September 2, 2017

Pique-Nique Monégasque 2017

Happy September, my friends! I don’t know how the weather is where you are, but here in upstate NY, it is getting chilly and crisp. The air around me smells of school supplies, warm spices, and freshly unpacked sweaters that have spent the summer in hibernation. We even had to turn on the heat for the first time since June (yes, June. Apparently this region of the world celebrates winter for 9 months of the year). ANYWAY, I was glad to see that the weather is still beautiful in Monaco, because there they held the annual Pique-Nique Monégasque on the first of September. And not only were Charlene and Albert there together, but the twins came too! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

2

Charlene gets first billing here, because this blog is dedicated to her. She looked stunning! She chose an all-black pantsuit by Diane von Furstenberg, which we have seen before: she recycled this ensemble from its first wear this past June, when she visited the La Turbie pool for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s Learn To Swim Program. For a woman of her height and figure, it fits her with sublime perfection, and I am so glad we got to see it again.

7

She accessorized this visit with a new cross necklace, certainly different from the cross she normally wears. This one is playful and long, certainly a daring choice around toddlers.

3

Her hair and makeup were ultra-feminine and quite relaxed, and as usual, she looked quite in her element with the children. Getting eye-level with them even when in the high heels, which we have often seen Duchess Kate do as well, is worthy of applause.

6

Speaking of toddlers – look at how cute Jacques and Gabriella are with their matching outfits and hairstyles! I am LOVING how Charlene chose to style their hair the same way. I have seen so many persnickety, irritating remarks out there which refer to Jacques’ hairstyle as “girly” – talk about gender stereotyping! I, for one, love that Charlene couldn’t give a flying fig about gender norms or whatever you want to call it. Both kids have gorgeous, curly hair, and both got braids today. And both kids looked – and are – perfect. PERIOD! (And the matchy-matchy outfits are, for me, always a winner. This is one of the many reasons I’m not allowed to have twins.)

Onto other things, Albert was in appearance today, and I couldn’t have been more delighted to see him! Except…

4

…for this new moustache. Wow. I’ve got to say that I didn’t see this coming. Isn’t someone supposed to prepare you for this kind of thing? Like with a press release or something? I don’t know. Let me say, for the record, that I know moustaches are all the rage right now. Everyone’s got one, and this one is actually quite well groomed. It’s very reminiscent of his father’s famous moustache. But I’ll be honest with you all: I don’t love it. I can handle moustaches when they are paired with beards, but by themselves…they just don’t send me. If my husband walked in the room with one of these I would send him right back upstairs to shave it off immediately. I give Charlene big props for letting it go this far – perhaps she’s a very supportive wife, or perhaps she actually likes it. I hope so, because she’s the one who has to live with it, and she seems quite content!

1

But let’s be real, seeing Albert with his babies is one of the sweetest things. I can forgive facial hair disasters (and this one isn’t even a disaster!) for being a great, hands-on father. That is so attractive, and will never go out of style.

5

A beautiful family and a beautiful day!

August 22, 2017

Charlene and the Twins Visit the Elderly

Ok folks, prepare yourselves: this one is adorable.

Just a couple days ago, Princess Charlene visited the elderly at the Hector Otto Foundation home – and she brought her twins with her! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

7

Jacques and Gabriella clearly stole the show and delighted all of the seniors. I know kids can usually be hard to handle at engagements like these, but it was such a good idea in this case. Nothing brings a smile to the faces of the elderly like those of young children, and it is such a joy to see the young and the old together. Jacques, I will admit, looked a little unenthusiastic about being there – he sort of looks like he may have just emerged from a naptime situation. I may be imagining that. But he behaved himself quite well!

5

And little Gabriella…she is just the sweetest. Her dress was too cute for words, and the way she was so willing to interact with the boarders was so gracious. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this girl has inherited the regal parts of her family. You can already see it in the way she moves about with grace and awareness. There is a certain je ne sais quoi – a quality? – there that will suit her well in her future as a royal.

4

And she’s so cute too, that just gets me every time!

3

Charlene herself looked quite lovely, sporting skin-tight white skinnies and a navy blue blouson. It was ever-so flattering on her, but the most striking part was…

6

…her SHOES! These shoes were the definition of divine. I want to see a side view so badly, just so I can get a better idea of the heel. But I’m drooling over here. (And anyone who can wear shoes like those with an almost-three year old on each hip is my hero – just saying. That’s some super-mom action right there.)

2

She chose very simple, elegant jewelry to match the casual tone of the outfit, and her makeup was equally flattering and natural. Her new haircolor still hasn’t sunken in for me yet, and these photos surprised me for a half-second before I remembered that she lightened it. I still love the bright blond on her!

1

All in all, a very lovely visit, at least from where I sit. I love the elderly and I love kids, and seeing them together always sets my heart aflutter. And I love princesses too, so obviously this visit was a slam dunk for me – ha! I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did!

July 29, 2017

The 69th Red Cross Ball Gala

I hope y’all like glitter.

Just yesterday, Charlene and Albert appeared at the 69th annual Red Cross Gala looking positively stunning! Albert was handsome in what I would describe as a mismatched tux – due to a red bow tie – and Charlene looked 80s-glam in an edgy, VERY sparkly Versace pantsuit. And I loved it!

You know, there are so many elements here that would normally make me furrow my brow. So many things could go wrong: the glitter, the pantsuit element, the big hair/makeup, the gunmetal color. But somehow she just makes it work, and not a little – a lot!

The glittery aspect, for one, is something that is so easy to overdo, but this just seemed to wow me. I love how spectacular it is, how extreme, and the ease with which Charlene wears it. This seems to up the ante, Charlene fully in recognition of the fact that her ensemble will have to be the biggest of the night, and she did not disappoint. Versace knows how to work sequins and sparkles, and Charlene knows how to carry them off. Applause.

You know me: I don’t generally love a pantsuit, and I do admit that I wish this were a gown. However! This really does work as pants, and I love the sheer quality as the eye goes downward. The structure of this pantsuit almost makes it work like a gown, fluid enough to have movement but edgy enough to match the bold contours and metallic flavor.

See what I mean? The movement plus the shimmer just makes me think of liquid mercury. It’s mesmerizing.

Speaking of contours, I absolutely loved the non-curve of this neckline and the way it hugged her gorgeous, statuesque figure. Charlene is all woman, unapologetic about her curves, and this ensemble just accentuates what she’s got going on. Double applause.

WERK, girl.

Let’s talk hair and makeup: this was where I really felt the 80s flavor coming into the styling. The bold, smoky eye is something Charlene has definitely done in the past, but not too often. The outfit just begged for it, and it looked amazing on Charlene – especially with the nude lip to match. The hair, having been so recently lightened, also had its own razor-sharp edge to it, and the volume is reminiscent of retro shampoo commercials. (And I mean that in the best way – who doesn’t get nostalgic thinking about supermodel hair from the 80s?!!) With any other ensemble, this would have been totally off the mark and out of place, but with this Versace, it was pure perfection.

While I do feel like dangly, diamond earrings would have worked here, I actually appreciate that she chose studs instead. I feel like big earrings (even a necklace of any kind, too) would have overwhelmed the outfit too much, and I prefer letting her face and the pantsuit work together unobstructed.

Final verdict: a major win. I give all the heart eyes to this one, and I hope you enjoyed it too!

July 28, 2017

Ship Launch Gets Red Dress Perfection from Charlene

Ok, folks, this one is GOOD. Actually, good is an understatement. At the launch ceremony for the Yersin Yatch exploration ship, Charlene arrived (with both her babies and with Albert!) in the most spectacular, gorgeous, red gown and bright-blond hair. I did a happy dance when I saw these pictures, and the fact that she brought her adorable twins was just the cherry on top. This dress is going to go down in my book as one of her best. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

7

Ok, let’s talk twins first. Look at these adorable babies!!! I know, I know, they’re not babies anymore. But can’t we still call them babies for a little while longer? They were the picture of sweetness. And I love how different they are – Jacques with his white-blond hair and Gabriella with a more chestnut hue. Their curls – on both of them – are just killing me. BEAUTIFUL all around. (I am wondering how Charlene manages to style Gabriella’s hair so perfectly. My own little one has curls, and I have to use some product in them to maintain their shape, so I’d love to know what Charlene uses for Gabby! If she would just shoot me an email with some tips that would be lovely – ha!)

2

Anyone else swooning over Gabriella’s dress? The dark blue is just divine with her eyes.

3

And speaking of dresses: Charlene’s gown! I believe it to be a Roland Mouret creation, and it was perfect. I loved the color, the length, the fit, the one-shoulder element, and the simplicity. It was sleek and elegant while edgy and bold, exactly a Charlene-style combination that stuns every time.

4

I love, love, love the way that the single-shoulder accentuates Charlene’s amazing, muscular arms. Guys, I have been working for YEARS to get arms like these. Do I have to get a rowing machine or something? Or have twins? Charlene’s arms are cut, fit, and fantastic. And she certainly uses the muscles when lifting those babies. Holy moly.

9

And these shoes! Dior again, I believe, and my heavens, are they gorgeous. I satisfy myself by admiring these sorts of items from afar, because if I ever considered them and saw the price tag, I think I might suffer an aneurysm. But thank goodness Charlene wears them and I can love on them from here!

5

One of the things that stood out the most to me, though, was Charlene’s hair. She lightened it! It was quite a bit darker a few days ago in the green gown, and while I loved that, I was so delighted to see her change things up. Bright blond suits her so well, and it doesn’t work on many people like it does here. (Sidenote: my husband seemed to think her tan had darkened, and I can’t tell if it’s the tan or the hair that makes it just look a bit darker. Either way, though, summer in Monaco must mean loads of sun and, thus, tans.)

6

Makeup was on point, jewelry was simple. I actually quite approve of the simple jewelry for this type of event, especially when including small children. This dress could certainly handle some heavy jewels, but it wouldn’t have been prudent with grabby little fingers around.

8

A big thank you to those of you who commented on the green dress – I just loved your opinions, and you pointed out things to me that I mightn’t have seen otherwise! I always love reading your comments and getting additional insights. I thoroughly enjoy how positive our community is, and I hope you loved this red dress as much as I did!

And just for fun, a little sneak preview of the next post…

Stay tuned!!!

July 25, 2017

Charlene in Green for Medals Ceremony

Hello my friends! This post comes to you a few precious days late, I know. I was spending the week with a friend who recently gave birth to her first baby, and as many of you know, that can be a trying time. I tried to be the dutiful friend and put my phone/devices away to help the new mama. Of course, after weeks of quiet from Monaco, there was activity during the EXACT time I was AWOL. C’est la vie! As you have all probably seen by now, Princess Charlene attended the IAAF race and participated in the medals ceremony, at which she made waves in a bold, green dress. I’ll be honest with you guys: I am on the fence about this one. I’ll be interested to see what you think.

This entire ensemble was surprising for a number of reasons. My first thought was total joy at the sight of a bright-green, floor-length gown. The color in particular is striking on Charlene, and it makes me wish we could see it more on her. But after I came down from that high, and realized that she was at a sporting event…in an evening gown. At that point, pour moi, this was a very strange choice of dress.

I appreciate that she is showing a level of respect for the athletes by going all-out in her sartorial choice, but it really didn’t seem to fit the event to me. It was just out of place: a long, elegant, silky, floaty gown would be perfect for an evening out, but to a stadium? The shoes were also off to me, even though they were Dior. I was left scratching my head.

Just as a sidenote, I also feel fashionably opposed to the huge sleeve. It reminded me of the clown-esque red pantsuit from a couple years ago, only not nearly as offensive. This one I can certainly forgive, mainly because of the ethereal, sheer quality of the silk. I just wouldn’t have chosen it.

The best part about this dress for me was the neck decoration. It was positively gorgeous, at least to me. Certainly something of this style would be a toss up to one’s particular tastes, but I loved the flair that it brought to the outfit, and the nod toward her African culture that this gave. Charlene has made it quite clear in her interviews that she is and always will be a proud African, through and through, so I always get a giddy rush when she pulls something out of her wardrobe that is ethnically diverse and exciting. I admit that this would not be for everyone, but it made me happy. I also loved how it complemented the asymmetry of the dress – quite daring and unique.

Does anyone else think that she purposefully chose to go very, very neutral in terms of her makeup, simply due to the attention-grabbing collar? I have been wondering about this ever since I saw the photos. In all honesty, I think it has been about 10 years since I’ve seen Charlene go this light with her makeup. She can clearly pull it off – she’s stunning – but her usual tendency is to have a full face. I think her eye makeup might even be a little too light for my taste here, though with such a striking collar she may have done this on purpose.

On a separate note, though – THESE TWO! They are so sweet together.

To sum up, things I loved: the collar, the color, the hair (that lift!), the cutesy-tootsy couple. Things I didn’t love: the length for this event, the makeup, the shoes, the big, baggy sleeve. I’m feeling it both ways, guys, and I can’t decide one way or the other if this was a win or a flop. What do you think? Feel free to share your opinions below!

July 2, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Charlene and Albert!

Happy July to all of you dear readers, and a very special happy anniversary to Charlene and Albert! Now that the twins are solidly in the toddling years, I hope that the happy couple will get a chance to slip away tonight and celebrate these past six years as husband and wife. I won’t go into excruciating detail over the wedding here, since I’ve done that before (check out the 3-part posts here if you haven’t seen them already!), but I will give some love to a few of the more swoon-worthy fashion moments from their big day.

Didn’t Charlene exude elegance and grace for the wedding? She wore this fitted – shall I say trumpet-style? – gown to the ceremony, and it firmly took everyone’s breath away. The gown drew attention to her tall, slender frame with intricate beadwork that drew the eye upward to her statuesque shoulders.

My favorite part was the cathedral-length veil. I LOVE dramatic veils, particularly with royal brides. Don’t get me wrong, I did love Kate’s fingertip-length veil, but I wished it had been cathedral. Charlene’s was the definition of drama as it cascaded behind her on the long walk to the altar. My only disappointment was the lack of tiara…I had so desperately been hoping for a tiara…

But she wore one for the reception, so all was right with the world! This modern tiara was especially created for Charlene, and is meant to resemble the spray of a crashing wave. Think Ariel on the rock! I loved it. And I’m dying to see it again, so everyone cross your fingers for a tiara-worthy appearance in the next year. (I made this same wish last year, and it didn’t come true. SIGH.)

The dress for the reception was once again Armani, and it was quite the opposite of the ceremony dress. While that one was high on the drama scale with its embroidery and structure, this one was delicate and soft, wispy and dreamy. Both equally elegant, both reflections of different parts of Charlene. I loved the balance of fashion!

Overall, that day was full of love, and it’s a joy to remember it at this time every year. Happy anniversary to the happy couple!

June 24, 2017

Fête de la Saint-Jean + Pool Visit

Here I am, back again so soon! The summer season is in full swing here in upstate NY, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is the season of blueberry picking, homemade popsicles and ice cream, and the refreshing splash of swimming pools. We get terribly rough winters up here, so when summer comes around, I toss the windows open, shun the air conditioning, and let the balmy heat soak into my skin. Likewise, many around the world are celebrating summer in their own ways, and Monaco celebrates with the Fête de la Saint-Jean, or St. John’s Day, where the people gather around to feast St. John the Baptist…but also to rejoice in the longest days of the year. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

This year was a special treat for royal watchers, as Charlene and the twins appeared on the balcony to partake in the festivities. I have a feeling that Gabriella doesn’t love being in the middle of all the crowds, so I am particularly delighted that they have a balcony. The amazing things that come with being a princess!

1

Jacques was, as usual, so sweet with his blonde curls and cheery disposition, and Gabriella’s regal smile was so sweet that I could have swooned. Is anyone else out there just dying over her dress??

4

And Jacques’ little loafers. I mean!

2

Charlene looked like heaven in this gorgeous blue patterned dress, the style of which, stylistically, is not in her normal range at all. This could easily be seen in the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe, whereas I have never seen Charlene in something quite like this before. I absolutely loved it! Different, yet still holding to Charlene’s level of elegance and exquisite taste. I also liked how it gave her a freedom of movement, which may be a reason why she chose it – being that she was handling the kids. Speaking of which…

3

…what really stood out to me here was seeing Charlene in mom-mode. Even with a crowd, you can tell that her entire focus is on the children. I love how in this photo, you can see that she is showing the children how to stabilize themselves on the little bench. I can almost hear her: “Hands flat on the railing, holding steady. That’s it!”

5

The hands-on-the-railing part probably lasted for all of a few seconds. But that’s ok: Charlene just got onto the bench with them and held them close. Probably a combination of natural maternal worry and a little encouraging touch for the kids. They behaved beautifully, and are clearly quite adored children.

In addition to the festivities for St. John’s Day…

8

…Charlene made a poolside appearance the day prior to the La Turbie pool, which is part of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s Learn to Swim program.

7

All I can say is that this outfit was, to me, pure perfection. It might be a jumpsuit? The wide-leg trousers and bateau-neck blouson are my idea of fashion paradise. And the way the sash highlights her tiny waist! I just loved it. For this visit, it was perfectly casual-chic, though I can’t help but think she must have been hot in all the black. I suppose the color could have been better, but Charlene looks so good in black, I hate to disturb it. Ha.

9

On a separate note, it was lovely to see Charlene take the time to visit these smaller Learn to Swim participants and encourage them. Sure, she’s got the Water Safety Days and all the huge events for drowning prevention, but it shows her sincerity that she also supports the smaller, local pools that participate in the programs. You can tell that it’s near and dear to her heart to give her support – and supervision – to these youngsters.

6

Now I’m totally in the mood to jump into a pool…but I have to go make dinner. Ah well, maybe tomorrow!

June 22, 2017

Monte Carlo Television Festival 2017

I have been waiting for DAYS to do a post on this, you guys! I just returned from a weeklong trip visiting family, and I am so eager to get back to my normal routine. Don’t get me wrong – seeing family is always great – but it has been gnawing at me something fierce that I wasn’t able to post about this until now. But hallelujah, the time has come! Charlene and Albert hosted a reception at the Princely Palace for the Monte Carlo Television Festival, as you all probably know by now. And my verdict on this one is so mixed, I’m eager to hear what your opinions are!

Charlene selected a very striking, floor-length, bright red dress for this event, and I thought it was positively jaw-dropping. The plunging neckline! We know Charlene does love a good plunge, but I don’t recall having seen one THIS low before. It is something she can pull off successfully very well, unlike so many who attempt it and end up with epic failures.

One part that gave me pause, I think, was the structure of this dress. The wispy, sheer skirt seems to contrast staggeringly with the structured neckline, and that’s fine, but something about it just seems to clash too much. Is it actually a different material? I can’t tell. But the juxtaposing styles doesn’t really bother me…

…as much as this necklace. What the mother of pearl is up with this necklace?? Are we on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something? (Now you all know I love me some Buffy, but the huge, vampire-slaying cross necklaces need to stay in our jewelry mistake drawers at all times.) I am unafraid to admit it to you: I HATED this necklace. When a woman has as many amazing pieces of jewelry as Charlene, it just makes me cringe to see something like this coming out of her closet. My humble opinion is that this gigantoid necklace just ruins the entire outfit. Had this piece been either delicate or full of exquisite jewels, can you imagine how perfect this whole look would have been? Flawless.

I will say, though, that everything else was gorgeous. Her makeup was particularly elegant, and her hair and earrings were so on-point I could cry. Just gorgeous. On the other hand…oh, well. I won’t bring it up again. In all honesty, a deviant piece of jewelry shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of a fashion moment. It’s just an accessory. (I may just be saying these things to calm myself down. Bah!)

Necklaces aside, it was so nice to see Charlene in an evening gown again. I’m hoping for a repeat on this one so we might see it in motion, as the skirt is probably incredible. Fingers crossed!

June 14, 2017

Water Safety Day for Princess Charlene

A couple days ago on Lavrotto Beach, Princess Charlene attended a Water Safety Day, which was being held by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation in conjunction with some other organizations including the Red Cross. The day focused around children, educating them on safety techniques in the water and drowning prevention. Vital skills that all kids should learn, and which are particularly relevant to the children of the Riviera. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

2

As expected, Charlene dressed down for the event, pairing a t-shirt and cap for her Foundation with white pants. She seems to always know what the uniform will be for the children, and coordinates flawlessly: here, everyone was in red, while Charlene was in white. The colors of Monaco, the colors of the Red Cross – you get it. It’s a tad on-the-nose, but I do appreciate Charlene’s choice to break up the monotony of all the red and stand out in the crowd. Quite a deliberate choice and spot-on.

3

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Charlene is always on point with youngsters. It doesn’t matter if they’re newborns or pre-teens, she just seems to shine around them. They love her – obviously – and she appears to quite enjoy their company.

1

I also must note that her wrist seems to still be recovering from the injury that plagued her over the Water Bike Challenge – too bad. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but was probably quite an annoyance for this occasion. You all know how much she loves to get into teaching the water safety techniques herself, and I do hope this small injury didn’t get in her way.

4

At least if the injury did prove to be a hindrance, she was still able to get out onto the beach with the kids, and she knew that they were receiving excellent training. It is so dear to see these causes come to light, especially since they are so important to Charlene. It wasn’t a huge fashion day…but it was a huge day for these kids. Cheers to them!

June 5, 2017

Charlene Visits Babies + Riviera Water Bike Challenge

As many of you may know already, as this happened over Grand Prix weekend, Princess Charlene paid a visit to the Princess Grace Hospital’s maternity ward on Monaco’s Mother’s Day to see all the newborns and mamas. She also visited the hospital’s chapel to pray for the victims and families of the Manchester attack – a thoughtful gesture to make, especially with so much going on over Grand Prix weekend. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

4

Given the Manchester attack and the somber note to this visit, Charlene chose an elegant, simple black dress. I believe this choice to be Dior, but that is just an educated guess. Given that she usually dons lighter tones for the Mother’s Day visit, it was clear that her choice was deliberate in homage to the Manchester families. Also, I notice that she is wearing that same black ribbon here – hard to see against the dress, but there it is – and this gives me more confidence in my speculation that her Grand Prix ribbon was also for Manchester.

5

Nevertheless, Charlene was brimming with joy to see the newborns, and seemed most lifted by the contact with new life in the face of such darkness.

6

It is always such a delight to see Charlene around babies. She is now juggling toddlers herself, so seeing her with newborns is so precious. (Just as a side note, I always love seeing parents of non-newborns with newborns. The actual parents of these kids are so completely sleep deprived that they can’t possibly look jubilant, but the joy always comes across with other grown-ups. It’s lovely!)

7

In prayer at the chapel, Charlene laid white roses at the altar for those affected by Manchester. The whole thing is just so sad, and as I alluded in a previous post, this must have affected her very deeply simply because she is a mother. I don’t know any mamas out there who weren’t holding onto their babies a little closer this past week. I admire her desire to acknowledge these victims, even when she certainly didn’t have to.

In other news, the Riviera Water Bike Challenge took place just yesterday! Charlene couldn’t participate because of a wrist injury; however, Albert participated and everyone seemed to have a grand time! The race was held between Nice and Monaco at the Monaco Yacht Club, and since she couldn’t participate, Charlene presented the awards to the winners.

1

I absolutely LOVED Charlene’s outfit! The white skinnies and black, loose-fitted blouse were a gorgeous combination. Those shoes, though. I’m sure many onlookers would have loved them, but they weren’t for me. (So good thing I wasn’t wearing them, right? Sometimes I shake my head at my own judgments!)

2

I also loved the new sunnies and the delicate gold necklace. I would have enjoyed some earrings, but I won’t dwell on it.

3

Overall, this looked like loads of fun and a beautiful day. Given the success, I imagine this will easily become a yearly event in Monaco. With their enthusiastic embrace of water sports, it’s a good thing they have Charlene as their princess. Until the next time!