Prince Harry and his wife, the delightful (and newly pregnant) Meghan Markle, are midway through their tour of Australia where she has already been flying the flag for our homegrown designers, in particular Martin Grant.
She looked radiant wearing his brown-and-black-striped cotton maxi dress on Bondi Beach, and she also wore his perfectly cut trench coat on two occasions, in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Duchess of Sussex loves a sheath dress: the neat cream one she wore in Sydney was by Sydney designer Karen Gee
Consumer demand was so great once Meghan was spotted in it, the label’s website inevitably crashed.
But it was the trench coat that really delivered the chic factor. Paris-based Martin Grant is a master of tailoring, and Meghan’s trench hit the mark – slightly pared back and more sleek than a classic trench.
Grant has the wonderful ability to take something very simple and beautiful, like a trench coat or a pair of pants, and add his very elegant twist.
The trench coat is one of fashion’s perennial top-10 essentials, a timeless, iconic piece that will never, ever go out of style. Originally designed for the military, as the word” trench” would suggest, its invention is claimed by two British manufacturers, Aquascutum and Burberry.
It was designed to be a lightweight alternative to the heavy wool greatcoats worn by the British and French soldiers in WWI, double- breasted, with wide lapels, storm flaps, straps that buckle at the wrist (apparently to stop rain from running down the sleeves when a military type was using his binoculars), and shoulder straps that button close.
Like so many items of great menswear, it looks even more spectacular on a woman. I cant see a trench without thinking of a sultry Marlene Dietrich, Charlotte Rampling or a too-elegant-for-words Audrey Hepburn, strolling next to the Seine with Hubert de Givenchy.
A tightly belted trench may be one of the sexiest fashion items ever invented – not a mini trench dress, seen recently on the unspeakably unstylish Kim Kardashian, but a longer length, silk/nylon trench that hints at what’s underneath.
The Parisian women, of course, wear the trench best, over jeans, over skirts, and best of all over evening gowns, so it makes sense that Martin Grant offered up such a perfect specimen. Grant is also the designer of the current Qantas uniforms, which features a beautiful trench coat in French navy.
Seeing Meghan in the trench made me wish we saw more of them in Australia, as they manage to pull together everything and make it look more chic – you could even pop one over your activewear and look more than presentable.
Unfortunately the city trench coat seems to have been replaced by the oversized khaki green parka which is bit drab and depressing.
Let’s celebrate the elegant beige trench, worn with ballet flats or high-heeled pumps, black sunglasses and sexy, undone hair. And thank you Meghan.