Meghan Markle is back in the UK, attending the One Young World summit in Manchester this evening with Prince Harry to deliver a keynote addressing gender equality, her first official speech since stepping back as a full-time working royal.
Her look for the occasion? The luxe, modern tailoring that is by-now her trademark style: a tie-neck blouse and expertly cut trousers from Another Tomorrow (the ethical brand is a savvy choice for someone fluent in the language of luxury and of sustainability), as well as the pointed pumps that are a cornerstone of her on-duty wardrobe. In short? Another style slamdunk.
The Montecito-Markle era has seen her wardrobe streamline and modernise. Gone are the days of nude tights and (on the whole) hats and in their place hard-working, albeit ultra-luxe, staples. Meghan has long had a fondness for tonal looks – just this afternoon she was swathed in delicious biscuity tones, including a Brandon Maxwell knit – when spotted, incongruously, at the notably dowdy Euston station.
Since she first went public with Harry, Markle has demonstrated a confident understanding of the power of clothes. Then, she utilised every cut, cuff and colour to say what she was not allowed to. Now, however, Markle doesn’t rely on clothes to do the talking for her. She can, to a greater degree at least, say what she wants, whether that is on stage, in a style-title’s cover interview or on her new Archetypes podcast.
Rather, what Markle does now is use clothes to amplify the messages she wants to give. Can you hear me at the back? You bet!
And what does this evening’s monotone choice – punchy primary red – say? Many things. It is daring, it is unapologetic, it is a deeply powerful colour. It signifies – nudge, nudge – danger. It is sexy (even in 2022, the debate about whether or not it is ok to wear red to a wedding rages on) and sleek, glamorous and professional which seems like a suitably multi-faceted modern choice for a speech on gender equality (why can’t women be two, three, many things at once?).
But as she walked through a sea of navy suits, star power turned up to the max, what red didn’t so much say as downright bellow is this: I am not afraid to stand out.