Duchess Kate wears new label Saloni for Fostering Excellence Awards

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Duchess Attends Fostering Excellence Awards

By From Berkshire to Buckingham

After visiting the French embassy to sign a book of condolence for the victims of the Paris Attacks, Kate changed gears for a night of joy and celebration with The Fostering Network. She debuted a new dress from a brand new designer!

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Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton attends Fostering Network Awards
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Duchess Kate wears new label Saloni for Fostering Excellence Awards

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends The Fostering Excellence Awards on November 17, 2015 in London.

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate arrives for The Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate's dress is the Martine crinkle-effect dress by Saloni. 

At the awards, Her Royal Highness met all award winners at a special tea party, and presented the Fostering Achievement Award to three young people.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

The Duchess first received a preview into what the Fostering Network does in January of this year.

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate presents an award to Sian Connolly as she attends the Fostering Network's Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Duchess Kate presents an award to Adam Howlett.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Kate laughs as she stands next to Holly Willoughby during the awards ceremony.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge attends the Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Kate wore her hair half-up, curled and lovely.

Photo: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

The Duchess chats with Holly Willoughby during the tea party to celebrate the Fostering Network's Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Kate receives quilts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte from two young boys.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

The Duchess jokes with guests at the awards ceremony.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Kate went around to each table to meet the attendees and hear their stories.

Photo: Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Duchess Kate arrives for The Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at BMA House in London for the Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge attends the Fostering Excellence Awards.

Photo: Danny Martindale/WireImage

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Kate has been involved with The Fostering Network before, but the charity is not one of her official patronages. She attended one of their events in January wearing her brown Hobbs dress to meet with workers and families who welcome foster children.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The Fostering Network

Tonight, Kate was on hand to present the 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards. A press release from the organization before the event noted:

The Duchess will meet children and young people, foster carers, social workers, and care leavers, and present the Fostering Achievement Award to three exceptional young people in celebration of their extraordinary achievements in the last 12 months. She will also be presented with quilts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte by fostered children.

George and Charlotte will soon have a storage room for their gifts that is larger than their mom's closet.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Fostering Excellence Awards
This was an awards evening...for kids. What do you do with an awards evening where over half the attendees, including the award recipients are minors? Throw a tea-party! So, super cute. Who doesn't love a tea party? Apparently, Kate thoughtfully made her way around to all the tables greeting and chatting with guests. All the photos have beaming kids and adults alike. I think it was a success.



Kate debuted a dress by Saloni. The label is London based, but the designer Saloni Lodha was born in India:
Saloni grew up in a traditional Marwari family and her love affair with textiles began at a very young age. The women in her community only wore sarees and her grandfather owned a fabric shop. When she first moved to Hong Kong in 2001, which then was dominated exclusively by luxury brands, she saw a gap in the market for something more personal .

She decided to set up pop-up boutiques and sell one-off pieces of clothing made in collaboration with artisans back home. When she moved to London in 2004 she did a short course at St Martins, got some work experience and she started her own brand.

India is such an incredibly colorful and artistically rich country, and I think you can see all sorts of these influences in Kate's beautiful dress this evening. From the texture of the matelassé to the eye-popping blue, and the flattering box-pleats. And the diamond back Kate loves so much? This dress is a home-run.

Saloni blue dress Kate Middleton

Kate cinched the dress with her black belt and paired it with new shoes from Gianvito Rossi and her Catherine Zoraida earrings that we caught just a brief glimpse of at rugby. She carried her Mulberry "Bayswater" clutch. If I had to take a wild guess, my thought is people are not going to love this belt. I really like that she added a belt, which adds a certain panache, but this belt seems a little clunky for the lightweight material of the dress. It likely just photographs poorly, but it does seem a little faded. If memory serves, this belt got pretty harsh reviews the last time we saw it.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Fostering Excellence Awards

This longer hemline is a lot like the hem she chose for her evening reception in New Zealand. It is like it is her in-between length to signal she is changing her look, but not going floor length. Of course, she also wore s similar silhouette just the other day to Shaun the Sheep & Co., which probably helped her as she moved about and leaned over to interact with kids.

Duchess of Cambridge longer hemlines

Finally, doesn't this dress make you think of her bespoke Emilia Wickstead when pregnant with George?

Kate Middleton Emilia Wickstead bespoke dress
Verdict: I love, love tonight's dress! As you know, Kate has me addicted to longer hemlines these days, and the retro edge is super on-trend. I am always excited when ethnic and cultural elements are expressed in clothes, too. her hair was a nice twist and allowed us to see her lovely earrings and beautiful face. I also am a huge fan of Kate's signature blue/black combo. She was polished and radiant. Perfect night. Well, new belt, but otherwise perfect night!



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