November 19, 2017

Monaco National Day

Happy National Day! As you all know by now, today is one of the most celebrated days in Monaco, and we all look forward to it so much because we are practically guaranteed some exquisite fashion moments. Today was no different, of course, and Charlene didn’t let us down. Would she ever?!
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Princess Charlene pulled from Akris today for the Mass and balcony appearance, wearing a gorgeous blue velvet coat. Embed from Getty Images
First, let me say that blue looks amazing on Charlene, and the velvet takes this coat to another level with its visible texture. That, and the long, simple lines of this coat were quite elegant, oozing a quiet dignity that I appreciated a great deal. All that being said, I do have to admit that this was not my favorite of Charlene’s outfits. Embed from Getty Images
Don’t get me wrong: Charlene looked positively regal, and I don’t think anyone could doubt that the elegance factor was through the roof. But something about this didn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “plain,” because the velvet texturing and the tailoring took care of that. I think for me, it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, a polished look that I have come to expect from Charlene’s sartorial selections that seemed to be lacking in this coat. Embed from Getty Images
The topper she chose sort of had the same effect on me. I loved it, and it met the sophistication standard that Charlene has set for herself – quite easily at that. But it didn’t have the “wow” factor of last year’s hat. You know? I’m not sure if I’m making any sense at all or if I am just rambling. I suppose understated is better than crazy/daring/edgy for an event like this one, so I can’t be too picky. I may just be tired and cranky, and I’m taking it out on perfectly great fashion. Who knows! Embed from Getty Images
Her heels and earrings are gifts from the fashion gods, though. Holy cow, I love them. Embed from Getty Images
And her makeup surprised me! It was so neutral, and a pink lip is not something we see too often on Charlene. She pulled it off beautifully. It was a good choice – I think anything bolder would have clashed disastrously with the royal blue of the coat. This woman knows the rules of balance. And it was tough to see her hair, but it appeared bright and neat under the hat. Once again: elegance. But more importantly…
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…the twins!!! These two stole the show on the balcony. They both looked a little squinty in the sun, and I only wish the family was allowed sunglasses for this. (I know we – myself included – would all complain at not getting to see their full faces, but dang, I hope nobody got headaches from the direct sunlight.)
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Is anyone else absolutely swooning over Gabriella’s poppy-covered dress? It is everything! Embed from Getty Images
They just get all the heart eyes. Such a sweet family.
Later in the evening was the National Day gala, which was of course attended by the Princely couple: Embed from Getty Images
Charlene wore a floor-length gown with some intricate textural work in the fabric, though we can’t quite see what’s going on it in closely enough to have a full analysis here. The texture of it reminds me so much of the gold dress she wore to the AMREF Gala earlier this year, but like I said, the visibility here is so limited. Embed from Getty Images
I will be frank with you about this long coat: I hate it. Ok, maybe “hate” is a strong word, but I would have greatly advised against it if I had a choice. I can see how I might be a minority in this assessment, but the detailing on it just doesn’t send me, and the weird sleeves bother me something fierce. Last year’s coat may have been so good that none can ever live up to it. If that is the case, so be it. Let’s just say that I would love to see the dress without this coat. Embed from Getty Images
While nothing can ever be perfect, I think we might all agree that this National Day was a beautiful one, and well worth the wait! Perfection never matters anyway, because half the fun is forming the opinions – am I right?? Happy National Day to Monaco and to all of you out there who follow this blog. Sending love and hugs to all of you!

 

November 18, 2017

Tea Time with the Twins

A quick post today because I’m traveling and exhausted – but guys, this one is so cute! Charlene took some photos of a “morning tea” with Monsignor Barsi, and the interactions between him and the twins are just priceless. I couldn’t put off the post even if I tried – it’s irresistible! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Gabriella seems to be wearing the same gorgeous little dress she wore to the gala with Prince Andrew. She is just too much! I love how she went straight for the dessert tray: that’s a girl after my own heart. And Monsignor Barsi seems to have such a genuine joy when he’s around these two, it’s lovely to see. Behold:

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Mid-conversation with Prince Jacques. I wish I had been a fly on the wall to hear whatever they were discussing. On a sidenote, I am loving this light salmon-pink with Jacques’ complexion. He’s just so handsome. With his mother’s good looks and her fashion savvy, he will be one good looking young man some day.

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But seriously, THIS LOOK from Gabby. I mean! She gets me every time. They are such sweet little children and it’s lovely to see their parents including them in National Day as much as possible.

Charlene was also in attendance (obviously), but the photos of interest here are of the twins. So I’ll leave you with that! Have a lovely Saturday evening, everyone!

November 17, 2017

Red Cross Gifts Ceremony

As you all know by now, National Day is coming up this weekend, and Monaco is in full-swing preparation mode. In anticipation of the big day, the Red Cross held a gift-giving ceremony at a local nursing home, and of course, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene participated. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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The princely pair distributed gifts to the elderly, and they seemed to quite enjoy their interactions with these residents.

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I’m always so stricken by how well Charlene interacts with the elderly in particular. She seems relaxed and very much in her element…but then the same can be said for when she’s around children or around water, so perhaps she’s just a very happy and calm person!

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Our princess chose a black pantsuit by Akris, and it was ultra-flattering on her. Not only is black an amazing color on Charlene with her skintone and bright hair, but this particular suit is sleek and streamlined, which accentuates her tall figure effortlessly. And I LOVE the wide leg!!

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She arrived wearing this gorgeous cape, too, and y’all know I love these capes on Charlene. So elegant!

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She used bright red on her lips and nails to offset the black, and it was particularly gorgeous. The earrings and jewelry were simple, the hair was soft, and the combination with the sleek pantsuit made the entire ensemble quite elegant.

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait for National Day in it’s glorious entirety! I’ve been so enjoying this busy week for Monaco’s princely family, it is such a joy to see them celebrate. Until the next!

November 16, 2017

Kindergarten Visit for the Princely Family

What a joy it is to see the princely twins so much this week! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve certainly been soaking up all the cuteness. We don’t usually get this many kid-centered posts all in a row – perhaps a sign of things to come as the kids are getting older? Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps, but who knows! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella joined their parents for a visit to a Monégasque kindergarten this week. I don’t think it was a scouting mission to find a kindergarten for them – not yet, anyway, they’re only just under 3 years old – but perhaps it was the start of getting them into the school-like environment. Preschool age is almost upon them, so getting them familiar with the lay of the land wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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Gabriella seemed to take to the toys and equipment immediately. She seems quite engaged and present – contemplative, even – wherever she finds herself. I quite enjoy her expressions, they always seem beyond her years somehow!

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Jacques, meanwhile, appeared on the sleepy side, or perhaps he was just feeling a little clingy to mom. Totally understandable, and another good reason to show him these types of environment early on, before he really has to deal with them.

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But he eventually took to it, maybe just seeing his sister having fun was enough of a nudge!

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There’s nothing too noteworthy about the fashion, except to say that Charlene looked simple, elegant, and quite appropriate for the occasion. I love when she combines black and white, the contrast is quite striking for her.

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My favorite moment has to be this one, though: caught snapping her own photos of the kids! She’s just like the rest of us moms, only she has a better camera. And almost always better shoes. But this photo also showcases her lovely hair here, which is so on-point. I love the soft styling.

In other news that is completely unrelated to the kids, Albert and Charlene hosted the Monaco-South African Rugby team at the palace. They will be competing in the 7th Rugby Tournament in just a couple weeks.

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Dude on the left seems to have missed the memo that it was a gray-blazers-only affair. Kidding of course! Personally, I don’t love how everyone was matchy-matchy (I get it for the team, but Charlene and Albert too?) but it’s certainly not worth nitpicking. It was really nice to see them supporting the team and honoring them before the tournament.

Until the next time, have a great week!

November 14, 2017

Haircut for Prince Jacques!

Well, we’ve been waiting for it…

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…and here it is!!! Princess Charlene posted these absolutely adorable photos last night of – yes – Prince Jacques’ first haircut. Perhaps Gabriella’s too, but Jacques hair looks the most significantly different. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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I was so sure this would be happening soon, which is why I’ve spent generous time in recent posts just gushing over the little prince’s formerly-long locks. There is something about boys with curly hair…somehow, that seems to be the most emotionally-charged haircut, at least for most of the parents in my circle.

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But even though this was probably a tough milestone for his proud mama, look how handsome little Jacques is. Correction – they’re not so little anymore! These two tykes will be three years old in less than a month, and I think we’re all going to be relishing the last “toddler” days while they last. I am so grateful that Charlene gave us a little window into this private milestone. Sidenote: who else is swooning over these haircut hugs?

Sending love to these sweet babes and their parents, and for all you dear readers too, of course! Happy haircuts!

November 10, 2017

Prince Andrew in Monaco

Good evening, all! Tonight’s post has a shortage of photos, but an abundance of cuteness. Prince Andrew was in Monaco this week for the Outward Bound Association, a British organization for young people, currently headed by Prince Andrew. While there was but ONE photo released that included Charlene and the twins, that one photo is everything. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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The family hosted a fundraising gala for Outward Bound at the Princely Palace, and the whole crew showed up. Charlene looked gorgeous! I absolutely love black on her, and I love bateau necklines. I wish we got some other shots of this dress, because I want to see all the details from different angles. Like the ties over the shoulders – I don’t think I like them. Do you? It’s definitely a home-run gown and I’m not complaining, but I sort of want to rip off the ties. Her makeup and hair were elegant and appropriate for the event, and red lips with a black dress is always a winning combination.

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But let’s be real: the stars of this photo were the twins. I mean! Gabriella’s face: it’s just begging for the caption, “You want me to stay up HOW long after bedtime??” And Jacques eyes were probably only closed because he was blinking…but I like to think he was starting to doze off mid-walk. Ha. I love Gabriella’s dress, and the fact that she wore a little poppy in her hair. So precious.

And this is completely unrelated, but Charlene took and shared this photo today, and it’s pretty darn cute:

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Jacques!! Enjoying time in a police boat. I love that hypnotic-blue, choppy water, Monaco in the distance, and the little prince front-and-center. And I’m still in love with his long hair, it’s divine!

For those of you so sweet to wish me well with my sick kiddo – thank you for the thoughts! Amazingly, we got through that family gathering – plane rides and all – in one piece, toting antibiotics along the way. The sickness abated eventually, and now a new one has unfortunately taken its place. LOL! Keep sending your well-wishes as much as you like, I can always use them!

October 26, 2017

Princess Grace Awards Gala 2017

Glad to see you all again so soon, dear readers! You all know that Charlene and Albert are in the USA, and last night they sparkled like pixie dust at the Princess Grace Awards Gala.
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Charlene wore an absolutely stunning, off-the-shoulder, glimmering fuchsia gown, which at first I thought was Dior for sure. This event is almost always a place where she pulls from Dior; however, Charlene surprised me (and probably a lot of people) by wearing Ralph Lauren!
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I love this gown. The neckline is supremely romantic, the glimmer makes her shine above the rest, and the way the gown accentuates her figure is just breathtaking. I’m pretty sure this would have put me into a state of cardiac arrest if it were just a shade darker, like a wine or a nice fall aubergine. That would have made this even better, but I do love the fuchsia. The glittery quality of the gown makes me think this is sequins, but it might be something else. All I know is that I love it.
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I think the neckline in particular is what sells me. I’m a fool for off-the-shoulder, and this one has an almost sweetheart décolletage that just screams princess to me.
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I also love how this is so streamlined, but there is a lot going on at the same time. It is a perfect balance of wow-factor and sustained elegance…just like Charlene herself. Ha! I love when that happens!
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Now let’s talk about her makeup. I don’t think I’ve seen a cat-eye on Charlene in the longest time, and I am so glad she pulled this out of her bag of tricks (just in time for Halloween!), because her facial structure suits it SO well. It wasn’t subtle here, which is just fine for a cat-eye because it’s meant to be noticeable and dramatic. And dramatic it certainly was.
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I was also completely bowled over by her hair – this volume she gets is amazing! I love how this hairstyle is in such stark contrast to her look at the kick-off event, where she wore it more matted down. I can appreciate both looks…but I tend to favor this one.
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I can’t let you go without mentioning the diamond studs again. Once again, she could have gone long with the earrings, but chose to keep it elegant and dazzling at the same time. This worked very well with the dress, and I think that while she could have gone with bigger earrings, they would have been too much. The studs were the right choice here, and even though they were studs, they certainly did not lack in their own dramatic effect. Simply gorgeous.
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Alright, I have to leave you early today because I’m heading off to a family wedding this weekend…complete with a sick child in tow. What would a family vacation be without a sick child? Ha. I make jokes so that I can make it through without collapsing. But at least I have some good fashion to look at, right?

October 25, 2017

Kick-Off Event for Princess Grace Awards

This one is for all of you in Los Angeles, because Princess Charlene is there with you! Yesterday, Charlene attended the Princess Grace Awards Gala kick-off event in L.A., wearing what was probably THE hottest outfit of the night and somehow making it elegant. I am in heaven. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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You all know Charlene has an edge in her fashion. And yesterday, she took that edge with her into the city of angels and strutted into the gala in jaw-dropping black leather pants, black heels, a form-fitted, strapless top and a black blazer.

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I’m going to get my one little criticism out of the way: I don’t love the blazer. This lady has the most amazing figure and doesn’t need to cover it up. Maybe she did because there were kiddos present? That’s a theory, but it doesn’t sit well with me because these kids are Californians growing up in L.A.. They’ve seen skin. Maybe because she figures that unless it’s an evening gown, the strapless look isn’t appropriate for a royal? I don’t know. But I don’t love it – even though there’s actually nothing wrong with it and it does look good. (Would I be placated if she had worn it with the sleeves, instead of just over her shoulders? Something tells me that might have helped.)

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But let’s get back to all the tremendous good there is here. A couple posts ago, regarding fashion week in Milano, Melina commented that Charlene is magnifique for being so brazenly unapologetic when it comes to her fashion edge, and I feel like this outfit is a perfect example. The skin-tight leather pants and the strapless top require confidence. Sometimes, I see beautiful friends of mine who have these amazing curves, and all they do is just cover them up. I prefer this, someone who loves what she has and isn’t afraid to show it.

Par example:

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See what I mean? WERK. That strapless top is no joke gorgeous, and the woman wearing it is owning the entire look like a queen. (Or a princess, you could say.)

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I must take a moment to say that there is a certain quality Charlene brings to this outfit that elevates it. For example, if I wore this, I would look absolutely gorgeous (that’s self-love right there!), but it would not have the same polished elegance to it. That, for me, is what makes this magnifique. She has taken an undeniably hot outfit and refined it, much like those celebrity chefs on TV always talk about “elevating” a dish that’s good to begin with. The lines here are clean and long, gleaming with both attitude and sophistication. I think Charlene has come a long way, forging her own fashion identity while elevating it to a royal standard.

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I can’t leave without mentioning these earrings. Heaven, guys. My heaven would have diamonds all over it. I feel like dangly earrings would have worked too, but I do love the look of studs with such fierce décolletage. And she went neutral for makeup, which brought the ensemble a flair of casual. A lovely choice.

And this is in no way related, but…

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…just before the gala, Charlene was all the way in South Africa meeting with the mayor. There have been increased drowning deaths there lately, and Charlene wasted no time jetting down to discuss the problem and help find some solutions. Water safety first, always. Which means that she probably went from there to L.A., and that must mean some serious jet-lag for Charlene. So if anyone out there thinks that she looks a tad sleepy, be easy on her – hopefully this adds some clarity to the situation!

October 2, 2017

Albert and Charlene at Global Ocean Gala

Oh, friends, this past week was a good one for Charlene. She and Albert were at the Monte Carlo Global Ocean Gala, where Charlene stunned in a breathtaking Versace evening gown. The gala itself honored Leonardo DiCaprio, and was supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. It was a star-studded event, but nobody outshone Charlene – as usual.
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This gown, you guys. Charlene looked like a sea nymph on the crest of a wave. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but with the deep navy hue of the gown, the wispy, full skirt, and the shimmering gold detail of the bodice, it just screamed mermaid to me. But not Disney mermaid; rather, sea-goddess mermaid.
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Let’s talk for a minute about this amazing skirt. I mean!!! The floaty material just seemed to billow around Charlene with every step she took, and it has a slit on the side that goes on for days. You actually can’t see the slit in most of the photos, which I appreciate, but when she strides away from the camera – BAM.
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Just as a side note, I love that the skirt had a sheer layer above the slit, so it wouldn’t just be a nude leg sticking out. Had it not been there, the nude leg would have really detracted from the delicate, soft effect that the skirt is emanating here.
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I am also a huge fan of this bodice. I can see where people may find it too rigid; however, I actually enjoy the structure of it – particularly the dropped waistline. It seems to offset the whimsical skirt and bring a serious flavor to the occasion – particularly, that the gown is adorning a princess. As for the geometrical design, I can once again see how this would not be everyone’s favorite, but I thought the metallic zing of the coloring made it work perfectly. The entire gown was a perfect mix of so many different stylistic elements, and for this one glorious moment they worked together in harmony.
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As for her makeup, Charlene went neutral, which I think was a good choice with the gown. At first, I wanted to see a bright red lip, but imagine that with the navy – it would have been awful! There’s so much going on with the gown itself that neutral was a good choice, and it was particularly conducive to the sea-nymph look. Very fresh, very natural, and she took the same route with her hair: smooth, sleek, and understated. It worked here.
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The only thing that somewhat disappointed me were the earrings. Don’t get me wrong, these are some heavy diamond studs she has here, and those are never a bad choice. But wouldn’t this neckline have just been superb with larger earrings? It may have just been difficult to get the coloring right with the gown, and nobody can fault her for that. Better to go smaller and match than to go big and have the whole look flop. (You all know I’m thinking of that cross necklace from earlier this year. I still wake up with nightmares about that one.) But I would so loved to have seen something more dramatic, if possible, to adorn her neckline. Siiiiigh.
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My complaints are very, very few, as you can see. From where I sit, this is a home-run from start to finish. An elegant princess for an elegant night.
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But WHEN will Albert shave off that moustache already?! (Kidding!)

September 26, 2017

Princess Charlene at Milan Fashion Week

Hello dear readers! You’ve probably been scratching your heads trying to figure out where I’ve been – under a rock? Down an elevator shaft? A place with no internet or phone service? Nope. I’ve been right here, enduring the busiest time of year for my family. In the space of 27 days (currently on day 9), my immediate family celebrates three birthdays and one anniversary, so I’ve been staving off headaches and catching as many winks as possible. Bear with me! When I saw that Charlene was at Milan’s fashion week, visiting the Versace and Armani shows, I literally laughed out loud that I had to be so busy at the same time. BUT! I have carved out some precious minutes here, so let’s dive right in.

Charlene went in two very different directions for these shows – what I like to think of as the Sublime and the Ridiculous.

I’ll start with the Sublime.
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Charlene attended the Armani show looking smart, elegant, and positively regal. I loved this understated suit with the hip-riding belt for so many reasons: the loose fit, the color (which, my God, absolutely enhances her gorgeous eyes like no other color could!!), the almost period-style cut that hearkens back to the days of Dorothy Parker and the Bloomsbury group. The coat is delicious as well, extremely tailored and crisp, yet thrown over the shoulders to accentuate the movement of the suit.
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The hair and makeup – not to mention the gorgeous handbag – complete this look perfectly. Her hair was so luminous, not a strand out of place, and I’ve already commented on her misty grey eyes. The whole look was, for me, flawless.
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Let me be the first to say that I can definitely understand why some people out there might hate this look. For me, it was a success, but tastes are so varied when it comes to fashion. Speaking of which…
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Onto the Ridiculous aspect. When Charlene stepped out for the Versace show, the tone was about as different from the previous ensemble as is humanly possible. She selected a short, flashy, mini-dress, which she must have selected due to the edgy element. We know Charlene loves to stir the pot when it comes to fashion, take risks that none else dare take, and be bold. I could not applaud her any more for that, too!
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BUT. This dress. It definitely has its place in the haute couture world, but style-wise, it seems more the style of a Kim Kardashian or Mariah Carey. No hate to either of those lovely ladies, but Charlene is on another level. There is a level of elegance that is usually expected of her, even when she goes bold and edgy, that isn’t ever really expected of other people in the public eye. She is a princess. And this dress just didn’t meet the mark for me.
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I can get behind the leather jacket – it’s superb. And the shoes, those are a definite yes.
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Like my feelings on the dress, Charlene’s hair here didn’t quite meet the usual standards. It was a bit flat. I would have preferred it to be spiky and big, like it was for the Red Cross Gala this summer. Wouldn’t that hair have just MADE this outfit work? Oh well.
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I certainly appreciate the courage it took to wear this in public. But for me, this one was as much of a miss as the first ensemble was a hit. I suppose not everyone can be perfect all the time, and at least she’s having fun! Once again, I could see how people may disagree with my thoughts here, and I’d love to hear what your opinions were of these two different looks. As always, please be kind, and comment freely below!