I always imagined that if I had the bank account and clout of a well-known celebrity, I’d want to wear vintage fashion as much as possible. It seems that Meghan Markle feels the same. Since February alone, the Duchess of Sussex has worn no less than three vintage coats, the most recent this past weekend at Lena Tindall’s christening. At that outing, she wore a 1950s Dior coat, a deep red with statement buttons. Last month, at the heavily-talked-about New York baby shower, Markle stepped out in a 1965 Courrèges coat and the first sighting was a 1960s wool coat in Bristol at the beginning of February.
Vintage fashion always has someplace in the zeitgeist, but it often ebbs and flows in popularity. Perhaps we’re on the precipice on one of those flowing moments as one of the most talked-about women in the world is increasingly stepping out in vintage pieces.
While it’s somewhat of a departure from what we had come to expect from her, it’s not that surprising that Markle has turned to these vintage pieces. All three are from London-based vintage shop William Vintageand Markle’s friend Amal Clooney has been a client for several years. In fact, just days before Markle stepped out in the Dior coat, Clooney wore a 2007 Jean-Louis Scherrer piece from William Vintage to a celebration of the Prince’s Trust at Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps vintage is a way for Markle to make a unique mark. There are countless Instagram accounts and blogs dedicated to copying both her and the Duchess of Cambridge’s style. Like Kate Middleton, often what she wears sells out in minutes, so perhaps it’s a way of distinguishing herself and avoiding the Markle effect. William Banks-Blaney, owner of William Vintage, told The Telegraph in 2016, “There’s this thing now where you really desire something but there are 150,000 of them in the world so it seems like everyone has one and then you get sick of it within six months, and everyone recognizes it as the last season thing.” Perhaps this is her way of curtailing this.
Perhaps she took note of the attention her friend Janina Gavankargot for her 1940s vintage dress she wore to the Royal Wedding last May.
Perhaps it’s a way of being eco-conscious by wearing used clothing. It’s not exactly shopping at the thrift store, but maybe it’s the affluent equivalent.
Whatever the reason, we sincerely hope Markle and Clooney, and any other celebrity, continues this vintage fashion moment. There are so many beautiful designs that have been forgotten over time that deserve another moment in the spotlight.