Queen Sofia has always been a fan of haute couture and fancy fabrics. She’s considered one of the most elegant women in Spain and I strongly believe that she would’ve been a trendsetter and a famous influencer if Instagram had been a thing when she was younger.
She’s been dressed by many great names of the Spanish fashion industry like Toni Benítez, Elío Berhanyer, Pertegaz or Pedro Rodríguez, but she’s always had a main dressmaker she’s favoured, a trusted designer who was in charge of creating “the work uniform.”
Margarita Nuez, who was born in Teruel in 1940 but moved to Cataluña when she was a baby, was already a well-known designer among high society ladies when Queen Sofia noticed her. She opened her first atelier in Barcelona in 1969 and her first store in 1973, she was a regular participant in fashion shows both in Madrid and Barcelona through the years. She has curated exhibitions about our fashion history in Spain and in Japan. She’s been a close friend of Queen Sofía for 25 years, she’s invited to her birthday celebrations usually, and King Juan Carlos gave her the degree of Commander of the Order of Isabel la Católica in 2008 for her service to the Queen.
It was at the beginning of the 90s when Margarita Nuez got a phone call in her atelier: “Get ready, the Queen will be there in 20 minutes.” And that’s how everything started… Obviously, she almost freaked out because she didn’t have enough sketches to show her but they connected immediately, fortunately, and worked fast together once the designer understood what they Queen wanted and needed. She’s said: “Queen Sofia is elegant, sober, confident and knows her place perfectly. She leaves no room for improvisation, we couldn’t change a simple pleat. I used to design one collection each season and, if she liked an outfit, it was set aside immediately for her, she used to come to my atelier in Barcelona but I travelled to Madrid frequently too.”
The first memorable outfit was the jacket and skirt made of silk ottoman, with a navy blue top and shoes matching. Margarita Nuez designed it in 1994 and the Queen wore to pose for the famous painter Antonio López. She’s always trusted her dressmaker for the most important occasions like the wedding of Infanta Cristina in 1997, when she wore a soft pink midi skirt. The jacket had satin lapels and she chose lavender accessories. In 2004 when she was the proud mother of the groom with a long dress in pearl coloured satin. Some magazines called it champagne coloured, with an embroidery work around the waist and matching accessories that contrasted with the emerald jewels.
The Queen is a fan of wearing Nuez for weddings. She is shown at Crown Prince Frederik’s wedding, wearing a Nuez design, and at the wedding of Prince William wearing a Nuez gown for the pre-wedding dinner, and a Nuez suit for the ceremony.
Margarita Nuez is 80 years old now and her daughter runs the atelier since she retired. Queen Sofia is still a very good friend of both of them but she’s chosen a new main designer, a young one: Alejandro de Miguel, who has born in Toledo 35 years ago, where he still works in his atelier although he opened his first store in Madrid in 2019. Next week we are back to Queen Letizia, and in two weeks we’ll take a look at de Miguel’s designs for the Queen. Please tune in!