Style Comment: Does Royal Fashion Have To Be Accessible?

00:21  12 february  2018
00:21  12 february  2018 Source:   harpersbazaar.com.au

Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana in near-identical coat

  Kate Middleton channels Princess Diana in near-identical coat The Duchess of Cambridge wore a red checked coat with a striking resemblance to one worn by her mother-in-lawCatherine, who is sporting a six-month baby bump during her European tour, joined her husband Prince William for an intimate tea party with Sweden’s Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and their children.

So does this apply to fashion , too? Where once, queens, princesses and duchesses favoured extravagant shows of wealth and power—decked in expensive fabrics, fashionable trends and But these harsh criticisms beg the question: does royal fashion really have to be accessible all the time?

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With all the backlash from Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's, latest Erdem gown, we're exploring the topic: does royal fashion have to be accessible to (and liked by) everyone?: Kate Middleton.© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Kate Middleton. When you think of the most popular public faces of the British Royal Family—Kate Middleton and her bouncy curls, Prince Harry's easy charm, Meghan Markle's relaxed elegance—the word that comes to mind is 'approachable.'

A little under a 100 years ago, under King George V, the monarchical kingdom of Britain became a formalised democracy, and the monarch's once-total grip on power turned into more of a relic of history.

Queen Elizabeth II spends most of her time cutting ribbons and knighting Ed Sheeran; Prince Charles and Camilla dedicate their time to speeches and commencements in gardens; Prince William and Duchess Kate are usually found shaking hands with well-wishers at hospitals, and accepting flowers.

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So what does it take to be a royal style icon? And how different – or not – was it then from now? Edward and Alexandra on the other hand were a dazzling couple who had an active social life, and were seen as more accessible .

But as she will start attending royal parties and official events, she just might have to tailor her look just a bit. You see, the royal family has to adhere to a strict set of fashion and beauty looks that have been etiquette and protocol for decades, if not centuries, before.

The entire root of the monarchy's purpose has evolved into exercising shows of diplomacy, of ceremony—not of power.

So does this apply to fashion, too?

a group of people standing in front of a crowd© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Where once, queens, princesses and duchesses favoured extravagant shows of wealth and power—decked in expensive fabrics, fashionable trends and tiaras at brunch—the modern set of royals are expected to be a little more down-to-earth.

Kate Middleton's penchant for Zara, Topshop, and H&M, coupled with Meghan's commitment to high-street lines from Canada and the US, have created an element of accessibility that has come to redefine the royals. The 'Kate Effect' and the 'Meghan Effect' mean, once they have stepped out in something off-the-rack, you can purchase the same piece to wear, pronto.

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All the Fashion Rules Meghan Markle Must Follow When She Joins the British Royal Family. "Wardrobe care is very important and the staff do an amazing job," Messervy says, pointing out that sometimes new designers forget how durable clothes need to be for royal events.

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Kate's very first official step into the public eye at her engagement photocall in a sapphire blue Issa dress is considered by many to be the very beginning of her introduction to approachability. As soon as the cameras clicked to life, people at home were able to go out and buy the exact same dress a future duchess wore, at the exact same price a future duchess paid.

a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

This also happens to be quite the departure from Diana, Princess of Wales', fashion M.O. as the people's princess.

Whilst Diana was the darling of the British Royal Family, she wore bespoke and custom-made pieces almost exclusively. Of course, she could be seen wearing more low-fi looks on her days off and post her divorce, but Lady Di's engagement and formal looks were almost always made just for her by a host of designers and dressmakers.

It was Kate that brought that to a halt, deliberately skewing her style more approachable, and more accessible by wearing brands and pieces that the public could copy—something that has endeared her to the people since her marriage. Quickly after announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has done much of the same.

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After all, the last thing royals want is to run to the risk of picking up a pesky cold. Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry’s fiancée has been a frequent champion of contemporary fashion labels that are decidedly accessible —and oft sell out in record time.

Thank You. Download Now. Royal Fashionist. With a passion for tailoring, Tor often looks to menswear for inspiration, and believes that fashion should be accessible to everyone.

Prince Harry et al. posing for the camera© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

But price points aren't the only means of accessibility.

In addition to Kate's clothes often being wallet-friendly and online-shoppable, she also has a reputation for wearing items that are considered universally stylish in their inoffensiveness. Kate rarely wears anything raunchy or ostracising, preferring to wear classic trends, tried-and-tested colour combinations, and flattering cuts.

So not only can you afford to buy her clothes, you want to.

That being said, there have recently been some outfits choices from the royals front that have been neither wholly accessible in the price department, or the style department.

Both Kate and Meghan have stepped out of the classic and inoffensive box to wear something a little more daring on many occasions. Last week during Kate and William's Swedish visit, Kate donned a relatively divisive silk Erdem dress.

The printed silk, which could have been either mustard or chartreuse depending on the light, featured a high neck, a ruffled closure and tiered hem. While not a usual choice for the duchess, fashion critics gave it a solid pass. Vanity Fair used the words shimmering and bold, while ELLE UK named it her "one of her most daring and beautiful dresses to date."

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According to Entertainment Tonight, the Duchess of Cambridge has been doing whatever she can to help Markle adjust to life as a royal . Part of that, it appears, entails learning the ins-and-outs of how to dress as a royal . Middleton has reportedly “ been advising Meghan about royal fashion

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a couple of men standing next to a person in a suit and tie© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd But not everyone was sold on Kate's high-fashion move. A fair few across the internet named it "frumpy," and "awkward," whilst Jan Moir didn't hold back and slammed it as a "mustardy full-length granny wrapper." (Oy vey, cover your ears, Erdem Moralioglu.)

One of Kate's previous forays into Erdem got a similar treatment in 2015. When the duchess wore a bright printed gown, with a tiered hem and high waist, to a gala in London, one royals blogger declaimed, "I think I'm going to cry, that's how ugly this dress is." (Side note: Meghan also wore this same Erdem dress to a wedding with Prince Harry, albeit in a different colour.)

Meghan Markle, in all her three months of spotlight, has also received much of the same.

Markle's engagement portrait dress, a black ball gown by Australian duo Ralph & Russo that featured a sheer bodice, was labelled inelegant and showy—an "over-the-top ball gown with the Marie Antoinette-style price tag of £56,000."

"The British public tends to like a little more decorum and dignity from their royals," sniffed Sarah Vine, a columnist for the Daily Mail.

The same has been said for a handful of Markle's other sartorial choices, including her domed Christmas service hat, her deliberately messy buns and her wearing of (clutch pearls here) ripped jeans.

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“Meghan is reinventing royal fashion , and as a result, people are paying attention,” she says. “By taking classic royal looks and adding her own twist, she’s made royal fashion more accessible for the everyday woman — and that’s turning heads.”

Ms. Craddock is a favorite of the fashion world and has done floral arrangements for Jenny Packham’s runway show Well, luckily neither he nor any other royal did . Reuters reported that a spokesman responded to initial requests for comment by stating “We have got nothing on this at the moment.”

But these harsh criticisms beg the question: does royal fashion really have to be accessible all the time? Does every gown Kate wears have to fall under the banner of classic and timeless, or can she wear a bold Erdem dress that is guaranteed not to please the masses? Will Markle have to tone down her intrinsic relatability, or is her skew towards more fashion-forward looks part of her innate charm?

a person in a black shirt© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Kate and Meghan's occasional toeing out of the prescribed prim-and-proper box (and the subsequent backlash against them looking 'frumpy,' ugly,' 'mumsy,' insert-your-favourite-insult-here) is a pleasant sign that, amongst the Zara and Topshop, these royal women are allowed to take the royal route of wearing something bold and fashion-forward.

They might be accessible, but they don't have to appease every end of the style spectrum with every dress, coat and naked gown.

In the words of Marie Antoinette: "Let them wear Erdem." (Is that it?)

Pictures: 14 times Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle wore very similar outfits

Prince Andrew et al. posing for a photo: <p> All eyes have been on <a href=Meghan Markle ever since the official announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry - especially the watchful eyes of the fashion police.

Though Markle is proving to be a slightly more modern addition to the royal family than Kate Middleton, the two still have a surprisingly similar fashion sense. No matter what they're wearing, they always manage to look stunning and make each look their own.

Here are 15 times the future sisters-in-law wore very similar outfits.

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