The state banquet in Fiji tonight brought us our first opportunity to see the Duchess on duty in formalwear.
She did not disappoint.
Wearing a “Fiji blue’ dress by British luxury label Safiyaa and some serious diamond jewelry, the Duchess looked radiant.
A video of the couple descending the hotel stairs.
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 23, 2018
The event was at the Grand Pacific Hotel where Meghan and Harry are staying. It was hosted by Fiji’s President Jioji Konrote, seen second from the right below. To his left is First Lady Sarote Konrote. On the far left, Dr. Jiko Luveni, Speaker of Fiji’s Parliament.
From The Mirror’s coverage:
Guests, including diplomats, local business leaders and the cream of Fijian society, gathered for the champagne reception ahead of the state dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel where the royal couple are staying during the visit.
Following dinner, Prince Harry addressed the guests.
“All over the world Fiji is renowned for its incredible natural beauty and hospitality. We, as a couple, feel very lucky to be spending part of our tour as your guests.” — The Duke of Sussex #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/IVQJDXxPNX
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 23, 2018
Lizzie Robinson of ITV was in the room and heard Prince Harry’s speech. Now for our look at what Meghan wore to her first state banquet.
She was in the Gingko Cape Dress ($1431) from Safiyaa. It is described as a “Full-length fitted short sleeve cape dress with a long tailed back with a deep split and covered buttons, all in bluette stretch heavy crepe.” The dress is done in a blend of 96% polyester with 4% Elastane.
British Vogue fills us in on the brand’s backstory in this piece:
While circulating a champagne reception sounds like the last activity a woman in her first trimester might like to partake in, Meghan rose to the occasion and wore a Fijian-blue gown by Safiyaa that rallied Vogue staffers to herald it as the dress of the tour so far. The story behind the London-based brand founded by Daniela Karnuts also bolstered the vote.
Three Safiyaa evening gown styles.
Karnut founded Safiyaa, which is named after her daughter, in 2011 out of frustration at the lack of Savile Row equivalents for women. With a demanding career in fashion media, she needed a slick wardrobe of timeless pieces that travelled well. Where her male counterparts could go to the storied bespoke tailoring houses in Mayfair, she was left to piece together her own professional wardrobe. So, with 12 dress designs as her brand blueprint, Karnut started Safiyaa.
Daniela Karnuts in an image from the Safiyaa website.Since its inception it has grown from a dressmaking equivalent of a Savile Row tailor to include demi-couture eveningwear, and picked up celebrity fans including Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet and now the Duchess of Sussex along the way. The latter couldn’t be a better endorsement for a company founded on female empowerment.
The Duchess also wore two significant jewelry items this evening, a pair of chandelier style earrings and a glittering diamond bracelet.
The bracelet is most likely the diamond tennis bracelet which once belonged to Princess Diana. (Below: Meghan wearing the bracelet on the left, Diana wearing the bracelet on the right in June 1997.)
From Charlie Gowans-Eglinton column for The Telegraph:
The black-tie dress code in Fiji called for a dressier look, and Meghan’s floor-length dress by London label SAFiYAA delivered in spades. The simple lines of the dress and bold shade of blue made for a slick, modern style statement. Then – lest we think Meghan’s look oversimplified – she added a pair of drop earrings featuring gobstopper-sized diamonds.
Emily Andrews of The Sun reported: “The mystery of Meghan’s earrings… all KP will say is that they’re “borrowed”. From whom, they will not say. Most likely the Queen.”
UPDATE JAN 8, 2019: It looks like the earrings are by Butani, a Hong Kong-based jewelry firm whose designs are worn by A-listers like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood and Michelle Obama. Meghan’s earrings are said to be from a 2016 collection by the jeweler. Below, a pair of Butani earrings that offers a closer look at their style.
In an October 2016 Hong Kong Tatler story the company is quoted as being desirous of dressing “strong and dynamic women who are trailblazers in their fields.” Our thanks to Meghan’s Mirror reader Courtney M. for sharing the info about the earrings!
Meghan did not carry a bag. She appeared to be wearing a pair of navy suede heels. We’re thinking these could be her Manolo Blahnik BB 105 pumps that she has worn on other occasions.
We’ll leave you with one more look at Meghan at tonight’s dinner.
Click here to read our earlier post on Meghan’s ensemble for the Fiji arrival and welcome ceremony.