Princess Kate's All-Red Outfit for the State Visit Was "Pure Theater," Stylist Says

She pulled out all the stops.

The State Visit Of The President Of The Republic Of Korea - Day 1
(Image credit: Getty)

This week, Princess Kate and Prince William were on hand to ensure a warm British welcome for the President and First Lady of the Republic of South Korea.

For the welcome ceremony on Tuesday, the Princess of Wales said a whole lot through her outfit choice, as she opted for an all-red ensemble with pieces from some of her all-time favorite designers.

"The visit certainly started with a sartorial splash, as the Prince and Princess of Wales officially welcomed their guests into the U.K., with Kate wearing a striking crimson ensemble that has generated quite a stir among her fashionista followers," comments celebrity stylist and royal commentator Miranda Holder.

"Kate’s elaborate look consisted of three separate pieces, a Catherine Walker coat dress featuring an oversized bow at the neckline, worn over a simple red slip and topped with (during key points of the welcoming ceremony) a coordinating new Catherine Walker cape.

"The outfit was designed so that the bow feature of the coat dress could be pulled through and worn on top of the cape, which, when paired with a simple Miu Miu shoulder bag, her trusty Gianvito Rossi 105 matching court shoes and a new bespoke wide-brimmed JT Millinery hat, contributed to a head turning monochrome ensemble which ensured that all eyes were on the princess, reinforcing her position as the U.K.’s favourite royal fashion icon and the Royal Family’s poster girl."

The State Visit Of The President Of The Republic Of Korea - Day 1

(Image credit: Getty)

But obviously attracting attention wasn't Kate's primary goal; rather, she was dressed to honor King Charles' guests properly, Holder observes.

"The color choice, like every other outfit detail, was of course a diplomatic decision, and when Kate stood next to her husband in his navy coat, showing sartorial solidarity with a coordinating red tie, they made up the colors of the South Korean flag, a welcoming gesture synonymous with such occasions," the expert explains.

The State Visit Of The President Of The Republic Of Korea - Day 1

(Image credit: Getty)

"The look, was pure theater," Holder says, adding that this was an iconic outfit that will live on in royal fans' memory and in the fashion pages for years.

However, the expert feels that the overall ensemble felt a little "stark and austere" and could have used a few contrasting accents instead of the all-red vibe. She would also have liked to see more accessories this time around—but the princess more than made up for that on Tuesday evening, when she brought out a century-old royal tiara for the state banquet.

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Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.