Meghan wins the Center Court style final in a tiebreak with Kate, writes LIZ JONES: The Duchess of Sussex’s £350 Hugo Boss skirt and £690 Givenchy shirt combination just edges out Kate’s £2,150 D&G dress
Was there a winner? Who scored the most aces? Held all the power in their first official singles clash for a year? Forget tennis – I’m talking about the two duchesses, perched in Wimbledon’s Royal Box like exotic birds.
Kate chose a fitted parrot-green custom-made dress by Dolce & Gabbana (£2,150) with a fluted hem and – mindful of the inevitable clapping required – some slightly forgiving puffed three-quarter sleeves. Her boxy Dolce handbag (£1,050) was the sort of cream tyrant that must never, ever, see a Biro.
The nude pointed court shoes by LK Bennett were slightly too safe as was the frock: she’s worn it before, in Canada nearly three years ago.
UNITED FRONT: The pair at the end of the match on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Saturday
SUNGLASSES AT DAWN: Kate and Meghan share some gossip – but their eyewear hides their expressions
FIRST MOVE: Kate breaks the ice by taking off her glasses during a brief lull in the tennis
And Meghan? There was no denim, phew! We don’t need another transatlantic diplomatic incident. Instead this woman showed she has balls.
After all, just nanoseconds after giving birth, she chose knife pleats (by Hugo Boss, £350), unflattering on most mere mortals. And patterned pleats that showed off her waist. She’s not like other women, is she?
Meghan carried a small vegan Stella McCartney bag, wore Le Specs sunnies, and had her hair styled in a smooth French pony, exposing those £400 Jennifer Meyer earrings. (I do wish Kate would tie her hair back more often.) What with the cool, crisp white shirt by Givenchy (around £690), it was all very East Coast.
Yet again, Meghan is perfect for the occasion without seeming showy-offy. Whoever lands the job of styling her hotly rumoured appearance on the cover of Vogue this autumn should turn up, not with clothes, but with a long novel to read instead.
Like the one-sided battle on court – in which Romania’s Simona Halep beat Serena Williams in straight sets – it was all a bit of a shame for fashion watchers, who wanted three hard-fought sets.
EYES DOWN: Leaving Meghan to bite her lip and wonder whether she should do the same
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: The two Duchesses beam at each other, is their rumoured feud at an end?
HAVING A BALL: Kate and Meghan yesterday pictured in the Royal Box at Centre Court Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Kate’s look was a far cry from the new edgy, Instagram-worthy woman we’ve been relishing of late: remember last weekend’s soft salmon pussy-bow dress by Stella McCartney, worn with a red headband, for Archie’s christening? The clash of pink LK Bennett frock and red Mulberry bag at the polo last week? Not to mention delicious mint Missoni, followed up by back-to-front purple Gucci, and even a cape?
Part of the reason for Kate’s recent fashion chops is that she has a new stylist: close friend Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, who used to work at Vogue and is a label-literate force of nature.
No doubt Chadwyck-Healey wants to prove a point while she’s standing in for Kate’s usual stylist, Natasha Archer, who’s been on maternity leave since late last year (and is doubtless cursing her husband as we speak).
And the reason that Kate hired Ginnie? Not to impress Prince William, who – like most men – wouldn’t notice if his wife turned up rocking Per Una from Marks & Spencer. It’s because Meghan has been lobbing Stella halternecks and Lisa Marie Fernandez khaki kaftans from the other side of the net.
So Kate has upped her game. There’s nothing nasty here, just two beautiful young women having fun with fashion – a welcome diversion from all the battles elsewhere.
OH, I SAY: Poldark’s Aidan Turner and Downton actress Lily James watch yesterday’s action from the Royal Box
Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker (left), Sir Cliff Richard (centre) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (right) pictured at Wimbledon yesterday
Kate conceded this particular match because this was our future queen, on an official duty, playing it safe by returning to her tried-and-trusted nipped-in silhouette and anonymous accessories.
My guess is that as Royal patron of Wimbledon, she decided to disappear into the green baize background and let the players hog the front pages.
Which is exactly as it should be.
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