23 September 2011

Flashback Friday: Laurentien at Prinsjesdag

As promised, today's flashback is more Prinsjesdag fun. But first, I've gotten several questions about the dress code, so I thought I'd address those first (there are some answers in the comments on the Prinsjesdag post too). The Prinsjesdag dress code is as follows: military uniforms or morning coats for the men, with long day dresses plus orders and hats for the ladies. Tiaras aren't worn because this is a day event, and tiaras are reserved for evening events (usually). It might seem strange because we're used to seeing ladies with long dresses and tiaras these days, but it's actually not strange - it was a very common dress code up until a few decades ago. Look back to the major royal events of years gone by, and this is precisely what royal ladies will be wearing. Favor switched to shorter, more casual outfits for the women over time, but Prinsjesdag never changed. And though the jewel fiend in me wouldn't mind them going full out like their British counterparts and throwing on tiaras, this is a nice throwback.

Daily sidebar over, my original intent for today's post was to talk about Máxima's Prinsjesdag outfits over the years. But then this year's event happened, and, well, it was a teensy bit boring. We need some entertainment, and for that, we need to call on one person: Princess Laurentien. Hit it, L.:

In the beginning were the dull outfits. Laurentien's first Prinsjesdag was in 2001, and she started out as I suppose any new in-law would: playing it safe, testing the waters. As the years went on, her unique sense of style truly started to emerge. First, a little bit of lopsided orange velvet; then an exploration in to the wonders of leather (or pleather? or vinyl? Please don't let it be vinyl.); and finally a print explosion on a most curious silhouette. (Speaking of that silhouette, somebody needs to confirm for me that that is a skirt and not a pair of righteous bell bottoms. Because I can't really tell, and it's bothering me.)(UPDATE: Yes, they are bell bottoms. OH LAURENTIEN.)

A-HA! This is what I'm talking about. Four years in, and she lets her true sartorial flag fly. This is like some sort of evil mermaid Queen costume, and it is awesome.

The prints may be gone, but the nuttiness lives on! I have no problem with corsets, really. This, however, looks like one of those belts that you wear for safety while lifting, custom-dyed for outfit cohesion. And though I'm sure Prinsjesdag presents its own challenges in the form of keeping one's eyes open through an entire governmental speech, I really don't think it involves any heavy lifting.

On the one hand, this is lovely; on the other, it's half lingerie. So, there's that.

Hee! Here we have some another nightie, but this time from Pioneer days...in Hawaii. And thermal underwear underneath! And a stack of tissue paper crepes on top! This is why I count on Laurentien to bring the giggles.

See, even when she takes the elegant route (crazy good, that coat and dress), she has to funk it up with the headpiece of a windblown dinosaur bird. (Obligatory points awarded for the major sapphires on display, of course.)

You can't expect a person to dress one way all the time, I know that. Laurentien has plenty of sane moments (there's her gold star, of course, plus these recent appearances sent in by reader Heleen). But you come to expect certain things; and from Laurentien on Prinjesdag I expect some interest. Even if it is just a crazy bright color. So it's not so much that her 2011 outfit is bad...it's just a bit of an entertainment let down. Ya know?

Which is your favorite year?

Photos: ANP/Seeger/PPE/Getty Images/Daylife/Dutch Photo Press