The Duchess of Sussex is officially back at work…though that sounds a bit strange after a summer in which she still very much dominated the news 😉 And yet, despite attending multiple tennis matches, a movie premier, and the odd engagement with the Duke of Sussex, this is Meghan’s first solo engagement on behalf of one of her patronages since well before Archie’s birth.
Her appearance marks the release of a five-piece capsule collection on behalf of Smart Works, which works to provide disadvantaged women with the professional clothing they need for work, job interviews, etc. It’s one of the four organizations Meghan became the patron of earlier this year. She reportedly made a series of private visits to them throughout 2018 prior to the announcement being made in January.
As has been noted in the Sussexes’ Instagram posts leading up to today, Meghan noticed during her visits that the supply of professional clothing available to women was uneven. Thus, she worked with four different brands – Jigsaw, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, and Misha Nonoo (a personal friend) – to create a collection of classic basics. The way the collection will work is that every time one of the items is purchased, the brand will donate an identical one to Smart Works, thus making these pieces available in a variety of sizes.
The collection includes a blazer, trousers, a shift dress, a classic white button-down, and a leather hand bag.
At the engagement, Meghan delivered a speech (without notes, I would add!), video of which was shared by royal reporter Emily Nash:
If you’re wondering what these pieces actually look like – well, 1) they’re all over the internet and 2) Meghan wore two of them to today’s engagement at the John Lewis on London’s Oxford Street. Her blouse is the Misha Nonoo piece for Smart Works, while her trousers are Jigsaw for Smart Works. Her shoes are Manolo Blahnik, while the belt is POLO by Ralph Lauren. Other items receiving interest are Meghan’s jewelry today, all of which was Diana, Princess of Wales’s. She’s definitely worn these butterfly earrings before (during the Oz/NZ tour, I believe, but I haven’t fact-checked myself), and it’s always a nice touch to see Diana’s jewelry pop up during royal events.
I have to say, it’s nice to see Meghan back at it. Once again, her efficiency and creativity in executing these projects is impressive. This very much reminds me of the success of her Community cookbook last year, and I’m pleased to see a home run mark the start of her return from maternity leave. Now, fingers crossed the rest of the media storm dies away.
It’s unclear when we’ll next see Meghan (or the Duchess of Cambridge for that matter) but this weekend we’ll return to history courtesy of Richard III 🙂