Princess of Wales's bold Bafta fashion shows she is confident in her cause
We’re used to seeing the Princess of Wales pull dazzlingly classic, princessy styles out of the bag, but last night she looked different. This is by far the most confident and relaxed we’ve seen Kate on an official night out, as she attended an event hosted by the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood at Bafta’s headquarters in Piccadilly.
Her hair sleek and shiny, this is Kate playing on her natural strengths - she always looks best when she’s in simple, tailored outfits. Whatever turbulence she may have experienced privately in the past few months, Kate is The Firm’s ultimate swan.
None of it shows on the surface. Her red Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen trouser suit, in Welsh (natch) red, Leaf crepe, was inspired by a trip Burton and her team took to Wales in 2020 where they discovered Wales’s traditional red houses. It’s bold, strong-shouldered and definitely not Butlins. No wonder other European Royals such as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg own one.
Together with those chunky, art-deco-esque, costume jewellery earrings from small, independent label Chalk, this constitutes textbook power dressing - smart, modern, unstuffy. She’s worn these £70 earrings before, but they didn’t look this striking. No prisoners here. The Gianvito Rossi court shoes with their 10 cms heels are red. The Miu Miu bow-embellished suede evening bag is red. This is Kate’s colour. It’s Meghan’s too - one of the the few things they seem to share and, while they generally avoid wearing each other’s designers, colours cannot be so easily monopolised - just ask Valentino or Christian Louboutin who over the years have had to fight in court to keep their particular brands of red to themselves.
Watch: Princess highlights the 'critical importance' of early years
Dressing for these sorts of occasions - not technically red-carpet, but not exactly casual either - can be sartorially challenging to navigate, especially for a royal who needs to shine, but at the same time increasingly wants to look contemporary and not stiffly over the top.
The Princess of Wales began wearing trouser suits publicly during the pandemic. Her first was a pink one by M&S that struck the right chords with the video-conferencing mood back then, she’s made them her own.
During the Wales’s trip to promote the Earth Shot prize in Boston last November, she wore trouser suits by Roland Mouret and McQueen. But this is the first time she’s used such a bold one for a formal evening occasion.
The asymmetric cut of the jacket and the boot-cut trousers suggests that the deeper she digs into the subject of early childhood, the more assured she feels. Over on social media the consensus is that she looks like a true Boss. She hasn’t just found her colour but her cause.