Born in Italy but based in London, Alessandra Rich has a vast collection of beautiful dresses that the Duchess of Cambridge seems to adore. She has handful of the designer’s gowns in her wardrobe and has worn some more than once.
Kate Middleton is a fan of long, flowing dresses in elegant prints and cuts, and since Alessandra Rich’s dresses are in line with the Duchess’ preferences, she seemed to be the perfect designer for her.
However, there may be another reason why Kate often opts for a dress by Alessandra.
Interestingly, the Italian-born designer has cited Princess Diana as one of her main inspirations behind her collections.
Alessandra told Tatler magazine in January last year: “I’m drawn to history’s polite rebels, such as Princess Diana, and I want to embody that spirit in the Alessandra Rich woman.”
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The designer said that her favourite Diana outfit was a green patterned Catherine Walker dress the Princess wore in 1986.
Alessandra said: “It represents the moment Diana was just turning into a style icon. She is conservative and glamorous at the same time.”
The designer has a similar dress to Diana’s green number, which Kate owns and wore for the first time during her and Prince William’s royal tour of Ireland last year.
Another Alessandra Rich dress Kate has worn more than once is a navy blue polka-dot dress with a white collar and cuffs.
Kate wore the garment for the first time for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday portraits.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a big fan of polka dots as she also owns numerous blouses in the print.
According to personal stylist and fashion expert Samantha Harman, polka dots were a popular trend in the 80s and 90s, and so it is not surprising that Princess Diana wore a similar dress to Kate’s polka dot number.
Samantha said: “Polka dots were a 90s favourite, and nostalgia for the 90s is something that’s been on the high street for a while.
“There are two sides to this [the 90s trend] – sports luxe (think cycling shorts, oversized sweatshirts, bum bags) and classic chic (think Carolyn Bessette Kennedy).
“If you’re going to do 90s, then of course you have to use Diana as a reference point. She did both sports luxe and chic tailoring so effortlessly.”
Samantha added: “There’s no such thing as an accident when it comes to royal style. And when you’re walking in the footsteps of one of the most stylish women in history, I’m sure you’d use her as a reference point.
“So yes, we do often see hints of Diana style in what the Duchess wears. But then, show me a woman in her 30s whose style hasn’t in some way been influenced by Diana if they know it or not.”
Another print popular in the 80s and 90s was the tartan print.
Princess Diana wore many tartan-clad garments, such as a red and burgundy dress she donned during a visit to Swindon in 1985.
This dress is similar to Alessandra Rich’s red and black tartan dress that Kate wore last month to the reopening of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Samantha went on to suggest why Kate chooses to wear Alessandra Rich dresses often, saying: “Alessandra Rich dresses work in the day and evening.
“The midi length is also appropriate and flattering.”
The personal stylist added: “Kate is one of the most photographed women in the world. When she goes out in public, it might be a work event for her, but for the public who see her, it’s a massive moment.
“So, photos of her will be kept and treasured forever, documenting a time in history.
“This means that her outfits have to look great from all angles, be appropriate for the setting and act as a point of diplomacy.”