10 May 2017

Royal Fashion Awards: The Government Dinner for King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 80th Birthday

Another day, another birthday dinner in Norway as the festivities for King Harald and Queen Sonja’s joint 80th birthday wrap up. The government threw a black tie dinner at the Opera, which was just a wee bit hampered thanks to inclement weather. Our judgements must go on despite all the wraps and umbrellas…

Most Customized Birthday Queen
Queen Sonja of Norway
And the wraps are getting in the way, right away. It’s a real shame that Sonja didn’t get to show off her dress on the way in to the Opera, because it’s really a special piece; Queen Sonja came up with the idea and the design based on her graphic prints, and the Opera staff made it.
Sonja did get to show it off during the couple's acceptance speech. When Harald noted the dress' special origin, he got a cute twirl from Sonja and a big smile from fellow artist Queen Margrethe (see it here). And here I thought the lime green ball gown was the most Sonja dress Sonja ever wore!

Best in Blues
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
As seems to be the case with every royal gathering, you have a selection of ladies going the embellished navy dress route. Mette-Marit’s version is from Marte Krogh, and I’m on board minus the sleeves.
Mathilde’s sequined version is lovely, although I can’t help thinking it belongs in Queen Silvia’s closet next to her line up of shiny blue gowns.

Most Standard Business, Princess/Countess Division
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and the Countess of Wessex
Both of these dresses are exactly what I would expect both of these ladies to pick. Märtha Louise’s repeated Ingunn Birkeland is colorful and a little bit unusual, which I think is a fair summary of ML’s style on the whole; Sophie’s is very stately and from Suzannah (h/t to Anna), one of her favorite designers. Also worth noting: Sophie’s hair is on point.

Most Standard Business, Queen Division
Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Sofia of Spain, and Princess Astrid of Norway
One big category for one big group: the ladies who love their repeats and their wraps. All of this is business as usual, what more can you say? King Juan Carlos and his powder blue shirt might be the thing of most note here, truth be told.
Note 1: Yes, I put Princess Astrid in the Queen Division, and I will hear no objections. Note 2: Sofia and Juan Carlos, along with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, are two couples who made it for day 2 of the celebration but skipped day 1. More details on the guest list in the open post.

Most in Need of a Standard Business Upgrade
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Princess Marie of Denmark
They’re clad in long dresses and everything, but there’s so much of a daywear feel to both of these (in the print on Victoria’s Acne repeat and the sleeve/neckline cut of Marie’s Rikke Gudnitz repeat) that they come off feeling a little underdressed.
Posing for a family photo on the royal yacht, as you do
At any rate, I’m coming off frowning in both of their directions.

Best in Jewels
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg
Here, this will take our formal level up several notches: the Lux ladies busted out the gems! And bless them for it, this is what we need to cure our tiara hangover.
Emeralds for Maria Teresa and aquamarines for Stéphanie, who continues to dig into the family vault with her first outing in their aquamarine and diamond parure. Atta girl.

Best Duo
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau
Look at these two gems. This mother and daughter-in-law duo were having a whale of a time on the carpet, and I'd join that party any day. I'd even go for a very 1910 governess hair + black dress combo if that would help me fit in. (Mabel's making it work!)

Biggest Bridal Turn
Princess Tatiana of Greece and Princess Sofia of Sweden
Avalanches of tiered and flared lace, or an explosion of froof on illusion netting? Pick your bridal poison.
Sofia's dress by Alexis (h/t to The Royals and I and PrincessanSofia)
Actually, I come pretty close to liking both of these – Tatiana’s more than Sofia’s – but I was still glad to see that the white trend pretty much ended after their early arrivals.

Steepest Fall
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
Well, M-C, after two appearances at the top of my best dressed list, this is where we part ways. We had a good run. Like I said, Marie-Chantal always brings something straight off the runway, and sometimes it works, and sometimes…hoo boy, it does not. Let’s not spread this Valentino idea to anyone else. (I’m already afraid the seeds of a bad idea have been planted in the Valentino-loving brains of Máxima and Mette-Marit…)

Best Upgrade
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
For her second Prinsjesdag rerun in a row, Máxima gave her 2016 Claes Iversen outfit an A+ makeover by replacing the blouse top with a more fitted and embellished off-the-shoulder top. Accessorizing with major sapphires, including her second big sapphire bow brooch of this trip and the sapphire version of that delicate diamond trellis necklace, was the perfect touch.
I would have rated this one a lot higher back at its original appearance if I knew about this master plan! Sneaky Máx, she always has something up her sleeve.

Best Dressed
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Don’t ask me why Victoria’s floral makes my nose scrunch up but Mary’s floral makes my knees go weak. That’s just the way it is, okay? All I know is that this Erdem (per Heaven) is FAB and the accessories are SUPERB and the best dressed spot vacated by Marie-Chantal has been eagerly snapped up by the usual suspect.

And that’s a wrap on these fabulous Norwegian birthday celebrations! Thanks to all who have played along. Once more before we go, tell me…

Who makes your best dressed list?

Programming Note: Tiara Thursday is taking the week off – while we recover from all this splendor, you understand – and we’ll be back as usual on Friday!

Photos: NRK screencaps unless otherwise noted