09 December 2011

Flashback Friday: Silvia at the Nobel Prize Ceremony

If Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine do Nobel style right, it's because they learned from the master: their mother. Queen Silvia has always made very specific sartorial selections for the events surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. She's been at it since her wedding in 1976 and has amassed such a collection that it was even worthy of an exhibition a while back. Here we have a slew of dresses that are usually specially selected for the event and are carefully coordinated with their jewel mate. (The majority of those magnificent hair creations we looked at earlier this year? They come from the Nobel ceremony.) So, we're devoting the last flashback before we get to see what the ladies have in store for us this year to the Queen and her most memorable Nobel looks.

This is where it all begins, Silvia's first Nobel ceremony. A very 1970s look, and a marked contrast to the queenly appearances she'll make later on; even her demeanor is less polished here - such a relaxed posture, legs crossed. We never see that from proper Queen Silvia today. This is also the first and last time we see her turn to her wedding dress designer, Dior, for a Nobel look.

The 1980s! Always good for an overstuffed giggle. Actually, Queen Silvia fared pretty well during this fluffy decade, and several of her gowns could be reused today (notable exceptions above). The 80s are also notable for the introduction of Danish designer Jørgen Bender in Silvia's repertoire. Apparently Silvia had a fairly close relationship with Queen Ingrid (a Swedish princess turned Danish queen), and this seems to be her influence at work: Bender was responsible for a lot of couture (including wedding gowns) for the Danish royal ladies.

If anything, her most voluminous gowns belong to the 1990s, where she kept a string of giant skirts but thankfully forgot all about the huge matching sleeves, so they just fit the fairy princess bill (fairy queen, I suppose, though perhaps that first black and white number is more of a jailbird queen sort of thing) instead of falling into the cringeworthy retro category.

Our last decade was a period of transition for Silvia. Her last froofy (technical term) gown was really in 2001, with the Nina Ricci creation above. While I love it - come on, she looks like she just flounced off of the Swan Lake stage and happened upon the Nobel Prize ceremony - I also can't help but wonder if our lovely queen had by this time reached an age at which such gowns should be left to her daughters. And perhaps she wondered the same, as the rest of the decade sees her trimming down her wondrous hair creations and the size of her gowns.

Last year's appearance receives special recognition, and not just for the divine shape that dress cuts on her. The mixture of the jewel-toned green with the deep blue sapphires is so unique and it just works. It almost makes up for the fact that the miraculous creations of hair art seem to have disappeared.

Now, we must tally the tiara tiara appearances, in order to accurately guess what Her Majesty might spring on us this year:
As you can see, that's zero appearances for the big ol' Braganza Tiara, since apparently the Nobels are important but not that important. I'm feeling like the amethysts have been woefully neglected, and perhaps it's time for their day to come once again (when am I not feeling that way about amethysts?). I'll take anything but the Nine Prong, really.

Favorite year? Bet for this year? Hmmm?

Psst: There's a second dinner at which tiaras will be present that isn't represented above. Also, here's some exciting news: since one of the Nobel laureates this year is from Luxembourg, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess will be in attendance! Luxembourg bling and Swedish sparkle, be still my heart.

Psst again: The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is on Saturday and will stream live on the Nobel Prize website, and also at SVT though not all of their material is available to viewers outside of Sweden. It starts at 4:30 pm CET (that's Stockholm time), and here's a handy tool to prevent time zone math migraines should you need it. I will be watching; if you're so inclined, feel free to join me on The Twitter. The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo starts at 1:00 pm CET, and will be attended by the King, Queen, Crown Prince, and Crown Princess of Norway.

Photos: Nobelprize.org/Svenskdam/Scanpix/Corbis