Kate Middleton made a bold style statement today as she attended a glittering awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London. The Duchess of Cambridge made a striking entrance in an off-the-shoulder cream jersey dress by unknown Brazilian-born, London-based designer Barbara Casasola.
The mother-of-two, who is often accused of playing it safe when it comes to her fashion choices, went for an uncharacteristically vamped up look taken fro the designer's minimalist Spring '16 runway collection, and she wore it well.
The Duchess was presenting the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016 prize at a dinner hosted at the Natural History Museum. The Art Fund Museum of the Year prize is awarded annually to an outstanding museum which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement in the preceding year. The museums featured in the shortlist including the Arnolfini, Bristol, Bethlem Museum of the Mind, London, and York Art Gallery.
Joining Kate at the prestigious event were 400 guests including leading figures from the world of arts and culture in the UK including artists Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Michael Craig-Martin and Cornelia Parker.
The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art and in the last five years has given £34m to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators, Mail Online reports.
Kate was met on the steps of London's Natural History Museum, by Ken Olisa Lord Lieutenant, Stephen Deuchar director of the Art Fund and Sir Michael Dixon director of the Natural History Museum.
Former culture secretary Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Art Fund greeted the Duchess. Lord Smith said: "It was the first time I had met the Duchess and she was utterly charming. She is an art-lover and recognises the importance of museums, both as a resource and their importance to young people.
"It's fantastic to have her presenting the Art Fund for this year and supporting the great work of all these museums."
The Duchess, who has played a prominent role in raising awareness of mental health issues among young people, spoke to Caroline Smith, from Bethlem Museum of the Mind in London, of the role of the museum in highlighting important issues in the community.
"We talked about how our museum is on site and we use the collections to challenge people's perceptions to mental health which is a cause very close to her heart."
Kate, who is patron of the Natural History Museum and the National Portrait Gallery is also the patron of The Art Room, a charity that works with children to increase their self-esteem through art.
The Duchess revealed that she is a regular visitor to the Natural History Museum as Prince George is fascinated by the dinosaurs on display including 'Dippy' the museum's famous Diplodocus skeleton.
Nicky Wilson, from Jupiter Artland in West Lothian, said: 'The Duchess said George comes here a lot. We were talking about children interacting with sculpture and contemporary art and he loves doing that. He loves 3D three dimensional sculptures. He does come here [the NHM] quite often."
In May, she visited the National Portrait Gallery to view portraits of herself in the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition.