To me, the Pride of Britain Awards has always been very much about the real heroes in our lives. Hearing stories about some of their selfless acts is very humbling and makes you really take a look at yourself, reflect, and reprioritize.
In this instance, I decided I would join the campaign for #StyleRepeats –– introduced by the wonderful Arianna Huffington to encourage people to wear the same outfit more than once. It’s a simple idea, but one that is only just beginning to become acceptable. For example, celebrities such as Kate Middleton have started repeating their outfits in the spotlight, and it inspired me to do the same for this year’s awards.
I think it’s at an incredible example, but to be honest, I had never really considered doing it myself. I have always been of the mindset that dressing up in a new frock, wearing amazing diamonds lent to me by a fabulous jewelry company, having pictures on the red carpet and feeling my best was all part of a fun evening out.
So why would I ever want to wear the same dress twice?
It once would have been a no-no in most celebrity magazines, and fashion editors would once have turned their noses up. But thankfully, the tides and times are changing.
As I traipsed upstairs to my dressing room, I suddenly felt as excited as I would, had my stylist come round with a rail of incredible dresses to borrow for the night.
Instead I opened my own closet from 12 years of Britain’s Got Talent, other TV shows and previous high profile red carpet appearances. It sounds pretentious, but it was so wonderful sliding through the hangers and recalling some of the fantastic laughs, outrageous conversations and drunken evenings I’d spent in such a glittering array of beautifully created gowns!
One dress literally sang to me from the darkness of my wardrobe –– my bought and paid for beautiful, perfectly coutured dark navy, silk Zac Posen. I’d worn it last in 2012! It was probably the least practical thing I could have worn in the circumstances! I was at a ball held in honor of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, for which I am an ambassador. I smiled to myself as I remembered the dozens of four legged friends I’d cuddled that evening, some of the accidents that they’d had on me and some of which I had trodden in! I considered the dress a living piece of art and I could honestly say that evening I’d lived in it!
It was the perfect choice to take up the red carpet again. It still stands as a timeless and beautiful piece, as do all his designs. I recently watched an amazing documentary about Posen’s rise and fall and rise again, called House of Z on Netflix. Then, unbelievably, I had the pleasure of afternoon tea with him this year before he popped off to help Eugenie into that unforgettable oyster pink gown that she wore on the second of her three-day wedding celebrations, so for me, it all felt very much like fate that I had the opportunity to showcase, once again, this very humble genius’ work.
My #StyleRepeats moment is about celebrating others, and celebrating ourselves. The evening itself is about real people, and we are there to celebrate them. To be honest, I feel even more confident six years after the original wear. I will strut down that carpet with my head held high. I hope that people will see me in the dress I have worn prior, and think, “If she can do it, so can I.”
There will be loads of people viewing the dress for the first time –– so it’s a win-win all round! Plus, the fee I would normally pay to my stylist will instead go to a charity of my choice, which is #Theoshope… And you can read more about the great work they do at www.Tommys.org
The supremely talented stylist Elizabeth Stewart in LA once pointed out that we all go back to museums to view the same works of art. We don’t expect new masterpieces, so why not do the same with great pieces of fashion?!
Love A xxx