On the Runway
By ELIZABETH PATON
Britain has recently lurched from one constitutional and leadership crisis to the next in the wake of its decision to leave the European Union, with morale further damped by a humiliating loss to Iceland in the European soccer championships.
But he was not the only winner. His wife, Kim Sears, seated in the family box, was herself something of an attention magnet for the duration of the tournament.
A fixture on the sidelines of her husband’s matches for almost a decade (they married in 2015), Ms. Sears has won more admiring glances this year than any other for her strategic choices in courtside attire.
Over the course of Wimbledon, she wore dresses from names like Burberry Brit, Whistles, Beulah London and Ted Baker, and chose a marigold yellow embroidered number — with a price of £2,200 ($2,848) — by Jenny Packham for the championship match on Sunday, later choosing a glittering gold gown, again by Mrs. Packham, for the Champions Dinner several hours later.
The consistent thread? Ms. Sears’s decision to almost exclusively support homegrown British brands and designers, following in the (nude L. K. Bennett pumps-clad) footsteps of another Wimbledon regular, the Duchess of Cambridge, who has long used her clothes to promote the country’s fashion business.
Indeed, the duchess — seated a few rows away from Ms. Sears — had opted for an ivory silk cap-sleeved printed dress by Alexander McQueen on Sunday, having previously worn a sunshine yellow shift by the London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic on Thursday to watch the women’s semifinals.
With a weakening pound, sourcing concerns and uncertainty about new tariffs potentially triggering major challenges for British-based fashion businesses post-“Brexit,” such eye-catching boosts to sales fueled by high-profile British women are more important than ever.
And the move to this kind of diplomatic tradecraft by Ms. Sears — an artist and mother to the couple’s 6-month-old daughter, Sophia — should be applauded; whether they like it or not, tennis spouses are caught by the cameras during a match with far more regularity than their contemporaries in, say, soccer or football, in part because of the size of the crowd but also their proximity to the action for every nail-biting moment. The recognition of the power she has during grand slam events for those two weeks in the limelight each time can only be a good thing.
Not that Ms. Sears hasn’t been aware of her sartorial powers in the past. After being caught swearing in January 2015 while watching Mr. Murray play Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open, she responded by wearing a “parental advisory” T-shirt at his next match. Ace.