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