When it comes to fashion, Kate Middleton definitely plays favorites: Not only does she regularly rewear her past ensembles, but she also turns time and again to British labels like L.K. Bennett, Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, and Alexander McQueen, whom she wore to the BAFTAs this past weekend, to fill out her wardrobe. It came as something of a surprise, then, when the duchess arrived at the 100 Women in Finance gala dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London on Wednesday wearing a Gucci gown.
Unsurprising, of course, was Middleton’s impeccable taste. The romantic gown was a floor-length, flowing number in several color-blocked shades of pink, featuring a crisscrossed V-neck bodice, a sheer chiffon overlay, and a plum-colored velvet belt. She accessorized with a small velvet Prada clutch in the same shade as her belt, sparkly silver shoes by Oscar de la Renta, and bejeweled drop earrings. She wore her hair in a half-up style, with the ends softly curled, and sported a peachy blush and lipstick that perfectly coordinated with her Valentine’s Day–ready outfit.
This outfit marks only the second time Middleton has worn Gucci for an official royal outing. The first instance came in the summer of 2017, when she wore a demure black-and-white tweed dress, complete with gold buttons and bright-red detailing at the seams and hems, from the designer. Interestingly enough, that event, a midday gallery tour, also took place at the Victoria & Albert museum—perhaps the stately venue goes especially well with Gucci.
She attended Wednesday night’s event solo, as Prince William was busy visiting the Passage, a resource center for the U.K.’s homeless population. The gala’s proceeds benefit the “Mentally Healthy Schools” program, an offshoot of Heads Together, the mental health–focused charity launched by William, Kate, and Prince Harry in 2016. The black-tie event was actually the second Heads Together–related appearance Middleton made on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, she attended the Mental Health in Education conference (in a Dolce and Gabbana skirt suit), where she chatted with educators and other professionals about students’ mental health in a roundtable discussion and, at the end of her visit, gave a brief, impromptu speech about the importance of prioritizing mental health.
“Over the last eight years of working with charities, I’ve met some of our leading experts in mental health, addiction, family breakdown, homelessness, and education. They have taught me over and over again that the root cause of so many of today’s social problems can be traced right back to the very earliest years of a person’s life and often over generations,” she said. “I feel so passionately about working together, and being here today has affirmed to me just how much already is being done, so thank you to all of you who are prioritizing the importance of mental health and the importance of childhood development as a whole.”