With Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle in the ranks, one thing is certain: the British royal family includes some of the chicest women in the world. From their smart dresses to their sleek pumps to their memorable handbags, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex provide what seems like an endless supply of wardrobe inspiration.
But one thing that seems to stand out the most is their bling. To get an insider scoop, Stylish spoke with one of the Duchesses’ go-to jewelers Pippa Small all about their royal style and how it’s evolved. But the part that most got our attention was her insight into how Markle’s choices have opened up an important dialogue on sustainable fashion. Read on for her thoughts.
Stylish: When did you start working with the royals, or when did they start taking an interest in your jewelry?
Pippa Small: The Duchess of Cambridge wore our Kite earrings on her early tour of Canada 2011 and we were thrilled. The Duchess of Sussex wore our pieces late last year at Princess Eugenie’s wedding and again on her tour of the Pacific region, the British Fashion Awards and other various outings this year.
Stylish: Which royal family member’s style do you like the most?
PS: I think the two young Duchesses have great and very individual styles. I feel that the Duchess of Sussex has done a huge amount for raising awareness about ethical fashion, simply through her sartorial choices. With such a heavy media focus on her it has opened the dialogue about the importance of sustainability in fashion and the fact that there are alternatives that are beautiful, well-made or crafted by artisans in conflict areas like our Pippa Small Turquoise Mountain collection (which she has worn). Her choice to wear ethical brands has been enormous for raising awareness and inspiring others in their fashion choices. To be aware of what you are buying, where it is made and who made it.
Stylish: How are Kate and Meghan’s tastes different? What do their style choices say about their personalities?
PS: The Duchess of Cambridge’s style appears to be elegant, simple and regal and conservative yet approachable and warm. The Duchess of Sussex is more contemporary, edgier and a lot of thought has gone into her choices with messages for her followers about the role of women and how you can make your shopping choices be a force for good and to promote change. It feels like a very hopeful and important millennial message.
Stylish: Do you think that Meghan’s style and jewelry taste has evolved a lot since becoming a royal?
PS: Her style is very sophisticated [and her choices are not only cool but and with the ethical choices she is showing she is aware of her power to influence and is using it for good which is brilliant!
Stylish: What do you think about Meghan honoring Princess Diana through her jewelry choices?
PS: I think this is touching and lovely as well as highlighting so much the role of jewelry in all our lives, it is about stories, memories, emotion, connection and not throwaway fast fashion.
Stylish: Do Kate and Meghan’s jewelry choices change seasonally too?
PS: I don’t feel jewelry has a season. To me jewelry is not about fast fashion or seasonal trends, it is about connection, memory, emotion and expression. I haven’t observed their jewelry choices changing radically but like many young women they are in touch with the times and what they are drawn to is from the world they see around them.
Stylish: Meghan almost has one year of royalty under her belt. Overall, what do you think of her style choices?
PS: I think they have been brilliant and the message is clear. She publicly re-wears her clothes. We need to shop less and more thoughtfully and think about our choices and chose to make our consumerism a force of positive change for the world.
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