The Duchess of Cambridge has been wearing a lot of Alessandra Rich looks this year. None of them have been very good, but the Rich dresses are all very “Kate.” There is usually a retro vibe to the looks, something pinched, ‘80s, shoulder padded and heavy on the Diana cosplay. I’m including photos of some of Kate’s Rich dresses in this post! I always thought that Kate or her people were going to Rich and her team to customize the looks. Not so much, as it turns out. Alessandra Rich gave an interesting interview to the Telegraph and the whole piece is about how Kate has been wearing a lot of Rich’s designs, but that Kate’s high-profile looks have sort of given Rich’s designs a weird reputation for being too fussy and conservative. You can read the Telegraph piece here. Some highlights:
Rich hasn’t even met Kate: Rich has never actually met the Duchess of Cambridge but since her polka dots emerged as Kate’s all-but official uniform for 2022, the designer has been thrust into the spotlight like never before. “It was a huge surprise for me,” says Rich in her strong Italian accent. “We only know she’s wearing one of the dresses when we see her in it – we’re never told anything in advance. We don’t ask and they don’t say.”
Most of Rich’s designs seem “rather too racy for our future Queen.” There are diamante-encrusted micro-mini dresses, bulky camouflage jackets and high-waisted leather trousers, all of which peddle a very different version of Italian style to the covered-up numbers Kate is so fond of. “Not everything I make is long dresses,” says Rich, almost sharply. “If you see Dua Lipa or Hailey Bieber wearing my brand, you will see there are many different types of women and clothing.” I ask if her popularity with the Duchess of Cambridge can be frustrating as it leaves her typecast, and she laughs. “I am super grateful. The buyers know the collection is bigger so it is fine that the public mostly knows the more conservative pieces. The Duchess of Cambridge is such a style icon, I can’t ever say I’m not thrilled she likes my clothes.”
Rich has never been particularly focused on appealing to the young. “I love my age, I love having clients who aren’t super young, because you know yourself better, you know what you want – this is true for everyone, so it must be true for the Duchess. I am just happy that what she wants at this stage of her life is my clothes.”
Rich’s favorite look on Kate was the dress she wore at Ascot: “She looked so beautiful. It was in crepe de chine, with an asymmetrical hem – she was like light in it, she looked amazing. It was the perfect choice for this incredible event. We don’t have things like Ascot in Italy so it’s wonderful for me to see women like the Duchess dressing up for it here.”
[From The Telegraph]
I think it’s interesting that Kate and Rich have never met! I really assumed that Kate worked with various designers or ateliers to customize certain looks to make them more “Kate.” You know, adding bows, ruffles, BUTTONS, shoulder puffs, frills, peplums and more buttons. It sounds like Rich just accidentally designed a bunch of fussy ‘80s stuff and Kate was like “yes please.” The rest of the interview is funny too – pointing out that Kate wears the most conservative pieces from her collections and that Rich isn’t interested in only appealing to young celebrities. LOL. I mean, yes, most 21-year-olds don’t want to look like prissy secretaries in 1982, but 40-year-old duchesses absolutely love it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Instar.
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