02 July 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: The Prince & Princess of Monaco's Religious Wedding

Another Monaco event, another curious dress code! What, oh what, to wear to an outdoor wedding (in the blazing hot sun, yet still a religious, Catholic affair), at 5 p.m. (normally a tiara or cocktail time of day, but with an invitation that said hats for ladies)? Let's see what everybody came up with, shall we?

As always, click the pictures to enlarge...
Best in Monaco
Princess Caroline
 Left to Right: Pauline Ducruet, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Camille Gottlieb, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, Princess Caroline of Hanover (and Monaco), Charlotte Casiraghi, Beatrice Borromeo, Tatiana Santo Domingo
I'm starting to think Stephanie is allergic to headgear. No tiaras, no hats, and a trait she's clearly passing on to her daughters. Seems more concerned with showing off her tattoos. (Why yes, I am clutching my pearls. Nothing against tattoos, but if I were going to a royal wedding, I'd cover 'em up. That's all.) Charlotte wore Chanel's version of that thing Chelsy Davy wore to The Other Wedding without any more success, mostly because she put THIS on her head. Is it a funeral flower arrangement? Is it a washed-up piece of fisherman's net from the sea? The guessing fun never ends. Also sporting remnants from the sea: Beatrice, in her sparkly fishnets, and Tatiana in her deflated khaki beach ball hat. Thus, I give my prize to Princess Caroline: well coordinated with her youngest child, a little bit sparkly, and an understated big ass hat (which is the way to do big ass hats if it's a big ass hat you must do).

Best in Un-Throned Royals
Crown Princess Margarita
 L to R: Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, the Duchess of Braganza, the Duchess of Anjou, Crown Princess Margarita of Romania, the Princess of Venice and Piedmont, the Hereditary Princess of Baden
I love the events where they're not picky about who gets an invitation (ahem, Brits). Just because you don't technically have a throne to sit on anymore doesn't mean you can't bring something fun for us to chat about. Case in point: all these lovely ladies. We've got Crown Princess Katherine, happy as ever (if you thought she wanted to gossip about the London wedding, just think what she'd have to say about this one!); Farah Pahlavi, elegant as ever; the Duchess of Braganza, understated but classy; and the Duchess of Anjou, a little bit sparkly and out to show those Brits the hat they missed when they didn't invite her to their wedding. My best goes to Crown Princess Margarita - how cute is she in her little yellow ensemble? Sublimely ladylike. I was also surprisingly impressed by Clotilde Courau (Princess of Venice and Piedmont) for leaving behind her usual attention-grabbing starlet style for the moment. I loved the Hereditary Princess of Baden as well, though I wish she would have investigated a little more support for the affair.

Worst in Un-Throned Royals
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
 L to R: Princess Ursula of Bavaria, the Countess of Paris, Princess Virginia Ira von Fürstenberg, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, the Duchess of Castro, the Princess of Naples, Princess Sophie of Isenburg
Another reason you should invite the un-royals: look what else they bring to chat about! Oh, ladies. Princess Ursula looks hot - literally. How did she not pass out in that suit and that wackadoodle hat? Just look at what the heat is doing to the Countess of Paris' chapeau. (Oh, that's the way it's supposed to be? Well, then.) Speaking of strange hats...a von Fürstenberg was there. The prize, though, clearly belongs to our Russian friend, Maria. You see, she's taken the muumuu and claimed it for Russia by adding a kokoshnik on top, though I think the muumuu was up for nationality grabs to start with. She had steep competition from Plastic Princess Barbie herself, Camilla from Castro, who wore THIS on her head. A giant foam-esque heart. Like something you might wear to a sporting event to cheer on your favorite team by supporting the mascot, except this is a wedding and she's backing the mascot of love. (Blech.) We also have Marina from Naples in an outfit she shares with Tina Turner, and Sophie of Isenburg wearing snowflakes and a skunk hat. (You should get acquainted with Sophie and her snowflake-in-July style, by the way: she's having a royal wedding of her own in August.)

Best in Blues, Pinks, and Such
Queen Silvia
 L to R: Princess Sara al Faisal of Jordan, the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein, Queen Silvia of Sweden, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Princess Michael of Kent
Now, back to some more familiar faces and ruling monarchies. Pure elegance from Sara and Sophie, and I especially like the added satellite flair from Liechtenstein. Mathilde brought her bling again with that wonderful brooch, but a little more of the try-hard (and a hat out of Sophie Wessex's closet), and Princess Michael must have parachuted in on her sleeves, so I'll go with Queen Silvia. Good old Silvia, she always classes the joint up.

Best in Pale
Princess Madeleine
 L to R: Princess Astrid of Belgium, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Princess Marie of Denmark, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Another royal that must have died in the heat: Princess Astrid. But she looks elegant, as do the rest of these ladies; fine, nothing spectacular I must say, though I obviously love Maria Teresa's sparkly number there. The best for me turns out to be Madeleine, who I think is even repeating her dress. And why not? She looks good, and she's added a jaunty touch with her upright feather. A daring touch too: that thing defies gravity. One doesn't want to risk a flaccid feather situation, though I'm sure it happens to everyone...

Worst in Sparkly
Crown Princess Victoria
L to R: Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, Princess Lalla Soukaina of Morocco, Queen Paola of the Belgians, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand
With a 5 p.m. wedding time, it's understandable to drift towards something sparkly. I'm prone to it no matter what the clock says. But there are right ways and wrong ways to do that, you see. Right way: stick to your national dress, like the ladies of Morocco and Thailand. (I want a caftan. They make it look so good! Is it wrong to want a sparkly caftan just for wearing around the house?) Wrongish way: to do it with an ill fit, like Paola, who is not at all flattered by that skirt length. Totally wrong way: Victoria. She's wearing a tinsel dress and a tinsel Amish bonnet. (I don't think the Amish would approve.) And baby blue shoes. V, you were my best at April's wedding! What happened?! Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Best of the Best
Crown Princess Mary
 L to R: the Countess of Wessex, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess Claire of Belgium
I had a hard time picking a favorite, I'm telling you. I loved the Countess of Wessex: so elegant, and weather-appropriate to boot! I loved Máxima in the mustard too, she made a colorful picture with Willem-Alexander and she always brings her A+ wedding game. Princess Claire was a surprising front runner in her fifties glam Natan outfit (she's like the Sarah Chatto of Monaco!), but in the end Mary won it for me. I don't care for the Sophie Wessex hat (seriously, Sophie, lock your hat box), but the dress - the dress! I want need it. In this Mediterranean turquoise, and also the purple that Princess Haya has it in. But it's Prada, so I'll be taking up a collection. Start digging for spare change, kids.

Who made your best- and worst-dressed at the religious wedding?

Photos: Getty Images/Reuters/Daylife/Bekia/PPE