21 September 2016

Royal Event of the Day: September 21

Yesterday was Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands, when the monarch reads his speech from the throne to the government, and - relevant to our purposes - the Dutch royal ladies get all dressed up. It's usually a yearly highlight for Queen Máxima, but was it this year? LET'S DISCUSS:

(Hang on, bear with me for a second as I do my traditional explanation for those unfamiliar with this style of dress.) Hats with long skirts/dresses and sashes are the dress code for the day for the women, something that used to be pretty common at formal royal events, but which has died out over the years. No tiaras, because this is a day event; no sashes for the men, because those aren't worn with morning dress. Willem-Alexander, before becoming king, wore a uniform and used a sash with that. Now he wears a small order pin on his lapel, as does Prince Constantijn. (Okay, NOW let's discuss.)

Queen Máxima chose Claes Iversen as her designer for the day. She opted for a blue blouse tucked into a long golden skirt with blue embellishments and topped the whole thing with one of her favorite giant hats from Fabienne Delvigne. My first thought? This is what dressing for your sash looks like - she's all in tune with the Order of the Netherlands Lion here.

My second thought? If last year was the closest she's come to eveningwear territory at this event, this is a hard swing back to daywear, from the skirt+shirt combo to the sizable hat. Is it a swing for the better or a swing for the worse? I'm honestly not sure. I preferred last year's look, but she set the bar epically high for herself after that.

The best thing here is the best thing nearly every year: the jewels, of course. Those lusciously giant sapphire earrings and Queen Wilhelmina's huge sapphire bow brooch at her waist! The belt buckle placement is probably partly practical (big brooches are a tough sell on tops with no structure), and it is entirely genius with this outfit. Plus, if you ever need a reminder to sit up straight...

But wait, there's more! Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien were in attendance as usual, Laurentien sporting one of the family's bug brooches and big earrings previously worn by Máxima. Her sash is that of the Order of the House of Orange.

Whereas Máxima's Prinsjesdag outfits are clearly geared toward future gala gear reuse, her sister-in-law is stocking up for any future chain mail needs. And given her history with interesting fabrics at this event (last year, she went all Missoni-esque in a chevron knit; the year before, it was formal corduroy), she's right on brand. As ever, we commend her for keeping it interesting for us.

Photos: NOS screencaps, via Getty Images as indicated