- Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are spearheading fashion’s latest trend, and an expert says it could be a strategic move.
- The duchesses have worn cheap earrings with designer dresses on several recent occasions, such as Markle’s $6 pair worn with a $10,000 Valentino dress to Misha Nonoo’s wedding.
- This is a strategy used to appeal to “a wide socio-economical range of people,” assistant accessories designer Cécile Duclos told Insider.
- Duclos said that the royals’ popularity in the fashion world is an “asset for their diplomatic and political endeavors.”
- However, by adding high street jewellery to the mix, this appeals to fans who can’t afford luxury items, she added.
- Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Insider it makes the duchesses “more relatable” to their fans.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The new royal fashion phenomenon first garnered attention back in June, when Middleton wore a $10 pair of petal drop earrings from Accessorize (shown above) with a $222 Sandro Paris dress.
She stepped things up a notch in September, wearing a $6 pair — also from Accessorize — with a $2,000 Emilia Wickstead dress to the Back to Nature Garden in London.
Markle quickly followed suit, opting for a $6 pair, reportedly borrowed from a friend who bought them from Portobello Road Market in London.
She wore them with a $10,000 Valentino dress to her friend Misha Nonoo’s wedding in September.
While delivering a speech during her tour of Africa last month, she donned a $30 pair of Madewell red tassel earrings while also honoring local Cape Town designer Hannah Lavery.
Markle wore Lavery’s white Tencel shirt dress.
This is a strategy used to appeal to “a wide socio-economical range of people,” fashion expert Cécile Duclos told Insider.
“The choice of mixing luxury pieces with items from affordable mainstream retailers is a strategic one,” says Duclos, an assistant accessories designer at a major UK-based fashion house which chose to remain anonymous.
“The clothes that showcase established high-end brands or up-and-coming designers appeal to the fashion world. Carefully selected, they show knowledge and support of the fashion industry.”
Duclos added that this knowledge “can influence popularity favorably, popularity which in turn becomes an asset for their diplomatic and political endeavors.”
“The affordable pieces, on the other hand, are used to appeal to a different audience. This is the general public, who can also enjoy fashion, but can’t necessarily afford designer pieces.
“The use of popular brands cleverly demonstrates a down-to-earth personality, one of a royal who still shops in the same places than the rest of the population,” she added.
“This mix of influences is therefore carefully crafted in order to appeal to a wide socio-economical range of people and influence opinion, which is, in the royal world just like in everyday life, one of the essential aims of fashion.”
Meanwhile, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said that even though it’s unclear whether this was an intentional move made by the royals, it certainly makes them “more relatable” to fans.
“We are told how much the outfits royals wear cost. Because they lift the profile of the designers involved, who knows what they bought them for,” Fitzwilliams told Insider.
“This mix is more relatable, they know it will be analyzed,” he said, before adding, “the end result is what really matters.”