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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sure those hats were wise, ladies? Princesses Bea and Eugenie top the fashion flops yet again in outlandish outfits

By Ticky Hedley-dent

Getting it wrong: Princess Eugenie of York in Vivienne Westwood and Princess Beatrice of York in Valentino haute couture arrive at Westminster Abbey for the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton

On a day of high fashion, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie certainly didn’t let the side down with their choice of designers.

It was, perhaps, a brave decision by Beatrice to pick a dusty pink Valentino Couture outfit given her flame-coloured hair. But the well-cut knee-length design at least allowed her to show off that new svelte figure.

Bolder still was her choice of headwear, a creation by star milliner Philip Treacy who seems to have designed the majority of the hats for yesterday’s wedding. Is that an octopus on her head, or a pair of antlers?

Treacy created some fabulous hats for the wedding – as seen on Zara Phillips and Sam Branson’s girlfriend, Isabella Calthorpe – but Beatrice’s hat wasn’t one of them, because it stole attention away from her face.

Her younger sister, Eugenie, wore a cobalt-coloured creation by British designer Vivienne Westwood. A patriotic choice it may have been, but it did little to enhance Eugenie’s terrific curves.

The jacket with bow detailing was too tight; her puffball skirt a violently bright shade of blue and neither matched her gold platforms.

Rounded off with another Philip Treacy hat, the end result was slightly too panto for a setting as solemn as the Abbey.

The Countess of Wessex took the prize for the most stylish member of the Royal Family – after the bride of course. Sophie looked radiant – and trim – in a fitted biscuit suit by British designer Bruce Oldfield, who had at one point been the favoured name to design the bridal dress.

Paired with a jaunty Jane Taylor hat with rose detailing, you would hardly know that Sophie had broken a rib in a riding accident earlier in the week. Princess Michael of Kent shimmered into the Abbey in a teale blue jacket and skirt, and yet another Philip Treacy hat that showed that she clearly wasn’t worrying about obstructing the view of every single guest sitting behind her.

Her daughter-in-law, Hollywood actress Sophie Winkleman, cut a dash in chic, navy Armani Prive alongside her husband, Lord Frederick Windsor.

And then there was the next royal bride-to-be – Zara Phillips shone in a fitted, silver Paul Costello outfit, teamed with, oh yes, another Philip Treacy hat that showed off her magnificent cheekbones.

The more senior members of the Royal Family opted for sugary tones that would have made the Queen Mother proud.

Princess Anne beamed in a floral mid-length lime green and purple jacket teamed with a knee-length purple silk dress. Worn with the obligatory double strand of pearls around her neck, it was a jolly look completed with a purple hat covered in netting.

Oh dear: Ed Miliband's partner Justine struck the wrong note with her creased taffeta skirt, incongruous funnel neckline, shrunken, wrinkled jacket and demented hat, while Tara Palmer Tomkinson, right, looked brash

The Duchess of Kent made a rare public appearance in a pale pink jacket and skirt matched with tan kitten heels – neatly set off by a snakeskin handbag that would not have shamed Victoria B eckham.

And Lady Helen Windsor, ever the royal fashionista, wore an appropriate royal blue jacket with a floral dress and silk clutch.

All in all a kaleidoscope of colour from the Royal Family – and a very profitable day for Philip Treacy who can now claim the prize as the Mad Hatter by Royal Appointment.

It was a bad day all round for politicians' supposedly better halves.

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, wife of Nick Clegg, made a dramatic statement in a form-fitting lace overlay dress, black stilettos, turban and vibrant flower headpiece, but while she undoubtedly made a statement, maybe it was the wrong sort.

Celebrity bridal stylist Camilla Ridley-Day said it was 'all a bit much', adding that her hat looked a little ridiculous.

Twitter users were more colourful in their descriptions, calling her outfit 'part Carmen Miranda, part Roxie Hart', while one wonderd why she was wearing a 'lampshade' on her head.

Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, showed scant regard for royal protocol as she stepped out in a black lace wrap dress with plunging neckline and revealing hemline complete with split.

Either Ms Bercow was unaware of, or simply disregarded, the formal dress code that implicitly calls for demure neckline and skirt length as she revealed a shocking expanse of her ample cleavage and a flash of thigh.

Her outfit choice certainly raised a few eyebrows, but her flouting of formality would have been no surprise to many, thanks to Ms Bercow's penchant for sensational headline-grabbing outfits. After all, who could forget the semi-naked Ms Bercow posing in view of the Houses of Parliament in a bed sheet?

Samantha Cameron also broke with royal wedding tradition, choosing to turn up at the Abbey bare-headed. Although her Burberry dress with its demure sleeves and neckline fit the bill, onlookers said her head looked strangely naked - especially in contrast to the elaborate headgear of fellow guests.

Dog's dinner: Sally Bercow's dress was too short and the neckline too low, while right, Clegg's wife Miriam looked dramatic, but the combination of lace, gloves, turban and corsage made for a jumbled result

A Labour MP has since come out to criticise the move, while social media sites are rife with discussion on her decision to go hatless, taking to the Internet to slate what they called her 'disrespectful' choice.

But the award for protocol-buster of the day surely goes to Lady Kitty Spencer, daughter of Earl Spencer, who wore a very snug Victoria Beckham dress that revealed an expanse of decolletage, the effect of which was only enhanced by the overhead camera angle.

Informal: Samantha Cameron chose not to wear a hat for the royal wedding, a move which some commented made her head look 'naked' and her overall look unfinished

Dressed to the nines: Earl Spencer's daughters, Lady Amelia, Lady Eliza and Lady Kitty wore elaborate fascinators, with Kitty, far right, wearing a very low-cut Victoria Beckham dress with her Philip Treacy hat

Revealing too much? Lady Kitty Spencer's Victoria Beckham dress gave her an impressive cleavage - but perhaps too much flesh was on show for the formality of the occasion


As for Victoria Beckham, the jury is still out.

Her dress was classy if a little funereal: a loose-fitting piece from her own collection that skimmed her bump perfectly. The sombre navy tone was perhaps a little dark for such a happy occasion, but the style was demure and appropriate.

What a shame then, that she should spoil the effect with her harshly pulled-back hair - some have called the fiercely pulled-back ponytail the 'Croydon face-lift', thanks to the effect it has on the forehead - topped off with a gravity-defying hat clinging to her forehead and heavy make up far too dark for a daytime wedding.

'I loved the outfit, says Ridley-Day, but it would have been better to keep her hair softer, and her make up was possibly a little bit more red carpet than royal wedding.'

And in a final note on fashion faux pas: David's OBE medal be worn on the left, not the right. Thankfully, a kindly official must have pointed the error out to Becks, as he switched the medal to the correct side during the ceremony.

The jury's out: Victoria's dress was classy, but some suggested her hair was scraped back too tightly giving her the 'Croydon face-lift' effect, while her make-up was perhaps more suited to red carpet than royal wedding... and David's medal was worn on the wrong side, but not for long...

Minor adjustment: Once inside the service, David Beckham switched his OBE medal from the right lapel where it was on his arrival, to the left, where it should rightly be



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