Princess Anne is perhaps the British Royal Family’s most sustainable dresser, and on Tuesday evening, she presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to a sustainable jewellery designer during London Fashion Week.
Rosh Mahtani, a London-born Zambia-raised jewellery designer, was chosen to receive the award this year. She runs the Alighieri brand, which is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and told Vogue of the announcement that, “I feel really proud that jewellery is being recognised, and overwhelmed and honoured to be put alongside Richard [Quinn] and Bethany [Williams].”
Mahtani launched the Alighieri brand in 2014 and says it’s “firmly rooted in literature and travel – that tells a story of whirlwind adventures, battered creatures, scraggy landscapes and passionate mistakes,” on her official website.
She designs her pieces using a lost-wax casting process, which sees her pieces cast in bronze before being plated in 24-karat gold.
Other materials used include freshwater cultured pearls from Singapore, quartz, sterling silver, black onyx and blown glass. All of her pieces are designed nickel-free and can be made in solid gold upon request.
“Mahtani has managed to translate her passion for jewellery and storytelling into a highly successful business while using responsibly sourced materials,” said Caroline Rush, the British Fashion Council’s CEO in a statement.
“Her ethical approach and commitment to local manufacturing, combined with her ability to make beautiful, timeless, made by hand jewellery, makes her an inspiration for many young British designers.”
Mahtani told Vogue that sustainability is important to her design work as “the biggest thing we can do is try to create things that are forever, and not adhere to trends. It’s never about [creating] something that’s then not relevant next season.”
Princess Anne presented the award in her capacity as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, which works to bring together “designers, manufacturers, suppliers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry, both in the UK and throughout the world,” according to its official website, and supports every aspect of the business, “from spinning, weaving and knitting, right through to the catwalk.”
Princess Anne, always a fan of re-wearing her outfits, notably wore an emerald green outfit that had previously been worn to an audience with the King and Queen of Jordan last year.
The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was introduced during the 2018 London Fashion Week to recognise young British designers who make sustainability or community engagement a part of their process.
Every year since, a different female member of the Royal Family has attended a special reception during London Fashion Week to present the award to a designer. In 2018, The Queen presented the inaugural award to Richard Quinn; in 2019, The Duchess of Cornwall presented it to Bethany Williams.
Mahtani’s upcoming collection, which debuted on Tuesday, is based on the T.S. Eliot poem The Wasteland.