Before the Duchess of Sussex was the Duchess of Sussex, she had a starring role in Suits, one eye on Hollywood and a sassy wardrobe to match. Then came her dashing prince, a fairytale wedding, and two rather turbulent years as a senior working royal, a period Meghan spent largely in tailored Givenchy separates, classic Jimmy Choo court shoes and Stephen Jones fascinators.
The mother-of-two has adopted a relaxed, Cali-girl style since she and her family left London to set up home in Montecito, swapping coat dresses for floaty maxis and stiletto heels for luxe summer flats. But last night in New York, royal style watchers witnessed the return of Meghan, Hollywood princess.
The Duchess attended the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards wearing a strapless gold bodycon dress by Johanna Ortiz with a subtle cut-out at the sternum. Meghan added a pair of barely-there strappy sandals by Tom Ford (the man famously credited with putting the sex back into fashion early in his career) and a tumble of waves swept over one shoulder.
Dressing for palace life is a delicate balancing act: the media microscope demands that high-profile royal women look immaculate but appropriate – leaving little opportunity to embrace good old-fashioned sex appeal (see the eyebrows raised by the Princess of Wales’s red manicure over Easter.) Meghan no longer needs to concern herself with such “protocols” (unspoken or otherwise), a freedom that was on full display in New York as she accepted the Woman of Vision Award at the ceremony in recognition of her advocacy for women and girls.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk