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Kate's grey dress 'wasn't completely boring': fashion blogger

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrived at the Canadian War Museum, wearing a dress by Catherine Walker, one of her late mother-in-law's favourite designers.

BLAIR GABLE/REUTERS

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, donned a dress by one of her late mother-in-law's favourite designers Saturday for the royal couple's last appearances in Ottawa.

The grey Kensington dress by Catherine Walker was an understated pick for a tree-planting ceremony at Rideau Hall followed by a reception at the Canadian War Museum to meet veterans and war brides. The couple arrived in Quebec after a short plane ride with Kate wearing the same outfit.

Kate paired the short-sleeved, grey V-back shift dress with silver pumps, a grey clutch and no hat.

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The muted ensemble struck the correct respectful tone for the occasions, said fashion blogger Susan Kelley of WhatKateWore.com.

"I think it's a little bit edgier in the sense that the detail on the back and the deep V in the back kept it contemporary and kept it looking a little hipper or a little zippier, if you will," Ms. Kelley said from Okemos, Mich.

"It wasn't a completely boring, conservative, plain, grey dress. The detailing on the sleeves, the detailing at the collar on the front and then the lapels on the back as well made it come up a notch."

Prince William and his wife Kate are on a nine-day visit to Canada, their first official royal tour as a married couple. After Quebec they head to Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Alberta.

Ms. Walker, who was arguably one of Diana's favourite designers, created more than 1,000 pieces worn by the late Princess of Wales.

The French designer died in Sussex, England last year, but as her health began to fail she hand-picked and trained a new design team to carry on her label. The move has ensured continuity and from the new collections it's hard to tell Walker herself isn't at the helm anymore, Ms. Kelley said.

But the move to wear a Diana designer likely wasn't purely a nod to William's late mother, as the Middleton family has long also favoured Catherine Walker designs, Ms. Kelley said.

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Kate's mother wore the label to her daughter's wedding in April. And the fact remains, that Kate's style is very similar to Diana's, Ms. Kelley said.

"They're mostly classic looks," she said. "They're mostly very well cut, very flattering pieces that kind of skim one's figure. They show off your figure in a very nice, lovely way without being risque."

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