Stella McCartney reveals the quality she shares with Meghan Markle and how they became friends

By Meaghan Wray

Stella McCartney has been a fixture in the fashion world for years, making a name for herself as one of the first high-end vegan and sustainable designers in the business. So when Meghan Markle began donning her designs – like her stunning CA$100,000 halter-neck reception gown – it made perfect sense. After all, her new friend Stella’s ethics perfectly align with some of the causes closest to her heart. But Meghan’s choice of dress was more than skin deep, the 46-year-old explained to ELLE.

Meghan dazzled in her after-party dress. Photo: © Getty Images

The designer opened up about the experience of dressing the duchess: “I think Meghan chose me for reasons other than just a beautiful dress – plenty of people can do that. She is not a difficult client to make look beautiful. Amal called me and asked me to do it, as did Oprah. I look at that Amal dress and it is made of sustainable viscose that took us three years to develop. And I think, obviously I am a British designer, but I think being a woman and being a women’s woman played a part. They are all women’s women. It’s a big deal.”

It is a big deal – as a newly minted royal, Meghan knows how important and expressive her outfit choices can be. Even before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot, the 37-year-old was wearing Stella’s threads. “[Meghan] approached me and we worked on other things. She wore other pieces of mine and we had a friendship,” Stella explained. Back in January, the former actress wore an elegant black coat in Wales , and a few months later stunned in the most elegant cape dress for the Queen ’s birthday celebrations. “And then she asked me to do her second wedding dress,” Stella added of the sexy yet elegant take on a bridal look that had royal watchers going wild. “I was honoured and still am.”

The duchess is a big fan of Stella's designs. Photo: © Getty Images

While the dress that saw the duchess say “I do” – her jaw-dropping Givenchy by Clare Waight Kellar creation – was on the more demure side, her after-party gown definitely showed off her joyful personality. This is exactly what the British designer had in mind. “The role that she’s taken on is very austere. It’s very serious and I think there’s a great weight that she has acquired through that and she takes it very seriously,” she explained. “It was the last moment that she could reflect sort of the other side to her… The joy and the human within her.” Now other brides can share in the joy, as well – black and white versions of her gown (CA$5,889) have hit the racks as part of the designer’s collection called Made with Love .

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