The sharp fashion money is on Kate Middleton stepping out in items from top New Zealand labels Emilia Wickstead, World or Karen Walker this month.

Stylists from Kensington Palace flew to New Zealand to look at the wares of leading fashion designers.

Showroom 22 director Murray Bevan said palace stylists discreetly visited some of the country's best-known labels to add to the stylish travelling wardrobe of the Duchess of Cambridge. Some of the garments plucked off rails and taken back to England included Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper and World.

But Bevan says Kate is most likely to wear a Kiwi label that is an established global brand: "You probably will see her wearing Emilia Wickstead down here. She's already an internationally recognised designer."


World chief executive Denise L'Estrange-Corbet indicated she had made confidential arrangements when contacted yesterday. "I can't say anything," she said. "Not a word."

The Duchess is recognised internationally for her sartorial style and while British labels Alexander McQueen and Issa are firm favourites in her extensive and fashionable wardrobe, she has a fondness for New Zealanders Wickstead and Rebecca Taylor, based in New York.

She sent back a colourful pink paisley coat from Dame Trelise Cooper's collection, but it is hoped she will wear at least one local designer from the 30 outfits she has packed for her first trip Downunder.

Bevan said his fashion company had actively courted the royal stylists this year, making them aware of an extensive local designer range.