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!

Comments

  1. Katie, As usual you hit the nail right on the head! If I had to give Charlene marks I would give her not 100 but 1000 and even more for her first outfit; and minus 1000000 for her second one. I think that it is degrading. What do you think?

  2. I’m going to be contrary today.
    I don’t really like the Armani outfit. I see what she was going for with the slouchy silhouette and the voluminous coat, and it’s interesting, but the whole thing falls flat to me. The top of the jumpsuit fits funny, the trouser cut is weirdly stumpifying (it’s quite a feat to stumpify Charlene, I will give them that), and the whole thing got wrinkled in the car. To tell the truth, the jumpsuit reminds me of work overalls. I have always admired Charlene’s readiness to go for clothes that might not be conventionally flattering and experiment with shapes and textures. IMO that willingness to think outside the box distinguishes someone who’s interested in fashion from someone who just likes pretty clothes, but I am just not wild about this particular outfit. I do like the sunglasses and the snazzy flats, though I think the make-up might wash her out a bit?
    At first I wasn’t really sure what I thought about the Versace, but the more I look at it, the more it grows on me. I don’t understand that strap across the chest, but I think the cut-outs add a bit of spice to what is in essence a pretty basic sparkly party dress. It’s not even a short party dress, I would definitely not call it a mini! The jacket gives the outfit an additional edge, and I think the slicked-back hair works with the overall vibe of the look (I’ve also noticed that it’s Charlene’s go-to Versace Front Row Hairstyle). It’s all very rock’n’roll – and I like it!
    It seems Charlene had a nice time, which is lovely, it’s been ages since she’s last gone to the Fashion Week.

  3. Katie Coble says:

    Hi V. – don’t fret about being contrary, it’s lovely to see differing opinions! I agree with you completely about my characterization of the sparkly dress as a “mini,” that was totally off. I think that was the word that came to me when I first saw the images, which were not the best quality on my phone, and it just stuck in my head. But you’re right, that’s not the right word for it. And yes, it was so nice to see her having fun and enjoying some fashion, we know she loves it!

  4. Katie Coble says:

    Hi Myriam – this comment made me laugh! Once again we agree. I’m not sure I would go so far as to call the second dress degrading, but I certainly wouldn’t wear it, and I would have preferred not to see it on Charlene. Fashion is such a matter of subjective taste, right?!

  5. Karin Bloem says:

    Hi Katie, thanks for keeping us updated amidst your busy schedule – I was getting concerned about you … and getting withdrawal symptoms not having our favorite princess to swoon (or whoop) about. Neither of these outfits really does it for me, although I loved the coat Charlene wore to the Armani show and her hair and make-up was lovely. Of course she is entitled to have some fun, which she obviously had at the Versace show and her beautifully toned body and those legs that go on forever was perfectly on display. But no, for me, Charlene is more about elegance and style and therefore I am looking forward to her next appearance that I suspect will blow us all away again.
    Enjoy all the family celebrations and looking forward to your next posting.

  6. Katie, for me it was degrading, because no matter what event our beloved Charlene attends she is always the best dressed. So I was very, very disappointed. If she was going to a private party, maybe the Versace dress would be OK. But for such an event where all the press and photographers are present, I am sure that she could have chosen a very modern dress without being so outrageous. Please keep in mind that this is my humble opinion and I have criticised Charlene because we have got used to seeing her always as the epitome of elegance,

  7. Well, “Vogue” did say she was one of the best dressed attendees at the Versace show 😛

  8. melina premiere says:

    Kate, I will be the alone person who is not agreed with you

    With the jumpsuit, Charlene is elegant but ordinary like other queens or princesses, With this Versace dress, she is stunning, sexy and all the medias are saying that she was ‘magnifique’ and that she stole the show
    It is funny, readers of USA are saying’ my God, it is degrading, ridicuious the readers of France and Europa are saying ‘ oh what a beautiful dress !e
    Twio different cultures, In france our first Lady is wearing very short dresses , more shorter than the dress that Charlene was wearing and all the medias are admiring her , she is 64 .
    Charlene is 39 and she may wear short dresses who show her knees , for me, she may be sexy as other women and at the gala for the Ocean, she wore a black, Versace dress where we could see her legs , she was also “magnifique’, she is bringing fresh air among these european monarchies and I am saying ‘ Bravo Charlene, surpirise us ‘ and I am happy to see her at the fashion walks, I think we will see her more often to public events.

  9. Katie Coble says:

    Hi Melina – you are certainly not alone! I love this perspective. I agree that Charlene is definitely magnifique in every sense of the word. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you are welcome to do so anytime!

  10. Melina makes a very good point about different cultural norms and expectations. I also noticed that when it comes to royal fashion, general celebrity fashion blogs have a very different approach than royal-specific fashion blogs, which tend to be a lot more conservative. Sometimes I think that the celeb blogs are expecting royals to dress too much like starlets on the red carpet, while on the other hand I often think that the royal-specific ones want everyone to wear nothing but twinsets and pearls. At the end of the day, I think we are all influenced by how we imagine royals “should” dress, and besides that some people just don’t like sparkly cut-out dresses and that’s completely fine.
    Charlene really is one of a kind when it comes to fashion and I agree that she’s a breath of fresh air in the royal world. I remember that very early on, especially just after she got engaged to Albert, she actually tried dressing in a more conservative way with polkadot dresses and formal coats and you know what? It really didn’t suit her. Now that she’s developed her style and worked out what she likes and how she wants to present herself she looks so much better. And at least she gets us talking!

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