27 July 2010

Royal Trend Watch: Clothes Swap Edition

Eagle-eyed royal watchers (and Svenskdam, too) caught a few dresses that looked a little familiar at Crown Princess Victoria's wedding and associated celebrations....
Friend Anna Ek donned a couple of the Crown Princess's old gowns, while Daniel's sister borrowed another.  The added embellishment on the pink neckline and green waist is the same.
Can I just tell you how much I love Victoria giving out her old dresses to her friends?  Seriously.  I'm not surprised: this is the woman that once wrote her love 30 letters for 30 days they'd be separated.  (If you need to watch Daniel's wedding speech again - and, really, you do - here ya go.)  I like her so much.  I don't really understand the need to add the cheesy looking glitter to the pink and green dresses, but whatever.  So sweet.

We may not get many opportunities to witness royal ladies lending out clothes to friends, but we have seen our fair share of inter-family loans:

Sweden's Princess Birgitta loaned an old outfit to her daughter-in-law Nicole for Victoria's wedding. 
I think I might have at least sprung for a different jacket, so the loan would be a little less obvious.  I wouldn't want to foster too many comparisons with Birgitta, but that's just me (and just mean.  I'm sure she's a lovely person!).

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleberg (left) borrowed one of her sister Princess Alexandra's old maternity gowns for Queen Margrethe's 70th birthday celebrations.
Sisters always share.  (Especially when they look exactly alike - Nathalie was the pregnant one, and that was the only way I can tell them apart.  What will I do now she's had the baby?)  Plus, this just makes sense - nobody wants to buy a whole new wardrobe they won't be able to wear next month, let alone 9 from now.  Hell, the same box of borrowed maternity clothes has been making the rounds in my circle of friends for a couple years now.

Princess Martha Louise wears a dress belonging to her mother, Queen Sonja.
I can't imagine wearing any of my mother's clothes.  That would never, ever happen.  Maybe I'd change my mind if my mother had a closet full of designer duds.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa has loaned clothes to her daughter-in-law Princess Tessy more than once; the teal outfit she wore to Felipe and Letizia's wedding was seen on Tessy at the National Day 2008 celebrations, as was a black and white evening gown.  National Day 2009 saw Tessy wearing a fascinator first worn by Maria Teresa at Tessy's wedding.
Once again, I am loving the sentiment here: Maria Teresa seems to have gone out of her way to welcome Tessy to the family, even if she did enter in a most unconventional way (as an unmarried 20 year old, she gave birth to the then-19 year old Prince Louis's baby, if you're not up on your Luxembourg scandals).  It's especially lovely given that tales of tension between MT and her own mother-in-law still circulate even now that Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte has passed away.  But once again I question the execution: these are two very different sized ladies, and the same clothes do not suit them both.  The added fabric on the bottom of the evening gown is particularly clumsy.

For the wedding of Prince Pieter-Christiaan in 2005, Princess Mabel wore the same dress that her mother-in-law Queen Beatrix wore when announcing her engagement to Prince Claus in 1965.
A rare compliment for Mabel's style on this blog: I love this, absolutely and without reservation.  I love the gesture of wearing a dress with such a significant history, I love what it says about the relationship between these two women, and I love the dress itself.  There are few periods in fashion history that can be repeated without looking completely dated, and this dress falls into one of them.

I would love to see more of this, done just like Mabel (once again, probably the only time I will ever say that).  There should be more reasons to preserve royal clothes than just for future museum display.  Couldn't you picture Crown Princess Mary in some of the 1960s sheath dresses sported by then-Crown Princess Margrethe, or one of Queen Silvia's daughters digging out some of the amazing gowns she's donned for Nobel ceremonies past?  Or am I nuts, and we should always wish for fortunes large enough to bring us new couture, all the time?  (I wish for both, just to be clear.)

Photos: Getty Images/PPE/Corbis