Duchess of Cambridge designer favorite comes to L.A.
American fans of the Duchess of Cambridge's long, lean coats and slim-tailored hacking jackets can now get the royal treatment themselves. Katherine Hooker, the London-based fashion designer who has worked with her since 2005, back when she was Kate Middleton, is holding her first Los Angeles trunk shows.
Sept. 6 and 7, she'll be taking up residence at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, appropriately enough, showcasing designs such as the tailored-yet-feminine Buxton coat (above, middle), worn by the Duchess to the Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Palace in June. (The coat is paired with Hooker's matching Scout dress.)
The Duchess chose to keep the ensemble monochrome, in dove gray. But the thing about Hooker's designs is that they are all individual. Each piece is made by hand in England, so Hooker will come armed with hundreds of swatches, buttons and trims, tweeds, silks, linens and cashmeres, to choose from. Clothing, $860 to $1,200, takes four to six weeks to complete.
Hooker started her collection of elegant coats in 2001, after a career in film set decorating. To hear her tell it though, she's been obsessed with coats since she was 18 years old, when she spotted the fashion find of a lifetime in a junk shop in Jerusalem: a vintage black silk coat with the perfect slim fit.
"It was hand-made for a 14-year-old Hasidic boy,” Hooker told the New York Post back in March, when she visited New York for a trunk show. “It just so happened that I was the right shape for it, with tiny little shoulders, and it was cut really high in the arms . . . I wore it to death.”
So, on a break from films, she took a trip to India and had six sample pieces made. Her business took off, though she wasn't really thrust into the spotlight until Middleton was. Hooker has a shop just off Kings Road in London, which is a favorite with Brit "It" girls Plum Sykes and Jemma Kidd. Los Angeles is the latest stop in a multi-city trunk show tour for the designer, who is focusing on expanding her business in the U.S.
Katherine Hooker will be at the London Hotel on Sept. 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. She will be at the Gebert Gallery on Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 1345 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. No appointment necessary.
For more information, go to www.katherinehooker.com.
-- Booth Moore
Top photo: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, left, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby watch the Garter Service on June 13 in Windsor, England. The Duchess of Cambridge is wearing an ensemble by designer Katherine Hooker.Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Pool/ Getty Images.
Bottom left photo: Kate Middleton, in a Katherine Hooker hacking jacket, attends the final day of Cheltenham Festival on March 16, 2007, in Gloucestershire, England. Photo credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images.
Bottom right photo: Prince William and Kate Middleton, in a Katherine Hooker coat, wave to the crowds after officially launching the new RNLI's lifeboat 'Hereford Endeavour' at Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, on February 24. Credit: by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images