Many of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designers show at London Fashion Week. Yet the royal figure is always noticeably absent, completely shunning the week-long event.
Kate has quickly risen to become a British style icon, favouring flattering designs from the likes of Erdem and Preen. She is sure to have received an invite to many a Fashion Week show but has never appeared on the front row.
This isn’t a usual for the royal family. Cast your mind back to the 1940s and the days of Christian Dior’s cosy relationship with the British monarchy.
The Parisian designer’s New Look and theatrical shows were so well-loved by the Queen that she arranged a private appointment for several members of the royal family at The Savoy.
This meeting led Princess Margaret to become a loyal Dior customer, buying design after design including the elaborate white ballgown she wore to her 21st birthday party.
Dior invited the Princess to be his guest of honour at the label’s Blenheim Palace show in 1964; a show that was recreated last year.
After Margaret, royals seemed to stay away from the glitzy fashion shows. Until Diana, that is. The people’s Princess was the first royal to fully support London Fashion Week, turning up to the event’s opening reception on numerous occasions.
Diana also attended the second ever British Fashion Awards in 1990; the only member of the royal family to do so in its history.
Lesser members of the royal family including Princess Beatrice and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are stalwarts in the fashion industry. Beatrice has appeared at huge New York shows such as Tommy Hilfiger along with more intimate presentations in the British capital while the Countess became the first ever patron of the London College of Fashion in 2013.
Kate’s no-show at Fashion Week doesn’t spell a disinterest in the fashion world. She has supported British designers – both big and small – ever since her rise to a prime position within the monarchy.
Designers also have the Duchess to thank for numerous sell-outs. Dubbed the ‘Kate effect’, sites have been known to crash within minutes of the royal wearing a particular look.
Despite all this, it’s unclear why Kate chooses to miss the fashion event. Perhaps she simply does not want to be the centre of attention. Or maybe Fashion Week’s penchant for bloggers and young social media stars doesn’t chime with the royal’s values.
After all, Fashion Week is becoming more about Instagram numbers than the discreet (and distinctly more glamorous) affair of years gone by.