04 March 2011

Flashback Friday: Mette-Marit's Transformation

And we continue on in our review of commoner-to-princess transformations with one that might be more subtle, but was possibly more important than our last: Crown Princess Mette-Marit's.
Mette-Marit, a single mom with a sketchy past, was far from what most would picture a princess to be. Many were skeptical about Crown Prince Haakon's choice. Some even predicted it would be the demise of the Norwegian monarchy. Mette-Marit had some ground to make up, and this is where our transformation starts to come into play.

Despite a massive New York shopping spree around the time of her December 2000 engagement, Mette-Marit's style as a royal fiancée/starter princess was quite dreary. To me, it's a rather simple girl playing dress up without much confidence: her evening wear in particular sticks to the safe side and ends up looking a little drab and absolutely off-the-rack.

Her everyday wear is, to this day, based in neutrals and simple cuts, but she took it to the extreme at the beginning of her marriage when she showed up to Willem-Alexander and Máxima's wedding wearing the glum ensemble on the left (which earned her a spot on my top 10 worst dressed wedding guests):
On the total opposite end of the spectrum, she showed up to Märtha Louise's wedding that same year in possibly the most princess-y thing she's ever worn: all tulle and sparkles. A marked beginning to the girlish gown style she favors today (though perhaps a little too enthusiastic of a jump onto the princess bandwagon?).

Hop forward another couple of years and another couple of weddings, and that princess style is starting to take shape:
 What's significant here? The strong entrance of Valentino on the scene. He made both of these blue numbers (for Felipe and Letizia's wedding dinner, left, and Frederik and Mary's wedding, right) and one can't help but wonder if the advice finally began to extend beyond just the clothing and into the total look, because things only got better from here on out.

These days, Mette-Marit's a terribly consistent dresser. She likes a simple day style and a frilly night style, and she's grown into pulling a total look together.

The most key component of that new total look, in my opinion, has been the change in the Crown Princess's hair and makeup.
At the beginning, she hardly wore any makeup (not even on her wedding day, second picture from the left in the top row), and her hair was either down or pulled simply back. Signs of professional appearance help were few and far between, but that's all changed now. The hair is lighter, and the makeup is heavier but extremely well done. My instinct is always to say that less is better on the face front, but I really think this has changed her from a rather plain girl with interesting bone structure into a true Scandinavian stunner.

She looks much more confident, too, doesn't she? She hasn't just grown in her style, she's grown as a Crown Princess. These days, more than half of Norwegians indicate some form of approval for Mette-Marit.

Also: you know who else has benefited from the passage of time?
Crown Prince Haakon! (So young, and so...nerdy!)

What do you make of Mette-Marit's transformation?

Photos: Polfoto/Corbis/Getty/Over/ANP