Tag Archives: Jenny Packham

2016 Diplomatic Reception

Tonight was the Diplomatic Reception held at Buckingham Palace and while normally royal watchers just get the backseat Bentley shots, this year a formal portrait was taken of the three generations of the British Monarchy.

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The Queen is wearing the Royal Family Orders of King George VI and King George V, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Prince William are in the Order of the Garter, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is wearing the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II and Kate looks like a little kid who wandered into the shot, still with no royal order and her crotch clutching preserved for posterity.  Poor Kate, always in some state of disorder.

The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II is an honor bestowed on female members of the British Royal Family at the Queen’s discretion.

Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Being born royal or marrying into the family doesn’t guarantee the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, it is an honor that is earned.  Princess Diana and Katharine, Duchess of Kent received theirs during their first year of marriage.  Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester received theirs during their second year of marriage.  Sophie, Countess of Wessex received hers in her fifth year of marriage.  And after 5 1/2 years of marriage, giving birth to an heir and a spare, Kate, a future Queen Consort, is still playing the Waitying Game.  I guess Kate’s Christmas chutney wasn’t impressive enough to nab that Royal Family Order from the Queen, but maybe McQueen can bedazzle her an Order of Bad Bespoke so she can have something shiny to wear at the Anmer Hall Fortress of Solitude while filling in all that duty-ducking time with her Secret Garden coloring book.

Of course, Kate has had very few occasions to even wear a royal order.  This is only Kate’s fifth time in a tiara.  She wore the Cartier Halo tiara on her wedding day, the Papyrus Lotus Flower tiara at the 2013  Diplomatic Reception and 2015 State Banquet honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara to the 2015 Diplomatic Reception which was repeated again tonight.

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The Jenny Packham gown Kate wore tonight was also a repeat from the State Banquet honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.

So while the Palace gave the public an unprecedented Diplomatic Reception portrait, once again we get nothing from Kate that we haven’t seen before.

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La Vie En Bleu

On Saturday just shy of 4pm, the Cambridge’s plane landed in Victoria, kicking off their eight day Canadian tour, the cost of which is born by the host company.  Prince William and Kate’s 2011 Canada Tour came in around $1.2 million for taxpayers.

Even before the Cambridges touched down, Twitter revealed that no matter where the new royal tours go, the same old frustrations still exist.

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Really, that’s how the Palace want to kick off the tour?  Ticking off the skilled professionals who use their talents to paint the Cambridges in a more interesting hue in the global media?  This group who climbed into shuttles to meet the Cambridge Quartet at the airport?

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The littlest royals were spotted peaking out of the craft ahead of the official arrival.  I imagine Prince George turned to the staff and said, “Nope.  Shut it down.”

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Weather at the time of the landing was overcast and in the upper 50s.

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The Cambridges wore blue because no other colors exist for them anymore, they have adopted the hue as their official  team color.  Kate was in Jenny Packham, a Lock & Co hat and wore the Maple Leaf Brooch, on loan from the Queen.

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It was Kate’s best arrival look to date and was fitted which avoided flashing.  Kate’s Jenny Packham shade was slightly more sophisticated than the Smurf Blue she’s been favoring during her Blue Period.  She managed to make it down the stairs in nude heels, carrying Charlotte and holding George’s hand when the steps proved a bit steep for his little legs.

Kate tried to create cute kid moments but looked like the socially awkward adult at parties who targets the family cat and winds up clutching poor Fluffy like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Kate’s attentions were focused on trying to get Charlotte to wave and squatting down in front of George in a rather unregal manner instead of interacting with the adults who waited around on a tarmac to greet them such as the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

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It appears the Windsor is already coming out in Charlotte who looks to me like she will resemble Princess Eugenie.

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George managed to get off a royal wave but was more interested in a Sea King that was landing nearby so no paternity test is needed.

The royal convoy then made a quick trip to the Government House.

According to the royal correspondents on Twitter, approximately 10,000 people gathered to welcome the Cambridges to Victoria.  Unfortunately for those who were waiting, Prince William and Kate were running late so staff gathered up the bouquets instead.

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Prince William and Kate laid a wreath in honor of Canada’s fallen soldiers and shook hands with select military personnel.

As part of the welcome ceremony, Prime Minister Trudeau and Prince William gave speeches. The reception Prime Minister Trudeau received suggests he was a large part of the event’s draw, he received louder cheers than the Cambridges.

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William attempted a line in French, sheepishly admitting his French was “rusty”.  As someone who hasn’t had a chance to speak French often over the last few years, I would describe mine as rusty, Prince William’s French was a linguistic massacre.  I died a little inside.  In lieu of flowers or donations, please send Chanel.

At the end of the welcome ceremony, Kate accepted flowers and the couple headed to the Government House for a photo op with the Trudeaus.  While Sophie Trudeau is touted as a fashion icon, I can’t be supportive of the Duchess of York style shoulder bows on her Edition de Robe dress, discordant eggplant Saucy milliner hat (which  I love on its own) and plastic and suede court shoes.

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But at least it wasn’t blue.  Picasso’s infamous Blue Period marked a time of severe depression and despair in his life between the years of 1901 and 1904.  Kate’s been hitting the blue hard lately.  Hopefully she is okay and the observation that if she loses those pesky last 20 grams of spinal cord, she’ll finally obtain her goal of being just a floating head isn’t in poor taste.  Normally it would be irregardless, but given her pre-wedding comment about her concerning weight loss being “all part of the plan”, I suspect Kate would find it the nicest compliment I’ve ever paid her.

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Day 1 of India/Bhutan Tour

With the time difference, Day 2 of Prince William and Kate’s India/Bhutan is already underway so I’m already behind.  I was awake and a little excited for the tour so I watched the first day unfold on Twitter.  It was more boring than waiting for a YouTube video of someone describing paint drying to buffer.  I randomly asked two royal correspondents to Tweet photos of their shoes but no takers.

Victoria Murphy wrote an excellent article on the importance of this tour for William and Kate.  When I noted in ReTweeting the article that I wasn’t sure if William and Kate even had enough momentum going in to turn around public opinion, Victoria responded, “I think the setting has really helped boost things for them.”

And she is right.  New set, new wardrobe, new guest stars, and the hope that somehow the show’s quality is going to improve.

William and Kate aren’t merely players strutting and fretting upon India’s stage, they also have producing and writing credits.  Not only do they have this fabulous new set, these scheduled events tell their vision of their host country and it’s surprisingly stereotypical: cricket, slums, Bollywood… presumably the snake charmer called out sick.  And I’m not the only one who noticed, this is a comment from a reader in India:

Slums-poverty-bollywood-cricket the stereotypist guide to India. Out of curiosity- doesn’t Kate have a stylist or Google or a mirror? The red dress looked like it was made out of the Taj hotel’s bedsheet collection and the blue dress looked like the nightgowns worn here. What is noteworthy is the negligible coverage of the visit in local press. Not even cricket god Sachin Tendulkar could make these two interesting or newsworthy. I don’t think anyone here is interested in having them back unless they are bringing back the Koh-i-noor with them or at least Coldplay.

So here’s how the first day unfolded:

Kate looked a little Elizabeth Taylor emerging after the flight.

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Flight fatigue and what I assume was a handful of tranquilizers became apparent in later photos, but it was an impressive “Bitch I’m Madonna” moment.  After nine hours on a plane, I spark fear that the Zombie Apocalypse has begun.

Kate arrived in bespoke McQueen and LK Bennett “Fern” shoes.  I like the original McQueen and how it was styled, I think it was a missed opportunity for Kate although I think I have to accept that she just can’t accessorize.  Or not suck the life out of clothing… I wonder how much of her diet consists of fashion’s soul.

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When the Cambridges arrived at the Taj Palace Hotel, they layed a wreath in memory of victims of its 2008 terror attack and met with staff whose heroic efforts helped save guest lives.

The Cambridges’ lunch was vegetarian.

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After a wardrobe change, the Cambridges headed to the Oval Maidan cricket ground.  Kate wore a bespoke tunic dress from Mumbai designer Anita Dongre and Mint Velvet wedges.

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Three charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline, participated in the event.

There were no wardrobe malfunctions, but the wind at one point made Kate look like she was wearing clown pants.

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The teased special surprise was a bus ride.

You can't sit with us!

You can’t sit with us!

At the Banganga Water Tank, Prince William and Kate scattered petals in the water.

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Prince William and Kate then met with the charity SMILE.

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The Cambridges played football in the streets of the slum and there was almost a dance-off instigated by William who then backed out of it.  I noticed Kate got hit in the calf with a soccer ball, I’m not sure if it was an accident or if the kicker in question got to do something that has popped into the minds of many royal watchers at some point  or another.  Impoverished children then asked the Cambridges all sorts of questions about their big house, like how do they like their giant house and how do they call each other and their children in it which for some reason appeared to make William and Kate uncomfortable.

In the evening, William and Kate attended a Bollywood dinner and reception which benefited the charities: Magic Bus, Door Step School and India’s Childline.  Kate wore bespoke Jenny Packham that was beaded in India and earrings by Amrapali.

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In a dress that would have looked smurfy on Papa Smurf’s nana, Kate sort of looked like the spinster lovechild of Margaret Thatcher and The Joker.

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In a speech, Prince William revealed, “When Catherine and I were married, India was the 1st place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit.”  So after almost a decade of Waitying, Kate suddenly puts together her dream destination list once she could go on these trips on the taxpayer’s dime?

According to actress Madhuri Dixit, “The Duke said he hadn’t watched any Bollywood movies but he represents the British film industry was and interested in collaboration.”

WTF?  Prince William, President of BAFTA and resident of planet Earth has never seen a Bollywood film?  How is that even possible?

Granted, I’m probably a bigger film lover than most, I’ve even taken multiple subways to go see an obscure French vampire film I don’t even think some of its cast had ever heard of, but the BAFTA president couldn’t have watched one or two movies on the nine hour flight in preparation for the event?  Or maybe on one of his many days off from both royal and air ambulance duties?

I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising considering Prince William vetoed Skyfall on the staff’s special Christmas film night and insisted on fucking Twilight and then blew it off.  Seriously, he can’t even make it through one film, how is he going to handle being Head of State?

At least Prince William appeared to have an inkling of what he’s been missing out on in the presence of one of the most beautiful women in the history of the world, actress Aishwarya Rai.

William&AishwaryaRai

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Oscars Slumber Party

The Oscars this year were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, who is the comedic equivalent of a hug, she delivers the warm fuzzies without any inappropriate touching.  Apparently after Seth MacFarlane’s Ode to Boobies, the Oscars wanted to play it more safe and asked Ellen to babysit this year’s most star-studded slumber party.

Liza Minnelli just showed up in her satin jammies.  She must have nodded off in the limo on the way over because someone put a Smurf blue streak in her hair.  I’m assuming it had to be a classic slumber party prank done while Liza was catching some zzzzzz’s, since there’s no pharmacological combination of which I am aware that would make the Smurf Streak seem like an okay idea.

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Liza didn’t just wander in by mistake, she was invited because she’s Judy Garland’s daughter and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences wanted to acknowledge the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.  I’m not sure why they took a nostalgic detour and got Pink to sing “Over the Rainbow”, after all they could have just slipped a special 75th Anniversary DVD into the gift bags if they wanted to remind Hollywood what great movies look like, but maybe it was the only way to get Ellen in a dress.

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The slumber party theme was continued during a bit in which Ellen ordered twenty pizzas for the A-listers up front.  Real pizza from a real pizza delivery guy named Edgar Martirosyan from Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria.  I’m assuming during commercial breaks, everyone braided each other’s hair and told ghost stories.

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Despite being the responsible adult for the evening, a few winners still appeared to have gotten into the liquor cabinet during Ellen’s watch.  Darlene Love sang the award show awkward while accepting the Best Documentary Oscar and Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech should have come with a map because he took the long way when thanking himself for the person he’ll never be.

Fashion for film’s biggest award show was safe, just like the jokes.  Pastels and muted metallics were predicted and the red carpet was a sea of hushed tones.  Very few stand-outs but no one was so bad it got them grounded.

I think Charlize Theron is required by law to show up to all major award shows so fashion bloggers will have someone to crown Best Dressed.  Sometimes black on a red carpet can be risky because the detailing on a black dress doesn’t read well when photographed but of course no fabric on Charlize would ever dare be anything less than spectacular.  Dazzling in Dior.

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Fortunately there was Lupita Nyong’o to take a little pressure off of Charlize, arriving in a frothy blue Prada gown that only she could wear so exquisitely, it was a moment of fashion nirvana.

lupitanyong'oJennifer Lawrence fell again for Oscar Fashion, this time while exiting the limo.  This Dior red peplum dress looks gorgeous on her and her best accessory is her sense of humor.

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Anne Hathaway went with the same silhouette as last year’s pink Angry Nipple Dress and still missed the mark with this Gucci futuristic breastplate.  How angry can nipples get that they need to be covered in armor?

AnneHathawayPenelope Cruz is so beautiful, everyone has always said she could just tie a bed sheet around her waist and look fabulous.  Well, we were wrong.  Sorry, Penelope, our bad.

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This year’s red carpet attempted to evoke old Hollywood glamour, but it left some starlets just looking old.

Fashionistas fawned all over Kate Hudson’s Versace dress but to me it looked a little too Dynasty and not in a good way.

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Sally Hawkins was the victim of a Valentino dress trying to suffocate her.  She is too covered up even by Victorian era standards, I’m assuming this frock came with a matching chastity belt.

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Julie Delpy looked like a sugar glider in her Jenny Packham gown.

JulieDelpyAnd as much as it pains me to say this, Angelina Jolie looked a bit matronly in Elie Saab. Sob.

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This was like the Casual Friday of Oscars.  I believe the hosting tone was intended to make the audience feel like we were all just hanging out with Ellen and Hollywood’s most recognized faces enjoying the evening.  Really, actors are just people with jobs others happen to find interesting, so maybe if society could understand those whose airbrushed images adorn the covers of magazines are just flesh and blood like everyone else, our culture would be less celebrity-obssessed.

But the Oscars aren’t just about actors, it’s a celebration of filmmaking.  Films are a collaborative effort that transport an audience to a crafted realm.  When executed properly, films can be transformative experiences that inspire us, move us, enlighten us, or simply provide a temporary escape from our own problems.  Unlike other forms of artistic expression which are often solo endeavors, film requires the talents of a multitude of skilled artists, from pre-production all the way through the end of post-production, all of whom must unite in creative vision for a singular purpose: to tell a story.  The telling of that story requires a lot of sacrifice by everyone involved, they are made for the love of filmmaking.

This year’s Oscars recognized more than just individual contributions to the collaborative efforts of film, the industry  collectively cried out against the tragic loss of a crew member, 27-year-old assistant camera operator Sarah Jones who was struck by a train on February 20th while on the set of a Gregg Allman biopic called Midnight Rider.  While it’s unclear at this time if the production team knew they only had permission to film on the privately owned land and not on the train tracks themselves, the film industry became united by grief that a crew member’s life had been lost because of unsafe set conditions.  There was an online petition, Slates for Sarah, to include Sarah Jones in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars and crews from around the world sent in pictures of slates with RIP Sarah Jones.  While it seemed the more than 55,000 signatures collected weren’t enough to meet the controversial criteria for inclusion, right before the commercial break, a bar ran across the bottom of the screen with her picture.

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That chyron is what I will remember from this year’s Oscars.  When I woke up Monday morning, I thought of Sarah whom I’ve never met and how, with that outpouring of love and support from the industry to which she was so passionately dedicated, she could be at peace.  Slates for Sarah sends the message that despite its grandeur, the value of a human life far surpasses the entire history of cinema.  Maybe Ellen’s relaxed approach to Oscar hosting was just what the world needed to see.  Brad Pitt, one of the world’s biggest celebrities handing out plates is a reminder to all of us that no matter who we are, we are all human and should be helping each other out.

Maybe next year, we should try pushing the human angle even further and the Oscars could be held at Meryl Streep’s house.  Everyone nominated should show up in their flannel jammies, Charlize Theron would still obviously look stunning, Cate Blanchett could bring the Rice Krispy Treats, Matthew McConaughey probably has a great recipe for brownies, after some of Sandra Bullock’s margaritas, everyone could start dishing on their horrible set experiences with Julia Roberts, forgetting she’s in the room.  Maybe George Clooney could challenge Jennifer Lawrence to a game of Twister and everyone would pretend not to notice Liza was still wearing her satin Smurf pajamas.  Anyone who attempted to sing would automatically have to go into the closet to play Seven Minutes in Heaven with Gary Busey and everyone would have to drink a shot every time Helen Mirren said, “That’s so fetch”.  Think about it, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  There’s not a single dance number that could begin to compete with the visual of Jack Nicholson in footed pajamas.

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