Are we fascinated with the Duchess of Sussex? Of course, we are! She is an American actress who has married into royalty – which isn’t as unusual as one may think.
Over 100 years ago, American heiresses were looking to marry Brits or, as one English wag writes, “wealthy girls from the U.S. came hunting for titled toffs to wed and bed. Dukes were top of the list, but a belted earl would do – Americans craved credentials. At the same time, the English aristocrats who saw their incomes from the land dwindling and their castles falling around their ears were desperate for injections of capital.”
Meghan Markle, with her lovely smile, college degree, thriving career and wide circle of friends attracted Prince Harry at once. This is definitely a true romance for both of them – the kind of story we all love.
HER FIRST TRIP OVERSEAS
The Weekend Financial Times that appeared on November 10, 2018 reported on this royal tour to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in astounding detail – much of it with numbers. I love this approach because numbers tell the real story. Full disclosure: Here’s an interesting aside that my husband, Peter and I saw on one of our trips to Hawaii. The King of Tonga and his retinue were on our plane and when they disembarked, four stewardesses held all of us back so they could leave first. One kept addressing him as, “Your Majesty.” And yes, there were Mercedes lined up and armed guards for security. It was quite a show.
Note: The Pacific island of Tonga has the highest “overweight or obese” population in the world because “a huge body” is a sign of social status. The King and Queen we saw on the plane did not disappoint.
A PREGNANY REVEALED
Kensington Palace released this news on the day the Duchess arrived in Australia. So what kind of fashion statement did she make? For starters, that’s she’s still very much an American. Her wardrobe featured 25 US-based designers: Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu and J Crew. All told, there were 29 European labels featured, with 14 designers either based or born in New Zealand or Australia.
Karen Walker, a New Zealand designer created six items for the tour, including the Banks trench coat the Duchess wore on her arrival in Auckland (more about the reaction to this coat later). Walker was stunned by the tremendous goodwill that came with each brand outing – an enthusiasm far beyond the normal reach of fashion. “I was inundated with good wishes,” she says. “Everyone from the international media to people at my grocery store and at my daughter’s bus stop.”
THREE PAIRS OF JEANS: WORN 10 TIMES
The Queen of England wears highly visible colors but the Duchess wore black (28% of her outfits) cream/white (seven times), and blue nine. She didn’t twin with Prince Harry BUT their ensembles were carefully matched.
AND WHAT ABOUT SHOES?
She wore flats on 10 occasions and went barefoot twice. Pregnancy allowed a little more latitude. Her favorite shoe throughout the tour was the Manolo Blahnik BB pump, worn in navy and olive, with a 3.5-inch heel. (More comments about these shoes from the designer will appear next week).
We’re not finished yet – in our next blog, a week from now, we’ll tell you all about the tremendous reaction (and yes, sales) from the royal tour. It’s pretty heady stuff. CLICK HERE TO READ OUR FIRST BLOG ABOUT THE DUCHESS.
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There was an enormous amount of planning, organizing and cash outlay for the royal tour of Prince Harry and his lovely wife. For example, there were 76 engagements and 39 official outfits for a wardrobe estimated at 118,000 in British Pound sterling (or $150,478 in US currency. (I did the conversion so if it’s wrong – which I doubt – you can blame me.)
In January, there was a lot of talk on the fashion scene when Karl Lagerfeld missed the Chanel Haute Couture show in Paris. A haute couture show is the show of the year. It is an opportunity for a brand to showcase the best they have to offer, not only in design and artistic abilities but in terms of craftsmanship with many details (if not all) completely done by hand.
Did you know that, from the minute you step into an Uber you are being watched and rated as a passenger? Let’s rephrase this: not you rating your driver – him rating you. This all seemed preposterous to me. Then I read a very clever article about this in the Financial Times, dated the weekend of July 7th and 8th of 2018. Full disclosure: I still take Yellow Cabs, no Ubers.
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