely translate into maternity silhouettes. These crisp lines are accentuated by colors such as black, white and emerald green. Another hot trend is T-shaped tunic styles influenced by the 1960s, worn with leggings and a chunkier heeled shoe for balance. Draped empire silhouettes will also continue to be worn since they are comfortable and flattering to the pregnant form.
Q: How can we commoners copy these looks on the cheap?
A: Old Navy has a great selection of affordable maternity clothes that echo these trends.
Clare Sauro is Curator of the Drexel Historic Costume Collection at Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. For members of the news media who are interested in speaking with her further, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.