Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out in a show of patriotic style in London on Wednesday as she presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design at an event hosted by the British Fashion Council.
For the occasion, the duchess wore a $985 (£786) malachite green midi dress with a high draped neckline, flared skirt and trailing sleeve details from British-based brand Edeline Lee.
Kate’s outfit has been praised by the fashion press, and follows a recent style transformation made by the duchess over recent years that has seen her become more experimental in her fashion choices.
Since her marriage in 2011, Kate has become one of the most visible ambassadors for British fashion with her influence on fashion consumption—dubbed the “Kate effect”—said to be worth upwards of $1 billion annually to the U.K fashion industry.
Edeline Lee is the eponymous label of the Canadian-born British-trained fashion designer who launched her brand in London eight years ago. On her website, Lee states that she designs for the “Future Lady,” and that “female identity” and the issues surrounding the expectations placed on women in modern society are key considerations in her work.
Over the years, Lee has gained a loyal following of famous fans, having dressed Olivia Colman, Solange Knowles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge—even Queen Elizabeth II’s acting counterpart, Dame Helen Mirren, has worn the label.
Wednesday’s fashion event marked the first time that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn an Edeline Lee piece publicly.
The presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design has become an important marker in the female members of the royal family’s calendars. The award was launched by the monarch in 2018 at a memorable fashion show, marking her first appearance at a London Fashion Week catwalk show. The monarch sat next to Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour at the event and presented the award to designer Richard Quinn.
Since 2018 all the senior working female members of the royal family have presented the award on the queen’s behalf including Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2019, Princess Anne in 2020 and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, in 2021.
The 2022 award was presented by the duchess to British-Guyanese designer Saul Nash, whose work is described by Vogue as “bridging the gap between luxury, menswear and sportswear.”
The chief executive of the British Fashion Council—which oversees the selection of the award recipient—Caroline Rush CBE, said of Nash:
“We are delighted to announce Saul Nash as the fifth recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Nash has a unique way of combining function, tech and tailoring in his design practice which has resulted in a new take on luxe sportswear.
His work explores the relationship between performance and menswear and is often showcased through beautiful and show-stopping choreography. We are incredibly proud to recognise Saul and look forward to seeing his brand grow.”
Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, Nash said that being honored with the award “felt like a dream” and that: “To be recognized in this way is an incredible vote of confidence — it would be for any designer, but I feel especially proud as this is a moment of validation for sportswear. The focus of my work has always been to push and open up new possibilities, from tackling preconceived notions of sportswear to attempting to challenge perceptions of gender norms in menswear.”
Kate presented Nash with his award in front of a crowd of Britain’s biggest fashion power players, including Edward Enninful, the editor of British Vogue.
With her malachite green Edeline Lee dress, the duchess wore green suede accessories from one of her favorite British-based brands, Emmy London, and completed the outfit with a pair of gold statement earrings from Bahamian designer Nadia Irena, first worn on the Cambridges’ polarizing tour of the Caribbean.
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