Caitlin McBride: Meghan Markle shows flair for fashion diplomacy on first foreign trip
Meghan Markle proved her aptitude in the art of fashion diplomacy for her first royal trip abroad to Dublin.
For royals, official visits offer the perfect opportunity to showcase either British fashion houses as a badge of honour, or as the case may be today, an opportunity to incorporate a local designer into your wardrobe.
It’s a tactic long employed by first ladies around the world, knowing their ensembles will be dissected down to a single stray hair.
But Meghan, Britain’s new Duchess of Sussex, doesn’t play by the normal fashion rules as she has been displaying a number of international brands during her myriad recent public appearances.
As she stepped off the plane at Dublin Airport yesterday with her new husband Prince Harry, it was clear careful consideration had been taken in putting her look together – a forest green combination comprising of a high-waisted skirt and complementary round-neck knit, paired with tan suede Manolo Blahnik heels and her ever present flesh coloured tights, a requirement imposed by her grandmother-in-law Queen Elizabeth.
We did, however, get a glimmer of the pre-duchess Meghan, who chose a brown leather Strathberry handled bag, an accessories brand she favoured during her engagement appearances, instead of the royal-required clutches.
Her choice of Givenchy is an unsurprising one since she has become an ardent champion of the French fashion house under Claire Waight Keller’s creative direction in recent months, and famously wore her custom design on her wedding day.
Green was not only appropriate for Ireland, but a welcome departure from the nude palette she has been sticking to of late, according to stylist and fashion writer Corina Gaffey.
“Meghan seems to have settled into her royal role and perfected the dress code,” she told the Irish Independent. “The forest green was a subtle nod to Ireland but it would be nice to see her adopt an Irish designer into her fashion roster over the course of her two-day stay.”
At the garden party at the British Ambassador’s residence at Glencairn yesterday evening, Meghan wore a chic black dress by New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead.
Sister-in-law Kate Middleton has long been a fan of Dublin-born designer Orla Kiely, but Meghan has yet to show the same affection – yet.