“It was absolutely simple: pure, sculptural, with a wide boatneck, long sleeves and sweeping train. It was Meghan Markle’s wedding dress. It was haute couture by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, a British woman who was the first female designer of the storied French brand. And it was everything people had hoped,” wrote Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times.
The same Clare Waight Keller of ‘the Royal wedding dress’ fame has been twice nominated by the British Fashion Council for the 2018 British Fashion Awards.
Clare is a finalist for British Designer of the Year-Womenswear and International Designer of the Year awards given that she represents Givenchy.
Born in Birmingham, England, on August 19, 1970, Clare received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ravensbourne College of Art and a master’s degree in knitwear from the Royal College of Art in London. Impressed by the strength of her graduate collection, she was snapped up by Calvin Klein as a designer. In New York, she thrived and was soon promoted to designing the brand’s women’s ready-to-wear collection.
In 2005, Clare became the creative director of Pringle of Scotland, the famed brand specialising in cashmere knitwear and holding the royal warrant as manufacturers of knitted garments. In 2007, Clare was named “Designer of the Year” in the cashmere category at the Scottish Fashion Awards. In 2011, she took the helm as creative director at Chloé, where she reinvented a romantic, feminine and radiant design signature for the house that was true to its codes while also being current. In 2017, Clare was appointed as the artistic director at Givenchy, responsible for the brand’s overall global image, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, children’s wear, accessories collections, and of course, haute couture and Meghan Markle’s wedding dress.
Given Clare’s impressive achievements at some of the most prestigious fashion brands, the double British Fashion Awards nominations seem completely justified, and some may argue, overdue. The nominations were announced on October 28 at a press screening at Soho House, London, by Stephanie Phair, Chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC), Nadja Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski executive board and Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council.
The British Designer of the Year Womenswear award “celebrates the womenswear designer who has been instrumental in innovating and leading women’s fashion over the last year, excelling both creatively and commercially and creating an impressive footprint on the global fashion stage.” The International Designer of the Year award “recognises a designer whose innovative collections have made a notable impact on the industry and defined the shape of global fashion,” according to the BFC.
This year’s Awards is scheduled to take place on December 10 at a charity gala at Royal Albert Hall in London.