Kate Middleton’s Fashion Show Look Mirrors A Huge Trend For 2024

By Olivia Emily

6 months ago

Plus, how to create it for yourself


The prospect of Netflix’s The Crown recreating Kate Middleton’s iconic, barely-there fashion show look from her university days has been teasing audiences ever since season six was announced (confirming the series would stretch into the 2000s). More than 20 years on, though, the statement look is trending – and we’re totally here for it. Here’s a brief history of Kate’s outfit (that pun will land later on), plus how to get the look for yourself.

The Crown: Inside Kate Middleton’s Fashion Show Moment

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton. © Justin Downing/Netflix

Picture the scene: it’s 2002 and the noughties are in full swing. You’re a university student, often dressed in low-rise jeans and neon garms (or, at least, your peers are). You’re a 19-year-old Kate Middleton, and it is rumoured that you turned down your place at Edinburgh University, took a gap year and enrolled at St Andrews University for your very own chance at a meet-cute with William, the future King of England. You’re lucky enough to live in the same student accommodation – St Salvator’s Hall – and you strike up a friendship, even moving into a flat together with two other friends for your second year. But how to really catch (and keep) the Prince’s eye? You are an active member of The Lumsden Club, hosting fundraisers and community projects, so it’s a natural ‘yes’ when you’re asked to walk in a charity fashion show. But what to wear? What better than nothing at all?

In all seriousness, Kate wore what we consider an iconic outfit: a sheer strapless dress with blue trim, paired with black ballet pumps, black underwear and a mop of curly hair with a white braid running through it. And, 20 years on, the statement ‘fit is firmly back on our radar – both because of The Crown’s polished recreation of it, and because sheer fabrics and super-short briefs are two of the hottest trends we’re excited to embrace in spring/summer 2024.

There’s no way Kate could have known her look would be so famous; images of her on the catwalk were popular tabloid fodder in the later 2000s, when her relationship with Prince William was flourishing. It is rumoured, however, that Kate did successfully catch William’s eye on this very occasion, with the Prince reportedly watching Kate from the front row in a seat he paid £200 for. The pair began dating soon after – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William. © Justin Downing/Netflix

Get The Look

We’ll keep it brief: here’s how to recreate Kate’s sheer look for yourself.

Sheer dress