The Secret of Duchess Kate's Red Dress

By , Columnist

The Duchess in Red

The secret of the Duchess of Cambridge’s red lace dress is out: it is not by Canadian designer Erdem, as the weekend papers thought, but by Australian based Collette Dinnigan.

Kate wore the stunning red lace dress at the wedding of old pals Thomas Sutton and Harriet Colthurst. She and William were accompanied by Kate’s sister Pippa and her boyfriend Alex Loudon.

This is the first time an outfit worn by Kate has been positively identified as designed by Collette Dinnegan, although I suspect she has others. Some believe the dress she wore under a coat to Zara Phillips’ wedding in July may also be the work of Dinnegan and that it was the same one worn at the launch of the book Young Stalin in 2007, during the time she and William had briefly separated.


For a wedding guest, the choice of red lace might be considered as daring, but it is the second time that Kate has worn red to a friend’s wedding: she wore a slinky red jersey Issa dress to the wedding of Emilia d’Erlanger and David Jardine-Paterson in 2010.

Kate certainly looks good in red, She wore a red coat to William’s Sandhurst parade in 2006, and when she and William went back to St Andrews University earlier this year, Kate wore a red suit. When the royal couple visited Canada this summer, Kate wore a bright red coat, designed by the Catherine Walker label.

As for red lace, it has been worn by the two late princesses Kate most admires: Diana and Grace. Diana wore her red lace dress on a tour of Norway in 1984 and Grace wore hers in the 1954 Hitchcock thriller ‘Dial M for Murder’. Plenty of clues there to Kate’s fashion inspirations!


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Margaret Holder has been writing about the Royal Family in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. She also broadcasts frequently on the BBC, both radio and television. She reckons she has now written more royal documentaries than anyone else in the world. Some are still being shown on channels in…

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