Kate favourite Suzannah Crabb shares her design process exclusively with Hello!

When royalty and A-listers across the pond want to look immaculate on the red carpet, they have a secret weapon in the form of Suzannah Crabb. Whether for the BAFTAs, Royal Ascot, a family wedding or a royal engagement, they can be sure they'll look impeccable.

Hello! met the fashion designer at her chic Marylebone boutique to get the lowdown on how she creates clothes for women at the very top of their game.


Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prince George
Kate wearing one of Suzannah Crabb's deisgns

"I love making things appropriate, immaculate and inspiring," says Suzannah. "We do the outfit, coordinate all the fittings, the hats, the shoes, it’s the whole service."

Her carefully considered approach revolves around getting "the absolute right thing" and focusing on the cloth, the cut and the make of her vintage-inspired outfits, so that they "don’t just look nice, but they really work and feel amazing to wear."

The formula has made her indispensable to household names as well as top international businesswomen, who keep her on speed dial to ensure they look polished wherever their work takes them.

Suzannah Crabb
Suzannah is known for her A-list clientele

Suzannah is remarkably discreet about her clients, who have included the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton, the super-stylish Countess of Wessex and acting royalty Dame Helen Mirren and Olivia Colman.

And more than any famous face, what inspires her most, she tells Hello!, is cloth and colour.

She says: "I have a passion for beautiful fabric and work with the Italian mills to dye, weave and print my initial piece of inspiration. I take reference, like any creative person, from everything around me from the start of my day until the end.

"There is nothing better than people watching and street style to kick start ideas or to twist a style I already have in my mind or on the mannequin into something slightly different."

Pippa Middleton and James Middleton
Pippa Middleton sported one of her designs to Prince George's christening

Suzannah says she strives to make every piece into the "perfect, versatile wardrobe indulgence for today – the dream dress or coat or special blouse that just works hard for you and can make you feel confident and beautiful and appropriate."

She adds: "People rely on me and on the company to provide things that are right, so I’ve got an obligation to look after my clients. Maybe that’s why it (the label) has grown."

The designer, who lives with husband Adam and three-year-old daughter Stella in South London, grew up near Hull, East Yorkshire.

"I always loved clothes and I loved creating pieces from vintage bits and bobs," she says. "I started adapting things to go out in because there was only a Miss Selfridge and a Chelsea Girl in town when I was growing up.

Sophie Wessex
Sophie, Countess of Wessex in Suzannah Crabb earlier this year

"My mum worked from home so we always did sewing and crafts. She loved doing it and always looked immaculate, so that’s probably where it stems from."

She studied textiles at York University before graduating with a first in fashion design from Southampton and perfecting her skills as a designer for brands including Alexon, Oasis, Esprit and Karen Millen.

Pippa Middleton
Pippa also sported the brand at Wimbledon

After a stint as Head of Trends at M&S, she decided to branch out on her own.

She tells Hello!: "I travelled the world researching as part of my job. It was very cool. But I wanted to work with luxury cloth and make things in the way I knew they should be made."

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren wore Suzannah Couture to the London Trumbo premiere

She set up Suzannah in 2006, selling her creations along with vintage finds, from a boutique in Little Venice, north London.

She said: "I suddenly realised that people were coming to me for smart, quirky, chic event dresses. I started dressing a few celebrities who lived in the area and it evolved organically.

"It’s not shouty or OTT but just effortless and beautifully well-made."

Sophie Wessex
Sophie at the Queen's service of Thanksgiving wearing Suzannah's elegant pale blue coat

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