Resort 2019: The Duchess’s New Clothes

The Duchess of Sussex wore Oscar de la Renta resort 2019 to a wedding
All photos – click images for full-size views

As I review the 2019 resort collections, which are now underway, I keep thinking of Meghan Markle. It’s almost impossible not to as her images are literally posted all over the internet and staring up at you from magazine covers. Plus, I’ve been seeing pieces that I think would be perfect as she settles into her new life as a Duchess. Meghan was an untraditional, unexpected choice to be Prince Harry’s bride, and her fashion choices should ideally reflect that and be similarly untraditional and unexpected. Not that I expect her to completely break the rules of course, just bend them enough. She can still look aristocratic but tempered with a dose of California cool.

She has already broken protocol in several instances, appearing barely legged at official events (she is supposed to wear stockings). She has not given up wearing trousers or jeans for that matter (they’re just not of the ripped variety). And while she raised some eyebrows at the Trooping the Colours with the pale pink off the shoulder Carolina Herrera dress, that is not why I didn’t care for it. I thought she looked like she was trying too hard, and it looked like something she would wear if she were playing herself in a made for TV movie. The white custom-made Givenchy cape dress, chosen for her first public outing with Queen Elizabeth, was chic and minimal (even if it looked a bit like a straitjacket lol). And she kept nervously fidgeting with her hair (she clearly has to figure that one out!)

But hey, she is still learning the ropes and settling in so there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. And when she attended the wedding of Harry’s cousin Celia McCorquodale to George Woodhouse in Stoke Rochford, England on Saturday, she wore a billowy Oscar de la Renta long sleeved loose wrap-style maxi dress in a blue and white toile-like pattern accessorized with white high heels and a white fascinator (her hair was wisely pulled back in a low bun). It was a rather surprising choice (she doesn’t wear many prints) but it worked on her and shows her range. (See lead photo) The dress was actually from the Oscar de la Renta resort 2019 collection that was presented in New York one month ago. Of course, Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, wore an Oscar de la Renta pistachio hued coat and dress from resort 2019 her daughter’s wedding last month.

Meghan Markle attending the 70th birthday celebration for Prince Charles

Probably my favorite moment, as the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, was when she attended a garden party in honor of Prince Charles’s 70th birthday wearing a simple blush pink long sleeved sheath dress by Goat with that recycled pink Philip Treacy hat, her hair neat and tidy in a low bun.

Meghan obviously has so much potential as a fashion influencer; I just don’t want to see her turn into a Kate Middleton clone (at 5’7” she is about 3 inches shorter than her sister in law). I certainly don’t want her to start looking bourgeois, like the rest of the royals. She is clearly on the right track. Here are some suggestions from resort 2019 that I think would be perfect for updating the Duchess of Sussex’s wardrobe.

Ralph Lauren resort 2019

Recent CFDA honoree Ralph Lauren is synonymous with Great American Sportswear. His focus is on clean, streamlined, timeless, wardrobe staples and impeccable tailoring which is by definition quite aristocratic. This was exemplified by resort 2019, a study in monochromatic blue (navy and baby) and a perfect juxtaposition of day and evening. Among the standouts and Ralph Lauren signatures: the black tuxedo jacket, turtleneck, and chiffon evening skirt.

Ralph Lauren resort 2019 

The navy blazer paired with navy beaded trousers. Any way you look at it, they are right up the Duchess’s alley.

Dior resort 2019 

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s resort collection for Dior had an equestrian theme and nothing is more authentically royal or noble than this ancient sport. I don’t know if Meghan can even ride a horse, but I would love to see her in any number of these impeccably tailored pieces, down to the flat sturdy boots (perfect for England’s often inclement weather).

Dior resort 2019

The new animal printed toile which showed up in a number of incarnations (including a lovely crinolined full skirt), would be perfect on safari with Harry in Africa (admittedly, this is my decidedly romantic, dressed up notion of a safari lol). In addition, Meghan is an avowed feminist and feminism is always at the heart of Chiuri’s collections, so that is right in sync.

Erdem resort 2019

Erdem Moralioglu’s eponymous British label emphasizes couture-level craftsmanship and modern elegance and can best be described as aristocratically quirky, down to the hats and high Elizabethan collars. It’s not surprising that the designer has admittedly been inspired by the royal family, specifically Queen Elizabeth for the spring 2018 collection (he actually researched her wardrobe at Windsor Castle for inspiration).

Erdem resort

Resort is particularly romantic and flowery and flowy, with enough empire waists and trapeze shapes to come into play if or when the Duchess gets pregnant.

Delpozo resort 2019

After a decade of shows in New York, Delpozo’s Josep Font moved his runway presentations to London in February 2018. The Madrid-based creative director, who is a trained architect, is not only a longtime fan of the city but a longtime fan of surprises (he believes that fashion is all about surprises). Wouldn’t it be a delightful surprise to see the Duchess in one of his couture quality and famously unique, eccentric, and colorful designs?

Pringle of Scotland resort 2019

Pringle of Scotland is a heritage brand which is all about knitwear and the use of traditional patterns, done in a way that is sporty yet elegant. I could easily see Meghan wearing the argyle knitted pieces on a trip to Scotland.

Pringle of Scotland resort 2019

The same can be said about the plaid trench and matching pants.

Carolina Herrera resort 2019

Meghan has already worn Carolina Herrera, now designed by Wes Gordon. It is undoubtedly geared for special occasion dressing and considering the Duchess’s busy social schedule which is filled with special occasions, some of these dresses could fit right in. And how great would it be to see Meghan in more color!

Tome resort 2019

Speaking of color, this Kelly green blazer and micro-pleated dress by Tome, designed by Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin would look amazing on the Duchess and how perfect would it be for St. Patrick’s Day?

Victoria Beckham resort 2019

If you love denim, trench coats, and tall boots (as the Duchess does), what could be better than Victoria Beckham’s raw denim tailored trench with matching boots no less?

Giorgio Armani

This season Giorgio Armani focused on tailoring but added an easy sportswear vibe, so the result was a look that was formal and informal, dressed up yet comfy; just the perfect thing for lounging around the castle or palace (whichever one the Duchess finds herself in).

Giorgio Armani resort 2019

And I love everything about this long-sleeved splashy floral chiffon dress with matching clutch and flat pointy-toed mules. And based on what the Duchess has been wearing, I bet she would love it too!

From the moment it was announced that Prince Harry was engaged to Meghan Markle, the world has been transfixed by the biracial American actress, divorcee, and United Nations women’s advocate and she has quickly changed the perception of the royal family; modernizing it, and bringing it into the 21st century. She is beautiful, stylish, and loves fashion.  Whatever she wears (and thus far it’s been a good mix of British, Canadian, American, and French labels at a variety of price points) is instantly photographed and documented and sells out immediately.

Websites like are entirely devoted to her style and she has put some under the radar labels on the map. The website of Canadian brand, Line (, crashed the day she announced her engagement wearing their white wrap coat (it immediately sold out but is now being offered again). She has been heralded as a major fashion influencer and rightly so, even though she doesn’t have the millions of Instagram followers to prove it (she is not allowed to have her own Instagram account).

Fashion Influencer of 2019? Now, that would be a coup for the CFDA if she were to be so honored, and actually attended the award ceremony!

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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