15 June 2016

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2016, Part 1 (Updated)

Put on your party hats, Royal Ascot is in full swing! For the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall, you can follow along at the Vault. Here, we'll be checking out the rest of the fashion highlights. Day 1 and a couple highlights from Day 2, coming up:

Best in Updo Commitment
The Duchess of Cambridge, Day 2
She made her Ascot debut in Dolce & Gabbana and a Jane Taylor hat. We didn't really get to see this Dolce the first time she wore it, under a red coat at the Queen's Windsor birthday celebration; seeing it in full, the waistline might be a touch awkward?
But never mind that. I think - I think - it's time to issue her an official membership card to Team Updo. All is well.

Best in Ascot Dreams Come True
Crown Princess Mary, Day 2
and Best in Hat Sculptures
The Countess of Wessex, Day 2
You have no idea how hard I laughed when I learned that all my jokes about petitions to get Mary at Ascot were ACTUALLY TRUE. Not only did she show up, she showed up in one of my favorite dresses, an orange Marc Jacobs dress - maybe the only orange dress I've ever really  loved. No big hat for Mary, but she did go with a British milliner: Jane Taylor, in the hat she wore to Albert and Charlene's wedding as well as Princess Estelle's christening.
It was a banner day for Jane Taylor, really. The Countess of Wessex stuck to her usual Ascot dream team, Taylor and Emilia Wickstead. This hat looks like the weather turned it halfway inside out, umbrella-styles. But it's Ascot! This is THE place for all your weather-proof hat sculptures.

Best Commitment to a Theme
Zara Tindall, Day 1
Listen, Mary Katrantzou doesn't mess around with her florals. This dress is like someone stuck a perfume ad in a blender, and if you're going to wear it, you're going to have to WEAR IT. Props to Zara for not wimping out and trying to stick a plain white hat or beige purse with this one. She followed that theme all the way through.
Mary Katrantzou Amellus Dress
(P.S.: Though surely coincidental, I have to also note how much I loved that Zara's color palette echoed her granny's color palette. Yellow and blue done in two different ways for two different generations.) (P.P.S.: Here's a little behind-the-scenes look at Zara's hat from milliner Rosie Olivia.)

Best in Ascot Spirit
Princess Haya, Day 1
You know what they say: it's not Ascot until someone puts a mysterious sea creature on their head. (Princess Haya, in case you're not familiar, is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and wife of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. She's very involved in the equestrian world, and a regular at the races.)

Best in Utilitarian Volume
The Countess of Wessex, Day 1
I like to think of the volume on these Emilia Wickstead balloon sleeves as a practical decision in addition to an aesthetic one. A pair of built-in floaties could be useful. You never know when someone's going to throw you in a lake.

Best in Sneaky Bling
The Duchess of Gloucester, Day 1
We should probably just make this a permanent lifetime award for Birgitte. She's at it again, not only sporting earrings and pearls and a brooch, but using a pair of clips at her coat clasp. Clever girl. Let's also give some love to the Princess Royal, proving once again that you just can't go wrong with something simple and white.

Best in Uniform Chic
Princess Beatrice, Day 1
I almost passed over Beatrice, but then - STOP THE INTERNET PRESSES - I saw the shoes. Don't they look like baby Garter stars from afar? Just the thing to complete the ensemble, which otherwise looks as though she's made off with the top half of somebody's military uniform. I totally think it works.
Shoes by Aquazzura x Poppy Delevingne

We'll be back with other highlights from Days 2 and 3 on Friday!

Photos: Channel4 screencaps, Net-a-porter, others as indicated