It’s Brandon Maxwell for Meghan at Commonwealth Youth Reception

The Duchess of Sussex wore a dress by Brandon Maxwell for today’s ‘Your Commonwealth’ Youth Challenge Reception.

Meghan and Prince Harry as they arrived at Marlborough House in London, where the event was held.

The Commonwealth’s headquarters is located at Marlborough House.

A bit of background on the historic structure:

Marlborough House is almost 300 years old and has the status of a Royal Palace. It has been occupied over the years by some five Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough, three Dowager Queens of the United Kingdom, three Princes of Wales who later became Kings of the United Kingdom and Prince Leopold, who became King of the Belgians.”

It is well worth a visit if you’re in London. Group tours of the House can be set up by prior arrangement and held on weekday mornings.

Below, the Duke and Duchess with Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.  

Thirty-five delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Council have been taking part in leadership training at Marlborough House for several days. More from a news release:

The Duke of Sussex was appointed by The Queen as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador in April 2018. In this role, and together with The Duchess of Sussex, The Duke will learn more about how the Commonwealth Youth Forum is supporting inspiring young people to shape the future.

More about today’s event from Simon Perry’s People story.

The reception came at the end of a day when the Commonwealth Youth Forum had been holding a series of workshops focusing on the sort of world the young leaders want to see by 2040.

Prince Harry delivered remarks, saying “We can’t wait to see you in action in your home countries and learn about what you’re doing to better the Commonwealth, and the world, in 2040 and beyond.”

Meghan chatting with delegates and guests.

The Duke and Duchess also met youth representatives from four countries they will be touring this fall: Tonga, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.

This comes via The Daily Mail’s coverage:

Harry, who was created the Queen’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador in April, told guests at a reception at Marlborough House in London how he and Meghan were excited to be working with young people in the 53-nation association of mainly former British Empire countries. 

Now to what Meghan wore for today’s engagement.

She was in a vibrant yellow frock by US designer Brandon Maxwell. One could almost hear audible sighs of relief from those who feared Meghan might never appear in bright, vivid colors again.

The Sleeveless Boat Neck Dress is from the designer’s spring/summer 2018 collection. The fitted sheath is a double-faced crepe, crafted of a viscose/acetate blend with a touch of elastane for stretch. It showcases a bateau neckline, concealed zipper, and center back slit for ease of movement.

The dress is fully lined. It is available in very limited sizes at Net a Porter (originally $1495, it is now $598).

The dress is 40% off at Adriana Online and still available in sizes four and six ($845). The design is also offered in fuchsia; we show it at Farfetch ($1495).  

Our thanks to Elizabeth of Meghan’s Fashion and Michelle of Perth’s Fashion for their speedy ID of the dress.

Brandon Maxwell is a fairly young brand, launching in 2015.The brand has been worn by a broad mix of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Michelle Obama. In addition to his own business, Mr. Maxwell has been Lady Gaga’s stylist since 2012. Krissy Turner offers insight in this Daily Telegraph column:

Maxwell is known for his glamorous aesthetic; his catwalk collections which are presented at New York Fashion Week each season regularly feature floor-length dresses with thigh splits, one-shouldered jumpsuits and figure-flattering midi dresses. Celebrity fans of the brand include Blake Lively, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston.

It is also another brand that has its wares produced in New York City; 100% of the company’s merchandise is designed and made there. Over the weekend the Duchess wore a dress by Shoshanna (below); more than 75% of that label’s items are made in NYC.

The Brando Maxwell Instagram page noted its pride in seeing Meghan wear the dress, describing it as “a proud moment for our team.” 

Meghan wore her Manolo Blahnik BB 105 heels. The point-toe style is suede with a 4.1″ heel. The Duchess did not carry a handbag today and wore her hair up.

The Duchess had on the Adina Reyter Three Diamond Amigos curve earrings.  

The earrings are 14K gold with a total diamond weight of .15 carat ($498). We first saw Meghan wearing them in March for a day of engagements in Birmingham.Another look at the Duke and Duchess.

Here’s our graphic view of what Meghan wore.

If interested in getting the look for  less, we have a number of options on our Match Meg’s Style –  Dresses page.

We *hope* to see you tomorrow. Serena Williams plays on Centre Court at Wimbledon in the afternoon and we think Meghan may watch the match. There’s absolutely no confirmation, but we’re crossing our fingers.


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  1. Stunning! The color looks radiant on her. What I find really nice: it’s true to Meghan’s clean, modern style but also a slight nod towards her new role as a Royal in that it is color-appropriate for an outdoor, garden-party-esque event. The black and navy colors look sharp on her but overdone, she starts reminding me of a solicitor.
    Tiny nitpicks would have been the extremely pointy darts on the bust and the way the hem shows. Like other readers, I would have also recommended a shorter hem to draw away from the chicken-leg effect.
    But the color on her simply draws the eye away from the tiny nitpicks. I think Meghan looks so poised in a sleek hairstyles, like this bun or her perfect waves in Dublin, because then all the attention goes to her lovely face.

  2. To me this is perfection!! I love the color on her, they style and the fit is spot on. The minimalist look is very elegant in this case. I just love it all and the best accessory is her smile!

  3. She looks fine, but I think that the dress swallows her alive! I agree with the comments suggesting a shorter hem. She already has rather thin legs and this dress draws my eyes to that, so it creates a weird effect. Maybe she could have used her hair down to keep the focus on her upper body (similar to Amal Clooney at Meghan’s wedding – I mention Amal because she wore a similar dress in color and length and also has very thin legs). I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about this look that keeps it from being fantastic, which had the potential of being.

  4. Yes! Meghan looks so beautiful. The bright yellow looks so lovely on her, and the style of the dress is sleek, sophisticated, and interesting. Her hair, earrings, and shoes are just perfect. This one was a triumph!

  5. This is a lovely summer look. I adore the bright yellow with minimal jewelry and simple hair. A perfect look for this event.

  6. Yes–I am definitely one of those who was cheering when I saw this look. 🙂 This is one of my favorite Meghan looks thus far and I am delighted. The color is beautiful on her, summery, and the bare arms couple with the bateau neckline exude confidence and sophistication. Glad she skipped the belt; this streamlined look is perfect unadorned and no bag needed, either. I’m always one for statement jewelry (namely, earrings), but I’ll let it slide for the upbeat color choice and good tailoring. I also think a couple of inches shorter would’ve been ideal, but with the slit up the back, it still looks good when she’s walking. Meghan looked radiant, comfortable, and like her personality was shining through.

  7. The sheath dress and the colour suits Meghan. She knows she can show her toned arms. Great outfit overall.

  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! The DoS brought some CA sunshine to Blighty. I love how this dress highlights her healthy, toned frame. I’m not bothered by the length or the hem, although I can appreciate how other have a preference for a shorter length.

  9. Well at least it’s not beige, blush, white or cream. Thank Goodness for some color. This look is very plain, just asking for accessories to be bolder!! Am I the only one who is tired of the bun and these itsy bitsy pieces of jewelry ?

    NOTE: Quick admin edit

    • Yes, I, too, would love to see at least normal-sized accessories. The dress is a bold color but it’s essentially a blank slate begging for some gold jewelry. If she is going to wear her hair up all the time, it would be wonderful to see some lovely dangled earrings. They don’t have to be huge! I am not a fan of the middle part, either. I’m actually wondering how she would look with a bob and hair parted to the side – I am thinking very chic!

  10. Perfect! But wish she would wear shoes that fit! A poster up thread talked about her ear rings being too small. Kate started out with “small” jewellery till she started borrowing the enormous rocks from the jewel vaults. I think normal size bling just doesn’t show up on the pix.

  11. Agree. It is the length together with the neckline that gives elegance to this dress. Shorter hemline would totally ruin the dress.

  12. This is a terrific look. As others have observed, it’s beautifully fitted, and the color is gorgeous on her. I like the longer length; I find it very elegant. And I think the nude shoes are well chosen, though I would also be glad to see Meghan find some nude heels with the kind of elevating detail she has found in some of her black heels. The ones she wore for her engagement appearance, which I loved, come to mind.

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet that this strong yellow color is associated with Instagram hashtag #blackwomeninyellow. I think it is kind of amazing and wonderful that Meghan has brought that trend to the House of Windsor and to Marlborough House. What a feat to bring seamlessly bring together such different cultural and sartorial traditions.

    • While the hashtag is popular on Twitter and Instagram, I don’t think one can make an assumption that Meghan chose this dress because of the hashtag’s existence. It might just be me, but I am really reluctant to ascribe any royal’s color choices to specific movements and causes. -Susan K.

  13. I love the color and in these pictures her resemblance to her mother is striking. Quite nice! But I can’t help thinking that she looks as if her feet hurt. I know stiletto heels are popular and that her heels aren’t freakishly high, but I wonder how much more relaxed she might appear if she were wearing chunkier, lower heels as the Queen does. I guess she and the Duchess of Cambridge are accustomed to heels this high, but I wince every time.Still, great to see her in color.

    • I would disagree–I think the heels are freakishly high! I believe that you can’t go much higher than 4″ without a platform to balance the length of the heel. Either way, I know my feet would hurt if I were wearing those, but they do look beautiful on Meghan!

  14. Perfectly polished and the lack of accessories is in line with Meg’s minimalistic style. It works. (Though maaaaaybe I’d like to see a long necklace like the Cartier one DOC has worn with at least one of her blue dresses.) This yellow shade is great on her, and I also hope she got the bright pink too, because it would be fun to see that variation!

  15. Love this look! Beautiful tailoring too. (But I really want to know about the tall guy in the tassle earrings….he looks like he has a story to tell!)

    • Given the temperatures in London at the moment, I can easily understand why she went with bare arms – the cut of the dress is perfect to balance the bare arms.

  16. Love the color and overall minimalist look. I want to make a point on the shoes, as several people mentioned it would be great for Meghan to wear something more interesting… Well, personally, I think simple nude pumps are ideal for this dress length, as any additional strap or decor or dark color would make her legs appear shorter. There is no way you want this to happen in a midi dress. So, nice match!
    Wonder why she had no clutch yesterday
    … I think she may have simply forgotten it at home or in the car, however maybe it is intentional, but I have no idea why.
    Hope to see Meghan at Wimbledon too!

  17. Perfection. I think the length of this dress makes it modern and stylish. If she took off a few inches and added larger jewelry this would be a ho-hum yellow outfit but she’s absolutely nailed it by taking a beautiful look and updating it to 2018 and then letting it sing without the distraction of patterned shoes or large accessories. I wouldn’t change a thing. The tone of the yellow is perfection with her skin tone.

    • My one thought on the jewelry is that the alternative to tiny earrings doesn’t have to be large ones. In fact, I would loooove to see this dress in the future paired with the Birks Snowstorm earrings (though not for a daytime event like this), I think they would be smashing with this dress! They are more noticeable, but not over-large.

  18. I’ve been hoping for months to see Meghan in this color and am still in awe of how well she pulled it off. She looks so classy and chic here, and while I’m not generally a huge fan of midi-length skirts, I think that the longer hemline balances out the bare shoulders well and makes for a more elegant dress. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the lack of a belt, but I’m leaning towards it being a good thing.

    The nude pumps are fine, but the shoe-lover in me is a little disappointed that Meghan didn’t wear something more interesting. There are so many different shoes that could play off this dress–nude shoes with a more interesting structure, some sort of embellished neutral shoes, snakeskin pumps, a block heel, or a simple pump in a solid, contrasting color á la Victoria Beckham. Definitely hoping for a repeat of the dress with different accessories, both because Meghan looks amazing in it and because there are so many possibilities for styling.

  19. Fantastic dress if a little too long, HRH is so petite. I like the version with the belt but also the alternative with the sash; they give a little bit more finish, but this on HRH is just lovely. I also really like that she wears, albeit expensive, very simple and discreet jewellery. This is a winner!

  20. Beautiful dress, so flattering on Meghan – I’m fine with the shoes, a good neutral for this color. Hair looks great, wishing the earrings were a little more noticeable, or a simple bangle bracelet as suggested above. Regardless, this is a winner.

  21. I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned that this bright yellow suggests that Meghan is employing a style trick used by the Queen i.e. when you are the most senior Royal present, dress in a bright colour because being the centre of attention is what you’re meant to be doing. The Queen is on record as saying that she uses bright colours because she knows people want to see her. However, for Meghan, when the Queen herself is present, choosing a quieter colour is necessary in order NOT to be the one who stands out.

    • I don’t know about Meghan wanting to stand out last night, per se, but I agree that when she was with the Queen she purposely chose neutrals so that she would not be accused of clashing with the queen or trying to upstage her etc. I know she got a lot of criticism for the beige-ish dresses, but I definitely got the feeling it was done on purpose given the nature of the engagements with the Queen.

  22. It’s newbie WMW blogger “Christina” here. Joined your fun conversations with the June 17 post of the Oscar de la Renta dress Meghan wore to Celia McCorquadale wedding. Been chiming in since. I’m changing my sign-in name to “Christina O.” to avoid confusion as I just noticed there’s another Christina who checked in today at 5:24 pm, hello! Now, if I can only figure out how to get an avatar!
    Anyway, my thoughts on Meghan’s look and the Brandon Maxwell dress…clean, ultra reduced, and fantastic! Simple elegance.

  23. Yay!! Finally good tailoring. A minor quibble: I think her jewelry is too small. It reminds me of my daughter’s jewelry but hoorah for tailoring. I do love her facial expressions. She seems to enjoy herself so much

  24. Lovely, of course, but because she didn’t have a handbag she was reduced to clutching her hands in front, which looks awkward and anxious to me.

    • Interesting how we interpret body language so differently. Her hands clasped look so poised, confortable and confident to me!

  25. So glad to see a color! She looks great in yellow! She could’ve added a belt or necklace to the outfit and really finished the look. I do think the length overwhelms her petite frame.

  26. The color is a standout. I always wonder why we don’t see more yellow on red carpets, etc. Kate had that lovely yellow dress for their NZ/Australia trip, as I recall. This particular shade is perfection on Meghan. For me such a streamlined and unadorned outfit would benefit from bolder accessories, particularly earrings, if even for the sake of balance. Since she is wearing her hair up it seems obvious that we can barely see the earrings. If her hair was down I wouldn’t have noticed as much. A simple small bangle bracelet might have added something, too.

  27. I love it! Elegant, clean-cut, fun, well-tailored. Plus I love yellow. I like the streamlined, minimal look, as well as the sleek, professional bun. A very classy look that is still youthful.

  28. A simply brilliant pick by Meghan. Brandon Maxwell is not a name I can recall seeing in a royal context before and a fresh way of honouring her transatlantic connection.

    It’s such a joy to see her put aside summery pastels and branch out into some real colour. I love the fit, the cut, the length, pretty much the everything about the dress. I like the model version worn with a belt, but that’s a longer waistline than Meghan’s and she’s wise to avoid one. Love the classic Blahnik courts

    She still favours a wide angle slit-style neckline, albeit to the throat, and the cutaway shoulders add interest though perhaps not so flattering to well exercised shoulders. The length is fabulous and, being elegant and willowy, again has a 1930s/Wallace Simpson vibe, especially with the expertly coiffured ‘do.’ The back slit is exactly the right length for a touch of daring plus ease of movement without unnecessary reveal.

    A classic sheath with such a refreshing absence of jewellery embodies feminine sensuality while retaining a businesslike edge, and Meghan keeps her sense of fun alive in that happy colour

  29. I adore this. So happy to see something without buttons down the front! The dress looks stunning on her. The neat & tidy hair really suits the look. Bravo Meghan, 10/10 perfection.

  30. Finally! This is more what I expect fashion wise from a Duchess, a dress that fits well, suits her, and photographs fabulously. Love it!

  31. This dress is gorgeous, and it fits the Duchess beautifully. But with a ]total lack of any bold accessories, I found the look to be pretty boring.

  32. She looks phenomenal. I am not among those who cries out for “better tailoring” as I think her clothes are well tailored, just not what we expect to see, but this dress IS superbly tailored. It’s still not tight or fitted- sleek yes, but not tight around the bust etc – so it’s likely that garments that have some extra room are just her cup of tea.

    Anyway love the hair, LOVE the color, love the minimalism of the look, etc. she looks confident and put together. Well done.

  33. looks stunning, simple elegant and no fuss, what a statement she is making and the colour pop is gorgeous. I am sure the negative nellies will find something to whine about but in my opinion just understated elegance.

  34. Meghan looks stunning???? It’s all about the color and length , no jacket, neck less and clutch needed . Shorter length as some suggested on other sites would of made this dress to be just another dress. A total win for me!

  35. Fabulous look! The color is fabulous on her and is a fun summer pop of joy. The silhouette is just right for her and I love the length — very elegant. I “get” the nude shoes, but am wondering if something else could have been done in that department — would a pattern have detracted from the minimalist simplicity, or a color? Would love to know others’ thoughts. Overall, great look for her.

    • Tessa, I though the shoes were fine but I understand what you are saying. I’m not sure what else would go well with this bright yellow dress. White strappy shoes could work, although many people have a dislike for white shoes. I was reading somewhere that she could have worn a coral or fuchsia shoe. That might have been just too much colour. If she wanted to duplicate the colours of the Commonwealth of Nations flag she could have worn blue shoes…but that might just be too cutesy. Black shoes would be harsh, brown is definitely out, ditto for grey. Under the circumstances perhaps nude shoes are best.

      • I think the court shoe, i.e. not a strappy sandal, worked very well with this dress but white with some kind of yellow or navy detail or pattern would have been chic. How about a fabric yellow and white striped 4″ heeled court shoe with a white clutch. Or, a white on yellow spectator type court shoe. The point is that the possibilities open to Meghan are almost endless. I really wonder why she would go with a nude suede court shoe, especially when it is Kate’s signature look .

        • Donna, your suggestions of a shoe wth yellow in it has merit, but that could be a difficult shoe to locate. As for the nude shoe being Kate’s signature look, it is a very prominent British, summer look. Kate does not have the monopoly on it.

  36. WOW, Meghan looks amazing! After the recent run of beige, white, cream, blush pink and before that navy, black and grey, it is great to see such a vibrant colour. This sunflower yellow dress is very appropriate for a bright summer’s day, especially during the heatwave that the UK is having. The colour is so beautiful with her skin tone and hair. Meghan’s bun is not a messy one. Her dress is a very classic sheath and I like the length. Shoes compliment the dress and it is great she doesn’t feel the need to carry a purse. I always thought it must be difficult to be meeting, shaking hands, receiving flowers, while clutching a clutch. It almost seems like Meghan has been reading online blogs with comments about her look and decided to make some changes.
    I’m surprised the neckline is considered boat or bateaux. I thought that term applied more to the neckline of her wedding dress. Wikipedia says, “A boat neck, also called a bateau neck or Sabrina neckline, is a wide neckline that runs horizontally, front and back, almost to the shoulder points, across the collarbone.” But on really looking at the neckline, this could perhaps be a considered a less exaggerated version of a true bateaux.

  37. Oh, I do love this look. I think the sheath is such an elegant design and the yellow color looks great with Meghan’s coloring. I think her hair looks lovely and I like that she kept the rest of the outfit very simple with delicate earrings, nude pumps, and no purse. This is a win in my book!

  38. I know some will complain abouther bare arms but I really like the dress as she wore it. No belt cause it would only emphasize her “lack” of waist. Meghan is slim but she a figure H and that’s not easy. She like this kind of neckline and she’s right. They draw attention away from the waist and up to her face and shoulders. Love the color. Love the hair. Well done.

  39. A bright, sleek, super summery look. Love it!
    Happy color, polished hair…I will be flummoxed if people have quibbles with any of this.

    Side note: I am so pleased she didn’t carry a clutch/purse/handbag. I think extra accessories would pull away from the minimalist look.

    • Agreed re: accessories. I often think the clutches look a little silly anyway, especially in this kind of setting.

  40. This is a beautiful dress and this silhouette and color look great on Meghan, but the overall look is off to me. The dress is too long on her. IMO it needs to be just 2-3 inches shorter for her height and frame. She also looks unfinished. No jacket, no handbag or clutch makes it look like she ran out of the house in a hurry and forgot something. The shoes . . . meh! I have come to hope for more from Meghan in this department. The simplicity of this dress cried out for more imaginative footwear.

    • I agree that a shorter hemline by just a few inches would have been better and actually made her look taller. Her posture is perfect and exudes confidence. The vivid color really doesn’t need any added adornment—her beautiful smile makes her glow in this color. Strappy, colorful boho sandals (perhaps in coral or fuchsia) would have made this a 10.

      • I disagree as to a shorter hemline, with no jacket it would have made the look way too casual. This length gives it an elegance.

  41. FINALLY! Something with good tailoring! This is a win for the DoS! My only comment is that I wish she would have worn the belt. But I’m pleased with the tailoring for sure! Hoping for an appearance at Wimbledon!

    • It’s beautifully fitted but the hem looks badly finished… my mother sews and teaches embroidery, lace, quilting, smocking, etc and she would never accept that hem showing like that…


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