Style Reigns at the Royal Wedding
The day of the royal wedding was a high day for fashion. Or so many journalists are telling us. I would like to suggest that all the stunning outfits of the day were examples of good taste; a product of style rather than fashion. We all know that some guests wore real shockers, some of which were the results of fashion-conscious wearers. Fashion is transient, mediocre and easy. Quite frankly, fashion sense is just plain boring. What’s more difficult and requires talent, as well as some hard work in the early years, is style: elusive, incomparable and above all the eternal epitome of good taste.
The big day brought us many interesting outfits, and by far the most common cause of disaster was due to people overwhelming the colour palette of their ensemble. This can be done either by using too many different colours in an outfit, or by choosing colours which clash. Clashing colours can be horrific, but if done well, can make a striking statement. Samantha Cameron offered a daring composition by accessorizing a teal dress with orange, but she did so very well. When dressing for colour, we are quite often warned by others (who always take this opportunity to wag their fingers at the same time) not to include more than three colours in any ensemble. Mrs. Cameron has abided by this golden rule, and has also shown consideration for the high-impact nature of the teal and orange clash by opting for nude shoes, so as not to introduce a third colour which would no doubt detract from the teal and orange as well as overwhelm the viewer. Matching up the pashmina with a bold necklace and hairpiece provides a sense of unity in an otherwise clashing composition.
Princess Letizia of Spain judged the stylistic demands of the occasion extremely well. Here we can see that H. R. H. has chosen her outfit with careful consideration of the colour palette to compliment her own complexion and skin tone. She accompanies her dress with a tasteful hat (with matching clutch and heels). Her hat frames her face and hair while its compact size ensures that it still makes a statement without overwhelming her petite frame. The choice of colour for gloves adds a splash of purple to the affair, making sure that the palette is subtle and understated, but not muted.
As we saw at the Abbey, it’s not only the colour palette of the outfit and accompanying accessories and jewellery which has to be considered. The colours chosen for make up work best if they are in keeping with those found in the outfit. Most of the guests kept to a seasonally fitting range of colours, particularly nudes to achieve the natural look and keep the summery tone of the day. However, some guests did include colour in their make up, and some did it more successfully than others. The best example was Victoria Beckham, whose controlled eye make-up was strongly related to the colours of her ensemble. She was wearing a dress from her own collection; a simple and stylish piece of maternity wear, and her smoky eyes picked out the dark navy of her dress. I think that only Posh could carry off a dark, sultry and sexy look at a wedding.
Constructing a tasteful ensemble is an art form, and so is wearing fine jewellery. We got to see many fine pieces of jewellery on the big day, and we also had some good examples of how it should be worn properly. A magnificent example of this comes from the inimitable Princess Michael of Kent. Her Royal Highness was wearing a stunning double-string set of pearls, of quite considerable size. Any set of pearls of such size are in clear danger of dominating any ensemble. However, H. R. H. carefully organised the outfit around the pearls. One way this has been achieved is by unifying the accessories by matching the colours of the bag, hat and gloves to the ivory of the pearls. Also, the size and shape of the pearls is reflected in the buttons on the front of the jacket. Secondly, her hat was an excellent choice. In terms of colouration, it unifies the composition by including both the teal of jacket and the ivory of the pearl necklace. The size of the hat is also crucial: if a smaller hat had been worn then the pearls would dominate the ensemble and dwarf the rest of the composition. A strong, confident brim frames the pearls and consolidates them as the focal piece of the ensemble. I would offer H. R. H. second place in terms of ensemble of stylish presentation we saw at the Abbey.
In my opinion, my top award for the overall most stylish ensemble at the royal wedding goes to Her Majesty The Queen. It was refreshing to see H. M. wearing primrose, a seasonal colour which connects with Easter time and brings a fresh, vibrant and youthful ambiance to the affair. H. M.’s stylish presentation is carefully composed on two levels, including accessories and jewellery in both. Firstly, the hat which matches the outfit is marvellous. The floral detail expresses and mimics the primrose colour of the dress. Also, the flowers on hat are made of ribbon, picking up the ribbon detailing on her shoes and the composition of the brooch, which features a ribbon design (H. M. is wearing the Queen Mary True Lovers Knot brooch). Secondly, the composition centres upon her stunning, classic three-string pearl necklace. It goes without saying that the necklace also has matching earrings, but the ivory colour of the pearls is picked up in the colour of her gloves, shoes and bag. The piece de resistance of this stylish ensemble is that the bag and its clasp are not only in accordance with her outfit, but also match the dominant colours of the royal wedding programme as well as the coat of arms on the front cover. Fantastic!