31 August 2010

Week in Review: Letizia, Princess of Asturias, 22-28 August

Here's what Letizia, Princess of Asturias, wore the week of 22-28 August:
  1. Pre-wedding party for Nikolaos and Tatiana, 24 August, a) on Letizia and b) by Flamenco.
  2. Greek wedding, 25 August.  Yet another Felipe Varela.
  3. Funeral for Spanish soldiers killed in Afghanistan, 26 August.
Best and Worst of the Week
Best of the week has to be the white outfit -  perfect for a Mediterranean soiree.  Worst, well, I don't have one: the blue's nice and Grecian and the black...commentary on what people wear to a funeral makes me feel icky.

Photos: Diario Feminino

Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 22-28 August

Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 22-28 August:
  1. At Sail Amsterdam 2010, 22 August.
  2. Attending the signing of new financing for microcredits, 24 August.
  3. Pre-wedding party for Nikolaos and Tatiana, 24 August, from NATAN.  When you get the real up close pics of this one, it's quite wrinkly.
  4. Greek wedding, 25 August.  From Benito Fernandez.
  5. Funeral of the Duke of Parma, 28 August.
Best and Worst of the Week
Well, I don't know.  Not that much of a banner week for Máxima.  I wasn't enamored of either wedding outfit, but they're both preferable to the flowers on that blue jacket (sweater? thing?).  It's a shame too, because what could be a good cut for her is now fare for starting up her own marching band.

Photos: PPE/van Katwijk/Buys/Nieboer

30 August 2010

Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 22-28 August

Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 22-28 August:
  1.  Opening a school and cultural center, 23 August. 
  2. Attending the 50th birthday party of the Norwegian foreign minister, 28 August.  Same Valentino shoes as last week.
Only two outfits this week, so nothing much to pick from - but the fun with shoes pattern continues.  I'm all for it.

Photos: ANP/siste.no

Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 22-28 August

Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 22-28 August:
  1. Leaving a friend's apartment in Australia, 22 August.
  2. Pre-wedding party for Nikolaos' and Tatiana's wedding, 24 August.
  3. Greek wedding, 25 August.
  4. At a swim meet and then later at Prince Nikolai's birthday part, 28 August.
Best and Worst of the Week
I liked the swim meet outfit, but I've already professed my love for that blouse.  (It must be difficult to dress that bump, we don't usually see such repeats from Mary.)  So that leaves us with the wedding for both the high and the low points of the week.

Photos: Zimbio/sn.dk

29 August 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmm...: Good grief, Sarah.

If this had been a royal wedding, we would have had an 11th entry to the Top 10 Worst Dressed Royal Wedding Guests:
Sarah Ferguson and daughters attend the wedding of Sarah's half sister Alice on August 28.

Hmm.  I know you're having money troubles, Sarah.  But sharing a wardrobe with your twenty-something daughters is not the way to save up.  You're fifty years old.  Good grief.

Photo: Daily Mail

27 August 2010

Flashback Friday: Princess Marie's Wedding Dress

Like I said, at first glance Tatiana's wedding dress reminded me of Princess Marie's gown.  So, I thought: let's flashback and see just how far off base I am.  Turn the dials in your sartorial time machines back to May 24, 2008 (was it really only two years ago?!) and we'll re-attend the wedding of Miss Marie Cavallier and Prince Joachim of Denmark...

Designed by David Arasa and Claudio Morelli from the Arasa Morelli fashion house, Marie's gown was lace from head to toe, specifically Calais lace made with a floral pattern in raised satin stitch.  The gown was off white and lined with ivory silk faille from the lace maker Buche in the Loire Valley (a nice nod to Marie's French heritage).

I'll be honest, this has never been one of my favorites.  My main issue is the waist: why so low?  It shortens her. 

Her veil was tulle with a lace border, anchored in place by a floral tiara belonging to Queen Margrethe which has become Marie's one and only tiara in the two years since.  I think Marie falls victim to the same problem Mary had on her wedding day here: the veil has to come up and over the hairdo, which means it backs the tiara and the diamonds disappear against the tulle.

 What I love: the train.  It's three meters long, which is a perfect length.  Long enough for a cathedral yet not crazy long (like a Diana sort of situation).  Marie's many layers were managed better than Tatiana's were, but she wasn't without her mishaps:

Whoops!  Wind should be banned on wedding days, shouldn't it? 

Alright, so the two gowns aren't really that alike after all.  Oh, well.  Gave us an excuse to maintain the wedding fervor, at least.

And hey - we're not the only ones flashing back to this very event:
Here's Victoria at the 2008 wedding, debuting the dress we just saw on Wednesday.  Can't blame the girl, it's a good one.

Photos: Hola/Keld Navntoft/Getty Images Europe/Zimbio

25 August 2010

Nikolaos and Tatiana's Wedding: The Dress and the Bridal Party

There was talk of Carolina Herrera, there was natural discussion of Diane von Furstenberg, but Tatiana threw everyone for a loop by picking Angel Sanchez to design her wedding dress.  He's from Venezuela, her birth country.  She also blindsided me by picking something that I don't absolutely love.  This, I think, is a case where perhaps reality had no chance of living up to the hype.
Lace upon lace upon lace made up Tatiana's royal gown.  It's just too much lace for me; the gown looks heavy, particularly when you focus on the bodice line under the lace bolero.  In addition to the lace, you've got the draping and the layers adding to the visual weight.
The other thing that's bothering me is and the movement of the multiple layers of the gown.  There's the lace skirt, then the train extending from the waist, then the veil.  And in none of the shots I've seen so far are all those layers simultaneously under control.  This is a dress that's meant to stand still, but due to the lack of coverage from inside the cathedral, all the shots are in movement.
Accessories: the same tiara Marie-Chantal wore on her wedding day, plus dangly earrings that are swinging around in many of the photos.

I found myself thinking of Princess Marie's wedding dress while going through these pictures.  Because of the tiara placement and the lace, of course, but also because I felt they both looked more like something you could find at your regular bridal store rather than a one of a kind creation fit for a royal bride. 

Now, let's talk about the bride's entourage:
There were a lot of members of this bridal party!  As far as the children go: all of Pavlos and Marie-Chantal's kids, all of Alexia's kids, maybe others too?  Really, all I can say is they needed a better solution for Maria Olympia (Pavlos and M-C's oldest): she's too old for a wreath of flowers in her hair, and she's got gladiator sandals on.  Hmm.

What we really need to talk about when it comes to bridal party are the older members...
What?!  Seriously?  Bridesmaids are meant to be support for the bride, not traveling Las Vegas back up singers at the ready for impromptu wedding karaoke sessions. Okay.

Now, tell me: what was your verdict on the dress?  Did it live up to your expectations?  And are you pro or con in terms of sequined bridesmaids?

Photos:Getty Images Europe/AFP/Europa Press/Profimedia

Royal Fashion Awards: Nikolaos and Tatiana's Wedding

Well, this one is interesting.  Men in suits (save the Greek royals, who sported morning dress) and women in black tie appropriate gowns.  Once again with the intriguing dress codes - though I do suppose the politics and etiquette of planning a royal wedding in a country in which you are no longer royal must be the trickiest of business.  Per usual, the bride and her attendants will get their own special post, so until then let's chat royal guests:

Best Dressed: Neutral Division
L to R: Princess Theodora, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Princess Marie, Princess Alexia, Princess Rosario
Theodora's dress is such a pale pink it's almost white and almost a faux pas; but she looks hot enough to make up for it.  Talk about flaunting your curves!  You could say the same for Gabriella, who's wearing a dress I know I've seen before.  Maybe it's Amanda Wakeley.  Marie I like, but the embellishment seems to be stuck on hot glue styles; it's a little random.  I know you might disagree with me, but I almost named Alexia best in this category.  Look how pretty she looks!  The business shirt killed it, though, so I gave it to Rosario.  Elegant as always.

Best Dressed: Blues Division
 L to R: Princess Letizia, Queen Margrethe, Empress Farah Pahlavi, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleberg
Excellent showings from the ladies in blue.  Another hit for Letizia; this girl is on a roll!  Both she and Alexandra are flanking the category picking up where Tatiana left off last night as the event's resident Greek goddesses.  Margrethe looks fantastic too - good enough to ignore the apparent tag hanging from her wrap (WTF is that thing - is it a security tag left over from her day job, or perhaps a ski lift tag from her last run on the Alps?).  This is just the perfect outfit for Daisy, isn't it?  It's whimsical enough to fulfill her creative side yet stately enough for a Queen.  Also stately?  Empress Farah.  Wow.  Could she be any more regal?  The slight fading at the bottom of the dress lightens it up from what could be a white tie gala dress.  Gold Star.

Best Dressed: Pink and Red-Hot Division
L to R: Crown Princess Pavlos, Queen Anne Marie, Queen Sofia, Carina Axelsson, Crown Princess Victoria
I've thought a lot about it, and I've decided that I like Marie-Chantal's thing here.  The color's lovely and the hair is fantastic.  It's a bit floral but not as much as her mother-in-law Anne Marie there, so that wins points.  Queen Sofia is over dressed (and wouldn't she be sweating up a storm?), and Victoria's in a repeat (from Joachim and Marie's wedding).  Like it though I do, I can admit that Marie-Chantal is a little too bohemian-bordering-on-frumpy, so I'll give the prize to Carina.  Fantastic color, great cut, great solution to the problem of covering one's shoulders in church.  Well done.

Worst Dressed: Candy Shop Division
L to R: Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Elena, Princess Máxima, Princess Madeleine
Here we've got every flavor of pastel candy leftover from your Easter basket, sadly not doing much justice to some lovely royals.  Princess Michael's got her pool-side cover up on.  Madeleine's all bunched up and tied that way with sparkly rope, and her top's making me fear for a serious wardrobe malfunction.  Máxima...I liked this at first glance - hey, her hair certainly looks fantastic - but then I noticed the waist.  It's hitting her in the most unflattering of spots.  Last but never least is Elena.  I give her one good mark, and she gives me back the gown version of that clown suit

Worst Dressed: Paisley and Floral Division
L to R: Princess Irene, Crown Princess Mary, Princess Cristina
First of all, I should not have to have a "paisley" division for fashion awards at a wedding, should I?  Somebody forgot to tell these first two ladies that (and Máxima, too).  Princess Irene...well.  Much like her sister Queen Sofia, I'm fearing for her in the heat.  This is not good, but I rather get the opinion she couldn't care less, so she gets a pass.  Mary - now, we all know Mary cares.  She should already know that a dull mishmash of dirt inspired colors does not a pretty dress make.  I almost gave her this title, but then I realized that Cristina had committed an even greater sartorial sin: she willfully made herself look double her size.

Talk to me: who was your best- and worst-dressed overall for the show?  Are you as baffled by the preponderance of paisley as I am?

And again - who'd I miss?  Shout it out in the comments if you find someone else.

Photos: Diario Fememino/Getty Images/Europa Press/Profimedia/Chris Jackson/Zimbio

24 August 2010

Royal Fashion Awards: Nikolaos and Tatiana's Pre-Wedding Party

Alright!  Let the fun begin.  Tonight in Greece the royal family held a pre-wedding party in advance of tomorrow's big wedding.  Let's start with the main sartorial event: the bride and groom.

Tatiana's been rocking the Greek goddess thing for a while now, and this is the epitome.  Gor-geous.  But I included the two of them together for a reason, and not only to make sure you have ample time to admire the most tanned bridal couple in royal history.  Look at Tatiana. Now look at Nikolaos.  She's in a gown, he's in sneakers.  I'd really like to know what sort of dress code the invitation to this party spelled out, because we've got some interesting choices directly ahead...

Best of the Bumps: Real and Speculative
 Left to Right: Princess Letizia, Crown Princess Victoria, Crown Princess Mary
Mary, obviously, is actually pregnant (although curiously lacking in the baby bump area considering there's two of them in there).  But Victoria and Letizia seem dressed to spawn similar speculation themselves.  All three ladies look fantastic, I must say.  (Even Letizia!  Mark this one down on the calendar, I'm doling out compliments and she gets one!  Maybe I am a nice person after all.)  Mary's sporting Missoni here.  Victoria's my favorite - it's floaty and summery and I like it so much I'll do her a solid and ignore the shoes.

Best of the Prints
 L to R: Princess Cristina, Princess Elena, Lady Gabriella Windsor
A balmy cocktail night out is the perfect opportunity for a little fun with prints, and these ladies look excellent.  I could do without the shoes on Cristina and without the bag on Gabriella (is that sparkly?  With the printed dress?), so Elena wins by default.  Besides, she deserves a little encouragement after making my list of Top 10 Worst Dressed Royal Wedding Guests for her showing at Victoria's wedding.

Best of the Greeks
L to R: Princess Theodora, Princess Alexia, Crown Princess Pavlos
The Greek ladies seemed to be the ones that truly got the dress code right; and fittingly, it is their party after all.  Theodora looks just like the movie star she's trying to become.  Marie Chantal looks good too; she's finally found the right dress to wear those shoes with.  But Alexia - hello!  She hasn't looked this good since I started this blog.  This outfit fits her (finally!) and the black and turquoise combination is perfection.  Gold star.

Best of the Worst
L to R: Queen Anne Marie, Princess Máxima, Queen Sofia, Princess Rosario, Princess Marie
Ah, so much to pick from.  Dress code confusion abounds!  Let's break it down, one at a time:
  • The mother of the groom.  This is a matching sweater set outfit.  I like the necklace and the smile, but this just doesn't seem fancy enough for a function celebrating your son's wedding. 
  • Máx.  There's nothing inherently wrong with this dress, but the shoulder thing is a bit fancy for this event, and the overly strong slightly mismatched shoes have the air of unfortunately dressed bridesmaid about them.
  • Sofia.  Wow.  Do we need to talk about why this is the unequivocal best of the worst?  Could there by any more patterns involved here?
  • Rosario.  Now, this picture was labeled with the rest of the party pics on all the photo sites I saw, but I'm just desperately hoping they got that wrong.  Because that looks like a bikini top under there.  UPDATE: it is indeed a dress from earlier in the day.  Correct dress to come later.
  • Marie, oh Marie.  She always tries so hard, and yet she always carries the ghost of the early- to mid-1990s with her.  This is part undergarment and part swimsuit cover up.  And wholly unfortunate.  UPDATE: this is from earlier in the day too, whoops.  I still don't like it, though.
So, what did you think?  Who makes your best- and worst-dressed lists for the wedding celebration kick off?

Here are the updated pics I missed the first time around:
Madeleine's wearing a repeat Oscar de la Renta, lovely.  Rosario and Marie - now, they certainly look better than what I originally thought, but I can't help but think at least some of my original critiques apply.

Many thanks to the ravishingly beautiful commenters that pointed me in the right direction for the updates.  E-smooches all around.

Photos: Getty Images/Daylife/BEW/Profimedia

Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 15-21 August

Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 15-21 August:
  1.  Presenting awards at a beach volleyball tournament, 15 August, a) in action and b) the Malene Birger top as modeled.  Looks better on M-M, no?
  2. At a fashion show, 17 August, a) the Valentino shoes on display and b) in action.  SHOES!  I heart them.  Who cares about the dress.
  3. Ingrid Alexandra's first day of school, 19 August.
Best and Worst of the Week
Hot shoes vs. an excessively large coat.  No contest.

Photos: FVN.no

    Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 15-21 August

    Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 15-21 August:
    1.  Church service honoring the 500th anniversary of the Danish Navy, 15 August.  Take any of these pieces separately, I might be game for it, but all together - no. 
    2. Arriving in Australia, 17 August.
    3. Shopping in Hobart, Australia, 19 August.  What we have here appears to be the same black lace top we saw the week before, only casual this time.  At least it's more covered up this time.
    4. Arriving in Adelaide, 20 August, a) front and b) back.
    5. Shopping and lunch with friends in Adelaide, 21 August.  Looks like the same top as from the family vacation.
    6. Attending a friend's 40th birthday party, 21 August.  A jumpsuit?  I don't know about that.  
    Best and Worst of the Week
    I like this repeated top on Mary.  She looks casual but still put together - perfection.  The first outfit of the week is pretty much the opposite of that - not put together at all.  Each piece has been worn separately to much greater success. 

    Photos: Profimedia/Abaca/PurePeople

      Top 10 Worst Dressed Royal Wedding Guests: #1. Laurentien Does It Again

      1.  Princess Laurentien at the Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson
      It takes a lot to top the Mabel's disastrous performance at the Swedish wedding.  Only a woman with the sartorial sense to make this list twice has it in her. 
      We've got cape-like sleeves that fly about as if independent from the rest of the gown.  We've got heavy quilted fabric that's made to add pounds to the body.  And then...we've got the chest.
      If you were forced to compliment Mabel's dress at the Swedish wedding, you'd at least be able to say that she had a good body under there.  This one....well, you can not say that.  This is not just an undergarment (or lack-of-undergarment) fail, the dress appears to have been made to create a pointy chest - look at the way the fabric is seamed and the way it drapes.  An upper body that could hurt someone.  WHY?  Saggy torpedo boob takes the cake.

      Photos: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images/AFP/Sven Nackstrand

      23 August 2010

      Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 15-21 August

      Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 15-21 August:
      1.  Paying respects to the late Duke of Parma, 20 August. 
      2. Sail Amsterdam, 21 August.
      Well, can't see the first one and the second one's not much to talk about.  But it's nice to see Máx back in action - haven't spotted her since the World Cup!

      Photos: Belga

      Week in Review: Crown Princess Victoria, 15-21 August

      Here's what Crown Princess Victoria wore the week of 15-21 August:
      1. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Bernadotte anniversary on 21 August, a) without coat; b) the coat from Armani; c) with the coat on.  I LOVE this coat.  The dress, though, doesn't seem to fit so well.  It makes me miss the extraordinarily well fitted Elie Saab of the same color she wore before her wedding.
      2. Evening celebration of the Bernadotte anniversary, 21 August.  This is ok.  Nothing amazing, though.
      Best and Worst of the Week
      The coat, I say again, is simply divine.  Now, my nominee for worst of the week is the hair ornamentation for the day.  Both times.  On the one hand, the red rose works a 1940s thing with the polka dot dress, but on the other hand it's just...random.  So's the navy blue thing from the first engagement of the day.  It doesn't match the dress or the coat.  What's wrong with just a plain old hat?

      Photos: PPE/Nieboer

      Top 10 Worst Dressed Royal Wedding Guests: #2. Oh, Mabel.

      2.  Princess Mabel at the Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling

      I know, I know. You've only just now recovered from the sight of this "dress" a mere two months ago.  It's quite possibly the most obvious entry for the countdown.  But it's such an aggregious error in judgement, there's no way it wasn't making this list. 

      I think it's gotten worse since June, what do you think?  Two months ago I was mainly preoccupied with the trouser situation, but now I find myself especially appalled by the top - it's awfully low cut and tight in addition to the strapless action, no?

      I want to know who's behind this infamous creation.  I mean, I know Viktor & Rolf designed it.  But something about the smile on Mabel's face makes me think the ballerina-by-night/executive-by-day idea was hers.  She's just such a smug kitten, isn't she?

      22 August 2010

      Top 10 Worst Dressed Royal Wedding Guests: #3. Princess Anne's Repeat Offense

      3.  Princess Anne at the Wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman
      When the Princess Royal turned up in this yellow printed floral frock to Lady Rose Windsor's 2008 wedding, it didn't take long to pinpoint the fact that it was repeated:

      The entire outfit, hat and all, was first worn in 1981 for Charles and Diana's wedding.  Twenty seven years earlier.  Anne's thrifty, and she's hardworking, and that's her schtick.  But this?

      Not only has this dress not aged well, it hasn't aged alongside its wearer.  Perhaps, at the age of 31, Anne could pull off a dress with ruffles and flowers and netting.  But in the years since, her public persona has become more honed, and putting herself in a dress that's downright girly these days looks silly.

      Between this dress and Kate Middleton's solo presence at this wedding, the bride was hardly noticed.  For shame.

      Photos: Rex Features/Tim Graham/Getty Images