She may have broken royal protocol in her stunning fashion turn as the British Fashion Awards’ surprise guest, but Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle made sure to pay homage to her royal in-laws on the night – courtesy of some smart accessorizing.
Stepping out in custom Givenchy to honour the label’s first female artistic director (and who could forget, designer of the most anticipated wedding dress in recent memory) Clare Waight Keller, Markle donned some eye-catching gold studs and a trio of chunky gold bangles.
Designed in Britain by Pippa Small, the statement pieces were crafted by Afghani artisans for the Turquoise Museum, a charitable foundation founded by, you guessed it, father-in-law Prince Charles. Started in 2006, the charity has since “employed and trained thousands of artisans and builders” in its mission to restore traditional crafts and historic buildings in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East. The hopes are of fuelling regeneration and sustainable development in areas of conflict.
Both Small and the foundation were, no doubt, thrilled to see their work showcased on such a visible platform, with both posting flawless shots of the Duchess to Instagram. They’re surely well aware of the ‘Meghan effect’, which sees anything Markle wears turn to fashion gold (ie. selling out immediately thereafter).
View this post on Instagram
Honoured to see the beautiful Duchess of Sussex wearing our bangles and stud earrings proudly made by artisans of the @TurquoiseMountain foundation in Afghanistan. Working to train and employ young men and women in conflict areas. #PippaSmallJewellery #EthicalJewellery #MadeInAfghanistan #TurquoiseMountain #FashionAwards #MeghanMarkle
It’s not the first time Markle has made reference to Prince Charles with her choice of jewellery. In the run up to, and since her spring wedding, she’s been spotted wearing a diamond Cartier bracelet gifted from him, but Monday night’s look had a little more to it. As well as providing an elegant way to showcase her father-in-law’s work, it allowed her to champion a cause close to her heart. Indeed, it chimed with the message of her speech at the ceremony, emphasizing the shift in fashion culture, that whereas it has once been “‘cool to be cruel,’’ it was now “‘cool to be kind’.”
Unsurprisingly for anyone who’s been paying close attention to the Duchess’s speeches and wardrobe choices, it’s not the first time she’s highlighted the work of an ethical label. Whilst on tour in Australia and New Zealand, she was noted for wearing black skinny jeans by local label Outland Denim. The ethical brand pays a living wage to Cambodian artisans and seamstresses, empowering them to work their way out of poverty and exploitation.
It sure makes a refreshing change from the predictable beiges and neutrals of the more traditional fashion houses favoured by the Royals. And given that basically any label worn by the Duchess becomes a household name, we’re more than happy to see her using her platform to elevate smaller, ethical labels with a mission. If the whole world’s going to be dissecting every fashion choice you make, might as well make it count, right?