How The Queen Inspired Kate's BAFTA Opera Gloves
The Princess of Wales took a rare fashion risk on the BAFTAs red carpet last weekend, accessorising her Alexander McQueen gown with black opera gloves – one of this season's biggest red-carpet trends.
Those gloves, it turns out, were designed by royal glove supplier Cornelia James — who was known as the Queen’s favourite glove maker. The designer was granted the Royal Warrant in 1979, meaning it was a brand with Her Majesty's royal approval. Queen Elizabeth II first wore Cornelia James gloves in 1947, when she accessorised her going-away outfit with gloves, following her marriage to Prince Philip.
As for Kate's appearance at the BAFTAs; 'She looked terrific,' Peter James, the son of the late Cornelia James, said. 'So stylish. Wonderful to see her wearing gloves — especially Cornelia James ones. Perhaps she will follow in the fashion of the late Queen, who always wore gloves in public.'
Kate appeared to be wearing the Melissa Velvet Opera Glove, which retails for £160. 'Opera gloves are transformative; they have enormous leverage,' Genevieve James, creative director at Cornelia James and the late designer's daughter, told People. 'They turn any event into an occasion and a dress into a statement.'
'Imagine Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's without the gloves — it's just another little black dress,' she added. 'With the gloves, it becomes iconic and emblematic of our age — always relevant, always contemporary.'
Royals have long worn gloves — especially Queen Elizabeth II, who was rarely seen without them. As is detailed on the Cornelia James website: 'The Queen has a style which is beyond fashion. An abiding memory of a Royal visit is the gloved hand waving at the window of the great black car and we are proud to have provided the glove on so many occasions.'
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