Archives for February 2017

February 25, 2017

Charlene Glitters in Gold for AMREF Gala

The last couple of days have been busy ones in Monaco, where Princess Charlene has been buzzing about with work for her foundation. Yesterday evening, Charlene was front-and-center at a gala in Monaco to support the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a cause near and dear to her heart, and today she attended the Charity Mile Race Event in France. It always warms me to see the princess not only supporting her causes, but giving her time and presence at their events – even if it means stepping away from her twins for a night or two, which is never easy for any mother! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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For the AMREF gala, Charlene chose a jaw-dropping gold gown by Akris, a staple label of hers. I imagine looking into Charlene’s closet and seeing an entire wall devoted to Akris, she loves it so. And who wouldn’t?!

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Actually, many people wouldn’t. So far, this gown has gotten very mixed reviews from royal watchers. The criticisms I have heard thus far have ranged from just disliking the dress to disliking everything about the entire look, even going so far as body-shaming Charlene, which I would categorize as completely unacceptable and lurking into troll-territory. Critics have argued that this accentuates her too-wide shoulders, and that the scoop neck is too reminiscent of a swimsuit or tank-top. My personal opinion is quite different: I actually like this dress very much. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it blew me away, but I certainly thought it touched on Charlene’s edgy sensibilities and provided enough glitz to honor the event. Some of the other ladies went for more traditional, softer gowns; Charlene, as usual, went in a more daring direction. I love the detailing and the sequins, though I can certainly see how someone averse to sequins might be overwhelmed here. And as you all know, I have a fondness for Charlene’s strong shoulders and her lean build, and don’t see any problem with the fact that she wears what she likes, even if it highlights what other people might think of as “negative.” I wish more people would see their unique features as assets rather than obstacles to cover up, but alas, this is an unfortunate, cultural norm.

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Now, there was one aspect of this styling that I did not prefer: the earrings. Don’t get me wrong – I actually LOVE these earrings, just not with this particular dress. Had I been Charlene, with a gown that perfectly matched my hair tones, I would probably have reached for something gold, or bronze, to match. Diamonds do match everything, certainly, but something about this gown just begs for gold. To me, at least. But I certainly had no problem getting a close-up look at these diamonds. That part was a-ok.

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I don’t love this photo, but I show it to highlight another issue some critics have been torn on: Charlene’s hairstyle. I’ve been enjoying the pixie quite a bit, though it seems the least offensive commentators have more of a problem with the almost razor-edge cut on the sides of her head, rather than the short haircut in general. Once I saw that particular point made, I would say that I tend to agree. Something about this most recent cut is a bit top-heavy, and I think I preferred the pixie more rounded around her head. Her hair coloring is nearing ombre territory, and I am enjoying that very much. As I mentioned earlier, it certainly matched her gown!

Moving on! Today, Charlene attended the Prix Princesse Charlène de Monaco – Charity Mile in France, where she again chose an Akris ensemble. This time she went MUCH more casual, as it was a day event, yet still retained the chic quality for which she is so famous.

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Charlene paired an Akris short-jacket with one of their black jumpsuits, and the jumpsuit itself is positively stunning. I wish she hadn’t had to wear the jacket with this, but I assume that the weather wasn’t quite warm enough yet to make it possible. The jacket is nice too, but I wish we could see the jumpsuit full-length. Sigh.

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And to end on a very happy note, Charlene’s makeup was SO on point today! She looked positively radiant in the sunshine, and I have always loved how she can rock a bold lip color. It lights her up, and the black outfit balances everything so well – home run. I would actually put both of these events in the “win” column for Charlene: even though the gown from last night might not have been everyone’s flavor, it was definitely Charlene’s, and she wore it for herself. That’s the way to do it!

February 14, 2017

Princess Charlene Wows in Red on Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! I am normally quite ambivalent toward this holiday, and in previous years I have always insisted on making it more film-noir at home, complete with silk stockings, roses, and wine, rather than embracing the balloons, construction paper crafts and conversation hearts that usually engulf v-day. But this year, I’ve got to admit that I’m getting swept up into the tasteless charm of it all! Maybe because my kid is getting old enough to understand and enjoy it, so I get to do the same vicariously? Who knows. I was actually so into it this year that I had planned to do a post on Charlene’s various red dresses. But that idea was scrapped last-minute, because little did I know that she would surprise us by making an appearance today in a brand-new, bright red dress! Be forewarned, folks: I am getting all the feels from this one. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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This evening, Charlene and Albert stepped out to attend the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo. But I’m not wasting any time today – I couldn’t possibly care less about the event itself. My focus is purely on Charlene. And THIS DRESS.

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I am nearly certain that this is a Louis Vuitton creation, but I am human and could be completely wrong. UPDATE: This gown is Herrera, and I find it to be divine: the ample fabric in the skirt and train (a train!!!), the embellished empire AND dropped waistlines, the sexy cold-shoulderline, and the appropriate-for-Valentine’s-Day sweetheart neckline – I mean. It is regal, vibrant, daring, chic, romantic and elegant all at once.

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This shot gives us an idea of the back. The high backline is surprising to me – I would have expected a less conservative design – but I actually appreciate it. I can be extremely persnickety about balance, and the demure back of this gown seems to offset the plunging neckline just exquisitely.

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This is an unfortunate picture, I know. I only show it to you so that you can get a look at these shoes. We can only see the toe here, but it reminds me very much of the pumps she wore to the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters last year. Certainly not the same shoes – those had a bright yellow heel, and could you imagine if that accidentally popped out from underneath this dress? The clash would be hideous. But the similarity of the toe makes me want to pin these shoes as Dior. Though it’s hard to tell with just a toe 😉 UPDATE: These shoes are not Dior at all, but Jimmy Choo. And they’re perfect.

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Also worthy of note: while hair and makeup were impeccable – you know how much I love a red lip – has anyone else gotten the feeling that Charlene may be going a few shades darker with her hair? I’m not sure if it was the lighting or what, but it suits her very nicely. I would be so pleased if she changed it up with a different shade, even though the pixie-blonde has sort of become her signature style. This darker tone, combined with the bold, dark-red lip, certainly took me off-guard. But not in a bad way!

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And…these EARRINGS! I’m not sure if these are new or perhaps just making a resurrection, but I certainly cannot recall having seen them recently. To the best of my knowledge, anyway. These are some of the longest earrings she has – no? They almost graze her collarbone. I like them very much, and while I am quite sure the diamonds are as real as real can be, they don’t quite have a regal quality to me. Not that Charlene always has to dip into that category; au contraire, I rather like the fact that she has a modern, edgy twist to her style. I think Duchess Kate’s earrings from the BAFTAs have spoiled me on any other earrings in existence, at least for awhile. Ha!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! And if you’re not coupled up, do me a favor and practice some self-love today. You are beautiful, and you deserve chocolate. Get it!