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Porter
Incredible Women

8 times that women ruled in 2018

Alongside the countless game-changers featured in PORTER’s 2018 Incredible Women list, we celebrate the women who created the moments that made us want to stand up and cheer. By AJESH PATALAY

PRINCESS BRIDE
The Duchess of Sussex’s veil was embroidered with the national flowers of each of the 53 commonwealth countries

The Royal wedding

A fairy-tale romance. How else to describe the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, latterly the Duke and Duchess of Sussex? From their first date in 2016 to their courtship on a camping trip in Botswana and his proposal over roast chicken at Kensington Palace, this was a royal love story for our age. Crucially, here was a bride of stature in her own right – she had spoken at the UN on gender equality, run her own lifestyle website and enjoyed a successful acting career. For many, she has redeemed the Royal Family, making it look and feel a lot more like them – modern and multicultural.

The greatest show

First, Cardi B defied naysayers at music festival Coachella in April by twerking while pregnant in an explosive 30-minute set. Then Beyoncé delivered a near two-hour set with some 100 dancers, her sister Solange, husband Jay-Z and former members of Destiny’s Child joining her, in a performance that was roundly hailed as ‘historic’. It was certainly euphoric, watched simultaneously by 498,000 global viewers on live stream, making it the most viewed music festival on YouTube.

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GOLDEN GIRLS
Donatella paid tribute to her late brother Gianni with the help of five original ’90s Supers

The reunion

In one of the most talked-about fashion moments of the decade, the supermodels that Gianni Versace made famous – Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen – took to the runway in matching metal mesh cocktail dresses, sound-tracked by George Michael’s Freedom, for the surprise finale of Versace’s SS18 show. It was a joyous way to mark the 20th anniversary of the designer’s death, and a statement about age, longevity and what sexiness really looks like. It was also a thrilling bit of fashion history made real.

The red-carpet shake-up

A lesson to all Academy Award contenders – if you can’t attend the annual nominees luncheon, emulate 90-year-old Faces Places documentarian and oldest Oscar nominee in history, Agnès Varda, who sent several life-sized replicas of herself in jaunty poses instead, including one of her cradling a cat. Not to be upstaged, Varda turned up at the awards ceremony a few weeks later in flamboyant Gucci silk pajamas, winning the hearts of many and landing herself on countless best-dressed lists.

The power moves

There was an obvious thrill in seeing Cynthia Nixon – an actress best known for playing Miranda in Sex and the City – unapologetically running for Governor of New York. Despite lacking experience (which she made a virtue of with her “Unqualified Lesbian” campaign tees), Nixon had long used her fame to campaign for public education, renewable energy, LGBTQ rights and housing justice. Joining Nixon in the growing ranks of American women standing for office was 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. After winning against a 19-year incumbent in the New York congressional Democratic primaries – in what she called a generational, racial and ideological shift – she is now set to be the youngest female congresswomen in history.

FLAT-OUT SUCCESS
French director Agnès Varda proved you can still be the most popular person in the room even when you can’t make it in person
FASHION ROYALTY
Her majesty’s appearance was the most talked-about moment at London Fashion Week FW18 – and gave designer Richard Quinn international recognition

The Royal visit

Of all the famous women one would expect to see on the front row at London Fashion Week, HRH The Queen would not rank highly. But there she was, wearing a duck-egg blue dress and jacket, watching the FW18 show of avant-garde designer Richard Quinn. She later awarded Quinn her inaugural Award for British Design. Her Majesty’s placement next to US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was the icing on the cake, yielding a photo-op to end all photo-ops.

COURAGEOUS VOICE
Women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul – a vocal campaigner in ending Saudi Arabia’s female driving ban – is still in detention

The victory

When, in June 2018, women were finally granted the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, there were few more deserving of commendation than the tenacious women who had campaigned for years to overturn the ban. Among them were Loujain Al-Hathloul, who was arrested in December 2014 and detained for 73 days for driving across the border from UAE to Saudi Arabia (and who has since been re-arrested on unspecified charges); Wajeha Al-Huwaider, who posted a video of herself driving in 2008, the same year she presented a petition to King Abdullah advocating to end the ban; and Manal Al-Sharif who, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, helped launch the Women2Drive Facebook campaign in 2011.

The Mother’s Day

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and double amputee, made history in April when she took her 10-day-old daughter Maile Pearl onto the Senate floor – in a dashing turquoise jacket so as not to violate the ‘blazer only’ dress code. It came a day after a ban on infants in the chamber had been lifted (thanks to Duckworth’s efforts), and marked another satisfying leap forward for working mothers in Washington DC.

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.