Archives for February 2015

February 20, 2015

Charlene Goes Sparkly Chic for Cocktail Reception

Last night, the Princess Charlene Foundation held a cocktail party at Monte Carlo to celebrate the birth of the new twins. It’s two months postpartum, which we can interpret in one of two ways: either they’re horribly tardy in their celebration, or they’re quite thoughtful of the new mom’s need for a little space between birth and sipping champagne. I’ll opt for saying that they’re thoughtful – at least giving Charlene a couple months would ensure her participation in the reception. (NB: all photos here are care of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation Facebook page. Sorry for the poor resolution here – click on the photos to see them larger and much clearer!)

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Charlene looked ahhhh-mazing and so elegant in a bateau-neck, sparkly top, loose black slacks, and of course, black pumps to match.
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Something about the way she carries off black is frighteningly magical to me. It is such a great color on her. Others can’t help but look engulfed by the shade; with Charlene, she calls the shots and tells it who’s boss. Last night she looked chic, elegant, and regal.

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And once again, I swoon at her makeup and hair. There’s something to be said about balance when it comes to makeup, and Charlene matched her smoky eye to a nude lip – a wise move when one is aiming for a finished, elegant look. As for her hair, the coloring and volume looks impeccable, and it’s still bang-free, which you know makes me a happy gal.

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Given all of the above, I’d say last night’s ensemble and event was a total win.

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As we discussed in this post on the Princess Charlene Foundation, it’s understandable that the proceeds from this event will go to the Foundation’s swimming and water safety programs. It’s delightful that Charlene was able to attend and celebrate both her children and her Foundation in one fell swoop – a win-win to be sure!

February 16, 2015

Swimsuit Season for the Post-Baby Body

About a week ago, I was reading Jane’s post on getting our bikini bodies ready for this upcoming summer. I hate to admit it, but she’s right: now’s the time. It seems a cruel joke that as the snow falls outside and our bodies beg for extra winter fat insulation, it’s time to start getting the fitness routine together. Losing that comfort cushioning is painful from all angles, and it’s not helped by the below-zero weather outside.

Being that this blog focuses on Princess Charlene, there are two sides of this to consider: everyone wants to know her routine so we can look as amazing as she does, but we also must remember that she is a new mom, dealing with the new mom consequences of working with a different body.

We all know that Charlene has an enviably trim physique:

Dayum. How many of us would love to get away with wearing something that skin-tight, while making it pass as elegant all at the same time? Answer: ALL of us. One has to wonder how she got to this body, especially when she looked like this during her full-time swimming days:

Don’t get me wrong – she looked amazing then, too. But different, am I right? In an interview with Vogue a few years back, she attested to the fact that she changed up her exercise routine once she saw that she was going to be in the media. Her main change was to give up the weight training in favor of more lengthening, toning exercises. The first things that come to my mind here, though she never actually says it expressly, are Pilates and yoga. The miracle combo, especially if swimming is added on (which, undoubtedly, it is for Charlene).

Now for the second side of this story. Charlene just did this:

Not just one baby. Two. Bless her heart.

The pressure and difficulty that new moms face to shed the baby weight is staggering, as if it’s supposed to be healthy – or even possible – for those pounds to melt away right after the baby pops out. At my own 6-week postpartum doctor’s appointment, I asked if I should be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by that point (I was looking like a Dr. Seuss character, mind you). The midwife looked at me in shock and said, “I’d be very concerned about your health if you were.” There’s a constant pressure for new moms, and Charlene has the unfortunate position of being in the spotlight, which must increase that pressure exponentially. But looking at pics from the engagements she’s undertaken since the birth, we’re all left scratching our heads: how did she do it?

It seems that Charlene may have employed some good, old-fashioned common sense to her postpartum experience, because she seems to have trimmed down pretty quickly, and more importantly, she looks radiantly healthy. For those out there who are itching to lose some baby weight in a healthy way, a few no-brainers are breastfeeding (which burns through calories like fire through paper), proper food (read: whole, real foods), and doctor-approved light exercise (like yoga, Pilates, walking, swimming).

None of us are quite sure how Charlene applies any of the above, especially nursing, which is absolutely nobody’s business except hers, the babies’, and maybe Albert’s, since he’d be on bottle duty. As for food, it has been reported that Charlene is a vegetarian, which is a great segue into eating a variety of healthy, real, wholesome foods (but don’t be a moron and replace meat with sugars or cheese, ok?). The exercise issue, though, leaves me a bit cautious – Charlene had a c-section, and I have zero experience with what that means in terms of postpartum exercise. My guess would be yes to all of the exercises, but only once the incision has completely healed and the doctor has given the green light, at least 6 weeks after delivery. Once the scar has healed, I’d assume swimming would be ideal for its low impact on the body. For Charlene, at least, this would be amazing for body, mind, and spirit.

Luckily for the rest of us, we’re not in the spotlight and can thus take inspiration from Charlene, without having to worry about cameras watching our every move. For me? I’m pasting that photo of Charlene in the grey dress up on my fridge. Gotta have a goal, right? Good luck to all of us out there who are unrolling our yoga mats in an attempt to un-clench our joints and tone up for summer! (Now if it would just stop snowing, I might actually believe summer is coming…)

February 10, 2015

Making It Official: An Anniversary Throwback

It’s the middle of February, that lovey-dovey time of year once again. Time for candy hoarding, love-themed crafts, and heart-shaped cuisine. I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day: I love the roses, chocolate, wine, and romance; I hate that everywhere I go, I feel like I’m in a perpetual 2nd-grade classroom. Enough construction paper crafts already, I can hear reams of it screaming apocalypse. But more chocolate, please!

Being on that love/hate line, I could easily go either way with unshakable fortitude. This year, on this blog, I will opt for the “love” side and celebrate a very special anniversary with all of you: the day that Prince Albert went public with his love for South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

The couple made their first public appearance on February 10, 2006. That’s right, exactly 9 years ago today! And aren’t they the cutest? I’m a sucker for throwbacks, flashbacks, or lookbacks. After spending a lot of time focused on the present – marriage, babies, balconies, boat-burning, etc. – it’s nice to look back at where the couple started.

These two made their debut at the Torino Olympic Games. It was a wise choice: familiar territory for Charlene as a former Olympian; comfortable, low-pressure atmosphere for Prince Albert.

Definitely low-pressure – look how goofy! It’s strange and lovely to see Albert so relaxed (and obviously smitten).

Yeah, we see you being all cute. Don’t be trying to hide it.

It’s easy to tell from these photos that they really were right there in the beginning part of their relationship. I can almost feel my hands reaching for the pink markers to scribble cartoon hearts on top of their eyes.

See, this is one of the things that makes me love Valentine’s Day. Romance gets a surge of strength, and even those who are constantly in the spotlight succumb to its power. It’s remarkable and lovely. Where were you 9 years ago? As for me, I had just gone on my first date with my now-husband, and wasn’t sure yet if it was going to go anywhere. HA! Real talk. At least I keep it honest with you guys!

Happy Valentine’s Day to anyone out there who loves love, and a happy “going public” anniversary to Charlene and Albert. (Now everyone, stop making paper hearts and go eat more chocolate!)

February 2, 2015

Predictions and Daydreams: Couture Edition

It’s snowing here in New York. A LOT. And it’s cold. And given that my house is over a hundred years old, it’s cold inside too. The only things keeping me warm are strong cups of coffee (I’d hook up an IV if I could), a very fuzzy blanket, and the warmth emanating from my computer as it pumps Paris Fashion Week’s best shows to me. Add fashion shows to that IV and I’m a happy girl.

The haute couture shows in Paris this year were glorious. Star-studded, too, though with the obvious exception of Princess Charlene. One dear reader, Laura, suggested that I sit in for Charlene this year, and trust me, I would have if so many celebs hadn’t beaten me to it. Sigh. It’s my belief that Charlene would have loved the couture lines this year, and I think we will see some bespoke versions on her in the coming year, if not the straight-up originals. Here’s a little recap of a few of the designers and what they presented this year, so we can make predictions.

Dior

Charlene has worn Dior in the past several times, with much success. Charlene is one of those beings who is able to wear couture without pause, and without the threat of looking ridiculous. She roams the earth with a fashion confidence that knocks me over. She’s one of the few who can pick pieces right off the runway and wear them, looking perfectly lovely and calm:

Dior had a stunning show this year, surprising every viewer by making the models walk flights of stairs in order to show the clothes. A bold move for a bold line, to be sure.

The silhouettes were meant to echo various past decades of fashion, and naturally I found myself gravitating toward the ultra-feminine 50s forms for my Charlene daydreams.

I say “daydreams,” because Charlene tends to stick to more fitted evening wear, and Dior showcased plenty of that too. The more realistic side of me can see her wearing some of those pieces, no doubt.

The above short dress, perhaps in a lighter color, could easily be seen on Charlene at an outdoor summer engagement.

Chanel

Charlene famously chose Chanel for one of her most important, prominent appearances: when she and Prince Albert had their civil marriage ceremony in 2011. And of course she chose Chanel, the label embodies both gravity and femininity with perfection:

Oh, Chanel…Chanel…how you never go out of style. Naturally, the Chanel show was chock-full of the exquisite lines, tailoring, and high-quality fabrics that we have come to expect from Karl Lagerfeld.

While there was a presence of much more color than we’ve seen in the past, there was a good handful of more neutral, safe colors for Charlene.

I could easily see her wearing some bespoke versions of these dresses and suits, as they seem appropriate for both her style and the events she frequents.

Versace

Versace has always known how to dress Charlene, that’s for sure. She has an amazing figure, and she loves the fitted look that Versace does so well. She comes out looking like a goddess:

Charlene is normally a fixture at the Versace show, and after viewing this year’s collection, it’s easy to see why. These pieces are the ones she gravitates toward: form-fitted evening wear.

Some of the geometric cutouts from this year’s collection are a bit much – the kind you might see in Hollywood, but not on a Princess.

See what I mean? Kate Hudson, yes; Charlene, no.

But others, like the above white gown, are just slightly edgy, the kind of risk Charlene loves to take. There were some sparkly neutral dresses that seemed to scream Charlene, and I would love to see her wearing them:

 

Armani

It’s no secret that Charlene loves Armani – remember her wedding? Of course you do, two Armani gowns in one day! Charlene has also chosen Armani for several other events, knowing that it can serve well for sophisticated suits as well as evening gowns:

This suit might be one of my favorite Charlene fashion moments in history. I swoon.

This year, I wasn’t feeling like the patterned pieces (bamboo was the theme of this line) would fit into Charlene’s style, but the lines of the gowns were impeccable, and the separates were definitely some of the most elegant I’ve seen yet.

Some of the jackets and tops were magnificently tailored and chic, and a few of the gowns would look stunning on Charlene:

While I don’t see her reaching for the bamboo, I can definitely see her opting for some of the subtler, structured pieces that fit so well with her fashion identity.

Ok, now that you’re thoroughly teased by what I’ve shown you here, go online and watch the shows! Am I missing anything? Did I neglect a favorite designer of yours? Please let me know your thoughts and predictions – it will be fun to see if any of our guesses are spot-on this year!