It’s no small feat dressing someone like Meghan Markle.
There she stands in front of thousands of adoring eyes and just as many prying cameras, waving, standing, posing. The outfit is the centrepiece and soon, perhaps, will be splashed across every major news site across the world.
It can make or break a business.
Which makes it all the more peculiar that this week, fashion designer Emilia Wickstead was quoted in the Daily Mail denigrating the work of fellow designer Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy and Meghan Markle’s overall look on her wedding day.
“Her dress is identical to one of our dresses,” Wickstead said, according to the Daily Mail.
“Apparently a lot of commentators were saying, ‘It’s an Emilia Wickstead dress.'”
It went on:
“If you choose a simple design the fit should be perfect. Her wedding dress was quite loose.
“I was like, ‘Hold the wisps [of her hair] back — it’s a Royal Wedding for God’s sake.’”
Public commentary erupted in indignation, with the designer called “unprofessional” among other, less civilised things.
On Monday, she released a statement on Instagram about the furore:
“I am extremely saddened by commentary that has appeared in the press and online over the past few days,” she wrote.
“Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day and I have the utmost admiration and respect for her.
“I do not think that her wedding dress was a copy of any of our designs. I have the greatest respect for Clare Waight Keller and the House of Givenchy — a huge source of inspiration to me.”
Curiously, those quotes of Wickstead’s aren’t specifically credited to anywhere. The Daily Mail does not explicitly say she spoke to them, or in truth, anyone at all. Just that the words were spoken, and perhaps off the record.
Similarly, Wickstead’s statement is interesting. While she doesn’t deny the quotes, nor does she call the story a lie or fake, she does hint to the fact she never intended for the quotes to be made public by expressing her disappointment regarding the “commentary” that “appeared” in the press.
A designer like Wickstead, who has dressed both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton in the past, would understand how foolish it is to publicly denounce a princess you have every intention of working with in the future. Of how speaking so candidly could blacklist you from dressing anyone in the Palace every again.
As such, it’s likely Wickstead never intended for these thoughts to be made public. It’s just that someway, somehow, they did.