Last night, for her first official evening engagement with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wore an Alexander McQueen trouser suit. It was slim-fitting, with cropped cigarette trousers, worn with very high stiletto heels and a cream dishabille blouse. The outfit was many things: very Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking, a bit Princess Diana, with a soupçon of Marlene Dietrich, even a hint of Carine Roitfeld (although Roitfeld probably wouldn’t have worn a blouse underneath the tux). What it was not was a Sandringham-appropriate boxy Catherine Walker skirt suit. It was notable because it didn’t feel like standard royal family dressing at all.
The royal family wrote the rule book on sartorial diplomacy. Usually, their approach is unambiguous. It is a gown embroidered with 2,091 shamrocks in Ireland; a Chanel tweed coat in Paris in the middle of Brexit; a dress by Polish designer Gosia Baczyńska at a garden party in Warsaw. It is the opposite of wearing a cult band T-shirt that only fellow devotees will recognise. The clothes are designed to speak of decency and propriety; the visual messages are clear enough to charm heads of state and reach the rest of us in the cheap seats as well.
So far, Markle’s approach has been very different. Her clothes are not straight-up patriotic. They appeal to something broader – not to geographical borders, but to of-the-moment concepts.
Last night’s trouser suit echoed debates about the way high-profile women get dressed in Hollywood in 2018. On the red carpets of awards ceremonies, trouser suits are still an anomaly, although they are being worn increasingly, often as part of explicit protests against Hollywood gender inequality as part of the Time’s Up movement. By wearing a trouser suit, Markle was aligning herself with that debate, rather than with royal protocol: among royal women, trousers are rarely seen after dark, with princessy gowns the default choice.
This is only the latest example of zeitgeist-harnessing style from Markle. Last week – just as concerns about fashion’s impact on the environment were reaching the most heretofore resistant corners of the industry – she wore a black coat by the British designer most closely associated with that movement, Stella McCartney, with a pair of jeans by sustainable Welsh brand Hiut denim and a handbag by a brand, DeMellier London, that trades on being “socially conscious”.
In an era in which individuality is everything – when “you be you” is the ultimate fashion advertising strapline – Markle continually ploughs her own furrow, wearing brands so far under the radar that fashion editors have to Google them: a dress from Parosh for her engagement photocall; a coat by Mackage in Nottingham. As an actor, from Los Angeles, she didn’t grow up steeped in the traditions of the monarchy. She has fresh eyes on diplomatic dressing. Her approach feels comparatively unconventional, even unpredictable, as a result.
Increasingly, she has been wearing British brands with fashion kudos: a skirt with a raw hem by Joseph; a dress by the buzzy label Self-portrait for the Queen’s Christmas lunch; a sumptuous gown with a transparent top by Britain’s only haute couture label, Ralph and Russo, for the official engagement photoshoot.
She pairs the expensive pieces with cheaper items that have since – inevitably – sold out, such as the £45 M&S jumper she wore in Brixton. These relatable moments have clearly been carefully thought-out – an M&S spokesperson recently confirmed that someone from Kensington Palace bought the jumper on Markle’s behalf – to combine the image of an otherworldly goddess (whether or not she is anointed with oil) with someone with whom we might conceivably one day have brunch. (The little details of her look are pure King’s Road juice bar brunch date: she wears artfully mismatched earrings and a messy bun.)
Her clothes speak to something very different from the royal’s usual flag-waving smartness: they appeal to universal markers of decency among the godless liberal elite. By accident or by design, Markle’s wardrobe perfectly reads the room.
This news collected from :Source link