Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Royal Wardrobe: lighting up the night sky

Queen Maxima prepares for take off in the biggest skirt of the week
(photo koninklijkhuis Twitter)

If we're honest then this week's Royal Wardrobe has been slim pickings. We got plenty of wow from Maxima as she took Australia by storm but if it's daytime looks you're on the look out for, it wasn't the best start to a month we've known. However, for a change we did get lots of evening sparkle. It was hit and miss in places and there's only one tiara but as the nights get longer, let's make the most of the gala gowns that have lit the night sky as November takes hold.

Queen Maxima treated us to quite possibly the biggest skirt seen this year outside a wedding exhibition in this green and blue cration by Natan worn for the big gala event of the Dutch State Visit to Australia, a concert at the Sydney Opera House. The green and blue work well together and who isn't going to love an outfit that includes emeralds and diamonds from the Dutch royal jewellery box. It's a shame we got the brown belt in the middle and a skirt that's ready for take off but this is still glamourous enough to cheer anyone up on a late autumn evening.

Quite why Queen Letizia of Spain chose a sleeveless tux jumpsuit for an appearance at a conference in Paris is anyone's guess. She looks fabulous but whether this evening outfit is the right match for a keynote speech on health matters is still up for debate. It's by Hugo Boss, of course, and it's autumn evening glam and then some. Plenty of sparkle but a mismatch with the event.

OK, we were all looking at Fred's evening scarf range but Mary went for an all black look this week as well and almost won. The idea is great but the mix of different fabrics isn't quite gelling. We've got an ultra chic velvet bodice and wide leg satin trousers all fighting for attention and losing against the creases round the middle and Fred's scarf. Glitzy enough for gala but too much of a good thing isn't always the best option.

For a lesson in how to do evening glamour in black, say hello to Queen Rania who this week chose this cracker of a sparkling evening gown for a dinner in honour of the International Rescue Committee in New York. It's chic, it's glamourous, it's got enough sparkle to make it interesting without overpowering it all and the simple hair and accessories only add to the wow factor. Not even standing next to David Miliband in a suit that once fitted him can divert attention from this gala triumph.
The jury is still out on the white worn by Kate in the week. This new evening dress, by Self Portrait, was chosen for a night out at a film premiere in aid of Action on Addiction. The broderie top is rather chic but the heavy white belt is a bit too much while the divided skirt has really divided opinion. On a breezy November night it proved hard work for the Duchess of Cambridge to keep under control as she walked the red carpet and there's a lot of fabric going on here for not much effect. Full marks, though, for the red shoes and bag.

Now, this is gala glamour. Let's pause a moment and give three cheers for the fabulousness of the black and white ruffles worn by Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, First Lady of Colombia for the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace this week and then enjoy the sheer sparkle of the gown and heirloom sapphires worn by the Queen.  A real way to brighten a November evening if ever there was one. 

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