Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The obligatory royal wedding post...

Well, as a Brit (although living abroad), I gather I'm contractually obliged to comment on the royal wedding. And I have to say, despite being a staunch republican (in the British sense only!), I was absolutely glued to the TV the entire day...

However, not in the way that so many of the vox-pops on the news were expressing. It didn't make me particularly "proud to be British" (why would it? That confuses me). I didn't feel that somehow two rich and privileged young people getting married somehow gave the country hope (again, why would it?). No, I liked it for two reasons: empathy and voyeurism.

I have to admit to a little teariness as Catherine came down the aisle, and William said to her, "you look lovely, very beautiful" (probably anyway, courtesy of the lip-reading experts), but simply because they reminded me of myself and my husband and our wedding day. What, didn't you know we got married in Westminster Abbey in front of a global audience of millions, and I was wearing McQueen, and the Queen's tiara? Yeah, I don't mean that (I was of course wearing Vivienne Westwood, duh), but more that their story echoed ours - they met at university, lived together there, and have been together nearly ten years before getting married, just like us! I just loved the sheer genuine happiness that they both exuded, it was adorable.

As for voyeurism, who wouldn't want the chance to ogle the glamorous (and not so glamorous) fashion choices of some very rich ladies! These are my picks (mainly from what I observed on TV...!)

Low points:

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. These two always seem to make dreadful choices, it's very unfortunate. Apparently Eugenie was wearing Westwood, but the bodice shape and bows down the front made her look really rather dowdy, and the beigey colour that Beatrice chose washed her out completely (not to mention her odd hat).

SamCam and her lack of hat. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?!

Camilla. Her outfit got lots of love from the BBC presenters, and was apparently the same designer as her own lovely wedding outfit. The colours and embroidery were very pretty, but I thought the placement of the colour change and embellishment around her hips with the very sharp pleats below this line made her look rather wide and shapeless. I think slightly more fitted with the embroidery line lowered a few inches would have been much more flattering. Her hat was nice though (Philip Treacy of course).

The Queen. Why does she wear such square clothes, and those horrible square hats? The colour was lovely though, and she did provide a high point on her arrival at the abbey, as she got out the car: "One doesn't need this blanket anymore - one will fling it on the floor."

Enough snarkiness and negativity, onto the high points:

Victoria Beckham. Embarrassing choice I know. Her dress (apparently from her own line) was weirdly shapeless and flattering at the same time, and how the hell did she wear those shoes whilst pregnant? But the hat was amazing.

Tara Palmer-Tompkinson. Another embarrassing choice, but she looked totally classy, and another amazing hat (OK, maybe the matching gloves and wrap were a bit much, but the dress and hat and shoes were great).

Paula Reed. Not even a guest at the wedding, but analysing the fashion choices of the guests for the BBC (she did a very cute squeal when it was confirmed that Catherine's dress was Sarah Burton), but her dress was just super. I loved the colour blocking of the patterns (pattern blocking?)

Update: She's wearing Pieter Pilotto. It appears to be the RTW version of this runway dress, but I can't find this particular one available anymore...

Karen Gordon (the Earl of Spencer's latest fiancée). I don't know how she saw anything from under her hat, but she looked super elegant.

Miriam González Durántez (Nick Clegg's wife). I think she's super hot, and whilst their were some fit issues with her dress, her hat looked stunning.

Philippa Middleton. Her matron of honour dress was beautiful - such a difficult shape of dress to wear, but looked stunning on her (and I so want to know what her underpinnings were. Not for any pervy reason of course, but so I can invest in something similar!). I also liked the buttons down the back, they prevented it being a coffin dress, and made it super sexy. It maybe could have done with being a centimetre or two shorter at the front as she had a couple of near trips. I noticed there was shock horror noises from some people (mainly Americans it seemed) that she was also wearing white, but in my mind this was no problem at all, and is actually quite normal for royal weddings - and looked much neater in the group with her sister and the baby bridesmaids. Her sister's dress was so spectacular and "bride-like" there was no chance of her upstaging it!

Update: Cidell has spotted that a knock-off pattern is already available!

Catherine Middleton. Well, analysis of her dress has been done to death, so here's one more! I loved her dress (apart from the unfortunate cold nipple effect). It wasn't exactly fashion-forward (it was blatantly a homage to Grace Kelly's wedding dress), and it was a long way from her usual more flowy and draped style, but it was elegant and timeless and very beautiful - not for her the embarrassing dated photos in ten years, like her late mother-in-law... I'm also hoping that it will curb the trend for strapless wedding dresses, so rarely flattering. My only issue was the tiara and veil - I thought the very simple veil had a hint of the dressing up box/net curtain about it, especially whilst it was over her face, and the dress and headgear didn't really seem to mesh together, although it definitely looked better once the veil was back rather than over her face. I also had issues with her being given away by her father (women as men's property...?!) but that's a whole other post.There's also huge amounts of pretty fascinating detail about the construction of the dress on the official website.

There also has to be special mention of the decorations inside Westminster Abbey - the freshness and simplicity of the floral decorations was beautiful, and I absolutely adored the trees lining the aisle, it looked like they were walking down a forest glade. Stunning.

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