11 December 2014

Royal Fashion Awards: The Nobel Prizes, 2014 (UPDATED)

Phew. There’s a lot going on right now. We’ll check in with Monaco’s big news tomorrow, but for now, we have tiaras to deal with. The Nobel Prize ceremonies happened yesterday in Oslo and Stockholm and the Norwegian and Swedish royal families were out in force. Obviously these events are about the Nobel laureates and not the royals, but as usual, I'll stay in my wheelhouse. (With one exception: I will share this article about the gown worn by laureate May-Britt Moser and its special significance, which I think is pretty cool.) Now, to the awards – and this is a long one, so settle in…

Best in Standards: Non-Tiara Division
The Norwegian Royal Family
The Oslo ceremony is for the Nobel Peace Prize and understandably omits the fancy tiara-wearing dress code (it’s also held earlier in the day), and we usually get a pretty standard showing from King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Mette-Marit wore the same headpiece (we won’t call it a hat) with a white outfit just a couple years ago, but it’s one of her standards that suits her particularly well. She also stuck to her standards by wearing one of her floral prairie dresses for the evening dinner (click here to see), but somehow I don't mind this one as much as I usually mind her covered wagon business. Anyway, a passing grade to all.
A couple screencaps including a look at Mette-Marit's hairdo, and Sonja's velvet jacket from Emilio Pucci. Mette-Marit's coat is from Valentino.

Over in Sweden, the rest of the prizes are given out in one of the most formal events of the year and the Swedish royal family was up to the task, turning out in force.
So many family members were present (the King, Queen, all three children with their respective significant others, plus Princess Christina and her husband) that only four members were on stage and everyone else had to join Christina in her usual spot in the front row.

Best in Standards: Tiara Division
Queen Silvia and Princess Christina
Queen Silvia has worn a variety of tiaras for the Nobel ceremony, but her two most frequent choices are the Leuchtenberg Sapphires and the Nine Prong Tiara. She picked the sapphires this year for the main event and I am ever so thankful for that. Princess Christina also went with her usual, the Six Button Tiara. And as I always say, if someone has to wear ye olde buttons, let it be Christina, since she makes the most of them.
A very shiny and embellished dress for Silvia, also a standard (for better or for worse).

Best in Nobel Spirit
Crown Princess Victoria
Queen Silvia has toned down her Nobel looks as time goes on, and it’s nice to know that someone is picking up the slack. Hello, Victoria! This is a proper ball gown if there ever was one. You know I love it and all its OTT splendor, including the fact that she had trouble moving around in it. (Dedication to the splendor cause, man!) It was designed by Pär Engsheden, her wedding dress designer.
She also delivered on the jewel front, finally bringing back the Baden Fringe Tiara and continuing her recent streak of debuting something new to her for each Nobel season. This year, it was the large diamond cross from the family collection, worn by Victoria for the first time. She also sported a large diamond bracelet, ruby brooch on her front, small brooch on her back, diamond earrings, and diamond lozenge brooch in her hair.

Most Curious in Nobel Spirit
Princess Madeleine
I want to like this but I’m finding it so curious. She did go big for the occasion, opting for an embellished dress from Fadi El Khoury (a designer I’ve longed to see the royals wear more often). But the print is almost an animal print, but not quite; the dress is almost a full skirt ball gown, but not quite.
She used most of Queen Josephine’s Amethyst Parure (earrings, brooch, bracelet), but stuck to the Modern Fringe Tiara. Almost, but not quite.

Best Tiara Potential
Sofia Hellqvist
Let’s get this out of the way: the dress (by Ida Sjostedt), it’s not great. In these photos, I think it looks quite fine actually. But on television, under the lights, it suffered from a serious case of S.O.S. Yes, Sequin Overload Syndrome. And I say this as someone who would like nothing more than to see her show up looking classy as can be and blow all her haters out of the water.* But luckily, something else did catch my eye: that hair!
She hasn’t been issued anything from the family vault yet (that brooch, whatever it’s made of, is certainly not part of the historic pink topaz set, as some originally guessed) but she’s all ready to go, hair brooch and all. I’m looking forward to next year already!

For more Nobel fun:

The tiara fest in Sweden isn’t over just yet – this evening is the King’s Dinner for the laureates at the palace. Stay tuned. The Norwegians still have the Nobel concert to go. Until then…

Who was your best dressed for Nobel 2014?

*Since posts including Sofia tend to end up with comments that dip into personal feelings about her background, let me just issue a friendly preemptive note for my lovely commenters: Let’s not go there.

UPDATE: Night #2 of Nobel festivities!
In Sweden, the traditional King’s Dinner for the Nobel laureates was held at the palace. You can click here for a gallery.
Queen Silvia came down with a case of ADLD (Another Dang Lace Dress, it’s been going around. Like the flu, but prettier) and matched it with the Connaught Tiara. Sofia Hellqvist toned down her sequin dress for a grade of Most Improved and she wore another brooch in her hair – but like last night, the palace stated that she wore private jewels. (You can see her hair embellishment here.)
Both Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine repeated last night’s tiaras, as did Princess Christina (I FROWN IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION, LADIES) (THOUGH I AM ALSO GLAD TO SEE THESE AGAIN INSTEAD OF THE FOUR BUTTON OR THE CUT STEEL BANDEAU, SO MAYBE I’M NOT THAT UPSET). Madeleine gave us déjà vu to a dress recently worn by her sister, and Victoria stuck a bow on it.
How you wear that dress without feeling like the angel in the Christmas play, I don’t know (maybe that is what you feel like and maybe that’s the point), but I applaud her bringing back the corsage necklace used by Princess Lilian, even if it’s not the best with this neckline.

And over in Norway, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and their children attended the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. And Mette-Marit wore a dress adorned with frolicking magical creatures, because of course she did.
UNICORNS AND CHERUBS, people. And let me tell you something: I AM ALL FOR IT. (This busy royal week has driven me to caps lock mania. It’s not my fault.) This dress comes from British brand Mother of Pearl (via Minmote). Victoria went for a fairytale vibe with last night’s mega ball gown and now Mette-Marit’s going for a more literal interpretation. And I’m not kidding - I really am totally charmed by a dress covered in unicorns. The world needs more unicorn prints.

Photos: Getty Images as indicated, SVT video, Lyst, Kungahuset.se, Moda Operandi