“We are not a fashion company, we are a fashionable name. Fashion is our greatest enemy.” – Cartier (the world’s number one jewellery firm)
Clothes are added to the person like colour to a canvas. It tells a story but not just of personality. It gives subtle hints to attitudes, convictions and even belies demographics like financial wealth and mental capacity. There are two sides to the coin of dress. The one is fashion, the other is side this coin spins on to fall on its head or tail is, style and practical function.
Fashion is governed by the “latest trends”. It is essentially a pack mentality where competition to be what is perceived to be the best, by being first, sets the trends. What you wear is more important than how you look in it. It is often modeled and advertised on people who look good in anything. The good thing about fashion is its innovation and experimentation. It also gauges general “vibes” of the public and as such era’s of fashion has emerged from different generations exhibiting their unique tastes, world views and sentiments. These aspects of fashion are fueled by the different approaches of style.
Style is governed by who the individual person is (or think they are) and how they want to present themselves. This might be in a trendy fashionable way or in complete disregard of fashion. It is an individualist mentality at its extreme. How you look and what it communicated is the primary goal and source of satisfaction of the wearer. What is interesting is that these people are normally artists and designers themselves who’s job in life is to come up with the out-of-the-box concepts that keep ahead of the fashion race. So the two sides of the coin feed each other and every person falls on the scale somewhere between the two extremes.
Ultimately whether it’s a fashion or style approach, it can be a success or failure. Let’s look at some of our Royals and how they contend with this dilemma. Remember Royalty face an added obstacle, the one of protocol and regalia. For them it’s not just about fashion or personal style, but depending on the event they are required to add certain jewellery, medals and/or sashes to outfits. This also distinguishes them and that is when you get something you could call a “Royal look” telling a far more intricate story.
Lets look at some "fashionable" moments.
The Crown Prince Imperial gets engaged to Odeliah Sorgenfrei at his cousin Princess Kirsten of Hanoveria's birthday party in 2010. The dress code for this event was, Evening "semi-formal" by Royal standards. Thus an evening suit or dress of any length and tiara was required. This was only Odelia's second "public appearance. Was it a success?
In 2009, Queen Gloria I of Normandia was still plain Gloria van der Bilt, a spoilt rich girl. Here she attends an auction of some antique jewellery in the Big Apple and is dressed in her version of a city-slicker going to a corporate event. Success or fail?
The Duchess of Aragon attended the same auction in 2009 wearing this ensemble. She bought most of the jewellery at the auction and also settled a private sale with the Van der Bilt family. Style or fashion?
Because of her "homey" personality, the Crown Princess Imperial, despite her rank, can often fail in the "dress-up" department. Here is one of her success stories at a Fashion Week dinner in Pariseum 2011. Do you agree?
The annual Knights of the Realms Meeting is an event with a lot of protocol requirements on dress code. Here the Crown Prince Imperial couple is seen in Court Formal Dress. Did the Crown Princess Imperial pull it off?
Finally a Royal icon and icon of style. Princess Augusta at the 2011 Premiere of the movie Captain Americanium in the Big Apple. She sports evening wear without tiara and makes a total killing. Do you agree?
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