29 September 2010

Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 19 - 25 September

Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 19-25 September:
  1.  Accepting the keys to their new home, 21 September.  I adore this repeated Malene Birger coat (and love that she's able to use it both for maternity and non-maternity wear) but what I love even more is that little Isabella got her own mini-bouquet.  Aww.

    27 September 2010

    Week in Review: Letizia, Princess of Asturias, 19-25 September

    Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 19-25 September:
    1.  Opening the new school year in Lardero, 20 September.
    2. Opening an exhibit in Castile and Leon, 23 September, a) front view, b) dress and cardigan from Mango, and c) the back view because you need to see the patches on the elbows.
    What a gloomy week.  I can't even get excited about the skirt length or the professorial cardigan and gladiator-esque sandals combo on the second outfit, these colors have so depressed me. 
      Photos: Terra/Life/Mango

        26 September 2010

        Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 12-18 September

        Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Opening an art exhibit, 12 September, a) on Mary and b) from Hugo Boss.  As far as maternity wear goes, I'm all for mothers-to-be getting onboard the tailoring train; there's no reason to stick with floaty empire waists for nine whole months!  This is a lovely dress, she wore a brooch and I love a little daytime bling, and she's rocking it better than the model did.  Love.
        2. Television interview, 16 September (no clue when it might have been filmed, of course).  I want her hair.  Seriously.  My hair couldn't look as good as hers even if I did have 24/7 hair stylists at my disposal.

        25 September 2010

        Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 12-18 September

        Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Attending the start of the money week ‘Week van het geld’, 13 September. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Big Bird.
        2. Opening of the royal complex in Utrecht, 14 September. Still love this one - whole lotta print here, but she can handle it.
        3. Visiting a project aimed at reducing school dropouts, 15 September.
        Best and Worst of the Week
        Sure, the last outfit of the week could have used a pop of color - but look! She did her hair! Maxima's hair can look so dissheveled when worn down. Pulling it back like this is a sure way to win the week. A sure way to lose the week, on the other hand, is to overdose on the yellow (and mustard yellow at that!).

        Photos: PPE/v.d.Werf/Nieboer/ANP/Robin Utrecht

        24 September 2010

        Royal Trend Watch: Máxima's Other Twin

        NATAN's fashions, as we know, run unfortunately amok among the ladies of the Benelux royal houses.  We've seen Princess Máxima play the twin game with Luxembourg's Princess Alexandra - on the same day, even - and now we're moving on to her other twin, Princess Mathilde.

        Mathilde, today:

        Máxima, two days ago (she's carrying a tan cardigan, even):
        At least Mathilde wasn't wearing black tights with brown shoes.  (Seriously, Máx?)

        You'd think their stylists or dressers would pay attention to this.  I mean, it's happened before:
        And surely it will happen again.  Until next time, ladies...

        Photos: Belga/Albert Nieboer/Eric Vidal

        Flashback Friday: Queen Margrethe's Birthday Celebrations, Part 2

        And now it's time to glance back to the next event of Margrethe's 70th birthday celebrations back in April.  The morning after the gala, the royals attended a luncheon.  We'll get to that in a second, but first - because we need some bling to sustain us - a gala held prior to the big shebang.
        Left to Right: Princess Benedikte, Princess Marie, Crown Princess Mary, Queen Margrethe
        I must say, this is a pretty good showing all around for the ladies of the Danish house, but Benedikte and Mary here are absolutely schooling Marie and Margrethe in Gown Sleeves 101.  It's all about fit, fit, fit, and Margrethe looks unnecessarily large and Marie looks a little like she's playing dress up, no?  Total toss up between naming Benedikte and Mary the best of this evening, but Mary wins because I just love that red dress.  Looovvvee.

        Anyways, now onto the day event of our flashback.  We're back to the day after the gala event we've already discussed, and by this time a few more royals had been able to figure out their transport situations and join the party.  Bit strange, I thought, to don hats for an indoor lunch event, so let's see how the royals handled it:

        Best of the Large Hats
        L to R: Carina Axelsson, Princess Benedikte, Crown Princess Mary
        Oh, not a fan of any of this.  Nope.  Carina's dress looks like someting from The Golden Girls.  Mary's trying to contrast the froufy lines of her skirt and her hat with that strong coat and she is not succeeding.  Benedikte looks like something out of the conservative early 1990s, but who knows - she's probably had this outfit since then, so I'll allow it.

        Best of the Small Hats
        L to R: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Alexia, Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia, Queen Margrethe
        Much more conducive to eating, these hats.  Except Mette-Marit, who's got some sort of ribbon trailing down from some headband she bought at the dollar store.  Also taking a cue from the school of fascinators for little girls: Alexia.  Silvia and Victoria went feathery, while Margrethe went with some kind of curly thing - but flattering colors and cuts on the clothes for all of them.  Victoria wins because come on, how good does she look in her white dress and sky-high heels?

        Best of Retro
        L to R: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Queen Anne-Marie, Princess Máxima, Princess Nathalie, Princess Marie
        Lots of cues from eras past on show here; thank you, ladies, you know I eat this kind of thing right up.  Maria Teresa channeled a 1940s vibe, fur wrap and all.  Anne-Marie went all Jackie Kennedy with her simple coat and pillbox.  Also from the 1960s: Máxima and Nathalie.  Call me the victim of a Mad Men overdose, but I love Máx's look here.  Crazy flattering coat, and she's just nuts enough to pull off the matching turban.  Nathalie's got a more universally flattering thing going on, though, and she gets bonus points for being stylish while pregnant, so she wins.  And as for Marie...this is late 80s, early 90s at best and the hat is just an upturned cloth bucket. No.

        Photos: Profimedia/IBL/bt.dk

        23 September 2010

        Week in Review: Princess Letizia, 12-18 September

        Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Taking Leonor to the ballet, 13 September.  If princesses wore uniforms, this would be Letizia's.
        2. Inaugurating the Historic Archive of Official Economic Chamber of Seville and attending the Second Edition of "Economic Sevillian Night" (sounds like a party, doesn't it?), 14 September.  Do you like her hair like this?
        3. First day of school, 15 September.  
        4. At Madrid Fashion Week, 17 September.  I love this top, though I could do without the cardigan thing.  (From some photos, it appeared that the back of it was made from some sort of shiny material...interesting?)
        Best and Worst of the Week
        As we know, Letizia loves her some scarves, but the one she wore taking the girls to school I think actually does fantastic things for this outfit.  The pattern and difference in colors add something much needed to the neutral outfit.  And I really like that leather jacket - this is a great mom-on-the-go outfit!  Now, I feel like I should be a huge fan of outfit #2, but...something's not working.  I'm glad she did something different with her hair, but I'm not sure this was the best execution.  And those shoes need to be put to rest.  They are absolutely the reason I had to name this my worst of the week. 

        Photos: Terra/Hola/Darinavarra

        22 September 2010

        Week in Review: Princess Mathilde, 12-18 September

        Here's what Princess Mathilde wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Attending a cancer symposium, 13 September, a) on Mathilde and b) from Diane von Furstenberg.  Fabulous dress, totally unfortunate shoes.  Yikes. 
        2. Attending a function at the University of Leuven, 17 September.  Well, this one becomes the default best of the week because you know I can not abide by a bad shoe pairing.  Even if this one is...blah.
        Update:  Here she is visiting the SOS Children's Village on 16 September:

        Photos: Belga

        21 September 2010

        Royal Fashion Awards: Prinsjesdag 2010

        The Dutch royal family was out in force today for Prinsjesdag (where Queen Beatrix gives a budget speech and opens a new year of parliament).  This event has a most curious dress code: the ladies wear long dresses along with their orders - but with hats.  Every year I cross my fingers in the hopes that they'll just go ahead and upgrade to a full-on tiara event, but you know me - any royal event without bling is a missed opportunity indeed.  (Priorities, people.)  Well, we'll work with what we have...

        Most True to Form
        Perhaps Beatrix should adopt this mixed dress code for her every day (and night) wear - she always seems to look her best for Prinsjesdag.  She's working a very flattering silhouette here.  Sure, you've got your standard UMO (Unidentified Millinery Object) topping the whole thing off, but without that nobody would recognize her.

        Best Museum Steal
        Maxima must be pilfering from the nearest sartorial exhibition, because this is straight up My Fair Lady.  In fact, change the color and make that hat a little larger and you'd have an extra fresh from the set of the Black and White Ascot.  Or maybe I just have to envision her as a character because the sheer daintiness of this outfit is so unexpected.  What's she done with the big, bold Maxima that we've come to expect?  Maybe that's what the hat's all about.

        Most Retina-Searing
        Where are my complimentary sunglasses, Laurentien?  That's a whole lotta pink.  Throw in the orange sash and you've got a seizure of color so potent it should come with a medical warning. 

        Worst Absence
        Mabel.  Sadly, she does not attend Prinsjesdag (or at least she hasn't that I'm aware of - I'm sure one of you lovelies will correct me if I'm wrong here).  Man, just think of the craziness she'd bring to an event like this...

        Best Way to Show 'Em How It's Done
        Princess Margriet knows what's up, see.  She doesn't need a costume or anything capable of giving the crowd an epileptic seizure to steal this show.  Simple, flattering, appropriate, and a win without competition.  Well done.

        Who won this year's Prinsjesdag fashion stakes for you?

        Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 12-18 September

        Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Opening of Alpha role modeling, 13 September.  Sadly the necklace isn't interesting enough to make up for the rest of this outfit. 
        2. Attending a youth conference, 15 September.  Ah ha!  Color!  But it seems we have some random selections from different outfits all thrown together.  Black jacket and pink skirt: okay.  Add in the scarf and the bag and the color scheme starts to get a little dicey.  And then brown shoes?  Most curious.  (I do like the shoes, for the record.  You know how I feel about M-M and her shoes.)
        Photos: bt.dk

        20 September 2010

        Week in Review: Crown Princess Victoria, 12-18 September

        Here's what Crown Princess Victoria wore the week of 12-18 September:

        1. Launch of a new concert season at Stockholm Concert Hall, 16 September.  This dress is from Moschino, and while it is a stunning color, no amount of under garment trickery can help a girl out with this kind of fabric.  Most unfortunate.
        Photos: Svenskdam

        18 September 2010

        Week in Review: Princess Mathilde, 5-11 September

        Here's what Princess Mathilde wore the week of 5-11 September:
        1. Attending a function for International Literacy Day, 8 September (both photos).  Black and white.  Boring, but appropriate.

        Week in Review: Princess Mathilde, 29 August - 4 September

        Here's what Princess Mathilde wore the week of 29 August - 4 September:
        1.  Taking the kids to the first day of school, 1 September.  We've seen this jacket before, in Stockholm.  Much better this time around, no?
        Photos: Purepeople/Abaca

        Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 5-11 September

        Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 5-11 September:
        1.  With the Danish Refugee Council, 5 September.  The Malene Birger top looks a little big here, but I love the draping.
        2. Gala evening for the Danish Refugee Council, 5 September.  Repeated dress.
        3. Premiere of Eksperimentet at Dagmar Teatrat, 7 September. 
        4. Opening the Buster film festival, 9 September.  Love this combination!
        5. Charity dinner for the World Wildlife Federation, 9 September.
        Best and Worst of the Week
        Oh, I love a purple dress.  If I could change one thing, I'd take those leafy things off (they remind me of the stuck on adornment of the dresses that Victoria lent during her wedding, and I don't think they're necessary), but I love the rest enough to make up for it.  Speaking of unnecessary adornment, let's move on to the yellow dress.  All that froufiness at the top is just adding bulk, and the leopard accessories are overdoing it.

        Photos: PPE/Colourpress/NDam/Abaca/Purepeople

        Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 29 August - 4 September

        Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 29 August - 4 September:
        1.  Conference for the Brain Injury Association, 31 August.  What is that skirt made of?  Is it leather or is it fake?
        2. Memorial concert for Queen Ingrid, 31 August, a) from Ralph Lauren b) on Mary, 31 August.  I like this up until I see one of the many photos for this event in which the Crown Princess's bra strap is showing.  Whoops.
        3. Conference on polio, 3 September.  A much repeated top, most recently seen out and about in Stockholm
         Best and Worst of the Week
         I just love that Heartmade top, and I love that she's worn it for purposes ranging from casual to daywear to eveningwear.  It makes a much better combination with that skirt than anything from the first outfit of the week does.  I don't care what that skirt is made of, it doesn't sit or move well.  Looks cheap.  And the shoes don't make any sense to me.
          Photos: Belga/msn.dk/Svenskam/Zimbio/DANAPRESS

          17 September 2010

          Flashback Friday: Queen Margrethe's Birthday Celebrations, Part 1

          You know what we need more of in our daily lives, kids?  Sparkle.  Call me shallow if you must, but a good tiara is my favorite part of royal watching, hands down.  Even though I understand all of the reasons why the Greek wedding couldn't have been as glitzy as the Swedish wedding was, it still left me longing for a giant event of proper royal glam to drool over.  Though I have no idea when the next such event will be, I have a feeling it will be a long, long time from now, and that gives me the sads.

          So, I thought:  let's dig one up anyways!  This wee blog was but a twinkle in my eye back in April when Queen Margrethe celebrated her 70th birthday.  This is a Queen that knows how to party: 3 tiara events, 2 of which were massively attended by other European royals sporting the finest in diamonds and other sparkly delights.  Now, you'll remember that right about this time that nasty volcano Iwouldntspellitrightanyways reared its ugly head to rain on the royal parade, but it still managed to be a grand event, and we'll be flashing back one event at a time for the next three Fridays.

          Firstly, we'll take on the first event with big royal attendance: a white tie gala concert.  Let's give out some (retroactive) awards, shall we?

          Worst of the (Literal) Eveningwear
          Left to Right:  Princess Marie, Princess Benedikte, Queen Silvia
          These ladies took their outfits a little too far into the evening by sporting downright bedroom-inspired ensembles.  With a few snips of the fabric, Marie could have herself a nice little lingerie ensemble.  It fits her like a glove, but why is that little belt thing necessary?  Benedikte's adapted the lingerie theme to an outfit more appropriate for her age.  I can't see a silk gown covered by floating lace without thinking nightie, sorry.  But the worst one here is Silvia, who ran in exactly the opposite direction and swathed herself in one giant nightgown.  She and the King arrived late to the concert because of volcanic travel issues, so there were no pictures of the couple.  What you're seeing here is a screencap from the concert broadcast along with pictures of the red Yuki (a designer, not an opinion) dress as it was worn for the Nobel ceremony a few years ago and her sapphire tiara from another outing.  Yuki is famous for his draping; he typically uses large pieces of fabric with very few cuts and seams.  Sure, there's art there, but I find everything he's done for Silvia to be totally disappointing (see also this dress).

          Best of the Tapestries
          L to R: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Queen Anne-Marie, Princess Alexia
          These heavy floral fabrics are more reminiscent of a wall hanging than anything in the sartorial realm.  Sure, they can be successful on a dress, but one must tread lightly...unlike Mette-Marit.  I just think this dress looks like it weighs fifty pounds, and it's attempting to age her fifty years.  Fabric overload.  Anne-Marie's is age appropriate, but all that pattern is fighting with emerald weight on her necklace.  You should always let the emeralds win.  Now, Alexia I think came the closest to getting it right.  She limited the tapestry to the jacket of the dress, and it's cut well.  I don't even mind the little 80s pouf on the sleeves.  Well played.

          Best of the Frills
          L to R: Carina Axelsson, Crown Princess Victoria
          Victoria's gone full-on foufy here.  I like it, don't get me wrong.  But that kind of ruffle overload needs to stand on it's own, without the orders and everything else.  Plus, that train was hazardous: her brother stepped on it on their way up the theater stairs and nearly caused a right royal wardrobe malfunction.  Thus, Carina wins by default.

          Best of the Best
          L to R: Princess Nathalie, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary
          Now we're talking!  These ladies hit the sartorial jackpot.  Nathalie's wearing a borrowed gown that's simple and lovely, and a choker was the perfect jewel to pair with it.  Maria Teresa's sporting my fave Elie Saab again.  This dress is magically magnificent; so intricate!  The jewels need help, though.  That Wonder Woman tiara needs a better hair pedestal to live up to its full potential.  If I was writing this in April, I probably would have named Mary the best of the best, but she's worn similar things since then, so it doesn't quite have a full "Wow" factor working for it in retrospect.  So the prize must go to the birthday girl herself.  She repeated this for Victoria's wedding, and why not: she looks fantastic.  Totally flattering, and that color is just out there enough to suit this Queen's taste.  Plus, is there any better way to say "I'm the Queen!" than to show up in neon apple green with mounds of diamonds and emeralds all wrapped up in a fur package?  I think not.

          What was your favorite dress from this event?  Has your opinion changed since April?

          Photos: bt.dk/svenskdam/zimbio/getty

          15 September 2010

          Week in Review: Princess Letizia, 5-11 September

          Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 5-11 September:
          1. Attending the ballet, 5 September. This outfit again, but different shoes. I like this shirt/trouser combo, but we still need to work on the shoes.
          2. Inauguration of a research center, 7 September. Wow.
          3. Attending a concert, 8 September.
          4. Visiting Onda Cera Radio, 9 September. I like this suit. The shirt sort of looks like a bib when you can't see the sleeves, though.
          Best and Worst of the Week
          Well, I guess the concert one wins.  Probably because I can't see the shoes.  Normally I hate those shoes on the shorts suit, but on this occasion they might be the best thing.  What we have here is the neutral uniform of a zookeeper or a safari guide.  Yes, and the feet are obviously being protected from the brush by the shoes in question.  As you can see, the hair has been affected by the conditions of the great wild outdoors, while the colors and floral prints are clearly donned to disguise our guide in the wild.  She has cleverly brought a scarf along in case one of the animals needs distracting.  Yes, that must be what's going on here.  Alternately, you could also just call is a hot mess and be done with it.

          Photos: Zimbio/Getty Images Europe/Carlos Alvarez/Terra

          Week in Review: Princess Letizia, 29 August - 4 September

          Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 29 August - 4 September:
          1. Dinner in Mallorca, 30 August. Looks like she's trying a little Mette-Marit move with the shoes there.
          2. Audiences, 31 August. OH NO. She brought back the Hammer pants. Just to spite me, I'm sure of it.
          3. Audiences, 2 September. Uh oh, somebody caught the stripe infection from her sister-in-law. Is it just me or is this dress just out of character for her? I mean, I'm surprised she chose it. Doesn't feel like her style.
          4. Audiences, 3 September. This one again.
          Best and Worst of the Week
          I don't mind the striped dress, but the jacket adds a little Miami Vice flair to it that I can't get with. So the best has to be the blue one, school-girlish as it is, because the silver get up just doesn't make my skirt fly up. Nothing, though, is worse than the Hammer pants.

          Photos: Terra/Zimbio/Abaca/Purepeople

          Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 5-11 September

          Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 5-11 September:
          1. Attending Dignity Day, 11 September.  Oh, for the love of some color!

          Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 29 August - 4 September

          Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 29 August - 4 September:
          1.  Awards ceremony, 30 August.
          2. a), b) and c) Visit to Aust-Adger, 31 August.  So many things...all the same.  Why?
          3. Visit to Aust-Adger, 1 September.  If she hadn't thrown the red in, I wouldn't even know it was a different day.
          4. a) and b) Visit to Aust-Adger, 2 September.  Thank goodness for national costume!  Finally some color.  She's wearing the shoes with the little balls on them again in 2b.
          Best and Worst of the Week
          Well, this black coat is the best cut of the week.  Otherwise, what a boring week!  Why would you pack slightly different versions of the exact same thing for a trip?  Not even a hot shoe to keep me interested.  Snooze.

          Photos: side2/PPE/Nieboer

          14 September 2010

          Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 5-11 September

          Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 5-11 September:
          1. Attending a conference at the University of Greenwich, 6 September.  Are those sparkles?  One can only hope.
          2. Launching the Shoe Buddies program, 9 September. 
          3. Attending the 50th annual Fruit Parade, 11 September. Like the print, but not sure about the draping and so on at the waist.  Blue shoe is overkill - perhaps a silver or a neutral to avoid the matchy-matchy situation.
          I can't decide on a best and worst here.  I go back and forth on #2 - I do like the tone of the trousers with the colors of the sweater.  But that's a lot of zig-zags, so...you tell me.  What are your picks?

          Photos: PPE/Nieboer

          Month in Review: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, August

          Here's what Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie wore in August:
          1.  At the Castle of Mey, 2 August.  Do you think that she and Eugenie dressed like school girls because they felt like it, or because that's appropriate for the atmosphere of a holiday with the rest of the royals?
          2. At the V Festival, 21 August.
          3. Watching Richard Branson kite surf, 24 August.
          4. Alice Ferguson's wedding, 28 August.  Repeating from Trooping the Colour.
          1.  At the Castle of Mey, 2 August.  I kind of like this dress, though I shall complain about the length as I always do.  Cue the broken record.
          2. On vacation in Spain, Unknown date.
          3. Alice Ferguson's wedding, 28 August.  Peeking out in the middle in the pink, repeating an outfit from Ascot with what looks to be a different fascinator this time.
          Best and Worst of the Month
          Beatrice gets the best and the worst of the month here - the blue repeated outfit is appropriate and suits her.  The festival outfit, well...what's with the black shoes?

          Photos: Daily Mail/Getty Images/Zimbio/Bauer Griffin