The “Kate effect” has happened again! When Kate Middleton recently rocked a hairnet at the Somme Centenary, a hair accessory previously sported only by food industry workers, she suddenly made the once-tawdry hairnet the height of fashion.
We all know of her preference for Jenny Packham and Alexander McQueen designer duds, but it is Kate’s modern accessories that fashionistas all over the world are copying. Over the past few weeks, the Duchess of Cambridge has proven once again that she is a style icon.
What hot accessory trends has HRH Catherine recently started?
Let’s start with the hairnet and pill-box hat. There was a sort of Jackie Kennedy-meets-film noir feel to her look. Instead of looking severe, her look was fresh and young while remaining appropriate for royalty to sport during such a somber occasion. Hairnets, along with netted fascinators, are now being seen on the runway for Fall/Winter 2016, and as always, Kate Middleton is fashion forward, wearing the trends before everyone else.
Like many current fashion trends, fascinators and hairnets are taken from the 70s. British art rock band Roxy Music famously had Salvador Dali muse Amanda Lear model a more rock and roll version of this classic 50s Dior look on their iconic album For Your Pleasure.
The Kate effect continues on with another hair accessory trend: the humble headband.
At the recent air show in Gloucestershire with Prince William and Prince George, the Duchess of Cambridge neatly tucked back her dark mane in a polka-dotted tortoise-shell band made of not so regal plastic. In Great Britain, what we call headbands are called the “Alice band” after Alice, the main character in the popular Lewis Caroll Alice In Wonderland books.
While this hardly seems like something a modern-day Marie Antoinette would wear, an Alice band is definitely something a people’s princess would wear. In fact, the “people’s princess,” Princess Diana, loved to wear headbands, as did her close friend and sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of Windsor. Sarah Ferguson’s two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, wore headbands when they were young and now wear fabulous and quirky hats as adults.
At this time, Princess Charlotte is not wearing headbands. Instead, her light hair is tucked back with little barrettes, creating a fashion accessory trend of her very own. Perhaps when young Charlotte’s hair grows a bit more, she will also be sporting an Alice band.
Then, at Wimbledon, Kate wore iridescent baroque pearls with multi-faceted Swarovski crystals that caused quite a sensation! The $168 sparkly Francesca Kelly earrings were so popular that they sold out in 24 hours!
The U.K.-based jewelry designers Francesca Kelly and Marianna Doyle were proud and excited with this high-profile nod to their gorgeous creation. The sister design duo handmakes all of their creations, embellishing each piece with both precious and semi-precious gems. It is not hard to understand why Kate Middleton was attracted to such stunning pieces.
Francesca Kelly spoke to People magazine about this great honor by the Duchess of Cambridge. They could not be more proud that Kate is wearing their sparkling earrings. She also acknowledged what a good role model Kate is.
“We are delighted! She is not only a style icon, but a fantastic role model and true beauty. It was such a proud moment for us.”
Kelly also explained how one public outing by the Duchess of Cambridge wearing these gems has changed their business because of the Kate effect.
“We have had lots of interest in the earrings and have experienced that famous ‘Kate Effect.'”
Has Kate Middleton’s fashion choices affected what you have purchased? Are you influenced by the Kate effect?
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]