The Princess of Wales’ celebrated style could benefit from two key changes, a former Vogue editor has revealed as the royal has undertaken a broad range of engagements over the past year since taking on a more senior role within the monarchy.
Carine Roitfeld, editor of Vogue Paris from 2001 to 2011 and founder of the CR Fashion Book, has praised Kate, whose personal style has developed in the 12 years since marrying Prince William and becoming a working member of the royal family.
Speaking to the U.K. newspaper The Times, Roitfeld said Kate was beautiful and polished but added that there was a particular color that should be included in her regular wardrobe rotation and not do as she does now and reserve it for solemn occasions.
“Black,” she said. “More black. A lot of black. She only wears black at the funeral, maybe it’s a law in the royal family, but I would dress her more in black.”
Kate abides by an unwritten sartorial rule that is followed by other female members of the royal family when it comes to wearing black, traditionally reserving it for occasions of national mourning such as the annual remembrance commemorations each November.
In September 2022, Kate wore several all-black outfits during the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, with the dramatic impact of the color earning the Princess of Wales praise from fashion critics.
In particular, the black Alexander McQueen coat dress and veiled hat worn for the queen’s state funeral received a favorable response.
In addition to “more black,” Roitfeld said Kate should turn her aesthetic eye across the English channel to look at what the fashion designers of Paris have to offer on a more regular basis.
“More Saint Laurent, more Chanel,” she said, closing with the directive of: “More French.”
Over the past two years, Kate has incorporated more French fashion pieces into her public wardrobe than ever before, including pieces from the houses of Saint Laurent and Chanel.
In 2022, during her visit to Boston with Prince William for the Earthshot Prize awards, the princess wore a 1995 vintage blue tweed blazer from Chanel, and earlier in the year sported a coral-colored vintage Saint Laurent jacket during her tour of the Caribbean marking Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
Aside from vintage, Kate has worn some new pieces of French origin too, most notably a pistachio green blazer with white piping from the house of Balmain which was worn for the first time in July 2023 to the Wimbledon tennis championships.
Another royal who has an eye for French fashion is Kate’s stepmother-in-law, Queen Camilla, who has worn several outfits from the house of Christian Dior over recent years, including a sapphire blue caped gown for her state visit to Paris with King Charles III in September.
On Camilla’s style, Roitfeld offered a diplomatic assessment, noting that the country-loving queen’s regal appearance sometimes comes off as unconvincing.
“Ouf, that’s difficult. I think she would be chicer in pantsuits rather than long gowns because you don’t believe her. She’s a woman who likes to ride horses, to go in nature,” she said. “A pantsuit would be fantastic on her. Tell ‘er if you know ‘er.”