Fashion designer drama, in general, is very stupid. Usually itâs Karl Lagerfeld saying something horrific about plus-size women or Muslim migrants, or the creative director of Vetements calling reports about its poor sales âwannabe journalism.â Unlike most instances, however, this one involves a posh, royally beloved designer who isnât often quoted in tabloids for saying rude things about famous people, and it sure is messy. Letâs dive in!
Due to a gossip column in the Daily Mail last week, Emilia Wickstead has been under fire for not only criticizing Meghan Markleâs wedding dress and âmessy bunâ hairstyle but claiming that the house of Givenchy copied one of her designs. And then thereâs the latest intel: The fashion knockoff watchdogs Diet Prada have accused Wickstead of doing the very same thing.
But first, the basics:
Emilia Wickstead is a London-based, New Zealand-born fashion designer known for pretty, feminine dresses, often in pastel shades. Though certainly not all of her designs are particularly modest, sheâs a favorite of Kate Middleton and her designs have also been worn by Markle.
Though Wickstead was named as a possible designer of the royal wedding dress, that job ultimately went to Clare Waight Keller and the house of Givenchy, who created Markleâs minimalist, six-seam gown with a boat neck and three-quarter sleeves.
That may be why, according to the Daily Mail last week, Wickstead expressed some saltiness about the dress the now-Duchess of Sussex went with. âHer dress is identical to one of our dresses,â Wickstead reportedly said. âApparently a lot of commenters were saying, âItâs an Emilia Wickstead dress.ââ
She also criticized the fit of the Givenchy dress (âIf you choose a simple design the fit should be perfect. Her wedding dress was quite loose.â) as well as Markleâs tendrils (âI was like, âHold the wisps [of her hair] back â itâs a Royal Wedding for Godâs sake.ââ). Yikes!
Indeed, it seems like a very bad idea for a designer with a relationship with the wife of the future king of the British Commonwealth to publicly criticize not only a royal bride but a fellow fashion designer as well.
So itâs no surprise that over the weekend, Wickstead posted a statement to her Instagram expressing that she was âextremely saddened by commentary that has appeared in the press and on-line over the past few days,â adding that she had the âutmost admiration and respectâ for Markle and that the bride looked âabsolutely beautiful.â
She also said she did not believe Markleâs dress was a copy of her own, and that Clare Waight Keller and Givenchy was âa huge source of inspiration to me.â
Plus, thereâs always the fact that the Daily Mail isnât exactly the most trusted source on royal wedding gossip (remember that âexclusiveâ look at Markleâs âheavily beadedâ Ralph & Russo wedding dress?) The comments appeared in the gossip column of journalist Sebastian Shakespeare (a real name!), just above a story about the wife of Prince Philipâs godson wearing a ÂŁ541 oversize hat to protect her infant from the sun.
Ah, yes: Though one would assume that once Wickstead claimed she never criticized anyoneâs dress or hair or tailoring, the drama would fade away into the annals of St. Georgeâs Chapel â it didnât!
On Monday, Diet Prada, the Instagram watchdogs of fashion knockoffs, posted a side-by-side image of a pastel pink dress from Wicksteadâs spring 2018 collection and a blazer from a 1950s collection by French designer Jacques Fath.
âSo, according to @emiliawickstead … itâs apparently not possible for other designers to reference vintage archives (even of the legacy houses theyâre employed by), but itâs totally cool for her to do so herself,â the caption read.
It continued: âHere, Wickstead swipes an ultra-specific box-pleated bust cupped brassiere/bow adorned tailoring detail for her SS18 collection from a 1950s Jacques Fath look. Shall we say, lesson learned? Lolâ
Wickstead has not yet responded, but itâs safe to assume that like all the best, messiest drama in the celebrity-adjacent fashion world, itâll probably happen on Instagram.