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King Charles Hosts a Fashion Show

WorldEuropeKing Charles Hosts a Fashion Show


It’s time to put to bed rumors that King Charles III has died, speculation that has surely been fueled by his recent cancer diagnosis and by the fumbled communications about Catherine, Princess of Wales, as she recovers from a surgery in January. According to Buckingham Palace, the king is alive — and seemingly healthy enough to host a fashion show.

On Saturday, an exhibition of garments made as part of a collaboration between Charles and the designers Vin Cara and Omi Ong, who go by Vin + Omi, opens at Sandringham Estate, the royal family’s private property in Norfolk County, England.

The designers created the clothing in the exhibition, “Royal Garden Waste to Fashion’s Future,” using detritus from gardens at Sandringham and at Highgrove House, Charles’s private residence in Gloucester. Mr. Cara and Mr. Ong have been collaborating with Charles, an avid gardener and longtime champion of healthy urbanism and sustainability, since 2018, when he suggested at a gala dinner that they could use discarded nettle from Highgrove as material for a collection they were showing in London.

Mr. Cara and Mr. Ong, whose fans are said to include Kate Moss, Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, have since forged relationships with gardeners at the royal estates. But Charles’s personal involvement in the partnership has continued unabated.

“The king is constantly suggesting new projects and ideas,” Mr. Cara said in an interview. He recalled how Charles, after strolling the grounds at Castle Mey, a former royal residence in Scotland, sent them a supply of bog cotton found on the property, which the designers used to fashion frocks. “We now have free rein to experiment with any waste material from his estates,” Mr. Cara said.

That freedom has spawned a number of innovations showcased in the “Royal Garden Waste” exhibition, on through October 11. Among them are a slender gown made of willow cellulose with a print created using oak tree galls and other natural materials from Highgrove; a slinky halter evening dress knitted from willow and hydrangea cellulose, also sourced from that estate; and a floor-length sheath constructed with butterbur, a plant that proliferates along the lake at Sandringham.

Isaac Mizrahi has a request: Don’t box him in. Since closing his first namesake fashion business in the late 1990s, the designer has juggled pursuits as a QVC merchant, stand-up comic, podcaster, nightclub crooner and occasional actor.

Too much, it seems, has never been enough for Mr. Mizrahi, 62, who recently redoubled his focus on fashion, his first and most enduring love. “Most people associate me with clothes,” he said in an interview this week, not long after revealing a spirited new collection on social media.

The line’s tidy gingham jackets and mini skirts; garden-fresh shirt dresses and A-line shifts; flared and cropped trousers; and mariner T-shirts and polo tops all encapsulate the kicky, uncluttered aesthetic upon which Mr. Mizrahi made his name. It also includes accessories like stud earrings and aviator sunglasses, which, along with the clothes, will at first be sold exclusively through the designer’s website.

Mr. Mizrahi said that the clothing, priced from about $50 to $150, is “more contemporary than anything I do at the moment.” Indeed, the items are distinctly more youthful than those he sells on QVC, and their aesthetic happens to chime with a midcentury influence that has recently resurfaced on the runways of pace-setting designers like Marc Jacobs and Hedi Slimane of Celine.

But Mr. Mizrahi, a child of the ’60s, insisted that his line “isn’t mired in trends.” To him, the pieces — which were influenced by the wardrobes of women like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Mary Tyler Moore, both of his mother’s generation — have more of a timeless quality.

“These clothes are never going to be anything by classic,” he said.





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