Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royally Dressed-Worst and Best

...Let's start with the best!

In my estimation?

Best Dressed at this Royal Wedding was, by far, Miss Philippa "Pippa" Middleton, sister of the bride and maid of honor to Catherine Middleton. Like the bride, Pippa wore a House of McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton. It was a gorgeous cowl-neck ivory satin gown with the same button detail and lace trims as Kate's. Her earrings, like Kate's were designed by Robinson Pelham, and were a gift from Mom and Dad.
The down to earth Middleton girls did their own make-up and positively glowed. For hair stylying, they stuck with tried-and-true hairstylist, James Pryce of the Richard Ward Salon and Metrospa.
Kate was beautiful, elegant, regal...And lil sister Pippa looked HOT!

Some thought that the choice of a white gown was in poor taste, but I felt that Pippa complimented Kate the way Harry complimented William. Gorgeous.

Maybe Harry should go for Pippa, because his girlfriend Chelsea wound up on my "worst" list.
Chelsea wore an Alberta Ferreti dress in a mint green color along with a jacket that seemed a bit boxy on her frame. It didn't do much at all for her (very lovely) figure at all. The jacket and the hat both seemed out of place...

Then again, at least Chelsea didn't wear a hat that looks like THIS:

The princesses of York, Beatrice and Eugenie.

As if the dress on Eugenie wasn't bad enough, I can't even bear to look at Beatrice's hat.
 IS that a hat?
Why would anyone put that on their head?


Now, for something a little more...Normal. And a lot more tasteful. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (with her husband Daniel of Sweden) I love the color. Not too many woman can carry that shade but Victoria makes the dress AND the hat work!

She looks so elegant in this spring-y peach! The mock wrap dress hugs her silhouette in all the right places and the draping lets the fabric fall where it should. The length on the arms is also very flattering. The crown princess has been doing this for awhile so I'm sure she knows that wrap dresses, v-neck lines and 3/4 sleeves are universally flattering for women. Mycket bra, (very good) Victoria!

And my other favorite Victoria. This, I love, love, love...
David and Victoria Beckham. Not royalty, but close enough. And they both look the part too!
David always (and I do mean always) looks incredible, but he looked particularly handsome at Westminster Abbey today, in a dapper Ralph Lauren morning suit, Phillip Treacy top hat, DB cufflinks and his OBD medal. And of course, he looked all the more handsome with pregnant wife Victoria on his arm.

Victoria went minimalist and wore a chic navy blue trapeze dress with a boat neck line of her own design, the latest from her collection, AW11. Her large envelope clutch was also from her collection.

Mrs. Beckham's hat (a satin pillbox hat, also by Phillip Treacy) matches perfectly and the slicked back ponytail gives a definite air of sophistication and style without looking matronly. The cut of the dress, coupled with her specially customized Christian Louboutin pumps,  disguised her seven month "baby bump" and accentuated her long, toned legs.

*Bonus points for wearing those Louboutins with such poise in her condition. She didn't wobble once!

Britain's fashion critics didn't have anything nice to say about the Beckhams or their attire. But in the opinion of this petite fashionista, these two are pros at dressing for big events, and the Royal Wedding was no exception. Besides, how cute are they?!?

Speaking of cute, I have to give a best-dressed thumbs-up to the adorable little brides maids and page boys. The boys were just adorable. And the girls were so precious...

Especially this one...

Now, for a few more of the "worst" dressed. I think we can all agree here...

Why so Blue?
Tara Palmer Tompkinson, who is apparently some kind of socialite/model/media darling/tabloid fodder (think, England's Paris Hilton, perhaps?) dressed in head-to-toe electric blue. Literally, head-to-toe. The ensemble is by Deborah Milner and the shoes are by Nicholas Kirkwood, as well as the baguette clutch and elbow length gloves. Why she was in attendance, and why she chose this look disaster, we may never know.

This one is random and, I think, falls into the "why is she here?" category. But we'll let the outfit speak for itself, which it does, loud and clear.
One of Prince William's six ex-girlfriends in attendance, Arabella Musgrave. All I can say is:
If William saw her, it probably re-affirmed yet again, that he made the right choice with Kate.

Now, for the older folks, who all looked very formal, and rather pretty if I do say so myself!

Carole Middleton, Queen Elizabeth, and Camilla Parker-Bowles

The proud mother of the bride looked elegant yet understated in pale blue silk dress and wool crepe coat-dress by Catherine Walker and a dramatic (without being too dramatic) hat by Jane Corbett.  
Love the hat, love the coat-dress, the brocade/embroidery is lovely, clutch is a nice touch, good choice with the low heeled pumps, and great color on her. Very flattering. Good job, Mum!

The Queen rarely pulls a fashion faux pas--At least as far as I know--She's been doing this for decades, after all. Nice, cheerful primrose dress and coat by Angela Kelly. Sensible shoes. Three-strand pearls. Pearl earrings. Brooch. White gloves. Nice bag.

Prince Charles' second wife, Camilla, chose a hand-embroidered Anna Valentine in champagne silk for the affair. A duck egg blue coat, also by Anna Valentine. Another Phillip Treacy hat (He's been a busy hat maker this year!) and Jimmy Choos. Hurrah!

Last (but most definitely not least!) on my best dressed, is again, the bride: Princess Kate!

"The After Party"

After what had to be the longest wedding day in history, Kate still managed to look fresh, styled and stunning at the formal party thrown by her new father-in-law. The dress was another Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (You think business is about to pick up for Sarah?) It was a strapless satin gazar evening gown with a circle skirt and diamante-embroidered detailing at the waist, covered with a white angora bolero cardigan.


Friday, April 29, 2011

THE Wedding: All Eyes on the Bride

Did you watch?

Who didn't?

The eyes of the world were on the Prince of Wales and his bride-to-be this morning, including mine!
What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't write about the wedding--and fashion show--of the decade?

I set my alarm for the same time I normally on a weekday-4:45 a.m. But instead of hitting snooze, I clicked the TV on, which was already tuned to abc (Thanks to Thursday night Grey's Anatomy) just in time to see Kate Middleton getting out of a 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI in front of Westminster Abbey. And she looked BEAUTIFUL...

....We finally got to see the dress that everyone had been speculating about since the couple's engagement was announced in February. Kate chose to wear a long-sleeved Sara Burton gown (from the House of McQueen) with a sheer veil and a lace overlay.

The Cartier tiara Kate chose was the "halo" tiara, a delicate headpiece that looked almost like a simple headband of diamonds. It was, like Kate, elegant and understated. The tiara, which was made in 1936 and had been given to Queen Elizabeth I for her 18th birthday, was loaned to Kate by Queen Elizabeth II as her "something borrowed" for the big day.

Matching the tiara were Kate's "something new" earrings, a wedding gift from her parents.
The earrings were custom-made by Robinson Pelham to match the tiara, with acorn motifs and drew on the inspiration of the new Middleton Family Crest. Pelham also designed the earrings worn by Kate's sister and maid-of-honor, Phillipa (Pippa) Middleton.
Kate's wedding ring (which looked like it wasn't going to fit for a horrifying half a second) is a band of Welsh gold by Wartski, who also designed wedding bands for Charles and Camilla.

Kate's bridal bouquet, as Royal Tradition dictates, held a sprig from a Myrtle Bush, planted by Queen Victoria in 1845. Other flowers included in the bouquet were Lily-of-the-Valley (Kate's personal favorite) Ivy, Hyacinth, and Sweet Williams, an allusion to the groom.

The symbolism of the flowers used at the royal wedding has been much commented on. Sweet William means gallantry, lily-of-the-valley return of happiness, hyacinth constancy of love, while ivy signifies fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship and affection. Myrtle is the emblem of marriage and love.

All in All, I thought the bride looked spectacular. Her dress was elegant and chic, modern yet classic, somewhat reminiscent of the dress worn by Grace Kelly when she wed Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

The beautiful nod to the late Alexander McQueen, worn by Kate Middleton, now Catherine of Cambridge, this morning was one of a kind and, in my humble opinion, couldn't have been more perfect. Kate wore the dress, it didn't wear her. She also wore matching slippers, that helped her to glide effortlessly down the aisle.

She was poised. Elegant. Everything a princess is expected to be and more. The Royal Wedding, by all accounts, was worth the anticipation. I know that I put off leaving the house until after the vows were said!
And I turned the TV on the elliptical machine onto channel 5 as soon as I got to the gym, eagerly waiting for the moment that the bride and groom would appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to greet the world and, of course, for that KISS. Make that a KISS times two!

I, myself, am not by any means a "royal insider" or expert on the subject of royalty OR weddings.
But I know that I watched (completely transfixed) because, like every young woman who was once a little girl dreaming of her own happily ever after, it was a fairy tale. Kate Middleton is pretty, brainy, brunette who girls should look up to.

She IS the commoner who married a prince and became a princess.
But she is also a strong, independent woman in her own right. Poised. Gracious. Kind. In love.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resolutions Revisited

It's already the end of April?!?

What the heck happened after Christmas and New Years to make me go *POOF*

All I know is, that the months have completely flown by and now winter is gone. (Hurray!)
...And on further observation, I recently realized that all 12 of my carefully thought out New Years Resolutions have gone with it!

A big fan of saying and keeping with the "better late than never" attitude, I guess now is as good a time as ever to re-visit those things that I resolved to do (or not do) in 2011 and give it some real effort! Only this time, I'll be more realistic about the goals themselves, and therefore, more likely to stick with it. Or so my logic dictates.

1. Be in the best shape of my life.

I never resolve to diet or exercise. Why? Because it never sticks. People do it every single year, after the holidays are over, and they last until early to mid-February. And that's the really dedicated ones!
So, I did resolve to better myself. Not based on a dress size or a number on the scale, but on an overall feeling of happiness and well-being. My 1st resolution was to work out at least 4x a week and eat a lot less junk.
How did I do in January? Not great. Post holiday parties and such. And of course, my BIRTHDAY! (Holy Cow, I'm 26!)
February? I spent the 1st half of it making the Jade Pacific delivery guy my new best friend. And the only workouts I did involved shoveling the massive amounts of snow that fell on Boston. (that counts)
March? Enrolled in bi-weekly Boot Camp classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m.  Also developed an addiction to Red Baron microwave deep dish pizzas.
April? Finally hit my stride! Boot Camp 3x a week before work, getting my cardio endurance up and gaining some full body strength. Thank God for muscle memory!

2. Take ballet

After watching Black Swan (twice) I got up the courage to buy a leotard, tights, legwarmers and ballet shoes and took not one, but three, beginner classes. Check!

3. Learn French. Hello Rosetta Stone!

Working on it...
Bonjour! Je me presente: Je m'appelle Marykate.
(Hello! Let me introduce myself: My name is Marykate)
Not too bad. Check!

4. Go back to school

...Work in progess

5. Write more.

Well, what am I doing now?