What does one wear to serenade the Queen, her nation and Paddington Bear? It’s a fashion conundrum Celeste had to ponder ahead of the Party at the Palace on 4 June. The British-Jamaican soul singer’s first port of call was Dior, a house synonymous with modern femininity and the classic elegance the occasion called for. Working with creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, she landed on a red pleated dress from the autumn/winter 2022 collection owing to its quiet poeticism. “To me, this dress is the rose petal – the fabric softly reminds you it’s there, but it doesn’t wear me. I feel like myself, it is like perfume on the skin,” says the 28-year-old, who sang Louis Armstrong’s 1960s classic “What A Wonderful World” for her Platinum Jubilee performance.
Celeste’s relationship with Dior goes beyond the pomp and circumstances the royal celebration called for. She performed underneath feminist banners at a post-couture show dinner in 2020 and has long felt an affinity with Chiuri’s vision. When visiting the atelier in February, the pair spent hours talking about theatre, ballet, family and everything in between. “What struck me the most were the parallels that run throughout our lives as career women in the creative industries; women who are challenged to find the balance in art and commerce,” explains Celeste. “Her sheer determination to see her vision through to the end, to be heard with clarity from the inception of her art, not only set me out on a path to find that fight within myself again, it taught me to remove it as a burden and instead replace it as a gift.”