I thought that it was poignant to end the year and start the new one with an article on the British royals and their contribution to the world of luxury and fashion. Earlier in the year I wrote about Queen Elizabeth II, and her association with Launer handbags. King Charles III, whilst not associated with any specific luxury houses, is regarded in sartorial circles as one of the world’s best dressed men.
Launer, established in 1940, would have appealed to the young Queen Elizabeth II as a contemporary luxury house that she could call her own. Only 150 Launer bags are made each year. Each one takes eight hours to construct, hand made from start to finish by a single craftsman. During her reign, the Queen had accumulated around 200 bags mostly made to her specifications. Each of them were top-handle bags with especially elongated handles so that she could comfortably wear them on her arm, allowing easy access to their contents whilst allowing her to shake hands with guests and dignitaries with ease. Additional features of the Queen’s Launer handbags included a mirror, sometimes an extra zip pocket on the back, and always an inner coin purse. So much for the rumour that the Royals never carry money.
While most of us have grown up with King Charles III, it may not have been obvious that Charles had created a style of his own, be it very British, from a very young age. Charles, who is an avid environmentalist, steered clear of being associated with luxury fashion and has always maintained a true British sartorial look.
Dressed by Anderson and Shepard as well as Gieves and Hawke, Charles accessorises with his own subtle flair, creating a distinctive look. With true elegance, a flower is worn in the buttonhole of his lapel. King Charles III always wears mono-colours in both suiting and shirts. The shirts may feature a subtle pattern, but he is never seen in plaids or loud stripes. Double cuffs are de rigueur, naturally with complementing cufflinks. Colour is added in his accessories, such as pocket squares and ties, which are often described as ‘cheerful’. His shoes and bespoke lasts are made by Tricker’s, who have held the Royal Warrant since 1989. Without exaggeration, Charles is dressed fittingly for a King, with the image of a nation placed firmly on his shoulders.
Both the late Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III have demonstrated personal flair in their timeless style and typically British looks; the Queen with her famous Launer accessories and the King with his impeccable dressing style.
JOHN D’AGATA / Head of Luxury
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