31 January 2011

Week in Review: Princess Nikolaos, 23-29 January

Here's what Princess Nikolaos wore the week of 23-29 January:

  1. At the opening of a London Tory Burch store, 25 January. Tory Burch store, it would follow that at least the jacket here is a Tory Burch design.
Well, look at that. You wear gray and black the right way, and I'm all for it. She looks chic!

30 January 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: Monaco's Circus

The circus is in town! In Monte Carlo, to be exact. Quite an event, this International Circus Festival, and as usual it brought those crazy Monegasque royals out in droves. They're always good for discussion, so let's get down to business:

Best Couple
Pierre Casiraghi and Beatrice Borromeo
Snuggly and cute, these two. Demonstrating two correct scarf-sporting methods, I might add: for decoration without overwhelming your outfit as in the first picture (most astutely noted by reader Alpa who emailed me pics) and when you're required to wear them, as in the second picture.

Most Formal
Charlene Wittstock
Wearing the winter version of her summer engagement dress, Charlene here is a whole lot of done up for the circus, right? It was her birthday that day, I suppose we're all allowed to dress up to whatever version of the nines we please. Not that I would know what the appropriate dress code for a circus visit is anyways. Nothing's scarier than a clown, if you ask me.

Most Appropriate
Princess Alexandra
Now, see, this is what I expect at the circus. Complete with what looks to be a repeat of the mouse shoes from National Day.

Best Sport
Pauline Ducruet
How many teenage girls can you think of that would be willing to sport a ridiculous wig in public? In front of cameras, no less! Points to Ms. Ducruet for that alone. The rest is typical teen, right down to the skinny trousers, but she looks happy to support her mom. Hey, Albert gets points too:

Most At Home
Princess Stephanie
I'm just going to say it: she looks good. She looks comfortable and happy to be circus-ing it up (she's the president of the organization, I believe). Still clearly not in the couture realms of her sister, but for Stephanie, this'll do. Oh, except for the SHOOTIES on display in that last picture. That will never do.

Best Circus Outfit
Charlotte Casiraghi
Well, she didn't actually go to the circus, but you wear clown pants, this is what you get. She's at a Gucci party, she's wearing a Gucci outfit. The same thing was worn by Jennifer Lopez. Not a lot of crossover there, royalty and J.Lo., usually. (Preferably.) This is kind of steezy though; you know, she's working the whole "I just woke up and threw on this old designer rag, and I could care less what you think" look. Which is sort of her thing, I guess.

So, what do you think: is Charlotte working it? Is Charlene overdressed? Do clowns scare you too?

Photos: Zimbio

29 January 2011

Week in Review: Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 16-22 January

Here's what Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore the week of 16-22 January:

  1. a, b, and c) New pictures released from the family's travels for Ingrid Alexandra's 7th birthday, 21 January. Good traveling outfits, nothing much to see here.
  2. a, b, c, d) New official photographs released, 22 January; e) the Valentino gown on the runway.
A week of photographs that aren't actually from this week, but we'll go with it since it's been a while since we've seen Mette-Marit. No new gowns on display for the official pictures, but it is nice to see these repeats in a posed manner - all the better for the details.

And hey, look what's back:
Quite the selection, there, Queen Sonja. Now we know the layers are alternating pleats, lace AND ruffles. The full trifecta for this ruffled wonder.


Photos: Norwegian Royal Court

28 January 2011

Flashback Friday: Royal Wardrobe Malfunctions and Mishaps

I'd like to apologize in advance for the content of this post. Máxima made me do it. Let me tell you something: once you start looking at wardrobe mishaps and malfunctions, you can't stop. It's the train wreck that keeps on giving. Allow me to demonstrate:

Apart from flashbulb peril, Máxima seems to be prone to earring problems. (Goes with the territory when you wear giant rocks as jewelry, I suppose.) Noticing you lost an earring (left) is not nearly as embarrassing as not noticing (right).

Left to Right: Crown Princess Mary, Sara Buys (now Sara Parker-Bowles, daughter-in-law of Camilla) at Charles and Camilla's wedding, an engaged Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Michael of Kent
The unplanned problems are the saddest, really. Even the best laid outfit plans can go astray. Poor Máxima's not alone, Mary's also had some issues with camera flashes and visible undergarments. And who looks at the back of their skirt in a bus-climbing pose before purchase? Another failure to consider camera angles resulted in one of the most famous royal wardrobe malfunctions of all time from poor Diana. At least she didn't do it intentionally...ahem, Princess Michael.

Princess Eugenie's among the ones I just expect to have some embarrassing moments, what with all those perilously short skirts. She's not the only one to have let the wind get the best of her, though:

L to R: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Paola, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Letizia, the Princess of Wales, Princess Madeleine
Oh, wind. How dare you mess with the royal composure. You have to give credit to these ladies for rolling on like nothing happened after such unfortunate incidents - some worse than others. (If you recall Letizia's windy moment, you know that I am posting the most delicate photograph I could find. Poor girl.) I had a Marilyn Monroe moment once myself, on a street in London. It still pains me to think of it.

Extra composure points are awarded for those that have to deal with the wind on the worst possible days. Poor Marie. I'd make a face so much worse than that if nature decided to have its way with my wedding dress. Oh, we'd have words, Nature and I.

Some royals are more prone to mishaps than others, it seems. Mary's lost her hat on more than one occasion (at Parliament before her wedding, and not so long ago in Vietnam). Lucky for her dashing soldiers always seem to be around to do the hat fetching. Recently, she lost her shoe while in Washington, D.C, proving why a princess shouldn't leave the house without a pedicure. Just in case.

Here's my question: is Sarah Ferguson truly more prone to wardrobe malfunctions, or do people just take extra delight in her mistakes?
I know, Sarah. I'm not helping. But I take a stance like Boyfriend Dave there does: what good does a sour face do us? Just have a laugh and move on.

Finally, my investigation into the phenomenon of  the royal wardrobe malfunction turned up a few particularly disturbing incidences. What do you call it when a mishap is planned, and prepared for, and...intentional?
L to R: Princess Mabel, Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, Princess Caroline
Lest anyone be tempted to make excuses for these ladies, let me clarify: this is Mabel attending the King of Norway's birthday celebrations, Kalina attending the silver wedding anniversary in Luxembourg, and Caroline at the Rose Ball. Not a costumed function in sight.

Listen: if I have to be scarred for life, so do you. We're in this together, friends.

Week in Review: Princess Beatrice, 16-22 January

Here's what Princess Beatrice wore the week of 16-22 January:

  1. Leaving Annabel's nightclub, 22 January. Not too shabby - I like this purple Luella jacket better over the black dress than I did when she wore it over a purple dress. That's a bright purple, it needs to stand on its own. And Boyfriend Dave there's looking quite suave, no?
 Photos: Purepeople/Angeli

27 January 2011

Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 16-22 January

Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 9-15 January:

  1. Attending the Spots on Jobs fair, 19 January.
Oh, wow. I am so confused. Shockingly pink shirt with gray everything else. Except the accessories...
A brown purse? Sparkly pink disco earrings? And two tone shoes? So confused. Somebody needs to explain this to me.


Photos: Dutch Photo Press/PPE/vdWerf

    26 January 2011

    Week in Review: Crown Princess Victoria, 16-22 January

    Here's what Crown Princess Victoria wore the week of 16-22 January:

    1.  Day 1 of her official visit to the UAE, 17 January. This is the outfit that prompted the royal court to issue a pregnancy denial (for whatever that's worth).  If you didn't want to encourage pregnancy talk, why would you wear your top like that? She knows people are watching, right? Hmm.
    2. A reception on Day 1, 17 January. Love this jacket, and this is an interesting contrast to the bump-friendly day outfit.
    3. Day 2, 18 January. This is clean and simple. I'll buy it.
    4. Day 3, first outfit, 19 January. Well, this looks familiar. Day 2 is my preference; without the fresh white color these kind of suits can age a girl.
    5. Day 3, second outfit, 19 January. Simple and casual for a visit to a national park.
    6. Day 3, third outfit, 19 January. Love it!
    7. a) Day 4, 20 January, and b) the coat from Armani. Fantastic coat, odd shoe pairing. Elegant jacquard and...reptile? 
    Best and Worst of the Week
     I just love outfit #6! Great contrast between the cardigan, the texture of the skirt, and the shine of the shirt. Not a bad week, but this one shines the most for me. Outfit #1 also has some good contrast going on, but it's my worst of the week because of the Bump Factor. Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping the palace will have an announcement for us soon, I just don't see a bump elsewhere this week and wouldn't go stirring up speculation if I didn't need to. But that's just me. Where do you stand on the bump speculation situation?

    On another note, check out the total lack of color this week! I think she looks good, but I'm getting a little worried about all these princesses and their neutrals. 2011 better get more colorful, and quick!

    Photos: ANP/PPE/Svenskdam

    25 January 2011

    Week in Review: Princess Mathilde, 16-22 January

    Here's what Princess Mathilde wore the week of 16-22 January:

    1. Attending the GSK Biologicals Awards, 17 January, a) with coat and b) without. Boring gray, but well fit.
    2. Annual Diplomatic New Year's Reception, 18 January, a) full view and b) close up. Interesting jacket: sort of faux bois or zebra-esque in pattern.
    3. Reception for NATO representatives, 20 January. Color! Yay!
    4. Opening the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair, 20 January. Oh, those NATAN boots. Too high, and too pink.
    Best and Worst of the Week
    Gotta go with #3 for the best, hands down. Such a lovely color of pink - it really lights up Mathilde's face. And the dress is a great fit for her. Outfit #4 is also a great fit, and I when I first saw it I loved it. But I only loved it until I saw the boots, and now it's my worst of the week. How about you?


    Photos: Isopix/Belga/hln.be

    24 January 2011

    Things That Make You Go Hmm...: Is that her...? Oh, no.

    If you can get farther than the chest-ish area while reviewing Máxima's outfit here, you're a better person than I.
    Nothing's sadder than a royal wardrobe malfunction. See through tops: a "hmm" if there ever was one.

    (You know, there's something to be said about wearing your pretty underwear all the time, just in case. Food for thought.)

    Any other royal wardrobe malfunctions you can think of? Since we're already shaking our heads in shame, and all.

    Week in Review: Princess Letizia, 16-22 January

    Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 16-22 January:

    1. At the annual Foreign Ambassadors Reception, 18 January.
    2. a) Attending the commemoration of the Santillana publishing house, 18 January, and b) the dress as worn previously. Not fair to evaluate the dress with the coat on, really.
    Last week was light neutrals, this week is dark neutrals! See, she really does switch it up sometimes. (Ha.) What we have this week are two examples of things Letizia's tiny frame can pull off: a tightly cinched waist (#1) and a bubble dress (#2). And one example of something no one's frame can pull off: sticking a motorcycle jacket over a dainty bubble dress. Color me shocked she just didn't throw a scarf over it instead. Maybe she really is shaking things up.

    Photos: Terra

    22 January 2011

    Gold Star: Sophie, Countess of Wessex in Reading

    See, here: gray does not have to be so snooze-worthy.
    When I saw the Countess here out and about meeting users of the Readibus service in Reading this week, the first thing I thought was: Sophie's looking good! And really, what more can you ask from an outfit?
    Loving the coat dress: it's basic with just enough added interest from the ruffle trim. And I like the pairing with black stockings; it adds more contrast than nude stockings would have. But most of all, this is just a fantastic shape for her. Forgiving and flattering: a winning combo.

    Sophie turned 46 this week. I'm giving her a gold star for her birthday, because this Countess is looking better in her forties than she ever has before.

    Did you like this one, or is color always better in your world?

    Photos: Indigo/Getty Images

    Week in Review: Princess Máxima, 9-15 January

    Here's what Princess Máxima wore the week of 9-15 January:

    1. Visiting the Be Interactive foundation, 11 January, a) with coat and b) without.
    2. Receiving the Sultan of Brunei, 13 January. An odd angle on this picture combined with the proportions of the outfit is creating a bit of a fun house mirror situation here, no?
    3. At Marcanti College in Amsterdam, 15 January.
    Best and Worst of the Week
    I could do without the matching red boots in outfit 3, but I still like this one best. Very flattering jacket. Outfit 2's also got a great jacket, but it's too short and the skirt's too high waisted - the proportions are all messed up. Also, I know that these group photos have to be an awkward thing to do, but I think a little posing practice might help things along. Right?

    UPDATE: Missed this one, attending a memorial service for Célia von Bismarck, 17 January.

    Photos: Daylife/Getty Images/Gespot AT5/bild.de

      21 January 2011

      Flashback Friday: Readers' Best of 2010

      Here we go! Your suggestions for additions to the Best of 2010 list. Ah. This is just what I needed after a week of Worsts and bores and SHOOTIES.

      Princess Mathilde
      I quite like that orange plaid number. My only hesitation comes from the addition of what appears to be orange shoes and orange earrings. A little matching goes a long way, methinks.

      Princess Beatrice
      Excellent leg showings, both. Though I did think that first number was better standing still, rather than in action trudging through the Ascot lawn.

      Princess Letizia
      With the exception of that SHOOTIE appearance (or booties, or whatever you want to call them - it's all fug to me) on the end there, I'm in agreement.

      Crown Princess Mary
      A true abundance of options. The floral Jackie O. inspired look from the Washington, D.C. visit very nearly topped my list too. Divided opinions, though, on the orange gown (and also on that brown jumpsuit...not for me, that).

      Princess Máxima
      That floral Valentino is a lot of dress: not many could pull it off, but she does. Someone mentioned the bicycle riding outfit, which was also worn departing on the train for Margrethe's birthday celebrations, and that got me thinking about this super Hollywood appearance from the train's arrival in Denmark. Chic!

      Crown Princess Victoria
      More excellent choices, particularly the Elie Saab. I don't care for those YSL shoes in the middle, but I think I'm alone on that.

      Many thanks to all that weighed in!

      Week in Review: Crown Princess Mary, 9-15 January

      Here's what Crown Princess Mary wore the week of 9-15 January:
      1.  Leaving the hospital with the twins, 14 January.
      I'm not a huge fan of this, but I'm also not going to pick on a lady that just had twins. Besides, this same thing happens to me when I wear wide-legged trousers: you stand still and they swallow your shoes whole.

      How'd this measure up to past hospital exits for you?

      Photo: PurePeople/Abaca

      20 January 2011

      Week in Review: Princess Letizia, 9-15 January

      Here's what Princess Letizia wore the week of 9-15 January:
      1.  Opening a library, 11 January, a) with coat and b) without.
      2. Lunch for the President of Hungary and later attending the delivery of the distinctions "City of the Science and the Innovation" in Madrid, 13 January, a) without coat and b) with. I'm getting the feeling here that using the dark tights makes her think it's okay to go this short with the skirt. Tights do not equal trousers. Also not okay? SHOOTIES.
      3. Attending a working meeting with a cancer association, 14 January, a) back and b) front.
      Best and Worst of the Week
      Gray, gray, and might as well be gray. I'll give her a pass for appearance #3 as it was a "working meeting", but otherwise I'm just bored to tears here. Can I name them all "worst"?

      Photos: Profimedia/Getty/Terra/Casa Real/Telecinco

      19 January 2011

      Royal Trend Watch: SHOOTIES

      There's a trend that's been brewing among royal ladies. I've been loathe to declare it as such, but after today...I think I have to. And I will do so while banging my head on my desk, because this trend is the new bane of my existence.

      The SHOOTIE. I'm sorry to go all caps-locky on you, but I think it's warranted. A ridiculous word, a ridiculous look. Why, please tell me why, would you voluntarily cut your legs off? Can't we all unite in the pursuit of a nice long leg line?
      Crown Princess Victoria's one and only appearance that came close to making my Top 10 Worst of 2010 list, and it's all because of the SHOOTIE.
      Letizia's a fan. I have to say, if this was going to look good on anyone, it would probably be Letizia based on the wee size of her legs, but no. You will notice how she wears them with matching tights, thus negating the whole SHOOTIE effect in the first place, though that little trick still doesn't erase the mistake of that cherry red number.
      I saw this today on Laurentien, and my concern increased. That's a distracting dress (I mean, what's going on around the shoulders?), but you still can't hide the SHOOTIES. You know how these Dutch princesses are. This is bound to be only the tip of the SHOOTIE iceberg.

      But nothing, NOTHING, can possibly top this in terms of sheer SHOOTIE horror:
      The Estonian state visit to Sweden has brought a whole host of interesting sartorial appearances, courtesy of the Estonian First Lady there. Wrestle your attention away from the headgear for a moment. I know, it's impossible (oh LORD is it ever impossible), but move your eyes in a downward direction. Before you have a heart attack, know that Queen Silvia's not pulling a Letizia here, that's just static cling wreaking havoc on her skirt. She saved her Letizia move for the feet.

      A double SHOOTIE appearance. I'm still trying to recover from the horror. If this phenomenon has made it's way from wannabe fashionable princesses to the realm of queens, I'm afraid we have a real problem on our hands. I'm thinking of starting a petition. (I'm also thinking of starting a Worst of 2011 list for those accompanying royals based solely on the sartorial wonder that is the Estonian First Lady, but that's another story.) Who's with me?

      Photos: Huffington Post/Daylife/PPE/vdWerf

      Top 10 Worst of 2010: The Runners Up

      Narrowing down the field to just 10 of the worst appearances of the year was nearly impossible. You know I love the disastrous appearances. So, without further ado, the ones that almost made it:

      Things that Make Me Sad
      L to R: Princess Máxima, Princess Mathilde, Princess Alexia, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Alexandra, Sarah Ferguson
      From bad fabrics (that'd be Máxima and Maria Teresa) to bad shapes (Mathilde and Alexia), these ladies brought me down with their unfortunate selections. Designers make me sad, too: example being when NATAN attacked poor young Princess Alexandra. And when Sarah busted out her Alexander McQueen...it made me weep for the memory of that poor designer. Have some respect for his legacy, Sarah: retire that dress.

      That's enough of the sad. Let's get back to the humorous appearances, shall we?

      When Accessories Attack
      L to R: Princess Elena, Princess Anne, Princess Michael, Queen Margrethe, Princess Claire
      It's the bolero and the hair piece on Elena that takes this pink number from just enthusiastically ball-gownish to straight up costume. Similarly, Princess Anne's outfit on Ascot Day 2 wasn't that bad...until you saw the hair ornaments. It's a little disturbing on a woman of Anne's age (not to mention a woman of Anne's persona). Even more disturbing, though, is this fortune teller get up of Princess Michael. Talk about your costumes! What's not a costume, of course, is Margrethe's floral raincoat - that's just who she is (shame she didn't bust out the matching hat, though). And I'm sadly afraid that these necklaces attacking Princess Claire might just be who she is. Yikes.

      Royal Hippies
      L to R: Princess Cristina, Queen Sofia, Princess Letizia, Charlene Wittstock
      A nice printed fabric, a lovely flow...just makes you yearn for the beach (or Woodstock). But on royal duty? Methinks not. At least we're getting a picture of where Elena might have gotten the inspiration for her clown pants. I have no explanation for Charlene, though. Let's just hope she'll have a better Armani experience come wedding time.

      Prints Gone Wild
      L to R: Crown Princess Margarita, Princess Irene, Queen Beatrix, Princess Märtha Louise (times 2!)
      Oh, prints went wild on the dance floor too this year. Margarita combined the ever-popular jail bird trend with a nice floral for a truly mind-boggling frock, while Princess Irene and Queen Beatrix went paisley (why?). Märtha Louise, always one to give us something to snicker at, dished up two doozies this year: sea creature with a mullet at Victoria's pre-wedding dinner, and striped up like a football star during the Netherlands state visit. It should be noted that she's worn that dress before, to Frederik and Mary's wedding. She appears to only wear it when she has a sash that accentuates the stripe-age.

      A Serious Case of Try Hard
      L to R: Crown Princess Pavlos, Princess Nikolaos, Princess Letizia, Crown Princess Victoria, Crown Princess Mary, Princess Mabel
      There's a lot of fashionable princesses mucking about out there. There are some that are truly stylish, and some that just think they are, but they all have their moments of Trying Too Hard. Marie-Chantal is a couture-clad designer, but I still don't get this overly metallic frock. (Too much.) Tatiana's another fashion industry veteran, but this black outfit crosses from fashionable to Halloween. (Too harsh.) Letizia tries, but I will never have any love for the M.C. Hammer pants. (Too wrong.) I love Victoria, but shooties? Seriously? (Too much of a travesty.) And Mary, she gets it right so often, but this top and these pants and those shoes on a pregnant lady...no. (Too much try.)

      Naturally, we close once again with Mabel. With stripper shoes...and a jumpsuit. Wait, why didn't this one make the countdown? Crap.

      Alright, you've heard me out. Now, tell me: who did I miss?