THE KATE EFFECT: It’s a major moment for Edeline Lee, whose forest green dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore as she handed the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Saul Nash on Wednesday.
The belted dress, with its high neck, ties on the sleeve and fit-and-flare skirt, certainly had laptops, and mobiles, buzzing.
Data analysts at the fashion marketplace Lovethesales.com said there was a 113 percent surge in searches for “belted dresses” compared to the hour prior to the duchess’ arrival at The Design Museum for the event hosted by the British Fashion Council.
The data analysts also said there was a 31 percent uptick in searches for “Edeline Lee” just after Kate Middleton made her appearance.
Even after 11 years of marriage, hundreds of public appearances, and formidable style competition from her sister-in-law Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Cambridge can still make waves with her wardrobe choices.
Middleton isn’t the first celebrity to don Edeline Lee. Her designs have been worn by Olivia Colman, Gemma Chan, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alicia Vikander, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding and Solange Knowles.
Earlier this year Lee, whose collections already sell at stores including Stanley Korshak and Fenwick, opened her first space at Harrods, near labels including Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, Chloé and Roksanda.
Lee declined to comment on the Duchess’ outing, but the dress, handmade in England from a pebble-textured fabric, is still for sale on the website, priced at 785 pounds.
Lee, who graduated from Central Saint Martins and is based in east London, has always made it her mission to design comfortable clothes that can work throughout the day. Most of her fabrics resist wrinkling so that women “can function at a high level” in the clothes, according to the designer.
Although she sources many of those fabrics in Italy, all the production is in the U.K., and much of it is in London factories.
After working with the late Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Zac Posen and designing for private clients, Lee unveiled a debut clothing collection in 2011, and founded her own label in 2014.
That very first collection featured lots of pleated silk and hand-stitching, and took its cues from Madame Grès and the pre-Modernist architect and designer Josef Hoffmann. It included French tweeds and hammered silk for dresses, sustainable wool jersey and hand-pleated silk jersey for sleeveless blouses.
“I want to make things for the women I know, things that are elegant, precise, and cover a woman’s body in the right way,” Lee told WWD in 2011.
For her fall/winter 2022 collection Lee said she rethought some of her early styles from her student days at Central Saint Martins. There were long, stretchy skirts and dresses done in her signature “bubble” jacquard (just like Middleton’s forest green dress); recycled cashmere coats, and an elegant black crepe dress with a V-neck and pleats.
The designer has also said that she designs with her concept of the “future lady” in mind.
“Female identity is in flux in our generation: modern women live hectic, collaged lives,” said Lee. “Women now are more beautiful, more powerful, more free, stronger, more aware, more capable than any other time in history. What is it to dress with true power, grace, beauty and dignity in today’s world?”
Now, she’s not only dressing that “future lady,” but the future queen of England. — SAMANTHA CONTI
After responding to the urgent appeal launched by UNHCR to support the people and families forced to flee Ukraine under the Russian attack in early March, the group and the foundation, which welcomed around 440 refugees, are assessing their professional background.
They expect to onboard 20 women aged 20 to 45 who are eligible and have temporary stay visas, who will be offered training and internships before signing long-term contracts with the group and its brands. They will be employed across divisions, including accounting, sales, design studios, graphic departments and more.
The OTB Group is also reaching out to other Italy-based businesses to offer more job positions.
“Since the early days in March, the OTB Foundation has actively contributed to concretely and rapidly help people affected by terrible circumstances, especially women and children,” said Renzo Rosso, founder and chairman of the OTB Group.
“The refugees welcomed so far received assistance, first aid, health care, necessity goods, and a shelter. But that is not enough. We have to look at the future, and especially to the social integration employment can offer. Our commitment is aimed not only at subsistence, but it also contributes to securing dignity to underprivileged people, and that comes from economic independence, too,” he added.
Since the beginning of the conflict, the OTB Foundation has provided the country with medicines, first-aid kits and necessity goods, shuttling back Ukrainian women and children. It also made sure that refugees could take COVID-19 tests and be vaccinated and helped them find accommodation in private houses or residences.
The charity arm of the OTB group, the parent company of brands including Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander and Viktor & Rolf, has supported about 300 international projects focused on social development with an impact on the lives of 300,000 people. — MARTINO CARRERA
The reality TV star-turned-entrepreneur was the most-searched female celebrity at the Met Gala in the three days since the event, according to a report from Google. Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala look was arguably her most iconic, as she wore the same vintage Jean Louis and Bob Mackie-designed dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Kardashian was the last celebrity to walk the Met Gala red carpet, showing off the vintage dress and her new platinum hairstyle alongside boyfriend Pete Davidson.
The second most-searched Met Gala female celebrity was Blake Lively, who co-chaired the event and made her return to the event after a four-year absence. Lively used her Met Gala red carpet look to celebrate New York architecture and landmarks, wearing a custom copper Versace dress decorated with crystals, metallic leather, sequins and an oversize bow.
After walking up the Met steps, Lively’s bow was untied to reveal a new dress, this time a copper-to-blue green ombré gown with crystal embellishments. Overall, Lively’s look paid homage to landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal.
Lively is followed in Google’s ranking by Kylie Jenner, who paid homage to late designer Virgil Abloh by wearing a custom Off-White wedding gown inspired by a similar style presented in the brand’s fall 2022 collection, which was one of Abloh’s last designs for the brand. Dubbed the “Poetry Dress,” Jenner’s gown featured a handmade bustier, ruffled organza skirt and spray-painted graffiti detailing. She paired the look with a white baseball cap featuring a mesh white veil.
Billie Eilish was the next female celebrity on Google’s ranking, resonating with fans for her Regencycore-inspired custom Gucci look. Eilish’s gown was created with an upcycled ivory and duchesse satin corset, green lace underlay sleeves and an ivory bustle skirt.
Rounding out Google’s top five ranking is Kendall Jenner, who wore a custom Prada black tulle top with net embroidered overlay and a black voluminous double silk satin skirt.
Google’s report also detailed the top five men who topped searches following the Met Gala. In first place is Bad Bunny, who made his Met Gala debut wearing a cream-colored boilersuit from Burberry.
Bad Bunny was followed by Jared Leto, who attended alongside Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele wearing matching custom ivory silk suits. Leto’s high-ranking can also be attributed to spectators initially mistaking him for Swedish creative director Fredrik Robertsson, who had an uncanny resemblance to the Oscar-winning actor.
Leto was followed by Sebastian Stan, who wore a casual hot pink look from Valentino’s fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection, and Shawn Mendes, who wore a custom Tommy Hilfiger violet and burgundy coat over a navy suit.
The male celebrities ranking was rounded out by “Elvis” actor Austin Butler, who wore a custom Prada mohair bolero jacket and trousers with a black satin scarf. He posed on the red carpet alongside Priscilla Presley, who was also dressed in Prada.
Google’s report also indicated which designers were the most-searched after the Met Gala. The list includes Donatella Versace, Tom Ford, Iris Van Herpen, Louis Vuitton and Moschino. — LAYLA ILCHI