Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards in London on Monday night, where she helped honour Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller, who was accepting the award for British Womenswear Designer of the Year. The Duchess of Sussex looked sophisticated and chic, showing some skin in her black one-shoulder Givenchy gown. But Markle’s bare shoulder wasn’t the only element of her outfit that got royal watchers talking. The mom-to-be broke protocol by opting for a dark nail polish.
This is how it starts. First the dark nails and bare shoulder, next it’s going to be drinking coffee instead of tea and refusing to wear elaborate fascinators.
Members of the royal family are reportedly prohibited from wearing dark nail polish, with Queen Elizabeth listing Essie’s Ballet Slippers, a light shade of pink, as the one acceptable hue for fingertips. Meghan wore the shade on her wedding day, possibly hoping that having millions of people see her in the light nail colour would be enough to appease the Queen.
Markle’s surprise appearance at Monday’s award show quickly made headlines. As most royal fans know, The Duchess chose Waight Keller to design her now-iconic wedding dress. Honouring the designer, Markle spoke about her love of fashion, saying, “When we choose to wear a certain designer, we’re not just a reflection of their creativity and their vision, but we’re also an extension of their values, of something in the fabric, so to speak, that is much more meaningful. I recently read an article that said, ‘The culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind.’”
Continuing, Meghan said, “I feel especially proud to announce tonight’s winner, who, yes, is a British designer leading on the global stage with vision and creativity, but also with incredible kindness, which is why when I met her for the first time 11 months ago, I knew that we’d be working very closely together.”
The first female head of Givenchy, Waight Keller and Markle have enjoyed a close relationship since Meghan and Harry’s wedding, with Markle photographed wearing Givenchy several times, including her first solo engagement with the Queen in June.
Meghan also famously wore Givenchy to another wedding this year. While attending Princess Eugenie’s October nuptials, Markle wore a navy Givenchy dress and coat, helping to hide her pregnancy, which she announced publicly three days later.
Maybe Markle and Waight Keller’s next collaboration can include something with gloves.