Bruce Oldfield is one of Britain’s most celebrated couturiers. He has dressed stars from Princess Diana to Kim Kardashian, curating an unmatched clientele.
Oldfield was born in Ripton, northeast England on July 14, 1950. At birth, he was taken to the children’s charity Barnardo’s and placed in foster care until the age of 13, subsequently moving to another children’s home until he turned 18. He grew up with a plethora of foster siblings. His foster mother, a seamstress, sparked his interest in fashion design. Oldfield applied for art school, studying at St Martins School of Art, subsequently landing a job at Henri Bendel in New York.
Returning to London, he began to dress actress Charlotte Rampling. She asked him to design the costumes for her film 1974 Le Taxi Mauve. By 1990 he had been awarded an OBE for his services for the British fashion industry and also received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Art.
Bruce Oldfield's relationship with royalty
Not only has Oldfield maintained a close acquaintance with Queen Camilla, but he also designed garments for the late Princess Diana while she was married to then Prince Charles. The duo first met in 1981, when Vogue were curating a wardrobe for the young royal-to-be. The magazine selected some of Oldfield's designs for Diana's inventory, a handful of which she subsequently ordered – marking the beginning of her friendship with the couturier.
Upon Princess Diana's withdrawal from royal life, Queen Camilla, then the Duchess of Cornwall, took over as patron of Barnardo's. Naturally, the two mingled through the Barnardo's connection, and formed a friendship that would last over a decade. The VIP designer has been open about his affection for the royal and the two are known to get on exceedingly well.
Oldfield has curated outfits for Camilla on several occasions, spanning glamorous fashion shows and Hollywood film premieres. Oldfield's latest creation for Camilla materialised in the form of her coronation gown. The gown featured intricate, personal details including the four flower emblems of the UK, along with the names of her children, grandchildren and depictions of her beloved pet dogs, Beth and Bluebell.
He also designed for the royal a sky blue gown boasting refined beaded embellishments and sheer long sleeves, worn to attend the premiere of No Time To Die in September 2021.