Kate Middleton and her stylist should make a close study of Andrew Gn's latest collection. Inspired by a stack of old Life magazines he picked up at Les Puces earlier this year, he called the collection, "Queen Elizabeth II visiting India with a stopover in Japan." But it looked less like QEII circa the early sixties than it did the Duchess of Cambridge today: the delicate silk blouses with the well-fitting pencil skirts; the slim, body-limning sheaths with the drama at the neckline. A white dress with black silk embroidered feathers was especially striking.

This was Gn at his most assured. The designer has never used a stylist, preferring to do the work of editing his collections himself. In truth, he could've culled more than a few looks from this lineup, but it was nonetheless his strongest in seasons. India and the Orient made appearances via his lavish use of embroideries, the Mughal neckline of a full-skirted party dress, and deep, saturated colors, too. The indigo blue of a ball gown with a deep-slit neckline lingers in the memory, but the real evening standouts were the duchesse satin dresses in un-colors like Tahitian pearl and Clair de Lune, embellished with clusters of opal and quartz crystals. For Middleton's next gala, perhaps?