Meghan, Duchess of Sussex unveils Smart Works collection

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has launched her capsule collection for Smart Works.In the September 2019 issue of British Vogue magazine, which she guest-edited, Meghan announced she was teaming with executives at U.K. high street retailers Marks & Spencer,…

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has launched her capsule collection for Smart Works.

In the September 2019 issue of British Vogue magazine, which she guest-edited, Meghan announced she was teaming with executives at U.K. high street retailers Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, and Jigsaw, as well as her fashion designer pal Misha Nonoo, to create a line specialising in professional clothing which will benefit Smart Works, an organisation which helps unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews.

After teasing the range for the past month, Meghan unveiled the full collection at an event in London on Thursday.

“When you buy any item in the Smart Set Capsule Collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career,” she said in a statement. “Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”

The Smart Set consists of the essentials often needed to attend interviews and enter into the workplace: a white shirt, an elegant blazer, well cut trousers, a dress that flatters everyone, and the perfect tote. Items are now available in stores, online and in Smart Works Dressing Rooms across the U.K., and are offered in a range of different price points, sizes, and colours.

Meghan, who became the patron of Smart Works in January, went on to explain that she was inspired with idea for the line after discovering donations to the charity weren’t always the right choices or sizes.

And Kate Stephens, chief executive officer of Smart Works, is thrilled with the final result.

“We are incredibly grateful to the brands involved for making this possible. Every woman who walks through our door will know that another woman cares about her and has invested in her future,” she commented.

© Cover Media

Hunter McGrady: ‘Not all plus-size women are ashamed of their bodies’

Hunter McGrady chooses to battle negativity over her size with positivity and empowerment.The Sports Illustrated model was discussing the criticism she receives online at the POPSUGAR Play/Ground event, and explained how she responds to social media tr…

Hunter McGrady chooses to battle negativity over her size with positivity and empowerment.

The Sports Illustrated model was discussing the criticism she receives online at the POPSUGAR Play/Ground event, and explained how she responds to social media trolls with confidence.

“Believe it or not, not all plus-size women are ashamed of their bodies,” McGrady said, as she described the body-skimming wedding dress she designed in collaboration with Watters bridal store for her recent wedding.

The 26-year-old, who wed Brian Keys in a romantic ceremony in California on 16 June, was inspired by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s second wedding gown, which was created by fashion designer Stella McCartney. In an Instagram post shortly after her nuptials, McGrady said she wanted to replicate Meghan’s slinky high-necked dress because she couldn’t find anything similar in her size.

Elsewhere in the interview, McGrady insisted she refuses to limit what she wears because of how an outfit might make someone else feel, saying, “I’ll wear a crop top with shorts if I want to… I think it’s so empowering.”

And McGrady will never shy away from putting herself out there, as she wants to empower younger women to have more confidence in themselves.

“I put my body out there… I get a lot of hate and it sucks… on the flip side, I see positivity… by being in the spotlight we get our message out there and people relate to the conversation,” she explained.

The model, who has more than 537,000 followers on Instagram, also told the panel her favourite response to negative trolls was, “Oh, don’t be silly.”

© Cover Media

Ralph & Russo lands huge $50 million investment

Ralph & Russo has welcomed a huge $50 million (£40 million) investment from the owner of La Perla.The London-based couture house has dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow, and gained worldwide fame when Meghan, Duchess of Su…

Ralph & Russo has welcomed a huge $50 million (£40 million) investment from the owner of La Perla.

The London-based couture house has dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow, and gained worldwide fame when Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wore an embellished top and skirt from the label for her official engagement picture with Prince Harry in late 2017.

Now, designer Tamara Ralph and chief executive Michael Russo have a new partner in La Perla Fashion Investment B.V., which has bought a non-controlling minority share for $50 million, according to editors at WWD.

Russo described the cash injection as strategic, and said it signifies “an important step in allowing Ralph & Russo and our team to realise our long-term growth plans whilst keeping the brand privately owned and managed.”

The label was founded in 2010 and became the first British guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in more than 100 years.

Ralph & Russo has since expanded into ready-to-wear collections and accessories, with stores in London, Paris, Dubai, Doha and Monte Carlo.

Pascal Perrier, chief executive of La Perla Global Management (UK) Limited, will join the Ralph & Russo board of directors, and has vast experience with luxury fashion firms after working at Burberry and Gucci Group.

He noted that Ralph and Russo have done “a phenomenal job at creating one of the world’s top luxury fashion brands in a short space of time. I fully support the founders’ strategy, and look forward to being a part of Ralph & Russo’s continued success story.”

La Perla Fashion Investment is a subsidiary of global investment holding company Tennor Holding B.V.

© Cover Media

Roland Mouret ‘humbled’ to see Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in his creations

Roland Mouret finds it “humbling” to see Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wear his designs.The French designer is known for creating the iconic Galaxy dress, which has been worn by the likes of Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, and Halle Berry since its launc…

Roland Mouret finds it “humbling” to see Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wear his designs.

The French designer is known for creating the iconic Galaxy dress, which has been worn by the likes of Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, and Halle Berry since its launch in 2005.

Mouret has also been a long-time favourite of Meghan, with the former Suits actress sporting his outfits to events before she started dating Prince Harry, and in a new chat with British Vogue, the fashion star shared that the British royal has given his label more publicity around the world than he could ever imagine.

“I knew Meghan before she was a royal, so it’s really humbling that she wears my designs,” he told Vogue.co.uk. “When I’m dressing someone famous, it’s my job to give them a moment. My fashion is to help people, not destroy them.”

Meghan sported an inky blue gown back in 2014 to Elton John’s AIDS Benefit gala in New York City, wore a navy wool crepe dress when arriving at a hotel in Windsor the night before her wedding to Harry in May 2018, and opted for chic maternity wear while pregnant with her son Archie, dazzling in a navy sequinned boat-necked dress at an event in January.

And further on in the chat, Mouret put his ongoing success down to his intuitive understanding of the female form.

“I’m the son of a butcher. All my life, I have touched bone, muscle, and fat. I think of these three elements when designing for the body,” the 57-year-old commented, before adding of his most famous design: “It’s complex, because no woman likes each part. The Galaxy deals with what women feel inside, while putting them on a pedestal.”

© Cover Media

Anna Wintour impressed by pregnant Duchess of Sussex’s high heels

Anna Wintour has been impressed by the stilettos Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has worn throughout her pregnancy.The former Suits actress and her husband Prince Harry are currently expecting their first child, with Meghan thought to be due to give birth at…

Anna Wintour has been impressed by the stilettos Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has worn throughout her pregnancy.

The former Suits actress and her husband Prince Harry are currently expecting their first child, with Meghan thought to be due to give birth at the end of the month (Apr19).

Previously, U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna has praised Meghan for “bringing modernity” to the British royal family, and in a new video for her series Go Ask Anna, she shared that she was impressed by the 37-year-old’s ability to walk in very high heels while expecting.

“I’ve been very taken by the way Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been dressing. Throughout her pregnancy, her heels actually seem to be getting taller every time I look at a picture of her,” she commented. “When pregnant, I think it is very important to continue wearing your own personal style. I never understand why women suddenly decide they want to hide their pregnancy. Why not celebrate it? It’s an incredibly joyful time in a woman’s life. And it’s nothing to be hidden or be ashamed of. Much better, in a way, to flaunt it.”

Anna went on to name Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, and Lupita Nyong’o as her “modern” style icons, because the three women “always look exactly like themselves”.

In addition, the editor commended politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s personal style, but noted that she wishes more people would focus on what the U.S. Representative has to say.

“I do personally love the red lipstick and the hoop earrings,” the 69-year-old smiled, referring to the young politician’s signature look. “I think it’s wonderful to have a young woman in the political arena that is obviously not frightened to say what she means, that represents another generation that is independent thinking, that isn’t falling into line with the conventional wisdom of what a woman in politics should be or how she should look or how she should conduct herself… So, good for her. I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes us.”

© Cover Media

Jewellery designer credits Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for reviving charity brand

The jewellery designer behind Turquoise Mountain has thanked Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for boosting the brand’s sales. Pippa Small works with artisans in Afghanistan and helps create and sell items available in the region as a means of bringing about …

The jewellery designer behind Turquoise Mountain has thanked Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for boosting the brand’s sales.

Pippa Small works with artisans in Afghanistan and helps create and sell items available in the region as a means of bringing about economic growth, as part of a foundation, which was co-founded by Prince Charles.

His new daughter-in-law wore Small’s designs last month (Dec19) during an appearance at the London Fashion Awards, where she presented her wedding dress creator Clare Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year prize, and her endorsement has led to a sales surge.

The Wajiha bangle, Omeen bangle, and Oshna bangle are currently sold out, with many royal fans signing up to a waiting list for upcoming items. The demand has led to an increase in work for the local designers in Kabul.

“The artisans in Afghanistan are celebrating the increase in work for the workshop,” Small tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The school offers a haven for young men and women in Kabul, in a beautiful traditional environment where they can escape the violent and uncertain world outside the walls, they can work together and create… The very focus and concentration needed to produce a piece of jewellery offers a reprieve like a meditation from the pain of the outside world.”

The designs, which have a bohemian artisan feel and are handmade in 18 and 22-karat gold, have even become a must-have among stars in Los Angeles, where Small runs the Pippa Small Brentwood Country Mart boutique – Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Angelina Jolie are all fans.

© Cover Media

Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller reflects on momentous year

Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller has reflected on her momentous year in fashion.The British designer previously acted as artistic director of Chloe, but jumped ship to Givenchy in early 2017, where she succeeded Riccardo Tisci. Regarding her first full…

Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller has reflected on her momentous year in fashion.

The British designer previously acted as artistic director of Chloe, but jumped ship to Givenchy in early 2017, where she succeeded Riccardo Tisci.

Regarding her first full year at the French luxury fashion house, Clare has now shared that she has attempted to cater for the modern woman’s every wardrobe need, from suits to couture gowns.

“I think it’s very instinctive because I share a lot of facets of what other women want within their loves and consequently their wardrobe,” she told U.K. Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “I travel every week, so I know what that means in terms of how you think about the way you dress, and I am meeting people that are on a very high level, such as CEOs, as well as working in the atelier, so I’ve got an entire panorama of the daily activities of a working woman.”

Celebrities including Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, Rosamund Pike and Rebel Wilson have all worn Clare’s designs this year, but one of her most high-profile clients has to be Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The designer outfitted the former Suits actress in an elegant custom-made gown for her wedding to Prince Harry in May (18), and has created various other outfits for the new royal, including the black one-shoulder dress she wore to The Fashion Awards earlier this month, when Clare won Designer of the Year in the womenswear category.

“What was wonderful is that you build such an intimate relationship, because it’s so personal, there’s nothing else in the way, there’s no entourage. And it makes a very human connection, which is lovely… I think it really embodied her, and her values,” the 48-year-old shared of working with Meghan.

And while Clare is always looking to keep Givenchy fresh, she is adamant that she will always honour the tradition of founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away at the age of 91 in March.

“I feel really lucky and privileged that I managed to see him,” she smiled.

© Cover Media

Duchess of Sussex presents wedding dress designer with major honour during Fashion Awards

The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards on Monday night (10Dec18) to honour her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller. The expectant mum wowed the crowd at the Royal Albert Hall in London when she took the …

The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards on Monday night (10Dec18) to honour her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller.

The expectant mum wowed the crowd at the Royal Albert Hall in London when she took the stage, clutching her baby belly, in a stunning one-shoulder black gown.

The 37-year-old Californian told the audience she was “thrilled” to be in attendance and celebrating British fashion and British fashion designers “in my new home of the U.K.” before welcoming Keller to the stage to accept Womenswear Designer of the Year.

The Givenchy artistic director, who embraced the brunette beauty as she accepted the high honour, was the brains behind the now-iconic dress the Duchess wore as she exchanged vows with Prince Harry in Windsor, England back in May (18) – and she recently discussed the special connection the two developed during the design process.

“For me, it was a really extraordinary experience, and one that was quite unexpected, as I’d only been at (Givenchy) for six or seven months,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in October (18). “So the commission itself was really quite a moment for me, a huge thing both professionally and personally as a Brit, to be a part of British history.”

“It was a very discreet communication between us, and literally just us; no one else was involved, so those five months were so special, an opportunity for me to really get to know her,” she added.

The style guru documented her exciting evening in a series of Instagram posts, including images of her posing alongside her fellow designers at the label and shots of her having fun alongside A Private War actress Rosamund Pike.

Other big winners at the British Fashion Council gala included Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber, who was named Model of the Year and Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, who won Designer of the Year.

Italian luxury label Gucci scored Brand of the Year, while Italian designer Miuccia Prada was honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award.

Other winners included designer Virgil Abloh (Urban Luxe Prize), Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia (Accessories Designer of the Year), and Dior’s menswear tsar Kim Jones (Trailblazer).

© Cover Media

Duchess of Sussex’s makeup artist to release cosmetics bag

The makeup artist behind the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day look is set to release a specially-designed cosmetics bag. Daniel Martin has joined forces with the apparel and accessories brand Cuyana to create the item, which is both practical and pleas…

The makeup artist behind the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day look is set to release a specially-designed cosmetics bag.

Daniel Martin has joined forces with the apparel and accessories brand Cuyana to create the item, which is both practical and pleasing to the eye.

Martin was behind actress Meghan Markle’s unforgettable look at the royal wedding in May (18), when she became Prince Harry’s wife.

The 37 year old expectant mum, was also seen carrying one of the brand’s chain-strap bags during her recent Australian and New Zealand tour with the Prince.

Martin began working with Markle when she was among the stars of drama series Suits and he was personally asked by the brunette beauty to be a part of her big day.

“Because we’ve known each other for so long and I knew exactly what she wanted, it was kind of a no-brainer the day of,” he told Vogue of preparing for the big day. “Because of Meghan, people are feeling comfortable in their own skin. They don’t need to wear so much make-up. After the wedding I had so many moms reach out to me through DM (direct messenger) saying, ‘thank you for showing my 14-year-old daughter that she doesn’t need to go to school with a full face of make-up’. I didn’t realise how much makeup the world was wearing!”

Martin’s roster of celebrity clients also includes Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Elisabeth Moss.

His new leather makeup carrier is a large, flat-bottomed rectangular case that can hold bulkier items but maintains a slim, wallet-like size. The item is offered in five colours – including black and burgundy.

Proceeds from the Vanity Case, which retails for $110 (£84), will benefit nonprofit organisation H.E.A.R.T., which aims to support survivors of abuse and neglect.

© Cover Media

Duchess of Sussex’s stylist signs on as TV fashion expert

Jessica Mulroney, the Duchess of Sussex’s most famous fashion forward friend, has landed a new role as a TV style correspondent. Jessica, who once served as a stylist for Duchess Meghan, has been tapped to appear as a commentator on U.S. breakfast sho…

Jessica Mulroney, the Duchess of Sussex’s most famous fashion forward friend, has landed a new role as a TV style correspondent.

Jessica, who once served as a stylist for Duchess Meghan, has been tapped to appear as a commentator on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. The Canadian will provide clothing tips and offer insights into the latest trends in regular TV segments.

The 38 year old took to Instagram on Monday to share her excitement about the new role.

“I have now officially joined the @goodmorningamerica team as their new Fashion Contributor and as you can tell by this picture, I couldn’t be happier,” she said alongside an image of herself glowing during her first appearance on the morning show. “Dream job!!! Hard work does pay off sometimes. Tune in next Monday for another fun fashion segment. Cheers to the whole GMA team for making this little Canadian gal feel so welcome.”

During her debut, she instructed viewers on how to create a six-piece capsule wardrobe and shared the importance of owning timeless items, such as a pantsuit and simple heels.

Mulroney made headlines back in May (18), when she appeared as a bridesmaid at Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry. Her seven-year-old twins Brian and John Mulroney, joined Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s son Prince George as page boys, while Ivy Mulroney, four also served as a bridesmaid alongside the couple’s daughter Princess Charlotte.

Jessica met Meghan while the actress was filming her TV series Suits in Toronto, Canada, where Mulroney runs the boutique Kleinfeld Bridal.

© Cover Media