Saturday 25 February 2017

Impressed by the dress -- in a Hibernian colour love affair

Wardrobe advisers paid huge respect to the host nation's tradition, writes Fashion Editor Bairbre Power

THE coat said it all. Another green ensemble and a fashionable farewell on the fourth and final day of the queen's visit to Ireland.

Reaching into her stylish, ever-changing wardrobe, Queen Elizabeth chose a peppermint-green coat in textured, waffle-effect fabric for her trip to Cashel and Cork. The V-neck coat was trimmed in the same blue-on-black floral fabric in her matching dress.

The soft hue of the peppermint green was a pretty contrast with the deep emerald and diamond brooch and her dressers were playful with the colour palette, choosing a turquoise straw hat offset by a green trim in the same fabric as her coat.

It's true to say that the queen surprised -- and impressed -- many with her fashion sense and obvious enthusiasm for colour, many choices drawn from an Irish colour chart.

She changed speedily twice, sometimes three times a day, moving effortlessly from outfit to outfit, changing accessories and jewellery, something of which a woman half her age might tire.

At 5ft 3in the petite 85-year-old monarch is not a large canvas to dress, but her designers and wardrobe advisers get the proportions correct so she never looks swamped by her colourful outfits and hats.

The queen's arrival in jade green, noticeably similar to the hue of the Aer Lingus uniforms, caused a sensation on Tuesday.

Photographs of Stewart Parvin's jade crepe coat and the Rachel Trevor-Morgan matching hat made headlines around the world.

The Hibernian colour love affair continued with a beautifully constructed lace coat in teal green designed by her personal assistant Angela Kelly. The queen wore the silver lace over teal satin dress and coat combo to Thursday night's event, where it proved a very judicious choice, sitting at the centre of a celebration of Irish arts.

While the queen's other choices, including a buttery cream outfit for Croke Park and a cornflower blue coat for her trip to Kildare yesterday, were eye-catching, it was her sensational snow-white evening gown that stole the show at Dublin Castle on Wednesday.

In her world of pomp and ceremony, attention to detail is nothing new, but her wardrobe advisers were hugely respectful of her host country and factored in as many Irish resonances as possible. Tiny white satin shamrocks were scattered across the top of her dress.

The sparkling harp-shaped brooch glittered beside 'the girls' tiara which was a gift to her grandmother, Queen Mary in 1893 from the 'Girls of Great Britain and Ireland'. Under the chandeliers of Dublin Castle, guests could make out the diamond festoon-and-scroll design.

During the four-day visit, we saw the queen wear many of her favourite pieces of jewellery, including brooches, which were an 18th birthday present from her parents and the Queen Victoria bow brooch made by Garrard, one of three made from 506 diamonds supplied by Queen Victoria.

Every day of her Irish visit, she wore her favourite earrings, the Ladies of Devonshire pearl and diamond studs, which were a gift from her grandmother, Queen Mary.

Irish Independent

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