Twist Front Dress, $595, Issa, shopbop.com On the surface, British designer Daniella Helayel’s recent rise in popularity sounds like a Cinderella story. After its 2003 launch, her tiny label Issa could be found in a select few boutiques, but her main source of income was private clients, a few of which were celebrities. She wasn’t exactly struggling, but not wildly successful either. It wasn’t until November 2010, when Kate Middleton wore an Issa design to the globally covered press conference announcing her engagement to Price William that the brand was truly in demand. Or to be more precise, the exact royal blue wrap dress the future Duchess owned was truly in demand, which is were the problems began.
See more: 8 Outfits Men Love on Women
According to the Issa’s current chairwoman, Camilla Al Fayed (also, FYI, the daughter of department store Harrods’ former owner, Mohamed, and the half-sister of Dodi Al Fayed, who died in the 1997 car accident that killed William’s mother, Princess Diana), the sudden influx of orders nearly caused the company to go under. “It absolutely sky-rocketed the brand on a global scale, but it was too much,” she’s quoted as saying by Vogue UK. “Demand was so huge the business couldn’t cope. If Kate wears a Zara dress, these huge companies have the backing to follow through. Issa was basically run by interns, students and Daniella [Helayel, the label's founder and designer]. There was no business model.”
See more: 50 Jeans Under $50
Fortunately, this story does have a happy ending, even if it isn’t exactly the fairy tale you thought. After going through a few years of requisite growing pains, it now sells a huge assortment of pieces on several major e-commerce sites, including Net-a-porter, Shopbop and its own platform, Issalondon.com. And yes, they all carry K-Mid’s preferred style, because three years later, it’s still selling out.
- Kate attended St Andrew’s in Pangbourne, Berkshire, from 1986 to 1995
- Revealed in a speech she was nicknamed Squeak after school‘s guinea pig
- Unveiled a plaque to open a new Astroturf hockey pitch
It was back to school for the Duchess of Cambridge today as she revisited her old preparatory school.
Kate, 30, ‘adored’ her time at St Andrew’s in Pangbourne, Berkshire, where she was a pupil from the ages of four to thirteen.
Just a short drive from her family home in Bucklebury, she was something of a star pupil at the exclusive £13,000-a-year establishment where she won awards for both sport and music.
The elegant royal, dressed in a very appropriate tartan coat-dress by Alexander McQueen, was revisiting the school, appropriately, on St Andrew’s Day, the annual celebration of the patron saint of Scotland, when the school traditionally observes a day of activities and festivities to mark the occasion.
In a speech, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed she had the nickname Squeak at school, named after the St Andrew’s school guinea pig.
Bring back memories? Kate was given a tour of the school that she attended from 1986 to 1995. The Duchess also opened a new Astroturf hockey field at the school – an appropriate tribute given her passion for the sport
The Duchess is due to meet teachers and students privately over lunch before visiting the Pre-Prep school for Under-5s.
She will then formally open a new Astroturf playing field by unveiling a plaque and meet members of the school’s current hockey team.
Kate will tour the school privately before observing some the School’s ‘Progressive Games’, which are traditional games played indoors by the School’s teachers and students on St. Andrew’s Day.
Progressive games is a tradition stretching back since St Andrew’s School first opened. On St. Andrew’s Day, the staff set up a number of short, five minute games, and small groups of mixed-aged children progress around the games earning scores as they go. A winning team is declared at the end of the day.
The Mail has uncovered photographs of the Duchess during her time at the school, including a joyful picture of her leaping into the air with delight on the hockey pitch.
At the time Kate was aged 13 and celebrating an historic hockey victory with her school team. Others show her playing rounders, netball and playing the flute.
According to one fellow pupil, Kate thrived in the school’s close-knit, family atmosphere.
She quickly became one of its most celebrated pupils, excelling at almost every form of sport including tennis, hockey, swimming, netball and rounders.
But she also threw herself into other aspects of school life, taking part in its public speaking competitions, pantomimes and plays. She enjoyed drama workshops during her summer holidays, learned ballet and tap and was a proficient flautist and singer.
Just a quick flick through one of the school’s year books published in June 1995, her final year, demonstrates how Kate’s star shone.
Page after page, her list of achievements grows longer. As well as her success with the Under 12/13 hockey team, she played goal defence for the Under 13 Netball team during one of its most successful ever seasons.
There was also the Under 12/13 rounders team for which Kate – listed under her full name Catherine Middleton – was named the highest scorer of the season.
She was also a keen swimmer and athlete. On sports day she won the Under 12/13 200m in 31.24 seconds and set records in both the long jump and high jump of 4.14metres and 1.39 metres respectively.
On prize giving day, her prowess was rewarded with the Calvert Cup for rounders and the Leslie Cup for outstanding overall sporting achievement for a girl.
Musically, Kate also proved to be extremely gifted – a talent she has so far managed to hide from public view.
She was a member of St Andrew’s inaugural Chamber Orchestra and of the senior flute group – amusingly known as the Tootie-Flooties – along with her younger sister, Pippa. Friends say she was also deputy head chorister in the chapel choir and was once commended in a BBC carol competition.
Shortly before she left the school, she also passed her Associated Board Grade 111 flute examination with merit and also her Grade 1V and V singing.
One contemporary remembers Kate extremely fondly.
‘She was a really lovely, warm girl who didn’t have a bad bone in her body. I couldn’t speak of her more highly,’ they said.
‘In some ways she was rather quiet and unassuming but she excelled on the sports field and was definitely one of our golden girls.
‘While she may not have been one of the most outgoing pupils there, she was always cheerful, happy and surrounded by friends.
‘We all used to spend lunchtimes climbing trees, playing tennis and roller-skating. It was quite an idyllic childhood really.’
The former classmate was also struck by the closeness of Kate’s relationship with her parents, Michael and Carole, and siblings Pippa and James, saying: ‘They were a lovely family, very tight and supportive.
‘At the time they were living in quite an ordinary three-bedroomed house in the village of Bradfield Southend. Carole’s business selling children’s party goods had taken off enough for them to send her kids to private schools but their house was still very humble. Full of your typical family clutter.
‘Carole was extremely supportive of all her children. She and Michael used to come to all Kate’s sports matches to cheer her on and Carole always took part in the mother/daughter rounders match on sports day.’
Although they have not seen Kate for many years, her former classmate believes she will prove to be a ‘breath of fresh air’ for the Royal Family.
‘It’s rather surreal knowing that she will be Queen one day, but by all accounts she is as refreshingly normal as always,’ said one.
‘It’s still hard to imagine her becoming Queen one day, but I can tell you one thing, the royals are lucky to have her.’
MEMORIES OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS…
Michael O’Kane, the editor of the Irish Daily Star, has learned the hard way that no one will find it amusing if you publish topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, and it will result in you losing your job. RELATED: Where Is the Right to Publish Royal Breasts Most Protected? The pictures originally ran in the French magazine Closer, but a few publications were brave enough to license them. The Irish Daily Star was brave enough to republish the risqué photos from William and Kate’s vacation that caught the two with very little on. Publishing magnate Richard Desmond, whose company Northern & Shell owns the paper in partnership with INM, nearly shut down the paper after the photos were republished. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the paper stayed open. O’Kane, the editor who made the decision to run the photos, was suspended while the paper carried out an internal investigation over the decision to run the pictures. Eventually they found the paper didn’t violate any ethical boundaries, but O’Kane still had to go. The official statement from the Star says “issues arose” with paper shareholders because of the pictures, and “having considered those issues in tandem with Mr O’Kane, it is Mr O’Kane’s decision to resign as editor of the Irish Daily Star, effective immediately.” Which, to translate the PR-ese, means O’Kane was told to resign. It probably didn’t help O’Kane’s case that, of the all the publications that ran the photos, the Star was the closest to the United Kingdom. But if you’re going to go out, you might as well go out because you printed naked pictures of royalty.
Remember how Kim Kardashian said she wanted to spend her time in London having tea with Kate Middleton? Well, according to the National Enquirer, Kate heard the news. And her reaction? Pretty much, “LOL forever.”
Here’s how it went down: Kim, who’s supposedly “obsessed” with the Duchess of Cambridge, recently said that she wanted to hang out with Catherine when she and her sisters are in the UK to launch their upcoming Dorothy Perkins line. But if you believe a recent report, Kate heard Kim’s comments — and was having none of it. (In the most polite, duchess-y way, of course.)
According to the National Enquirer’s “royal insider,” Her Royal Highness shares the same sentiments many Americans wield against the Kardashi-klan:
“Kate can’t stand their style, and from what she knows about their TV show, it’s just a bunch of trashy people primping and yelling at each other. She’s far too polite to diss Kim to her face, but she’s got enough on her plate without having tea with someone like her.”
Even being SEEN with Kim might be an insinuation that the Palace approves of E!, the “insider” says:
“The Duchess gets free clothes sent to her every day of the week, and she always sends them back. The royal family is very careful about not being seen to endorse any product. It’s just not proper. Quite apart from that, the Kardashian outfits just aren’t appropriate for a duchess.”“Kate is hardly going to turn up for an event with the queen in a cheap leopard-print miniskirt or gold sequined jacket!”
Work is under way of an official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge for the National Portrait Gallery
By Tim Walker
7:20AM GMT 04 Nov 2012
Kate Middleton will hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Work on an official study of the Duchess of Cambridge is, I am told, under way.
The identity of the artist is a closely guarded secret, but Nicky Philipps, who undertook a private commission to paint her and was seen as the favourite for the job, tells me she is not doing it. My guess is it’s Jemma Phipps, whose study of the Duke of Edinburgh was well regarded. She declines to comment.
Kate Middleton is a patron of the National Portrait Gallery.
Photo Credit: Radar Online
Apparently, the freelance photographer that Closer magazine used to stalk Will and Kate as they vacationed in France last month has been revealed to French authorities and they are now questioning a man in connection to taking and distributing the photos. It is believed that more than 200 photos were snapped of the royals as they sunbathed, however, much of the public believes that the photos could possibly be stills from a video. If the photographer is found guilty it is very possible that he will be criminally prosecuted and serve a jail term of at least one-year and pay fines. Will and Kate had previously filed a criminal investigation to locate the photographer who Closer magazine had supposedly hired.
The plot thickens… hopefully if the French police release the photographer’s name, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have a chance to seek some justice for the way the couple were publicly exploited. We look forward to hearing more about this story and will keep you posted in the weeks and months to come! What do you think should happen to the photographer who went to such lengths to capture images of the Duchess as she sunbathed naked with her husband?
Read more: http://willandkatedaily.com/post/Will-and-Kates-Photographer-Revealed!.aspx#ixzz2AcBNcmww