Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller has had a big year: from designing Meghan Markle’s iconic wedding dress earlier this year to closing out 2018 with a coveted fashion award in hand. Keller was recognised as the British Womenswear Designer of the Year at The Fashion Awards earlier this week, however there were more surprises for her in store than just the Swarovski trophy. The Duchess of Sussex herself blew Keller’s mind when she dropped into the ceremony to present her with the award, looking chic AF in a Givenchy dress. Ironically, Meghan Markle’s British Fashion Awards dress had been created and fitted for the royal just the week before by Keller, but the former Suits actress managed to keep it all a secret.
You can tell from the look on Keller’s face as she accepted the award that she really didn’t expect Meghan Markle to be there and it was adorable watching the friends be reunited. Keller threw a massive hug around Meghan the moment she got onstage and the pair dissolved into laughter as Keller exclaimed time and time again how floored she was.
Keller talked about the moment to Grazia and said, “I’m not joking, it was a complete and genuine surprise. I really did not know she was coming tonight at all!”
In fact, it turns out that Keller unwittingly designed the dress for Meghan without realising the Duchess would be wearing it in her honour just days afterwards. It turns out Meghan’s pretty good at keeping a secret as the royal managed to play down the whole thing, pretending it was for another event.
Keller continued, "I was actually fitting her for the dress last week and she said, ‘Oh I’m going to this thing next week, I think it’s Monday or Tuesday night, I have to check my calendar.’ I just did not think anything of it. Then she walked in!"
At the ceremony, Meghan revealed she knew after meeting Keller for the first time that they “would be working very closely together.” And it’s been to both of their benefit as fashion search engine Lyst revealed that Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding dress was one of the biggest style moments of the year and subsequently, “searches for ‘Givenchy dresses’ surged 184 percent.”
Keller thanked Meghan in her speech, saying, “I was going to thank you because this woman is so amazing and I got to know Meghan on such a personal level, and to have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honour. And I can’t thank you enough.”
Female friendships always overwhelm me with emotion. I’m tearing up all over again and am rewatching that speech again ASAP. In fact, the British Fashion Council who were running the event actually posted it below if you want to see it too.
Keller added to Grazia, “I’ve had the most extraordinary year. Half of it no-one even knew [Meghan and I] were working together, until the big event happened in May. Since then it’s just been so special to work with someone who’s incredibly genuine and kind. [Meghan] has really embraced the type of style that I embody.”
Since the royal wedding earlier this year, Keller and Meghan have gone on to work together loads. In fact, Meghan Markle wound up wearing a Givenchy sweater while she was abroad in Fiji as well as a cream dress for her first official solo outing with the Queen.
Keller finished, “[Meghan and I have] a relationship that’s just starting and I think between the two of us, we’ve got such an innate understanding of each other. I think going through such a personal experience, like the wedding dress, you can never lose that connection with the person you work with on it.”
Low-key crying over here. I can’t wait to see what the fashionable dream team cook up next.