The Countess of Wessex is the latest Queen Royal to present the Queen Elizabeth II Prize, following in the footsteps of Princess Anne, the Duchess of Cornwall and of course the Queen herself.
The Only Way is Wessex: The Countess’s Best Style Moments
The Countess presented the award from her home via Zoom alongside Caroline Rush from the British Fashion Council (there was a cute photo of Sophie and Edward in the background of the royal’s home). Wearing a glamorous black high-necked dress by Victoria Beckham (“ I wear the British fashion flag, ” she explained happily) and sporting a bouncy blow-dry and a smoky eye, the Countess was the epitome. sophistication.
This year’s recipient is rising menswear star Priya Ahluwalia, a young designer whose eponymous label is known for being environmentally friendly. In the words of the Countess: “You are a fantastic recycler and reuse of clothing. This is the raison d’être of your entire brand.
During a Q&A with The Royal, Ahluwalia opened up about the inspiration behind her fall / winter collection, which was captured via a Stephen Isaac-Wilson film.
The two also discussed the impact of the pandemic on the high street, as well as how Covid may inspire future collections, with Ahluwalia teasing women’s clothing and party wear in the future (“ I covet your shirt, ” the countess admitted).
Then, with questions from the audience, the Countess was asked what makes the British style so awesome: ‘Islanders tend to look outward, throughout hundreds of years we have enjoyed so much different influences, north, south, east and west, and we tend to take those influences and claim them as our own … and develop a certain sense of style.
And how would she describe her own style?
“Work in progress,” she joked. “Developed over time. Probably pretty classic, but I like things with a little bit of a twist, sometimes I get a little more courageous and then back off again … it’s very hard to describe your own style!
She also cited Angelina Jolie and Queen Rania of Jordan as two women whose style she admires.
Previous recipients of the award include last year’s winner Rosh Mahtani, who received the award by Princess Anne. Her jewelry brand Alighieri uses responsibly sourced materials that promote local manufacturing and use, two characteristics that were instrumental in her choice of work.
In 2018, the Duchess of Cornwall presented the award to Bethany Williams. The London-based designer is a champion of green fashion and has dedicated several of her collections to charitable causes. The winning collection was for Adelaide House, a women’s shelter in Liverpool that is home to domestic violence survivors, jail release and homeless people, with portraits of some women.
Meanwhile, inaugural winner Richard Quinn, known for his vividly printed designs, ensured his London Fashion Week show was a must-see after Her Majesty sat in the front row, next door of the American. Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.
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