Saturday 18 August 2018

Elegance and a touch of royal rebellion: the meaning behind Meghan Markle's first post-honeymoon look

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wave to crowds as they arrive at Buckingham Palace, central London following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, after celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travel in a horse-drawn carriage down The Mall to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 9, 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at Horse Guards Parade, central London, during the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at Horse Guards Parade, central London, during the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, take part in the Trooping the Colour parade in central London, Britain, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at The Royal Horseguards during Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at The Royal Horseguards during Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips, Autumn Phillips, Isla Phillips and Savannah Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travel in a horse-drawn carriage down The Mall to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 9, 2018
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travel in a carriage to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 9, 2018
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, take part in the Trooping the Colour parade in central London, Britain, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex return in a horse-drawn carriage after attending the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour' on Horseguards parade in London on June 9, 2018
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at Horse Guards Parade, central London, during the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday

Bethan Holt

When Meghan Markle made her first public appearance mere days after her wedding, it seemed that her wardrobe had been quickly 'duchessified'.

Gone were the bare arms and legs and messy bun she'd favoured pre-marriage, replaced with tights, a demure dress and sleek updo for a garden party celebrating her father-in-law Prince Charles' 70th birthday.

One honeymoon later, the duchess appeared at her first Trooping the Colour on Saturday in a look which confirmed that her royal look, in case we were in any doubt, will be compiled on her own terms. Her's is a 21st century take on elegance which looks as pristine as is expected in her new royal role, but which also pushes some of the unspoken rules of the regal dress code.

Most notable is how Meghan's pale pink top dips off her shoulders in an exaggerated version of the bateau neckline which Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller used to timelessly sophisticated effect on her bridal gown. The cut looks chic but reveals more decolletage than the Buckingham Palace balcony has likely ever seen.

The origins of Meghan's co-ordinating top and skirt are also interesting; the outfit is by Carolina Herrera, the Queen of American fashion who made her name making poised but glamorous clothes for monied women, often combining ease with flair- a crisp, popped-collar white shirt and decorative skirt is a signature personal look.

The duchess wore a black and white tulle ballgown by Herrera for a feature with Vanity Fair in September 2017 when she publicly declared her love for Harry for the first time.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England

Herrera recently stepped back from creative director duties at her label, so it's likely that the duchess's blush pink, button-detailed look is a custom-design by Wes Gordon, the 31 year-old who taken over at the helm of Herrera after establishing a quiet reputation for his modern take on Park Avenue Princess dressing with his eponymous label.

While the Duchess of Cambridge mostly prefers to stick with British designers, especially for events like Trooping the Colour (she wore a new Alexander McQueen dress for this year's ceremony), Meghan's decision to wear American indicates a determination to stay loyal to designers from her homeland. For her wedding, she asked Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Gordon's contemporaries and creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, to make her mother Doria Ragland's outfit.

There was no messy bun on display at Trooping the Colour, but Meghan did wear her hair down and slightly tousled so that it fluttered in the breeze and looked far more carefree than the highly coiffed look she sported at her last appearence. She topped her relaxed blow dry with a straw saucer hat by Phillip Treacy.

The Duchess of Sussex's Herrera co-ord came in a similar subtle blush hue to the Goat style she wore for Prince Charles' garden party; the shade is flattering against her dark skin tone and chimes with minimalist approach she appears to favour, mostly opting for neutrals over the bright, eye-catching colours loved by the Queen.

Next Thursday, the duchess will accompany the Queen on a visit to Cheshire, their first joint engagement. In the visits which she carried out with Harry before their wedding, Meghan wore trousers, relaxed trench coats, M&S jumpers and laidback dresses from a mix of British, Canadian and American labels. It will be a litmus test for how far she plans to push her overhaul of royal style rules.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and his new wife, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend the Prince of Wales's 70th Birthday Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 22, 2018
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and his new wife, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend the Prince of Wales's 70th Birthday Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 22, 2018

Telegraph.co.uk

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