In a busy week of public engagements, Kate Middleton’s latest stop on Wednesday was the Royal Opera House, where she learned about the inner workings of the costume department and interacted with dancers in the Royal Ballet. For Wednesday’s outing, the duchess chose to wear a stunning purple ensemble, which could be seen on Kensington Palace’s Instagram Stories.
Duchess Kate looked beautiful in her plum peplum mini-jacket and matching mid-length skirt by Oscar de la Renta, paired with tights and brand new Rupert Sanderson pumps with a gold buckle on each toe, per E! News. She also carried a black croc Aspinal of London buckle bag to finish the look. Her gorgeous brown hair was free on her shoulders in loose curls.
If this outfit looks familiar to eagle-eyed royal fashion fans, that’s because the fashionable duchess recycled it. She did sport this look once before at the Guild of Health Writers Conference, but she opted to go with classic black pumps for that occasion.
While exploring the Royal Opera House’s costume department, Duchess Kate was introduced to hand-painting and staining techniques in the on-site dye shop and the process of choosing textiles in the manufacturing department. She also got a glimpse of the Ladies’ Work Room where costumes receive their finishing touches and even saw firsthand “a machine that recreates historical fabrics through digital printing,” according to Kensington Palace.
The palace also revealed that the mother of three is working to broaden her knowledge of textiles and the manufacturing industry as patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which carries a national collection of textiles. Over the coming months, Kate will continue to speak to industry professionals.
The duchess got the chance to speak to a number of professionals at the Royal Opera House, including Fay Fullerton, the Head of Costume. Fullerton introduced Kate to the house’s ballet costumes, which are specially designed for ballet dancers to move freely during performances.
The costume department is responsible for producing, refurbishing, and preserving up to 600 costumes per ballet production, according to People. As the duchess learned today, that can add up to 10,000 costumes each year. Many of the costumes are reworn, though, thanks to 1,500 hours of refurbishing in the revival workroom.
Finally, Kate spoke with a few of the hardworking dancers and even sat in on a rehearsal for The Two Pigeons, a 19th-century ballet, with dancer Lauren Cuthbertson. Fans can watch a bit of the rehearsal as well on Kensington Palace’s Stories!