January 22, 2018

January Fun for Princely Twins

You know, I’m not sure if it’s just where I live, but January is a crappy month. I was talking about this with a friend just recently: the weather’s unbearable (again, this may just be a location issue), kids are coming home from school with things dripping out of their noses the likes of which I have only ever seen in science fiction movies, the holidays are gone, we’ve all gained unwanted pounds because of said holidays, and there seems to be a permanent blanket of clouds blocking out any hope of sunlight. I’m over it.

But then I see photos of those princely twins in Monaco, and my heart is happy. Folks, these two kids have had such a good January so far! It makes my spirits go a little higher to see them having a good time, and almost makes things better around where I am. Almost. Not really. Just a little…for like a minute. Ha! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Earlier this month, the whole family headed to the Caribbean, where the twins looked to be enjoying the warmer weather so much in their cute little outfits. I’m dying over that dress on Gabriella – how is it possible to make elegant toddler clothing? I don’t know. But Gabriella has all of it, seemingly.

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I decided to include this photo from their trip, even though the twins weren’t in it, because look how FIT Charlene is on that board!! Also, I have pants almost exactly like these, so I got excited over that. Perhaps I have good taste after all 😉

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Back to the twins, though. Charlene took some photos at the playground with the kids, and besides the fact that they were (once again) better dressed than any kids around me, I loved how over-the-top normal this was.

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Even though they were in coats – and again, Gabriella’s is swoon-worthy – the sun was shining so brightly that it seemed like a perfect day at the park.

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Gabriella had a date with this slide, as you can see. This photo has great composition: I love how you can clearly see her reflection in the metal. But how much do I want to yell “Turn over and don’t ruin your coat!!!” Ha!

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And however Charlene managed to get her little Uggs that match this pale pink so perfectly is beyond me. I love it from head to toe.

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Jacques was equally cute, obviously, and just seems so chill about everything. His short hair is really growing on me, too. I love how it still insists on keeping the curl. I wonder what kind of mischief he gets up to…because you know the more that boy looks chill, the more he’s probably up to something.

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And most recently, the twins were treated to a visit to the circus by their dad and their aunt Stéphanie! I know Albert and his sisters very much love supporting the circus every  year, and it is SO fun that the kids are now getting old enough to enjoy it.

Alright loves, have a great Monday. I’m sending you any sunshine that’s evading me right now – I hope it’s with you instead. Enjoy!

January 16, 2018

Visit to Burkina Faso

This past week, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene made a visit to Burkina Faso, where they met with everyone from small children to nurses to the President and First Lady. Though quick, the entire visit was wholly successful, and solidified the friendship between the two countries. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Princess Charlene met her sartorial match in the gorgeous Sika Kabor̩, am I right?! This stunning first lady is very beautiful and elegant. Charlene also looked quite regal РI particularly enjoyed her choice of makeup, so soft and natural, and not a hair out of place.

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Charlene’s ensemble was noteworthy: a very chic blazer, offset by equally chic, wide-legged pants.  I hope I don’t disappoint anyone out there, but this was not my favorite look of all time. By any stretch of the imagination. Both pieces are oozing with elegance, but for me, they just don’t go *together.* Does anyone else feel that way? I think I love each individual element, but not as a united outfit. Hmm. And the shoes I hate, but that’s only because I have very specific taste in shoes.

More important than fashion, though…

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…schoolchildren! Charlene got to spend some ample time at the education center in Ouagadougou, where she interacted with all the kiddos. The kids and princess seemed equally smitten with one another.

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Later, the Princely couple attended a banquet, and here is where I can applaud Charlene’s fashion to the heavens! I absolutely loved this dress. I also know that many people will hate it, the “wings” in particular are quite unique and distracting. But, for me?! The pattern is simple, the red border is striking, and she somehow was able to give a nod to the fashion surrounding her in Africa without losing her own style in the mix.

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The next day, Charlene and Albert spent the day working on projects for the Princess Charlene of Monaco foundation, where Charlene got down to work. Some critics out there have not enjoyed the fact that Charlene came into this day in a polo shirt, khakis, and tennis shoes, while her husband wore a suit and tie. However, a picture can be worth a thousand words…

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…she was working! Charlene wasn’t going into today to teeter in high heels and have people curtsey to her. She was on her knees, outside, showing people how to administer CPR. I can agree that she wasn’t dressed the way that one would expect a princess to dress during a state visit.

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But she was there to work, not to be pretty, and not to buy into how people expect a princess to behave. I give her all the apples for this one. (Even just in a logical sense, you can see here how much more sensible it is of her to be in sneakers than in high heels.)

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Like I said, I DO understand how people can come away from this feeling let down by her outfit, especially when surrounded by such beautiful women in their absolute best ensembles. And if the above photo was the only one we got to see, then yes, I would be saying the same things. But luckily, we know better, and we can appreciate that she gave up caring about the cameras and cared more about the work.

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Back to the work side of things, though! She visited the new hospital with its own maternity wing, and donated pediatric incubators with warming lamps. This comes as no surprise: Charlene loves babies. :)

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And children love her! Can I stop for a minute and talk about the beautiful dress that this little girl is wearing?! I mean. I’m over the moon here.

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A delightful visit from the Princely couple and such a warm welcome in Burkina Faso. I enjoyed this visit so much, and I hope we see these two countries visiting one another again in the future.

January 12, 2018

Charlene Models for World Class Magazine

Happy new year, friends! I hope your entry into 2018 has been smooth, kind, and encouraging. On my end, we’ve all been sick again – quelle surprise – and the temperatures here have gone from -17 to 60 in the span of 6 days. But! It has still been a gentle and rewarding new year, full of resolutions and hopeful prospects. Speaking of resolutions, if you are like most people, you’ve given yourself some sort of health/fitness goal for 2018, and Princess Charlene is here to provide motivation. Her photos for World Class magazine have been released (taken by photographer Gil Zetbase), and while the actual magazine came out awhile back, we are able to share the photos at this point – and they are glorious. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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In these photos, Charlene looks glowy and strong, and she appears particularly beautiful. Her sportswear is so cute! I am dying for the pants she is wearing in the later pics, though I do admit that I had a workout top/sports bra like this once and hated it when actually using it. But it’s cute for a photo, I guess!

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One of Charlene’s most significantly unique features, at least among royal ladies, is her incredible fitness and physique. It’s not usual that we see royals posing in workout gear, though, so we hardly ever get to see how toned her muscles are unless she is wearing a skin-tight dress. I was so grateful to this photo shoot to allow her a chance to show off how hard she has worked – this kind of tone takes mega dedication, and it is super inspiring.

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Talk about motivation for 2018. Plaster these photos on the fridge, am I right?! (Ha. Maybe I’m right, but I’m also just kidding!)

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Most of the shoot was highly stylized and heavily made up, which has had some criticism: after all, we are talking about fitness here, and who goes to the gym with a full face of makeup? Personally, I do not feel critical of this aspect of these photos, as this was a modeling situation photo shoot. Makeup and stylizing are part of the game here.

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And honestly, who can be angry with this kind of gorgeous makeup? BEAUTY, my friends, beauty. This is an art.

And this photo is for all those haters out there who love to say that she never smiles…

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See? Happy! May we all find the joy in the workout, the joy in the journey. It’s not all about the transformation, it has to be organic, sweet, gentle, encouraging, steady, consistent. And joyful.

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Charlene is quoted on the front of the magazine: “I prefer oldschool fitness. The more basic and natural, the better.” Amen. It doesn’t have to be fancy to work. Happy new year to you all! (Now hop into your yoga pants and get movin’!)

December 21, 2017

Annual Children’s Christmas Party

Happy Winter Solstice to you all! Is anyone out there celebrating the shortest day of the year? For my family, we are hunkering down old-school style, ultra-cozy in thick socks, blankets, and yes, I’ll admit it, video games!, while a curried sweet potato-carrot soup simmers on the stove. While it cooks, I will share some photos with you from yesterday’s Children’s Christmas Party at the Princely Palace. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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As you know, this is an annual event in Monaco, and I have no doubt that the Monégasque children look forward to it every year. They get to see Santa, get some presents, and hang out with their favorite princess.

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Charlene looked ultra chic in this gorgeous Akris coat/poncho/cape. I’m not sure what to call it. It closes like a coat, drapes like a poncho, and has little arm holes like a cape. For simplicity’s sake, though, I will call it a coat, and I will not leave you hanging here: I love, love, love this coat. The red is dynamite, and the cut is elegant. She looks so regal. (Sidenote: anyone else out there rolling her eyes at Albert with his Santa hat and awful tie?? I know I am. But once again, I can’t be too mad – it’s pretty cute how he really gets into the spirit of the season, especially for the kids.)

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And these Jimmy Choo boots are killer! I love the combination with the red, and the khaki pants are just simple enough to let the two leading elements of the ensemble shine. Under the coat, you can see that Charlene is wearing a ribbed, grey turtleneck, and while I wish we had a better view of the turtleneck, I can’t be mad because I love the coat.

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Charlene’s hair and makeup were, once again, soft and natural. I loved it.

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And she certainly seemed to enjoy handing out gifts to the kids! Probably not as much as the kids enjoyed receiving the gifts, though. Gotta be real about that one.

And my favorite photo of the day:

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These two. Heart eyes!!! Have a wonderful solstice, everyone – and stay warm!

December 17, 2017

Princess Charlene at the Red Cross

As per tradition, Charlene made her yearly appearance at the Red Cross parcel distribution this week, and the annual visit was highly successful! As usual, she distributed the parcels to the elderly, and even included the Christmas snapshot of the twins (the same one we shared in the last post). The recipients of the gifts seemed delighted, and who wouldn’t be?! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene, of course, looked nothing short of striking. She chose a charcoal-grey Akris jumpsuit, pairing it with a black coat, and both pieces were exquisite in both quality and beauty. Personally, I would  have preferred to see more color in this ensemble – outside photos are fine, but inside the lighting made the whole look so dark.

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You see what I mean about how the interior lighting changes the look? It bothers me. But she certainly does look good in black, so I can’t argue the issue too much.

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Charlene, as usual, looked so happy to celebrate the Christmas season with these lovely people…

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…and she seemed delighted to share the twins’ photo with them, too! You can see that she was proud to distribute this photo, just as millions of parents do with their own children’s photos at Christmas.

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Let’s take a moment to discuss Charlene’s hair and makeup. I loved it! She went soft for her hair, which has really been lovely this season, and her makeup was delicate and feminine. I could see how she might have chosen a red lip here, and to be honest, I think I would have preferred that. But this was quite lovely, beautifully done, and balanced out the edgy black outfit, where red would only have intensified it. It was a solid choice.

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Overall, this one didn’t send me over the edge in either direction. It was lovely, but I didn’t fall in love. You know? Either way, it was delightful to see her at this event once again – she never fails to disappoint!

December 15, 2017

Christmas Photo of Twins

Earlier this week, Princess Charlene shared a gorgeous photo of her twins all decked out for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Of course, I have been up to my elbows in gingerbread cookie dough, wrapping paper and ribbons, and trying to stay warm in 7 degree weather. So it has taken me a day or two, but I’m here now with this adorable Christmas treat! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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I mean!! I don’t think I’ve seen Jacques with such a big smile on his face…well, ever. He is adorable! And at this point I am starting to really see his resemblance to Charlene. Gabriella is equally cute, though she does favor her father. And doesn’t she look like such a mischief maker with that sideways glance?? Their parents are probably so proud, so tired, and so eager to celebrate the holiday with these two.

In other news, more photos have emerged (and I have access to them, yes!) of the twins at the Christmas market outing from just before their birthday.

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Jacques must be in a Mickey Mouse phase. (Isn’t it nice how these kids are just normal kids! What is better than Mickey Mouse for a 3 year old? Other than Donald Duck, nobody.)

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And as we mentioned previously, he holds tightly to his mama’s hand while Gabriella is Miss Independent. LOVE it.

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And Gabby’s coat is the living end. The faux-fur collar is precious as can be, and seems to be keeping her nice and warm. I hope they are getting excited for Christmas…and maybe helping the parents stay calm during this stressful season? Can I get an amen?!

December 10, 2017

Happy Birthday to Jacques and Gabriella!

As you are all probably quite aware – and if you weren’t, the title of this post certainly gave it away – today was the birthday of Jacques and Gabriella. The princely twins celebrated the completion of three years today, a definite milestone for the tots (and their parents!). I am sharing some recent photos from National Day, since it gives us quite an accurate idea of how the twins are looking at three years old. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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For being only three, Gabriella certainly has a regal presence about her. I’ve said it before, and I will again today: she has a certain look to her facial expressions that seems to radiate composure and yes, elegance. Even when she’s making a silly face, it appears that she has inherited her mother’s graceful quietude that is so very sophisticated. (Also, her dresses are already exquisite.)

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And Jacques. Dear little Jacques! He is so sweet. He also has a calmness about him, and these days he seems to be the more clingy of the two children. And why not? They go through phases, just like any others. His piercing blue eyes get me every time, and I can just see how handsome he will be as a young man. Not to get ahead of ourselves, though. THREE, not thirty!

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They are precious and I wish them a very happy birthday, with many more to come!!

In other news, Charlene and Albert (and I believe the twins were present, too) attended the opening of the Christmas market in Monaco just yesterday.

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Charlene looked fresh and relaxed, oozing merriment and elegance in her winter-white ensemble, which seems to be paired with black leggings and accessories. Just lovely.

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She interacted with everyone, of course, and everyone was appropriately delighted. A beautiful princess having fun with her family, just before her babies turned three. A celebration indeed! Happy birthday once again to the twins!

December 4, 2017

Casual Charlene

Over the last week, we have had a couple small, quiet Charlene appearances that can’t go unnoticed. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re boring, right?! Charlene is one of those royals who is unafraid to take out her kids for some fun, occasionally go with little makeup, etc. And it’s fun to see her dressing down from time to time, too! (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Last week, Charlene went to the Colombus art gallery in Monaco and met with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She looked super chic, yet casual all at once, which is one of my favorite styles on her. Perhaps its the mom in me seeking consistent inspiration, but I feel like she’s speaking my language with this outfit. Comfy, stylish, relaxed and chic – and gorgeous even with minimal makeup! Some people might be hating on the poncho-style throw here, and I get it. These aren’t for everyone. But for me, I love it. And the boots are so on point! Also…Baryshnikov! So handsome. I met his daughter once, and that was exciting, but I can say without hesitation that I would have preferred to meet HIM. Ha!

Next up…

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Charlene took the twins to a basketball game, and all three of them seemed to be having a good time. As much as I’m sure Charlene has all the help in the world that she could possibly want/need, it’s nice to see that she’s such a hands-on mom. The kids look adorable, Charlene looks comfortable and stylish, and it seems like it was a fun outing. Like I said, I just love these casual sightings, and I hope you enjoy them too. They are great distractions until the next big event!

November 29, 2017

World Rugby Awards Ceremony

Good morning, friends! I know the last few days have been filled with all the heart eyes for Prince Harry and his now-fiancee Meghan Markle, and of course we’ve all been preoccupied with that. How lovely for him to have found his happiness! Now, with all the congratulations and best-wishes out of the way, let’s focus here on our blog’s leading lady: Charlene! She and Albert attended the World Rugby Awards Ceremony in Monte Carlo earlier this week, and Charlene wowed the crowds in a gorgeous recycle of her floor-length, black Gucci gown. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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She wore this gown a few years ago, and I have been begging the fashion gods for a recycle. And she did not disappoint! Behold, the first wear:
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Gorgeous, and we get to see the back of the gown in this photo. I love that this gown is backless and fabulous with its strappy-straps. It accentuates Charlene’s killer back and arms to perfection. Back to this week:

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See what I mean about her arms? Dynamite.

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The gown has a skirt that flutters and flows beautifully, and while I am the first to admit that the gown is certainly “busy,” I wouldn’t accuse it of being distracting.

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I, strangely, am not put off by the ruffles or the cinched waist that are happening here, and for me they seem to somehow elevate the dress from simple to dazzling. (Also, that hand-holding action is in full effect!)

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Makeup and hair wise, I would say that this styling was exquisite. I love the soft neutrals she chose for her face, while giving her hair some LIFT and waves. It was quite elegant. A berry lip would certainly have worked here, but I’ve been enjoying the pink phase she’s going through right now.

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She was glowing, right? I hope you’re all as tickled by this second wear as I was. She has so many amazing gowns, I would love to see them all a second time!

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!