Staff in the Premier’s office experienced regal sticker shock last September when they were buying gifts from the Premier’s fave fashion designer for Will and Kate and their kids.
“[Aide] Ina Gjoka called with a request from Premier Clark,” Kelly Brubacher, the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat executive director, wrote Sept. 13, 2016. “She is having a dress made by Vancouver designer Chloë Angus with First Nations art work on it for the upcoming royal visit. I gather this same artist made a green top that [Clark] has worn several times this past year.
“Premier is now requesting that a blanket be made by the same artist to be gifted to [Their Royal Highnesses] when they visit B.C. The designer is needing an emblem, such as the coat of arms to be added to the blanket. Ina wanted to check with our office to ensure this is done correctly.”
Angus is a Dunbar-based fashion designer who hails from the Sunshine Coast. A news release written by her public relations agent described Angus as the “exclusive wardrobe provider” for Clark during the Sept. 24 to Oct. 1 royal visit.
Angus originally invoiced Sept. 14 for a custom bear blanket with faith buttons costing $1,344, including taxes, according to records released under freedom of information.
Then came the scope creep.
A Sept. 20 email from Clark aide Adam McPhee to protocol chief Lucy Lobmeier said: “It is my understanding that we will also be giving an outfit/shawl to her highness as well. Need to confirm if this is a gift from Chloë Angus or the province.”
On Sept. 23, Angus invoiced $1,770.72 for: the $1,200 cream bear blanket with buttons, $93 spirit button wrap (for Duchess Kate), one $89 child’s sapphire bow tie (for Prince George), one men’s sapphire bow tie (for Prince William) for $129 and a $70 child’s spirit button wrap (for Princess Charlotte). All items bore the bear stylings of Haida artist Clarence Mills.
Then Lobmeier emailed McPhee on Sept. 23. “Hi Adam. Just confirming that we asked for all of these items including the bow ties. The total cost is higher than we expected.”
What the Premier wants, the Premier gets.