A Berry Royal Christmas graced our screens last night. While we were berry (might as well jump on the bandwagon) excited to watch Wills and Kate make Mary's famous meringue roulade, we're still obsessed with Kate's polka-dot and petal-patterned dress. The 1940s inspired midi dress is by designer, Alessandra Rich, and is available to buy with 30% off, now costing £1018.50.
Kate is familiar with the self-named brand, and in 2018 sported a navy polka-dot dress, pictured in the official portraits for Prince Charles’s 70th birthday. Fun fact: that particular dress, which Sarah Jessica Parker also owns, was inspired by Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic 1945 photograph, of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square, Rich shared with British Vogue.
Her sister Pippa is a fan too, opting for a powder blue dress for the christening of her nephew, Prince Louis. Additionally, the brand has been a popular choice among royal wedding guests, as Suits star Abigail Spencer wore Alessandra Rich to Harry and Meghan's wedding, and Emma Louise Connolly to Princess Eugenie's wedding in October. So, now we have the royal seal approval, here's everything we know about the brand.
Italian-born and London-based, Alessandra Rich, founded her self-named brand in 2010, after designing her own wedding dress. Before Rich fell into fashion she dabbled in real estate and home decorations, while also helping her husband, who's an art dealer, sell artworks. With no official training, the brand formed organically, and as expected from a novice, took her nearly eight months to finish 10 pieces from her first collection.
In the space of 9 years, Alessandra Rich has become a well-respected go-to for the royals, and a party-wear must-have for the it girls, such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Meryl Streep. Rich told the Telegraph, 'My customer has always been someone with a very intense social life,' which corresponds to the lives of most royalty and celebrities. However, before Rich experienced so much exposure, it was Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet that really put Rich on the fashion map, in a big way. She stumbled across Rich's collection in Paris and bought the entire collection for the luxury fashion site. Rich agreed, 'It gave me massive exposure ... And from there, we grew. I grew.'
Rich stressed the importance of her customer needing 'beautiful outfits for all sorts of occasions - lunches, dinners, weddings, christenings, parties…' she told the Telegraph. Music to a royals ears, surely? Rich told British Vogue that she has taken inspiration in previous collections from Princess Diana's relationship with fashion designer, Catherine Walker. The tartan dress from her AW17 collection, echos the Walker designed dress Diana wore to visit the Honda factory during her official tour of Japan in 1990. Rich commented on Diana's style saying 'she is conservative and glamorous at the same time.'
Today, customers can buy an Alessandra Rich piece in more than 130 stores and retailers worldwide. Rich continues to design for her label, as we've seen the brand go from start-up to royal favourite. We'll leave you with a few of her words of wisdom, definitely worth a mention ahead of New Years resolutions: 'I think if I can start my own brand, there's hope for everyone to be able to do the things they truly want.'