LONDON — The Duchess of Cornwall is out to make a fashionable impression during her trip to the U.S. with Prince Charles.
The duchess will show off a whole new wardrobe and stack of Philip Treacy hats and colorful handbags during a weeklong tour that will take her to New York, Washington and San Francisco. She's taking 50 outfits because, like any royal, she has the right to change her mind about what she's going to wear.
Robinson Valentine, who designed the duchess' wedding dress, and Anthony Price, who's been working with her for the past six years — when she was still Camilla Parker Bowles — have supplied the bulk of her wardrobe for this first official U.S. trip. Treacy, who created the halo-like spray of feathers the duchess wore for her wedding, has come up with two fresh creations, in addition to the clutch bags.
"She'll be flying the English flag," said Price, who has designed three outfits for the trip. The first is a midnight blue velvet cape and dress, slated to be worn tonight at a reception hosted by the British Consul General at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The cape has a wide, open collar that's studded with pearls and lined in pleated oyster chiffon. The dress is an off-the-shoulder number that's also lined in the pleated chiffon and decorated with pearls. It has a shaped waist and flares at the back.
The second outfit is a teal green wool crepe dress with a Forties feel, and "quite an English look," said the designer. The dress has a cowl neck highlighted by a matching jacket. The duchess is planning to wear that outfit on Thursday for a seminar on osteoporosis at the National Institutes for Health in Washington.
The next day, she's expected to don Price's shapely black wool crepe three-button suit when she and the prince lay a wreath to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II at a new memorial in Washington. The skirt is narrow and kicks out at the back hem. Treacy has designed a black-and-white hat with a spiral feather spine to match the suit.
Treacy also has designed a teal velvet hat, similar to the duchess' wedding headpiece, to match her new, teal velvet Robinson Valentine coat, according to Nina Farnell-Watson, the milliner's public relations and marketing manager. Robinson Valentine declined to comment on the duchess' wardrobe.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"