09 October 2015

Royal Outfit Grab Bag of the Day: October 9

Quick programming note: Sunday's post will be an open post for those that want to chat while watching the christening of Prince Nicholas. Christening coverage at SVT starts at 11:50 local time (and here's a time zone converter).

Now, let's get to the outfits. Here's a big, random helping of this week's happenings:

King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia embarked on a state visit to Lithuania.
With President Dalia Grybauskaitė at the state banquet she hosted in their honor. Photo: Prezidento kanceliarijos nuotraukos/ R. Dačkus. Click here for a gallery from the first day.
Second state visit this week with no tiaras for meeeeeee (to look at). I feel so neglected. Anyway, Queen Sil must know that this dress is just about the perfect shape for her, because it feels like we see it all the time.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visited Limburg, a former mining region in the Netherlands, yesterday.
Máxima wore a new gray dress from Dolce & Gabbana. Click here for a gallery.
Does excess froof in the general hat area negate a chic dress and a good hair and makeup day? That is the question.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited New York City.
On the one hand, the lace in this jacket/shirt/whatever is quite pretty, and simple trousers seem a good way to style it. On the other hand, from afar it looks like one of those lab coats they make the royals wear just before they hand out the hairnets. (See an evening event from the trip here. It is...also an interesting selection.)

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia visited Dalarna, where Sofia grew up.
The thing worth mentioning here is that this coat is Victoria's, and the ongoing Swedish borrowing of clothing continues to be cute.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attended the presentation of the Dutch Literature Prize at the Royal Palace yesterday.
Photo: Belgian Monarchy Facebook.
Can my love of a black and white print overcome my general aversion to giant shoulder bows? Eeeeehhhh...I give it a solid maybe.

The Countess of Wessex visited Qatar as part of her work with Orbis UK and preventing blindness.
Sophie wore a sleeveless dress from Gucci with a white cardigan added for appropriateness, I imagine. Click here for more on her trip.
We started the week with a neck bow, let's end on one too: I'm loving the potential of this red dress, even though it feels like it should be out for a night on the dance floor instead of all cardigan-ed up on the royal scene.

08 October 2015

Tiara Thursday: Queen Marie's Blackened Steel Kokoshnik

Blackened steel has had its day as a trendy and modern interior finish material, particularly for fireplaces and kitchens, but it might not be a material you associate with fine jewelry – unless, of course, you’re familiar with this intriguing little gem.
Queen Marie's Blackened Steel Kokoshnik
This tiara combines blackened steel, steel that has been treated so that it has a darker finish, with platinum mounting and precious stones in a kokoshnik shape. Bordered by bands of calibré-cut rubies and old-mine and rose-cut diamonds, the center portion of the tiara includes thirteen pear-shaped diamonds set in calibré-cut ruby frames and single circular-cut diamonds set on the stark background created by the blackened steel.
The tiara was made to a special order in 1914 by Cartier. It is among a series of kokoshnik-shaped tiaras made by the French firm around this time that experimented with materials beyond diamonds and their valuable gem counterparts. Others included the Yusupov Rock Crystal Tiara (made in 1911) and the Cartier Onyx Tree Kokoshnik (made in 1914). Using steel made for a less expensive tiara.
Queen Marie
The Blackened Steel Kokoshnik was made for Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938). Born Princess Marie of Edinburgh, she married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania in 1893 and became queen consort the same year this tiara was created. Marie’s marriage was not the best match, but she grew to be passionately devoted to her adopted country and was a popular and influential figure. This is a striking and unique tiara, and it seems it would have been well suited to such a striking and unique queen. While other jewels that belonged to Queen Marie were lost or dismantled over time, the kokoshnik made its way back to the Cartier collection. It’s now often used in Cartier exhibits, where it can be admired by all.

Is this one refreshingly different, or does it leave you longing for more traditional materials?

Photos: Cartier, George Grantham Bain Collection/United States Library of Congress

07 October 2015

Royal Parliament Openings of the Day: October 7

Denmark and Norway have joined the ranks of royals attending to the business of opening their respective parliaments, and now we shall attend to the business of reviewing their parliament opening sartorial business. (Got it? Good.) It's the two queens in red that need our greatest attention here, methinks.

The Danish royal family attend the opening of Parliament in Copenhagen as guests, watching the proceedings from their box, and the usual crew did so yesterday: Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, and Princess Benedikte.
Billed-Bladet video screencaps
Most of this, I must say, is fairly snooze-worthy (except Marie's purple hat, but I'm really just wishing the rest of the outfit had lived up to the hat's sassy potential). Even Mary went with a sedate black and gray palette. You know what does interest me, though? The fact that Queen Margrethe choose this outfit - this warm, autumnal red - to pair with her vibrant turquoise brooch and earrings. (I didn't necessarily say it was the good kind of interest.)

Click here for video, and here or here for galleries.

Their Nordic neighbors in Norway attended their opening of Parliament on Friday. Crown Princess Mette-Marit doesn't attend this event, but Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon were present as usual while King Harald read the speech from the throne. (He accidentally skipped a page of the speech at one point and just kept rolling on. Oops.)
Photo: Morten Brakestad / Stortinget via Creative Commons. Click here for a gallery.
Queen Sonja likes a color scheme of black and/or red and/or white for this event, and this year's outfit fell right in line, though it does make me question the date on this number a little more than I have in other years. But really, this is all about that hat.
Photo: Morten Brakestad / Stortinget via Creative Commons
That hat! It has a certain...planetary flair to it, no? I've decided that this is what became of someone's solar system model from the school science fair, and I don't care to hear any different. Always reusing, those royals.

06 October 2015

Royal Color Scheme of the Day: October 6

They usually end up united by their mutual favorite designer, but even though they varied their labels yesterday, our Benelux queens remained united by color.

Queen Mathilde was on state visit duty, welcoming the President of Turkey to Belgium.
This repeated Ann Demeulemeester is not actually that shiny, but it's probably a good idea to go even more matte than this when faced with a whole lotta camera flash. I think the strong blue, which is perfect on her, is really our saving grace here. (Oh, and it doesn't appear this visit will include a fancy state banquet, alas.)

Also picking up those bright blue vibes was Queen Máxima, who met with the President of Rwanda. Her repeated dress is from Dutch brand LaDress.
We all know that Máx's love for a voluminous sleeve knows no bounds, but this is one of the only (if not the only) daywear versions I'd happily take home with me. But when it comes to this color? Well, they can all come home with me.

05 October 2015

Royal Outfit of the Day: October 5

I think it's safe to say that someone was feeling a little bit retro this weekend.
The annual Crown Prince Couple's Prizes were presented on Saturday and, obviously, the Crown Prince Couple were on hand to do the honors. The prizes honor work in cultural and social areas, and include an award for up and coming innovators.

Just like last year's appearance, this year's was apparently designated as another opportunity for Crown Princess Mary to sneak in as much of her magnificent Danish Ruby Parure as she can, despite the cocktail dress code. The studs from the ruby and diamond earrings, the bracelet, and the ring are all present, but the showstopper is the brooch fastened to the scarf detail on her black top. (The scarf thingy - technical term - is hard to see in these pics, I know. But very To Catch a Thief, no?) Completing the retro scene, a fancy little full black skirt.
This year's appearance is also an opportunity for me to say for the millionth time how much I love her increased, and increasingly creative, use of the ruby set after her modifications. I love it so much, it overrides any other quibbles I could produce about this outfit (like, oh, maybe a full skirt with all its details and a scarf top is a bit much here). I can say just one thing to sum it up: THAT BROOCH.

Photos: Jakob Boserup/Bikubenfonden via Creative Commons