03 July 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: The Prince & Princess of Monaco's Wedding Ball

I suppose you could call the evening event after the religious wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene a dinner or something, but isn't "ball" so much more glamorous? And fitting, since we finally have gowns and bling to drool over! Feast your eyes on this lovely rainbow of royal ladies:

Best of the Monaco Bunch
Charlotte Casiraghi
Left to Right: Princess Caroline of Hanover (and Monaco), Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi, Tatiana Santo Domingo, Beatrice Borromeo
A fairly typical evening all around for the lovely ladies of Monaco, no? Caroline added headgear but kept her nonchalant stance with a tea length dress, Stephanie continued her headgear aversion, Beatrice sparkled, and Tatiana scowled. But Charlotte won the night for me: she has a cape! Capes are awesome! Add gloves and you've got something Princess Grace would have worn back in her heyday. (Though I am sad that this pretty much confirms what I've been afraid of: I don't think we'll ever see Charlotte in a tiara.)

Worst in Black and/or Navy
The Duchess of Braganza
 L to R: the Countess of Paris, the Hereditary Princess of Baden, the Duchess of Braganza, Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia
The evening ranged from not-so-banner to meh for these ladies. The Duchess of Braganza is the cause of my greatest sadness. She just seems like such a cute lady, but with the same dressing problems as Maria Teresa tends to have.

Best in Royal Blue
Queen Silvia
 L to R: the Countess of Wessex, Queen Silvia of Sweden, the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein, Queen Paola of the Belgians
Love a strong royal blue on a lady, even when it is a little matronly (Sophie of Wessex, I'm looking at you), or a little hidden (poor Sophie of Liechtenstein - hopefully a better shot of her will turn up soon). Madame Silvia and her crystal ball clutch win this category for me, and I absolutely picked the one shot that made it look like a fortune teller situation. Perhaps she was the evening entertainment...or perhaps she was just engaging in what I'm sure a lot of the guests were doing: some serious speculation.

Best in Blues and Grays
Princess Madeleine
 L to R: Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the Duchess of Anjou, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Here we have some serious contenders representing the lighter blue/silver end of the rainbow, my favorite being Princess Madeleine in her frilly wonder gown. Mette-Marit's very typical, the Duchess of Anjou's brought a version of the princess-y dream that Tatiana Blatnik wore to Victoria's wedding, and Máxima's worn a tiered lampshade. (And I totally love it. Lampshades are great for boogying and shimmying.)

Worst in Prints
Princess Sophie of Isenburg
L to R: Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand, Princess Sophie of Isenburg, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia
As with the wedding ceremony, the ladies in traditional dress are showing the rest of them how it's done. Our Russian friend came dangerously close to winning another award, but since I believe in sharing the love, I'm giving this one to Sophie. Once I saw the loose fabric around the waist, I couldn't see anything else. Let's hope for a better fit on her wedding gown!

Best in Pale Pinks and Such
Empress Farah Pahlavi
 L to R: Princess Claire of Belgium, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, Princess Marie of Denmark, Princess Ursula of Bavaria
Here's a category of dresses that I really want to like, but can't quite wrap my brain around. Claire and Ursula are looking a little bunched up, and Marie and Victoria look like their dress designers took inspiration from the princess dress-up section of the store. So I'll go with Farah Pahlavi for the win, because her spin on menswear is kinda cute and kicky.

Best in Hot Pink and/or Red
Crown Princess Mary
 L to R: the Margravine of Baden, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the Princess of Naples, Crown Princess Margarita of Romania
Much better results on the stronger end of the color range! (Save the Margravine of Baden, sadly. See: my concerns about ruffles with Princess Sara, above.) The Princess of Naples made a strong comeback from earlier in the day with this simple red sheath, and Margarita of Romania looks perfectly appropriate. Mathilde and Mary are the ones stealing my heart here. Mathilde, for her giant water slide of a dress from the wedding master himself, Armani: so bold! Mary's my best of the night in the boldest color yet - hot pink and purple. Rarely a good color combo, and yet I will love this dress forever. Go figure!

Worst Dressed
The Duchess of Castro
 L to R: Princess Astrid of Belgium, the Princess of Venice and Piedmont, the Duchess of Castro, Princess Michael of Kent
And now, drumroll please, the worst of the evening. Astrid, my dear, that is a LOT of yellow. Clotilde, I'm sure that's high fashion and all, but don't you have any love for simply looking pretty? Marie Christine, you need to size up that deconstructed fifties ball gown before your cups actually runneth over. And Camilla, the Barbie...you were almost the worst of the day at the wedding ceremony, and now you've sealed the deal. This is like a prison uniform from hell.

UPDATE: With many thanks to those that sent her in, here's Luxembourg's own Grand Duchess Maria Teresa!
And another entry for the navy/black/meh category. The wait to see her was a little anti-climactic, I must say.

Also, here is Lalla Soukaina of Morocco:
Usually, I find the caftans so elegant, but not this time. And it has nothing to do with the caftan.

Tiaras deserve their own recognition, so click here to see all the bling.

Who made your best- and worst-dressed at the evening party?

Photos: Getty Images/Daylife/PPE/Svenskdam/Hola/Hello