17 February 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: Belgium's Remembrance Mass

The Belgians all turned out today to remember deceased members of the royal family with the annual  mass at Notre Dame de Laeken church in Brussels. Curious mix of outfits here: from those that came kitted out for a full-on royal occasion (read: coordinated outfit + hat, etc.) and those that came dressed for just another royal day. Let's hand out some awards, shall we?

Coziest and Comfiest
Queen Paola
This is what I mean: she's wearing a hat, but a fairly informal one, and this is a pretty simple outfit. Still, she looks toasty warm and cozy. Makes me want a hot chocolate.

Most Welcome Sight
Queen Fabiola
I feel like I breathe a sigh of relief every time Fab turns up somewhere: I'm just glad she's doing well! She's wearing her regular white wardrobe, and per usual, she gets a pass.

Most Unrecognizable
Princess Claire
Where's the crazy outfit? Where's my snark fodder? All I'm left with is the fact that she's wearing headgear that should be left to the 12-year-old girls of the world. Alas! Maybe she made a conscious decision to blend into the background today and leave the crazy to her husband, who just got his driver's license suspended for the third time. (Insert eye roll: here.)

Best Twin
Princess Esmeralda
Esmeralda, or Marie-Esméralda if you prefer, is half-sister to the King as her parents were Leopold III and his second wife Lilian, and for today only, sartorial twin of Princess Claire. Of these two, who have unwittingly put themselves in fashion competition, I much prefer Esmeralda here. First of all, I love her name. (These things matter to me.) Second, she's working more of a fascinator and less of a headband, which helps with the 12-year-old girl situation. And third, she's not turned her legs completely black with some combo of leggings and stretchy boots. You've got to break up that line somewhere!

Classiest Act
Princess Marie-Astrid
No hat on display, but still: this is pure class. I don't know that much about Marie-Astrid, but I already like her.

Most Intriguing
Princess Léa
This is Léa in the bottom left corner of the left photo, displaying her curious fashion sense in all its glory. (Léa is the widow of Prince Alexander, who was the King's half-brother.) Trying to distract from her strangely unflattering coat by reviving hair fashions from the days of Dynasty, I imagine. Intriguing indeed!

Best Dressed
Princess Mathilde
My first thought: this is some kind of costume reject from the set of a Harry Potter film, from the overturned fur Tupperware hat on her head to the pump/SHOOTIE hybrid on her toes. But it grew on me. (Like a fungus?) Here's what I love: she turned up dressed for a proper royal occasion, matching hat and all. Also: it isn't black. (What, it's not like anyone was going to show up at the memorial mass in sunshine yellow. Gray gets points.)

I have a feeling, though, that she's probably making many of your worst-dressed lists instead, so have at it: who makes your best- and worst-dressed list for the day?

Photos: PPE/Nieboer/Belga/RPE/Reuters/Daylife/Isopix