Designer Diaries – Bruce Oldfield and the Queen Consort

Hofdame Note: We have covered Mr. Oldfield’s design career in a previous Designer Diaries post, which you can read here.

Next week, the President of South Africa will be in the UK for the first state visit of the reign of King Charles III. The agenda includes a State Banquet on Tuesday, and so many sartorial questions abound. Tomorrow we will have a jewel post where we can speculate on the possibilities of new-to-us tiaras showing up, or at least a little switching up of tiaras.

Today, however, we are going to take a look at the Queen Consort’s go-to designer of gala gowns, Bruce Oldfield. There is no guarantee she will wear either a new or old Oldfield gown for this event, but it’s as good a guess as any. There is no guarantee that she will wear a white gown, either, even though that has been her practice at state visits for the past few years.

Note: We don’t have time to squeeze in a similar post about the Princess of Wales, but if you want to speculate on what designer she may choose for the banquet, please feel free to do so in the comments.

2015 Visit to the U.S.

The designer threw everything but the kitchen sink at this gown. It has sparkles, a wide cummerbund, a sheer bodice over a shiny underlay, and a chiffon cape. In my opinion, it wasn’t the finest hour of their collaboration.

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2015 State Opening of Parliament

The same year, the designer took a different approach and designed a structured white gown with an embroidered top layer over a white under-skirt (which may or may not be a full coat over a gown). This grand number seems to have been a favorite of Camilla’s since it’s found its way into her closet for re-wears.

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So good she repeated it the next year!

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2016 British Asian Trust

This design landed during the peak lace years. This heavily embellished gown in navy featured a v-neck that was perfect for necklace display.

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2019 U.S. State Visit

This is another entry into the white gala gown wardrobe, also destined for the re-wear corner of the closet. The giant cummerbund is back in evidence, in this case paired with a flowing skirt with a slight train. The bodice features a wide, open neckline.

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2021 No Time to Die Premiere

This very sparkly event brought out the Elsa in the then-Duchess of Cornwall. The light blue gown features embellishment that goes from heavy to light as you move down from the neckline to the hem.

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