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Countess of Wessex hosts fashion event for charity anniversary

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Sophie’s guests included fashion designers BiBi Russell and Christopher Kane, plus-size model Felicity Hayward.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex talks with Felicity Hayward at Buckingham Palace (PA)

The Countess of Wessex hosted high-profile fashionistas at Buckingham Palace to celebrate a fashion charity’s 10th anniversary.

Designers, artists, magazine editors and entrepreneurs were invited on Wednesday night to celebrate 10 years of the London College of Fashion’s Better Lives project.

Sophie, who is patron of the college, looked fashionable herself in a long black skirt with a floral print and a turtleneck jumper as she met guests and spoke about her passion for sustainable and responsible fashion.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, talks with designer BiBi Russell at the Buckingham Palace reception (PA)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, talks with designer BiBi Russell at the Buckingham Palace reception (PA)

The mother-of-two was seen chatting with designer and former model Bibi Russell, plus-size model Felicity Hayward and Vogue online editor Suzy Menkes.

Other guests included Alexander McQueen boss Emmanuel Gintzburger and designers Phoebe English, Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane

In her speech the countess spoke about her commitment to the Better Lives programme, which works with brands to make sustainable fashion and improve diversity and social responsibility in the community.

Sophie, 53, said she was thrilled the college was working with female prisoners, giving them job opportunities such as work as seamstresses.

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“To give female prisoners the chance to come out of prison with a genuine job opportunity is a wonderful thing to do,” she said.

The partnership with HM Prison Service aims to equip women with skills they can further develop during their time in prison and then use on their release.

Sophie also joked: “I can’t claim that my track record in fashion has always been as good as it is today, but you know, we learn in time.”

In 2013 she became the first patron of the London College of Fashion, which is part of the University of the Arts London.

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