The ‘Kate Factor’: What distinguishes the Duchess of Cambridge as a style icon?
BY LAURA TOOGOOD
Since first appearing in the limelight as Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s unique and elegant style has helped her become a global fashion icon. Single-handedly hailing the return of classic styling, she regularly gives a much needed boost to British retail. Whether throwing the spotlight on some of our best-loved designers, or giving the Midas touch to High Street stores, her fashion choices are increasingly influential.
Although some are hesitant to confirm her status as a fully-fledged style icon, the Duchess certainly exhibits a unique quality that has everyone talking; and it is not just her title.
So what is the vital ingredient that comprises the ‘Kate Factor’?
Natural beauty, elegance and poise all contribute towards her impeccable presentation and one thing is certain; she knows how to show off her figure to its best. Every dress she wears accentuates her tiny waist and her broad shoulders are rarely on show.
But what really sets her apart from others is the element of unpredictability in her fashion choices. And when I say unpredictability, I am not referring to experimental style or anticipating that we are eagerly awaiting a daring rock-punk choice. Rather, it is the unpredictable brand allegiance and, more crucially, the spectrum of price points that Kate moves between.
One week, the Duchess will appear in a high-end creation that is only affordable to an affluent clientele, and the next week she will choose a High Street piece that is available to aspiring princesses throughout the country.
Although she exhibits designer creations with perfect refinement, her own style is often more prominent when she opts for a High Street look. Her unique attention to detail is illustrated through careful accessorising and this injects personality into the chosen outfit.
Kate’s diverse fashion choices crucially fluctuate between the elite and general market and therefore carefully position her as both an aspirational and accessible figure. Whether you admire the beautiful Jenny Packham gowns, or want to imitate the ‘Duchess Look’ with LK Bennett or Zara, the ‘Kate Factor’ has universal appeal.
Adept at keeping us on our toes, we never know whether her next fashion step will serve to inspire us, or empower the population with a belief that they too can emulate Royal style.