Meghan Markle’s dresses have a secret feminist message

The duchess has worn dresses by female designers including Clare Waight Keller, Carolina Herrera and Stella McCartney

Sabrina Barr
Friday 29 June 2018 10:37

It’s a well-known fact that the Duchess of Sussex is a very proud feminist, having represented the United Nations in 2016 as an advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The dresses that she’s worn at royal engagements since marrying Prince Harry have made that even more clear, due to her choice of designers.

If you cast an eye over the dresses that the duchess has donned at events such as Ascot and the Trooping of the Colour, you’ll notice that every single one has been created by a female designer.

It began with the much-anticipated dress that Meghan wore when she walked down the aisle on 19 May, which was designed by Clare Waight Keller.

Waight Keller became the first woman to be named artistic director of Givenchy last year.

Meghan has since gone on to wear dresses by Givenchy on two more occasions since the royal wedding, in addition to gowns by other female designers such as Carolina Herrera.

Here’s a breakdown of the dresses that Meghan’s worn since becoming a royal:

The wedding dress

(AFP/Getty Images

The former Suits actor chose for Waight Keller to design her wedding dress due to her admiration for her “elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring and relaxed demeanour.”

The pair worked together to create a look that was minimalistic, meeting eight times for fittings prior to the nuptials.

The dress was designed with a bateau neckline, a feature that Meghan evidently has a particular affinity for.

Waight Keller created a double bonded silk cady material for the dress in pure white in order to give it a look that was matted and contemporary.

The evening reception gown

(AFP/Getty Images

Following the afternoon reception of the wedding ceremony, the newlywed duke and duchess departed for their evening reception in a change of outfits.

Meghan wore a halterneck dress designed by Stella McCartney for the evening do, which was created with a low-back design.

“I felt that the dress represented her, it was a little whiff of her spirit. I love that,” McCartney told Vogue.

Following the wedding, McCartney put a replica of the dress up for sale for £3,500.

People interested in purchasing the dress were able to either through private appointment or by visiting the label’s Bond Street store during the week of 13 June.

The birthday celebrations


Meghan’s first public appearance after the royal wedding came 23 May, during the Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration at Buckingham Palace.

She wore a £590 ‘Flavia Dress’ designed by Goat, a fashion brand founded by designer Jane Lewis in 2001.

The luxury label is a particular favourite of Meghan’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, and other celebrity clientele including Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Trooping of the Colour

Earlier this month, the royal family celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s 92nd birthday by attending the Trooping of the Colour.

During the event, Meghan wore an off-shoulder dress designed by Carolina Herrera.

A number of people speculated that the duchess was making a feminist statement with her choice of neckline, as it seemingly broke away from traditional royal protocol.

The outing with the Queen

The Duchess of Sussex with the Queen in June 2018

A couple of weeks ago, Meghan attended her first public outing alone with the Queen when the pair visited Cheshire to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre.

The dress that Meghan chose to wear was another Givenchy piece, demonstrating Meghan’s clear admiration for Waight Keller.

Meghan’s decision to wear Givenchy was particularly poignant given the importance of her excursion with the grandmother-in-law.

The first trip to Ascot

Rex Features

On Tuesday last week, the duchess ventured to Royal Ascot for the very first time.

She chose to wear Givenchy yet again, wearing a white shirt-dress for the extravagant event.

Meghan chose not to wear the name tag that members of the royal family are usually expected to wear on the day, which some theorised was due to the delicacy of the fabric.

The Queen’s Young Leader Awards

(Getty Images

A couple of days ago, Meghan and Prince Harry joined the Queen at Buckingham Palace to celebrate young people across the Commonwealth who have made a “lasting change in their community and beyond" as part of the Queen's Young Leader Awards.

The duchess opted to wear a Prada top and skirt for the event in a light pink hue.

Miuccia Prada is head designer and co-chief executive officer of the fashion house.

In 1992, Miuccia introduced the subsidiary line Miu Miu into the collection.

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