There was a hidden meaning behind the event’s most popular colour.
Everywhere you looked at the 2019 Remarkable Women Awards there was a sea of women in white.
Keely Hawes, who presented the Icon of the Year award to Annie Lenox, was clad in a fashion-forward white dress with puffy sleeves, which she accessorised with two on-trend crystal clips in her hair.
Vicky McClure, who presented the Glass Ceiling award to Cressida Dick, wore a white pantsuit, complete with gauzy white choker. (“This is the best awards ceremony I have ever been to,” McClure said from the podium.)
Then there was Jodie Comer, recipient of Stylist’s Entertainer of the Year award, who accepted her gong in a sharply tailored white trouser suit that would have made Villanelle proud.
As part of her speech, Comer thanked her stylist Elizabeth Saltzman, who Comer called a remarkable woman who had helped her come into her own when it comes to fashion.
There’s a reason why everyone was wearing white.
Historically, the colour is most associated with the suffragettes. Along with the movement’s other hues, purple and yellow, white become a symbol of the strength, resilience and hope of the women fighting for the vote.
They chose white not because of its connotations of purity and beauty, but because it stood out so clearly at rallies and protests against the scores and scores of men clad in dark suits. Wearing white became a symbol of how women could have their voices heard.
And it’s not just at the 2019 Remarkable Women Awards that women have worn white en masse.
Female democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi wore white to Trump’s State of the Union speech this year in solidary with the suffrage movement. And at the 2019 BAFTAs, suffragette white was worn by everyone from Letitia Wright to Kate Middleton.
The spirit of the suffragettes lives on.
Follow Stylist’s live blog of all the winners, speeches and must-see moments from the Remarkable Women Awards here.
Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.
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