Meghan Markle is praising the changing culture of fashion and sharing how she believes the industry should empower and unite women.
The pregnant royal discussed all things fashion while making a surprise appearance to honor her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, at the 2018 British Fashion Awards at Royal Albert Hall in London, England, on Monday night.
“As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear,” Markle said. “Sometimes it's very personal, sometimes it's emotional. But for me, this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it's about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women. When we choose to wear a certain designer, we're not just a reflection of their creativity and their vision but we're also an extension of their values -- of something in the fabric, so to speak, that is much more meaningful."
Markle stunned the audience at the awards show when she was announced as the surprise guest who would present the winner of the Designer of the Year award, her name evoking immediate cheers. A second wave of cheers erupted as the 37-year-old beauty came into sight, walking onto the stage wearing a black, off-the-shoulder Givenchy gown. By the time she took the microphone and faced the crowd, a third round of applause hit.
“Good evening, everyone. It's such a pleasure to be here celebrating British fashion and British fashion designers,” she said, before giggling, then adding, “In my new home of the U.K.,” which naturally ignited more applause. “It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces. Many of you I’ve known for quite a while and there’s a lot of you who I’ve been able to meet in the past year, so thank you for the warm welcome.”
“I recently read an article that said the culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind,” she said. “To that point I feel especially proud to announce tonight’s winner who, yes, is a British designer, leading on the global stage with vision and creativity, but also with incredible kindness, which is why when I met her for the first time 11 months ago I knew that we would be working very closely together.”
After thanking her family and the Givenchy team, Waight Keller paused and turned to Markle. “Actually this part of my speech you’re in -- I didn’t think you were going to be here tonight!” she said as Markle adorably put her hand to her mouth with a grin.
Waight Keller went on to share how the two people she felt most grateful to for the award were Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy and Markle, “because this woman is so amazing.”
“I got to know Meghan on such a personal level and to have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honor,” she said. “And I can't thank you enough."