Kate's 'style icon' status slammed

US fashion experts say Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wouldn't be looked at twice on the street if she wasn't a royal. Photo / AFP
US fashion experts say Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wouldn't be looked at twice on the street if she wasn't a royal. Photo / AFP

Leading US fashion experts have labelled Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, a style follower, not a trendsetter, who wouldn't be looked at twice on the street if she wasn't a royal.

The 29-year-old duchess, who is widely considered a style icon in the UK, adorning the covers of thousands of magazines, has received a lashing for her largely high-street dress sense.

"If you take Kate out of the royal family, put her on a street in New York, you wouldn't look at her twice," fashion director for US department store Nordstrom, Gregg Andrews, said.

"She's a beautiful woman, but she blends into a crowd," Andrews said in comments quoted by British media.

Comments about Catherine's fashion influence have arisen as the industry's who's who meets for New York Fashion Week.

"Is she a style icon of the likes of a Kate Moss? Absolutely not. Is she in the public eye? Are people going to become obsessed with everything she wears regardless of what it is? Yes," said Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey.

But not everyone shares that view.

Last month, Vanity Fair announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was on this year's list of international best-dressed. She also made the list in 2008.

The Sun-Herald's fashion editor, Kate Waterhouse, said last year Catherine had "done a complete 180 since her university days" and was now "always right on the money" in her choice of clothes.

"Although modelling a transparent dress at a student fashion show in 2002 was a fashion faux pas she'd like to forget, Middleton has done a complete 180 since her university days," Waterhouse said.

"She effortlessly pulls together jeans and blazers to create a sophisticated look. From race days, dressed in her fineries at Royal Ascot, to showing off her long and lean figure in form-fitting gowns, she is always right on the money."

Meanwhile, there were strong words of praise for Catherine's wedding dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, with industry journalists predicting it will be a style followed by many brides in the coming year.

- AAP

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