Kate Middleton Shows Celebrities How It's Done On The Baftas Red Carpet

The Duchess of Cambridge demonstrated a lesson in sustainable fashion as she embraced the award ceremony's new 'green' dress code


The Duchess of Cambridge wears an Alexander McQueen gown she first wore in 2012 at the 2020 Baftas. Photo / Getty Images

For all the celebrities who have referenced climate change in their speeches at the seemingly endless string of awards shows this month, very few have turned their points into actions. Aside from the obvious ignorances, like taking private jets from one big do to the next, it’s a shun that is particularly evident in what people are choosing to wear.

SEE: The Coolest Looks From The BAFTAs 2020 Red Carpet

The majority of stars (aside from Joaquin Phoenix, who has dutifully worn the same Stella McCartney suit to every party, and Jennifer Aniston who wore a vintage Dior gown at the SAG awards) have worn brand new outfits to every event. Dresses have been specially made and flown half way around the world for some to wear for one night only in Hollywood. It has been a case of all style and no substance, truly.

However, the authorities at BAFTA decided to set a new standard, adding to the existing black tie dress code and decreeing that all attendees this year must wear something with ‘green’ credentials. This can be a new dress or suit, made by a sustainable fashion brand, a vintage or second hand outfit, or simply an outfit which the owner has worn before.

Every invitee was given a guide, created by the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainability, briefing them on the change to the rules, explaining that “The ‘Red Carpet’ is a powerful platform. Our clothes speak volumes about who we are and what we stand for.”

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The night’s guest of honour, the Duchess of Cambridge, was one who likely had no qualms whatsoever about the new dressing rules. She is perhaps the most prolific re-wearer of clothes in the public eye. It’s a statement that, on the surface, seems ridiculous; we, the fashion press, point out over and over again that she is wearing her clothes again, just as any normal person does.

But in the context of the other women and men present on the BAFTA 2020 red carpet, the importance of this point was even more obvious. Here, she was surrounded by very high profile stars with the same ‘platform’, none of whom would typically think twice about commissioning a new frock for every single event they attend. Among them, she looked like the most honest figurehead and potential influencer for the entire sustainable fashion movement, without ever even having to open her mouth on the subject. Compared to the company she was in tonight, she was Greta Thunberg.

Kate re-wore an Alexander McQueen dress which she had first worn on tour in Malaysia in 2012. Her fan clubs on Twitter and Instagram had been placing bets as to which of her evening gowns she might pull out for the occasion; few had predicted that she might still have this gold embroidered dress in her wardrobe.

As for the rest of the celebrities, very few seemed to even try to pretend that their dresses were eco-friendly. There was Margot Robbie, for one example, in Chanel spring 2020 couture or Charlize Theron, for another, in fresh-off-the-catwalk Dior. Perhaps their versions were made from scrap fabrics on the atelier floors, their people might argue.

READ: The Latest Way To Buy Conscious Clothing In New Zealand

Might the stars in attendance all have learned anything at all from this eco-fashion lesson? Might they take any element of the concept through with them to the Oscars next weekend?

Or might they all have more new dresses already on order, with big-money deals in place to promote certain non-sustainable fashion brands on the biggest ‘platform’ in all of Hollywood? I know which version of events I would put my money on...

— The Daily Telegraph

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