Meghan looked simply lovely at a previously unannounced appearance this evening.
The occasion was the British Fashion Awards, put on by the British Fashion Council in partnership with Swarovski.
The Duchess was there to present Clare Waight Keller with the British Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. A British Vogue video shows the Duchess walking onstage.
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) December 10, 2018
In a slim-fit black column gown that hugged her expectant figure, the Duchess confidently strode out in front of the fashion industry to audible gasps. “It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces, many of you I’ve known for quite a while and there’s been a lot of you I’ve been able to meet in the last year,” she said. “So, thank you for the warm welcome.”
As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional. But for me this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women.”
And from People‘s story:
While accepting her award, Waight Keller thanked Meghan, 37, for trusting her to design her gown for her big day.
“I got to know Meghan on such a personal level,” the British designer said. “To have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honor. I can’t thank you enough because it was the most beautiful moment.”
The designer said she was completely floored that Meghan would be there to give her the award.
In this quick video, you’ll hear her say she saw Meghan just last week and “she never said a thing!”
— Christin Zi (@PackhamGown) December 11, 2018
More about Clare Waight Keller’s reaction comes via Town and Country.
…after she thanks her family, her colleagues, and Hubert de Givenchy, she turned to Meghan, still clearly shocked that the Duchess was there to present the award.
“Lastly, I was going to thank you,” Waight Keller said, “because this woman is so amazing. And I got to know Meghan on such a personal level and to have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honor. And I can’t thank you enough.”
A photo shared by Hello! editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon.
The Duchess of Sussex, #Meghan is the unexpected guest at the #fashionawards tonight, presenting Womenswear designer to Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, who designed her wedding gown ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TFjx2E2Fpf
— Rosie Nixon (@Rosie_Nixon) December 10, 2018
The Duchess looked like she very much enjoyed the event.
Embed from Getty Images
More than 4000 guests attended the awards.
The annual gala was at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Not only do the awards showcase excellence in the industry, they are also a fundraiser for BFC charities.
Below, designer Clare Waight Keller and actress Rosamund Pike on the red carpet. Ms. Pike is wearing Givenchy Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018.
Also attending, Dame Vivienne Westwood and her husband, Andreas Kronthaler.
David and Victoria Beckham. He is the BFC Ambassadorial President, a position created earlier this year. In a news release the Council says he “…will support the organisation in its goal to build networks and partnerships in the United States and Asia.”
Below, models Alek Wek and Kendall Jenner.
Many of the notable names attending wore Swarovski jewelry. Below left, Lana Del Rey; on the right, Penelope Cruz.
The award celebrates “…a British womenswear designer that has been instrumental in innovating and leading women’s fashion over the last year – excelling both creatively and commercially, creating an impressive footprint on the global fashion stage.” Ms. Waight Keller certainly fits that description. Below you see her arranging Meghan’s veil at St. George’s Chapel.
Another view of Meghan in her wedding gown.
The Duchess has turned to the designer for many important dresses. Here you see Meghan wearing Givenchy when accompanying the Queen on engagements in Cheshire.
Other important occasions when we saw the Duchess wearing Givenchy include her first appearance at Ascot.
Her first solo engagement in September.
Of course, the Duchess wore a gown by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.
It is a one-shouldered style in black velvet with a slit on the right side.
Embed from Getty Images
Meghan’s heels are by Tamara Mellon. This is a new style (at least to us), the Karat Metallic Nappa Sandal ($550) in the gold colorway. The style is a classic sandal with a 4.3″ heel and a very thin platform of .2″. We show the shoe at Tamara Mellon, but it is also available in almost all sizes at Orchard Mile. Our thanks to Meghan’s Mirror for their shoe ID.
This evening the Duchess wore jewelry by Pippa Small. Below, an Instagram post Ms. Small shared expressing her delight at seeing Meghan wear the brand.
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
One of the bracelets was worn in Fiji during the recent tour, the Omeen Bangle on the left ($190). On the right, the Wajiha Bangle ($430). There is a third bracelet that we haven’t yet located on the Pippa Small site, it has a unique cut out shape.
In this image, you can just see that cut out area. Many thanks to Laura for her help on the bracelets! Below, Meghan wearing Pippa Small bangles in Fiji.
Meghan’s earrings are also by the brand, the Nosheen Studs ($60) in 18K gold vermeil atop sterling silver.
The bangles and earrings are handmade by the “… men and women artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation” according to the product descriptions. Some may recall that the charity was founded in 2006 by Prince Charles and the president of Afghanistan at the time, Hamid Karzai. Its purpose is …to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride.”
In an interview last year the entrepreneur spoke about the foundation and its work.
I just came back last week from Kabul. It’s been this amazing journey the last eight or nine years there. Turquoise Mountain was a NGO started by Prince Charles to preserve traditional craft and architecture in Afghanistan. Their culture has been hammered for two generations with the Taliban even banning jewelry.Since 2006, they have restored 160 buildings, built an art school and a clinic. My role is training, teaching and working with craftsmen who graduate, helping them find jobs, make jewelry and go back into the real world to try to sell it.
It was a treat to see the Duchess tonight. This video shows her arrival onstage, her entire introduction and presentation of the award and Ms. Keller’s acceptance speech.
And this video shows additional still photos from the event.
Also tonight, word that Meghan is among those being considered for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. More from The Telegraph.
The Duchess of Sussex has been shortlisted for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” award, coming up against the unlikely rivals of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
The Duchess, who married into the Royal Family in May 2018, is up for consideration as one of ten finalists who have most influenced the global news agenda in the last year.
A look at Time’s write-up on Meghan.The award is presented to an individual or group who have made an impact “for better or for worse”, and was last year won by the “Silence Breakers”: those who spoke out about sexual assault in the #metoo movement.
The Duchess’ citation, published by the magazine, describes her as: “Former Hollywood actor and activist Meghan Markle traded in her roles on screen for a royal title in May, when she married Britain’s Prince Harry to the delight of captivated crowds across the U.K. and millions more worldwide.”
The winner will be announced today on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Person of the Year went to “The Guardians—Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.”
Our final note tonight involves this.
We are very excited about our first ever What Meghan Wore calendar! It is created in partnership with royal photographer Mark Stewart, known to many of you as Regal Eyes on Twitter. It is a desktop style, and we hope to have it available for ordering by this time tomorrow!
- The British Fashion Council site is here; the news release about the awards is here
- The Daily Mail’s photo-filled story is here; The Express article is here
- British Vogue‘s coverage is here; the primary Bazaar story is here; Bazaar‘s piece on Meghan’s dark nail polish is here; the Fug Girls piece is here
- People‘s story is here; an E! Online story is here; Town & Country’s story is here; The Telegraph’s fashion column is here