12 August 2011

Flashback Friday: Princess Caroline at the Red Cross Ball

Princess Caroline's multicolored appearance at this year's Red Cross Ball caused quite the range of reactions, didn't it? Some gave her credit for being able to pull off such an ensemble in the first place; some dished out praise for supporting an African designer (Duro Olowu) over her usual well-known couturiers; and some were just horrified. (Me: little bit of all of the above.) But it wasn't the first time she made a splash, and it certainly won't be the last...

Caroline made her debut appearance at the Red Cross Ball in 1973, if you can believe that.
Her 1970s appearances were full of Dior and floral hair arrangements, like a Hawaiian luau rather than a formal ball. Sign of the times, I guess. (Click here to see all of Caroline's Red Cross Ball outfits from the 1970s.)

That effortless chic must have worked in her favor in the 1980s, as she remained mostly free of some of the fashion horrors that decade impaled us with.
Well, mostly. But just one dress mullet in a decade is actually a pretty good record. (Click here to see all the dresses from the 1980s.)

As it turns out, this is my favorite decade for Caroline at the Red Cross Ball. Why? Jewels, of course.
Amazing necklaces (including the one we just saw worn as a tiara for her brother's wedding), brooches from the Bains de Mer Tiara, and the diamond floral hair ornaments she loaned Charlene for her wedding (on the far right above), to name a few of the pieces she trotted out.

She really hasn't been so bejewelled since. Certainly not in the 1990s, where the most notable dress was this somewhat transparent number from 1993:
Click here to see all her dresses from that low key decade.

Finally, in our most recent decade, we find her last jaw-dropping outfit, from 2006:
A Chanel Couture stuffed swan. Or possibly a plush polar bear? It's even more interesting when you compare it to her understated appearance the year before, which will make you question the relative dress code of this event. (Click here to see that and all the rest of her outfits from the 2000s.)

One only wonders what she'll bring us next year. If it can't be sparkly, I hope it's another stuffed animal, or at least a leftover fabric quilt like this year. It's just more entertaining that way.

Which dress and/or decade is your favorite?

Photos: Life/Corbis/Fotobank/The Royal Forums