So you think clothing is irrelevant in Oprah-Harry-Meghan’s say-it-all? Do you think it’s the voice bombs and the revelations that count, and no one is going to give two figs what the former royal couple is wearing when they say them? You, my friend, should think again. Costumes are still part of the program.

Since first appearing in the limelight, not only as an actress on a hit TV show, but as a potential British Princess, Meghan Markle has proven herself to be the master of the visual message.

So everything she picked for the biggest speaking moment of her career and marriage so far – one that, given the palace’s pre-promotion and PR war, the Sussexes and each other’s proxies, is going to be seen by more people than any other appearance since her marriage – it wasn’t going to be a random schmatta, just because it’s comfortable.

It was going to be a dress with a purpose. A dress that would set the tone. A dress that, after all, would be seen and revisited as the interview photos went around the world and into royal history, just like the photos of Princess Diana in her black jacket looking under her Martin Bashir bangs. in his interview with the BBC in 1995, always appear whenever the subject of this royal divorce comes up.

And the answer is … a Black silk wrap dress by Giorgio Armani with a white lotus flower print on one shoulder.

According to City CountryMs Markle’s royal whisperer chose the dress specifically because of the symbolism of the lotus flower and because the flower represents rebirth, which was part of what the interview was also meant to represent: the rebirth of Harry and Meghan as an independent entity, genuinely themselves outside the royal family; the rebirth of their voices. Plus, of course, the upcoming birth of the couple’s next child. Oh – and also the fact that, writes T & C, the lotus can “flourish despite seemingly difficult conditions.”

Clue, clue.

I thought there was a certain irony in choosing a very expensive dress to partly represent the victimization and resilience of the wearer in the face of pain.

Still, worn belted across her pregnant tummy, complete with black Aquazzura stilettos and a diamond Cartier tennis bracelet that once belonged to Princess Diana (chosen so that, the couple told Ms Winfrey, she could be there with them) , This was not the case. exactly your regular maternity look.

Not exactly a “Royals!” They are like us! sort of thing. Not even a, “hey, we’re in America now and we’re going to use all of this attention to help an American designer,” sort of thing. Not even some kind of eco-sensitive or supportive stranger kind of thing. (All sorts of things that were part of Ms. Markle’s public image before.)

More glamor and celebrity stuff. Armani was the first designer of haute couture to seduce the Hollywood decor; the go-to name for stars looking for ‘style but safe’, and for studio executives looking to look serious but not stuffy. (When asked what he thought about Ms Markle choosing her dress for the big interview, Mr Armani emailed: ‘It’s difficult for me to comment on Meghan’s choice as it is a dress from my collection. ”)

And that also made it a “it’s my choice because now I’m free to make my own choices and I don’t have to think about diplomacy or meet the expectations of all the people who have placed their hopes on me. as an agent of change, ”sort of thing. (It’s a heavy thing, sure.)

It’s the sort of thing Diana also wore, after the divorce, when she declared her independence in part by favoring European high-octane designers. And the sort of thing, perhaps sadly, that Wallis Simpson could have worn when she and Edward went into exile; Ms. Simpson also seemed to find solace in high fashion.

Yet Prince Harry didn’t exactly make an Edward. For the interview, he wore a dove gray J. Crew Ludlow suit – jacket $ 425; pants, $ 225 – with a simple white shirt, unbuttoned at the throat and no tie. It looked a lot like the costume he wore for his own Baby Archie’s first photoshoot in May 2019, and he ticked all kinds of boxes. Accessible! American! Maybe buy your closet, which is better for the planet. He might not have realized that his clothes contained all of these, but his wife probably did.

All in all, a good thing, really.

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