On Monday evening, the best of the fashion industry gathered at Royal Albert Hall to mark the annual British Fashion Awards.
The crowd was surprised when actress Rosamund Pike welcomed the Duchess of Sussex to the stage to present the British Designer of the Year for womenswear to Clare Waight Keller, the creative director of Givenchy.
Keller designed Meghan’s wedding dress that she wore down the aisle of St George’s Chapel during her May wedding to Prince Harry.
Since her nuptials, the Duchess has turned to Givenchy for many royal engagements.
Meghan stunned on stage in a black one-shoulder velvet Givenchy gown that hugged her growing baby bump. She finished the outfit with gold bangles and stud earrings by Pippa Smalls and Tamara Melon shoes.
Speaking to the crowd, Meghan said: “We have a deep connection to what we wear. 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 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. 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.’
“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’d be working very closely together. The winner this evening is Clare Waight Keller.”
Once off stage, Keller admitted she had no idea the Duchess would be there that evening. Adding that the moment was “such an extraordinary moment of emotion and love.”
Meghan then joined Keller and Rosamund Pike for a photobooth moment where the Duchess posed alongside the other two ladies, hugging her baby bump.
Other awards included Pierpaolo Piccioli for Designer of the Year, Virgil Abloh in the new category of Urban Luxe, Kaia Gerber won Model of the Year, and Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga took home Accessories Designer of the Year.