14 June 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: Ascot 2011, Day 1

It's Ascot week, party people! The very event that spawned one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, a scene which I will I go to any extent to reference on this blog. Pay homage properly:

Best in Vacation Glam
Princess Michael of Kent
Well, I'm glad to see her back to her big-hatted fabulousness after Sunday's disastrous attempt at mini-millinery. "Dahling, fetch me my martini and my Jilly Cooper paperback, I can't be bothered to leave the pool deck."

Greatest Purple Delight
Princess Haya
You can always count on Haya to show up to the racing party, and she'll always bring something fantastic. She's reliable like that. In this case, she's chosen to bathe herself in my very favorite color, bless her. I usually prefer my Haya in a dress with a little more structure, but I am loving this. Am I blinded by the grape, or am I right?

Best Response
Princess Anne
Those of you that wanted to see Anne in a hat hat: the Princess Royal has heard you. And she has responded in a most unexpectedly lovely way, I must say. Look at her! She appears to have gotten dressed in, like, the current century for a change! Oh, A+.

Worst in Too Soon
The Duchess of Cornwall
Yes, Cams, you do look good in this outfit, but we're still thinking about the last event you wore it to! The trick to these things is to put it away for a while. Allow our temporary memory loss to set in. And then you bust it out. See how that works?

Worst in Hat Repeats
The Countess of St. Andrews
What a lovely suit on Sylvana (who is the daughter-in-law of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, for those of you playing along at home). Shame that hat doesn't match...no, two blues doesn't automatically make a blue ribbon, I'm afraid. Tricky, being a minor royal, isn't it? It's not like you have that many be-hatted events to show up for, but the ones that do are all clumped together and so we all know you're repeating from just a few days ago. All your dirty hattery secrets, exposed right there for the world to see.

Worst in Coordination
Princess Eugenie
Here's the thing about such a strong teal and such a statement skirt: matching the hat takes it right over the top. And not in, like, a good Ascot-y kind of way; in a bridesmaid horror kind of way. (Also, what is the deal with the Yorkies and their lace dresses? I mean, there is a time and a place, but I'm thinking that time is after dark, and that place involves many more cocktails than this place does. Or maybe Ascot is sufficiently boozy, what do I know?)

Best in Safe
Queen Elizabeth
Perfectly respectable, just as you want your Queen to be. End of story.

Best Risk
The Countess of Wessex
When I first saw this, I couldn't decide if the sleeves were a disaster or a delight. And then I decided, hey, I keep banging on about certain people playing it too safe (not everybody gets a free Queen pass, you know), perhaps I should give some love to those that take a risk. So, Sophie, I'm on board. It may have looked a bit dubious in the carriage, but standing up there's color and a fitted waist, and design, and an Ascot-worthy topper, and I'm sold.

Best in Shy
Princess Beatrice
When Beatrice here was a no-show at Trooping the Colour, and then turned up in something halfway lame at Prince Philip's birthday service, fear began to creep in. Had her adventures in internet meme millinery scared her off from doing anything of note? But now I have a new theory: perhaps it scared her straight into Princess territory. This is soooo ladylike, that hat is safe but fantastic all at once, and there's just enough going on with the dress to make sure that we're talking about young Princess territory. Oh, me like. Best of the day in this addled mind.

Who are you liking (and disliking) at Ascot, Day 1?

Photos: Getty Images/AP Photo/Daylife/Reuters/Mark Stewart/Camera Press/Isopix/Ken Goff