The iconic black Giorgio Armani dress worn by the Duchess of Sussex for her March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey has been announced as the 2021 Dress of the Year by the United Kingdom’s Fashion Museum Bath.
The triple silk georgette dress, with a deep front and a lotus flower embroidery, retails for $4,700 and the museum has already placed the dress on display as the final item in an exhibition called “A History of Fashion in 100 Objects.”
Even though it is not the actual dress Meghan Markle wore, the designer donated a version of the look for the display, according to Fashion Museum Bath. The museum said in a statement that members of the Royal family often use outfits to send a message through their choice of style, color or motif.
The Duchess reportedly chose a dress with a lotus flower design because of the flower’s “symbolic association with rebirth, self-regeneration and spiritual enlightenment, and its ability to flourish despite seemingly challenging conditions,” the museum said.
Every year, the museum asks leaders in the fashion world to choose a Dress of the Year that “encapsulates the prevailing mood of fashion, represents the past year, and captures the imagination,” the museum’s statement said.
Meghan’s dress was chosen by Dazed magazine’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Kamara and its art director Gareth Wrighton. “Meghan’s wrap dress by Armani, worn to showcase a divine pregnancy, framed the Duchess in black against the bountiful landscaping of Tyler Perry’s Hollywood garden. This look now, through sheer association with a viral television moment, is firmly ingrained in our pop culture psyche,” they said in a statement.
The two added that in today’s hyper-stylised pop culture, the Dress of the Year now has the potential to also be ‘meme of the year’ and “we both latched upon Meghan and Harry’s now iconic interview with Oprah as the definitive anti-establishment moment that will forever endure in the British collective consciousness.”
Last year, Meghan and Prince Harry engaged in an extraordinary interview with Winfrey where they spoke about their lives inside the palace, including making bombshell revelations about racism within the royal family.
The interview, which dominated international news coverage for days, attracted a blockbuster audience when it was aired in the UK via ITV. It first aired on CBS and attracted some 17 million audiences, according to the Washington Post.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, sold the interview right to CBS for a reported fee of between $7 million and $9 million. In the UK, the interview reportedly cost ITV £1million ($1.3m) to secure.