Beyond the fringe: Kate's hairstyle is a head-turner
The Duchess of Cambridge has returned to work with a bang - or rather bangs - and the new fringe that she showed off on a visit to the Anna Freud Centre in London has been lauded by local style experts.
Leading model agency boss Alison Clarke, wife of Darren Clarke and Keris Weir, a former Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the year and winner of E4's Great British Hairdresser, were both enthusiastic about Kate's glam new look.
The Duchess visited the Anna Freud Centre in London yesterday for her first solo appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte in May.
The aim of her first engagement was to learn more about the mental health issues that effect children and youth people.
Her staff reported that Kate was looking forward to her forthcoming limited schedule of public appearances since taking the summer off to spend time with her children at their new home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Kate, who was wearing a dogtooth Ralph Lauren shirtdress, currently priced at £1,245, not only sported a new fringe, but her trademark auburn tresses were noticeably shorter too.
Alison Clarke has long sported her own fringe and loved Kate's new look.
"I like having that little bit of hair to frame my face, so I've had a fringe cut for years," she said.
"As you get older, a fringe can hide the lines that appear on your forehead - it's a cheap way to get non-invasive plastic surgery."
Alison added : "Fringes aren't easy to look after, though - when you wake up in the morning they can be any which way and you need to carefully blow-dry them. Kate's new hair has been cut delicately to frame her face."
Award-winning hairdresser Keris Weir was also a fan of Kate's simple new style. She said: "Kate is sporting a soft, split fringe in the style that Bridget Bardot would have worn."
And as a new mum herself, Keris said she fully understood the sort of fringe benefits Kate might be after.
"For a new mum who has been at home with a baby, a fringe is an easy way to get a new look," explained Keris, who had a baby daughter this year and runs the MG Hair Boutique in Lurgan.
"Kate has started to appear in public again and all new mums want to give themselves a freshen-up or a new look when they go back to work.
"People go for a fringe if they fancy something different - it's a way to make a distinct change without being too dramatic."
Although the Duchess' fringe frames her face rather than covers it, blunt fringes are often used to hide a multitude of sins.
"I have clients who call their fringes natural Botox, because it hides lines on the forehead," said Keris. "I also have clients who have over-plucked their eyebrows too much over the years and now use their fringe to cover them up."
MAIN PICS OF DUCHESS TODAY INCLUDING
FULL LENGTH CLOSE UP OF HAIR AND ALSO PICS OF ALISON CLARKE AND KERIS WEIR