Thursday, December 29, 2011
Royal Fashion Highness:
Sheikha Mozah of Qatar: Where Does This Turban-ed Diva Belong On my "Best Dressed Royal of 2011" List? Keep Reading...As you know, I love discussing the royals here on my blog--especially the FASHIONABLE ones. So therefore for the end of this year, here's my List of the Best Dressed Royal Ladies of 2011 as well as an "Honorable Mention Royal Diva" at the end. Let's begin with... Catherine Duchess of Cambridge: On Friday April 29th of this past year, Kate Middleton became Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and of course, the wife of Prince William in a fairy tale wedding. The gown was a gorgeous sight to behold; the most anticipated wedding dress since Princess Diana's grandiose David and Elizabeth Emanuel creation. Designed by Sarah Burton for the House of Alexander McQueen, it was magical and Disney Princess-like. And very Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Catherine is a Fashion Muse, Icon and Fashionista. Every garment she puts on is dissected like a Chemistry Class experiment. She rarely gets it wrong. Catherine wore lots of fabulous ensembles in 2011 and for me, this Alexander McQueen lilac chiffon, crystal-waist cinched and gathered gown really stood out as one of the best. The Duchess wore it in Los Angeles to attend the BAFTA Brits To Watch Gala in the Belasco Theater. There were many many stars that night but they all were shadowed completely by Catherine. Princess Charlene of Monaco: Another royal who makes my "Best Dressed List of 2011" was of course, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)-born Princess Charlene Grimaldi of Monaco nee Charlene Wittstock. On July 1st, she wed the almost-confirmed bachelor-of-a-lifetime Prince Albert of Monaco. The Princess wore a custom-made Armani Prive Haute Couture off-the-shoulder gown estimated at over $100,000. The column gown really highlighted her statuesque figure and especially those amazing broad "swimmer's shoulders" of hers. Even though New York Times Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn has called her style "flat pancake" , she has been "stepping it up" as of late. One of my favorite looks on her was this strapless fuchsia gown from the Swiss clothing brand of Akris (one of her favorites) which she wore in August to the 63rd Annual Red Cross Ball in Monte Carlo. It goes without saying that it helps that A) she's gorgeous and B) she accessorized the gown with a custom-made Van Cleef & Arpels necklace made from 88 round diamonds, 10 pear-shaped diamonds and 359 sapphires meant to look like the ocean. A gift from little ol' Albert. Must be nice to have married one of the richest royals in the WORLD! Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar: Sheikha Mozah is the second of three wives of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, but obviously she's the "Number One" in Fabulousness! I am obsessed with her, her style, her elegance, her turbans...all of it! As a result, she ranks as one of my Top, if not MY TOP Best Dressed Royal of 2011. Seriously, take a look at that I-just-got-off-my-First Class Flight from Qatar to Madrid GOWN she wore, as she makes an official State Visit to Spain and the Spanish Royals. It's a creme Stephane Rolland Haute Couture and the jacket is ATTACHED to the gown at the hips. Poor Queen Sofia of Spain (far right) looks like the Mother-in-Law at an afternoon wedding in Bakersfield California, compared to her! And above (during the same State Visit to Spain in April of this past year), the Sheikha wore a Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011 completely hand beaded tunic-cape gown with arm slits. This gown probably cost her about $100,000 if not more, which for her, was a "a drop in the (fashion) bucket". Again, she looked radiantly elegant. This woman should give a master class in how to dress. I'd attend it! Princess Letizia of Asturias: The Crown Princess of Spain, Letizia, is one of the most-watched female young royals. The European press are constantly following her every appearance the way we follow Angelina Jolie or Kim Kardashian (sorry Letizia). If the press isn't talking about her supposed anorexia and saying "mira que flaca esta!" (look how thin she is!), they're discussing her fashion. She has classic yet modern taste in terms of her clothes and usually favors Spanish fashion designers (she kinda has to). Never too edgy, but just the right amount of style to keep us fashion watchers happy. She is the Catherine Duchess of Windsor...for Spain. Above is an example of her Classy, Lady-Like looks, which she incidentally wore to the William & Kate Royal Wedding: head-to-toe blush color, matching hat, veil, gloves, shoes, pumps and delicately embroidered dress. Fashion "hermanas": Princess Letizia of Asturias with Queen Rania of Jordan. Above is another of my favorite Princess Letizia looks from 2011--a light plum side pleated dress with three-quarter sleeves which she wore to a State Visit to Amman Jordan with the King and Queen of Jordan. Queen Rania, also makes my list here as one of the Best Dressed Royal Women for 2011. Because 2011 was well, how shall we say, not a good year for that area of the world--and especially for the ruling class and they're showing of conspicuous consumption--Rania has tended to scale down her FABULOUS Fashion Appearances. But she did give you FASHION with a Capital "F"--on that Spanish Royal State Visit. She was very "Business Attire" but with a definite nod to being a fashionista with that front attached "scarf"/shawl collar. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden Duchess of Västergötland: Victoria joins my list here because she has really "blossomed", fashion-wise. Not really known for her fashion sense but that has changed in the last few years, especially in the run-up to her wedding and even now through her pregnancy. She used 2011 as a "Banner Year" to show all "royal watchers" that she also, could be as stylish as those "other princesses". Above is one of her best looks from 2011: a red side draped, asymmetrical sleeved gown which she wore to the William & Kate Pre-Royal Wedding Dinner. Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba: The Most Titled Woman on Earth, the much-beloved 85-year-old Duquesa de Alba, is a DIVA. She is one of my favorite royals! She's always loved fashion and throughout her entire life, has been a Muse for many Couturiers--from Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga to Emanuel Ungaro. Her style is very eclectic, fun and yes, sometimes verging on a "kooky" Tarot Card Reader from Venice California, but always FABULOUS! This year, she got married for the third time--to "commoner" (and much younger "boy-toy") Alfonso Diez. She wore a custom-made light pink applique Sevillana-inspired dress from her favorite Spanish fashion designers, Victorio & Lucchino. You gotta give it to her. I hope that by 85 (hopefully I get to live that long), I still have the chutzpah to dress like this! Oh, and did I mention, she broke into a flamenco dance after the wedding and it was all caught on video? LOVE HER! Charlotte Casiraghi, fourth in line for the throne of Monaco: the second child of Caroline Princess of Hanover and Prince Albert of Monaco's niece. The 25-year-old beauty looks like a Hollywood Star (Hello! Her late grandmother was Grace Kelly!) and looks EXACTLY like her mother did in her younger years. She is also following in her mother's footsteps as a Fashion Mini-Diva (it helps that she can get 5-to-6 figure costing Haute Couture dresses from her "Best Gay Uncle" Karl Lagerfeld any time she wants!) This year, she ascended into "Fashion Heaven" during the nuptials of her uncle, Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock, where she wore this Chanel Haute Couture pink off-the-shoulder dress to the actual wedding above... And for at the After Wedding Party, she decided to almost upstage the bride, when she appeared in this stunningly elegant Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2011-2012 silk cape-gown looking like the ghost of Princess Grace. Her Grandma would be proud! Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan: In 2011, a new royal fashion diva emerged, Jetsun Pema, the Queen of Bhutan. After her October 2011 wedding, the Hollywood Gorgeous Queen has been making several State Visits in Asia, including Japan and India with her husband, and at every stop, the fashion paparazzi has taken note of her style, grace and elegance. She has become a "Fashion Ambassador" for the tiny Himalayan kingdom, always wearing Bhutanese clothing, textiles and prints. She could easily look like a "Miss Universe Pageant Parade of Nations Costume" contestant but somehow, she doesn't; making her traditional garments look effortlessly chic. She is "one to watch" for 2012! And Finally, My "Nick V. Royal Fashion Diva of the the Year Honorable Mention" Goes To: Princess Beatrice of York: Princess Beatrice arguably stole the show, when she arrived in what has now become "The Most Famous Hat in The World" at William & Kate's Royal Wedding this year. When I first saw her on my TV screen in this pale pink Valentino Haute Couture coat-dress and THAT Philip Treacy chapeau, I literally yelled "You Go Girl!" I also think many, many, many other Gays around the World did the same thing--in different languages of course! This hat is as controversial as her famous Mother but there is no denying it made an impact and for that, she gets my "Honorable Mention Royal Fashion Diva of 2011". Keep it up Beatrice!