To see her arrive practically at a dance pace, no one would have imagined the fear she must have felt a few hours before. Meghan had announced her pregnancy to the world ten days earlier in Sydney and, after visiting Fiji and Tonga during that first tour in Oceania, she was returning to the Australian city to participate in the Australian Geographic Society Awards. When the pilot of the plane carrying the Sussex dukes was beginning to maneuver to land, he suddenly decided to regain altitude to avoid an aircraft that was on their runway.
“So you will have another magnificent view of the port,” the pilot played down and it was in this way that the two managed to arrive in time for the scheduled appointment. On that occasion Meghan abandoned her linear and clean style to wear a fairytale dress by Oscar de la Renta. A success that left half the world speechless, hailed by fans of royal affairs as one of the best outfits of that year.
Let’s go back to the Windsor house with the story of the royal clothes that made the history of costume. After thedress Elizabeth wore for her coronation which took place exactly 68 years ago (it was June 2, 1953) and the white suit in which Letizia Ortiz showed up for the official announcement of her engagement with Felipe, passing through the famous Elvis dress of Princess Diana e Nina Ricci’s dress passed from Queen Silvia of Sweden to her daughter Victoria, we come to that time when the American Duchess for the first time and only time impersonated a textbook fairytale princess.
It was October 26, 2018. The tour in Australia and New Zealand was proceeding at full speed, also thanks to Meghan’s swirling dress changes: i royal watchers they counted 114 garments and accessories for a total value of 117 thousand pounds (the equivalent of about 140 thousand euros). The cloud of tulle on which a flock of laser-cut seagulls flew, which came out of the fashion house Oscar de la Renta, alone cost about 10,000 pounds while the price of Aquazzura’s Deneuve pumps with back bow was around 500 pounds. .
That fluffy tutu was the third outfit she wore that day after Veronica Beard blue shirt dress and the striped one of Martin Grant but it was also the third grand evening dress exhibited during the trip. For the reception in Tonga with King Tupou VI and family he had chosen a long white dress by Theia rather snug as it did in Fiji, except that the light blue dress designed by the Safiyaa brand it was more structured because of that sort of cloak behind it.
Cover yourself with birds to deliver an environmental sustainability award (category Young Conservationist of the Year) put in place by an institution that deals with promoting the protection of natural heritage and wildlife, was a choice that was as philological as it was apt. The young woman Sophia Skarparis was awarded the award for having promoted an online petition to ban plastic bags from the Australian coast and the seagulls that take flight on the tulle assumed an unprecedented vitality in that context.
The creative team of Oscar de la Renta for the pre-fall 2018 collection was led by the duo Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia still in office today. The embroidery designed in CAD and then laser cut is the work of Sarah Esmoingt. The French textile designer based in New York who specializes in this sector has digitized the artwork of the textile artist Leila Dubus, of French origins too, looking for a harmony that ran throughout the dress.
The collection presented on the banks of the Hudson at the end of 2017 was full of naturalistic references but when Meghan opened the catalog she preferred the ornithological theme on a sample of fish, algae, leaves and stars. The dress has been adjusted to fit the shapes of a newly begun pregnancy. The seagulls seemed tattooed on Meghan’s skin but the secret of the bodice that tightens at the waist, giving strength to the volume of the skirt, is in its transparency.
If you are born in America, you know the importance of a brand like Oscar de la Renta. If we remove a pair of earrings worn in 2013 and a floral model, however, seen in a fashion shoot for the magazine Chicago Splash Magazine the following year, in the family the first outfit of the brand known for being the one who dresses the First Ladies flaunted it Doria Ragland at her daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, 2018.
A few months before the event, Meghan’s assistant contacted the stylists with an email telling them that the bride-to-be would like to talk to them about something. Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia were alarmed up to a certain point: in those days it was impossible it was the wedding dress. In a phone call, Meghan herself explained her will: she wanted an American brand to be present on that very important day and for this reason she wanted her mother to be dressed Oscar de la Renta with that pistachio-colored suit. At this point, the relationship between Doria and the creative duo, conquered also by the sound of biscuits at the rehearsals, was such that the work on pastel colors the Resort collection of 2019. When we saw the mother of the duchess in a ceremonial version at the baptism of little Archie, she was once again wrapped in a de la Renta outfit, this time however in peach color.
Meghan’s turn came on June 16, 2018. A month after her wedding, she was now the guest of the big day she saw united in marriage Celia McCorquodale e George Woodhouse. The bride was the daughter of Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of the Princess Diana and therefore Harry’s cousin. The romantic wrap dress in canvas of jouy white with blue flowers paired with a fascinator Marks & Spencer and heels Aquazzura white (perhaps the same as his royal wedding) had not been welcomed by the shrewd social media audience, including those who said it was too wide and long and those who compared it to their own household linen. After the summer, at the end of September Meghan returned to the attack with the brand calling it into question as an ally: the asymmetrical drapes of the navy blue blouse were used to hide the first signs of a pregnancy that was already rumored before the official announcement .
Then other models would arrive: still a senior member of the royal family and super pregnant, she wore a de la Renta trench coat in January 2019 to visit the charity Smart Works and a dress also with naturalistic motifs designed for the brand once again by Leïla Dubus for a commitment in Bristol the following month. Between that dress and the lemons vest with which Meghan appeared, already repaired in Montecito, in a video after the announcement of the second pregnancy, there is a life in between that we have not seen.
We caught a timid hint of it that night in Sydney when Meghan, still super acclaimed by everyone, came home hugging a plush wombat, received as a gift for the baby she was carrying. As light as a dancer, she lulled herself into all that tulle that combined in one fell swoop the origin of the former actress, divorced, declared feminist with a proudly African American mother and not without ambitions, and the new status of duchess that could have brought a breath of news at court.
In hindsight, that dress could be read in a premonitory key. Apart from the stunning effect caused by the bubbling skirt, in that fantasy one could also have glimpsed a quote from Birds by Hitchcock giving reason to those who, instead of the fairy atmosphere, perceived rather a gloomy and gothic climate. Without disturbing any sad omen (which then nothing happened, the two lovebirds just disengaged from Buckingham Palace and its surroundings to find a peace congenial to them) perhaps we should look at that seagull that is hidden under Meghan’s lock of hair. It is already there that she takes off in solitude, maybe she already feels that that apparently golden world is not for her. The seagull then simply returned to the Californian coast which it missed. Only this time she is no longer alone: she has brought the whole nest with her.