A look at Queen Elizabeth II’s style through the decades | entertainment news

Written by LEANNE ITALY, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II may have the most labor-intensive wardrobe on the planet.

“Every outfit worn in public is carefully crafted to inspire or remind, express gratitude or respect, convey a sense of power or familiarity,” The Mail wrote Sunday, 2015. “Her Majesty does not set trends and does not follow them – but at the same time she is deaf to the call of fashion, she has her own unique style.”

From tiaras, Hermes hats and scarves, to Launer London handbags and even umbrellas, the Queen’s style is documented from her birth, her days as a young princess, her ascension to the throne, and now, more than 70 years into her reign, as she celebrates her platinum birthday at age 96.

Now known for her flamboyant coats (to be seen by huge crowds) with matching brimmed hats, the Queen was a young, charming princess and monarch in earlier decades.

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Some of the Queen’s style highlights over the years are:

Cotton or wool? The very birth of the queen has sparked a style debate, writes Bethan Holt, fashion editor for The Telegraph and author of this year’s book, The Queen: 70 Years of Stately Style.

Her wardrobe from the very beginning was the subject of national admiration for the linen made by her mother and grandmother, and with a little help from poor women all over Britain. Declaring that babies in wool look like “little gnomes,” mother Lilibet, then the Duchess of York, opted for ruffled cotton, rejecting anything too frilly.

When Sister Margaret arrived four years later, the princesses often became twins, dressing alike as teenagers. But the future queen “never cared” about clothes as a child, according to her former governess Marion Crawford.

“She wore what she was told without question, except for the long, dull mackintosh, which she hated,” Crawford wrote in her controversial memoir, Little Princesses.

Following her uncle’s tumultuous abdication and her father’s elevation to King George VI, Princess Elizabeth became the heir presumptive (with the exception of a future male heir who never materialized).

According to Holt, enter fashion designer Norman Hartnell. While there were other designers, he was trusted to dress the family as they appeared on the world stage, including two princesses aged 11 and 6. Their “bowed dresses and small cloaks signaled a return to the calm reliability of the monarchy. ‘ Holt wrote.

During World War II, 18-year-old Elizabeth began to make more public appearances, having trained as a mechanic in early 1945, towards the end of the war. According to Holt, this was the only time she regularly wore pants (and overalls).

The Queen was and remains a practical dresser when needed, but also glamorous in sparkly dresses when the moment called. And she often went with short sleeves or no sleeves at all, which is not the case today. She posed for photographs with Prince Philip in a simple, light-colored dress with sleeves above the elbow and size 4 ($6) low-heeled shoes shortly before their wedding in 1947.

“People want their royals to look like royalty, but equally they don’t want to think that taxpayer money is being wasted,” said Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV.

Hartnell turned Botticelli’s “Primavera” floral motifs into a dress of white crystals and pearls. But it wasn’t easy. Holt wrote that in the face of the still unfortunate aftermath of the war, diplomatic questions arose. Customs confiscated 10,000 pearl seeds from the US, and journalists were assured that the silk, made in Kent and woven in Essex, was sourced from “Nationalist” China and not from “enemy” Japan.

Thousands of people in the UK sent Princess Elizabeth coupons for products she could use to make clothes. It would be illegal, so she saved up her money and asked the government for an additional $200, Holt told The Associated Press.

“It showed the country’s lust for this great moment of glamour,” she said. “We’ve known the Queen and Prince Philip as this sweet old couple in recent years, but we have to remember that at the time they were this dazzling, glamorous new couple on the scene.”

The wedding was not without backstage drama. Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara, made by Elizabeth’s grandmother from a necklace given to Mary by Queen Victoria, broke right before the ceremony and was rushed to jeweler Garrard for repairs.

The dress and wedding provided “a real moment of hope,” Holt said.

Years ago she settled on skirts and dresses just below the knee, but her hemline was sometimes a problem for older members of her family. In 1952, the 25-year-old Queen led the mourning with her family at her father’s funeral in accordance with the strict dress code established during Queen Victoria’s reign, Holt said.

When Queen Mary curtsied to her granddaughter and kissed every cheek, she warned: “Lilibet, your skirts are too short for mourning,” writes Holt. The new queen’s dress hovered above her ankles but respectfully below the knee, while her grandmother’s dress reached the ground. Everyone, including Queen Elizabeth II, was shrouded in black veils, as was Queen Victoria for 40 years after Prince Albert’s death in 1861.

“The evolution of the Queen’s style from a young princess to the longest-reigning monarch in British history has meant that she is timely but out of fashion,” Bullen said.

The Queen we know today wears comfortable heels or brogues, usually handmade by Anello & Davide, a custom Launer on her arm, and a brooch on one shoulder. She wears kilts and skirts in plaid and plaid, which is her rustic style. But the queen of the early 1950s captivated the world with pinched waists, pencil silhouettes, and some fluid, full of experimentation when the country experienced a post-war fashion shock.

“During the early years of her reign, she really embraced Dior’s New Look aesthetic and women looked to her outfits for inspiration, in the same way people look to the Duchess of Cambridge today,” said Christine Contino, Page Six’s style reporter. .

There was playful glamor in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, including a brightly colored evening gown in 1999 for the Royal Variety Performance. Designed by Carl-Ludwig Rese, it featured an exuberant diamond-patterned bodice with sequins in bright yellow, blue, green and pink.

There were also a few days of trousers and turbans in the 60s and 70s among the wide range of hat styles.

The Queen learned of her father’s death at a stopover in Kenya on her way to Australia. Some reports indicate that she was wearing jeans to meet a herd of elephants when her father died in his sleep at Sandringham, Holt writes. She gave trousers on a safari in Zambia in 1979 and a set of trousers in 2003 when she left the King Edward VIII Hospital in London after knee surgery.

It was Margaret the rebel who was known as the fashion plate of Dior and other designers, and her influence on Elizabeth was palpable. According to Holt, the younger sister helped the Queen find new British designers and introduced her to up-and-coming people like milliner Simone Mirman. Mirman designed some of the Queen’s outstanding hats, including her Tudor-style “medieval helmet,” as Hartnell called it, in soft yellow, for Prince Charles’ investiture in 1969.

“Margaret was really into fashion. She would be the only one who read Vogue. And so she often went to meetings with the queen to help her give a little extra style to her appearance, ”said Holt.

Usually sticking with British designers, the Queen has a long fondness for silk scarves from French fashion house Hermes. The brand has released several special designs in her honor. This was done in 2016 with a horse-themed scarf to mark her 90th birthday.

You can’t equate today’s queen with a mad rush to copy her style, but for a brief time in the 1950s, women could do just that thanks to her love of cotton dresses in delicate floral or abstract prints from Horrockses Fashions, a British ready-to-wear brand, Holt said.

Another look from those early years also stands out. In October 1952, shortly after her accession to the throne, the Queen made a splash at the Empire Theater at the royal screening of the musical comedy Because You Are Mine. She wore a black Hartnell tuxedo dress with a white front and tie-neck wide lapels, long white gloves, a tiara on her head, and a diamond bracelet on one wrist.

The next day, she gets into every magazine and newspaper. Manufacturers rushed to copy it. It was nicknamed “Magpie” and she never wore it again.

The Queen loves to combine colors, sticking to bright colors and pastels in coats and floral dresses.

This also applies to her signature transparent birdcage umbrellas. They are made by Fulton Umbrellas and are available for $30 or less, though royals are made to order. Holt says she has about 100 bags in every color of the rainbow, but contrary to reports, she doesn’t have 200 of her favorite Launer bags. Gerald Bodmer, who rescued Lohner in 1981 after a period of decline, sought to dispel this myth.

“He says she has multiple styles in multiple colors. He says 200 is way off the mark,” Holt said.

Launer lengthens the straps of her leather bags to make it easier for her to hang them on her arm, and they make it easier to carry. And what does she carry? Bullen said he heard there was always lipstick, a handkerchief and a photo of Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.

Irish designer Paul Costello, who dressed Princess Diana in the 1980s and 90s, told AP about the Queen’s style: “She’s a bit like a school teacher, a good school teacher. She never shocks. She gets it right.”

Follow Lynn Italy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/italy

Associated Press contributor Sylvia Hui of London contributed to this report.

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