Why Meghan Markle's Brandon Maxwell Dress Is a Major Break From Her Style Norms

It’s the first time since her wedding she's worn a male designer.

Meghan Markle broke away from two style norms while attending the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception in London on Thursday. First, she wore yellow, despite her recent penchant for muted pastels. She might have been inspired by Amal Clooney, who wore a similar pop of yellow during the royal wedding.

Second, she wore Brandon Maxwell, which makes this the first time she has worn a male designer to an official event since her wedding day. Maxwell, an American designer and stylist, is known for dressing celebrities like Lady Gaga and Blake Lively, and the sleeveless sheath originally retails for $1,495.

The Duchess of Sussex has made no official pronouncements about her support for female designers, but she is letting her choices do the talking. Markle is a vocal champion of women. Her views are even quoted on her official royal family web page, which reads, “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.” So it should come as no surprise that the Duchess of Sussex is making feminist decisions now that she’s a royal.

Hello! magazine notes that ever since her wedding day and up until today, Meghan’s outfits have come from female-fronted design houses—without exception. And that started with her wedding gown, designed by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy, and her reception dress, designed by Stella McCartney. (Plus, the florist and cake baker for her wedding to Prince Harry were also women.)

In her first public appearance after the wedding, the Duchess of Sussex wore a dress by Goat, a brand run by Jane Lewis, for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday celebration, and then a Carolina Herrera off-the-shoulder dress for the Trooping of the Colour.

She opted for Givenchy again when she went for her first solo outing alongside the Queen, which may have been one of her most important royal duties yet. And Givenchy was once more the designer for her first outing to the Royal Ascot horse races.


For the Queen’s Young Leader Awards, she opted for Prada, which is helmed by Miuccia Prada.

Though Markle's clothing does send a strong feminist message, it also costs a pretty penny. To date, royal experts estimate the looks she’s worn could cost a whopping $1 million, which would be paid for by the royal family.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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