Monday 22 January 2018

Carefully chosen wardrobe sets tone with shades of green

Savvy stylist ensures monarch hits the right note

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Irish President Mary McAleese after arriving at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: PA
Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Irish President Mary McAleese after arriving at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: PA

Bairbre Power Fashion Editor

The queen, pictured with President Mary McAleese, wore a light green dress and collarless coat. Far left: earlier in the day the queen wore a jade-green coat and St Patrick's blue dress and patent heels to the Aras. Frank McGrath/ Damian Eagers

THE queen in green: as fashion statements go, it was a thoughtful one.

Queen Elizabeth alighted from the steps of her private jet dressed in an Aer Lingus jade- green collarless coat and St Patrick's-blue dress.

The 85-year-old monarch has a keen eye for detail and a fondness for factoring in motifs.

Both her Norman Hartnell-designed wedding and coronation gowns featured shamrocks for good luck.

The stylistic approach of her savvy personal assistant and sometimes dress designer, Angela Kelly -- a Liverpudlian of Irish descent -- is now very evident in the queen's wardrobe.

The 59-year-old from a council house in Walton exerts a considerable influence on the queen's style and has helped her ditch the "dowdy" label, moving her away from time-warped turban hats, safe 'sweet pea' colours and into trousers.

Kelly designed the critically acclaimed primrose-yellow outfit and hat which the queen wore to Kate and William's wedding.

This fashion coup firmly silenced critics who doubted the abilities of the crane driver's daughter, who created a fashion group inside Buckingham Palace with a view to saving the queen money.

Kelly, who was working behind the scenes yesterday, organises the monarch's wardrobe and designs her clothes, getting the proportions just right for the petite 5ft 3in royal.

Not every outfit has to be a new one. Angela has recycled the queen's favourite evening gown. During a trip to Trinidad in 2009, the gown featured appliques of local birds and flowers but Angela got busy with Swarovski crystals and the appliques were replaced with crystal maple leaves in time for the queen to wear it in Canada the following year.

Recycling also crops up in the queen's extensive jewellery collection. Her platinum and diamond engagement ring was made by jewellers Philip Antrobus using diamonds from a tiara belonging to her prospective husband's mother, Princess Andrew of Greece. Prince Philip designed the ring with a three- carat diamond as the centrepiece, which was flanked by five diamonds. The Nizam tiara was broken up and made into rose brooches, which the queen still wears.

Colour is the first rule of royal fashion, as the queen showed yesterday. She has to stand out in a crowd so black is a no-no.

Like Kate Moss, the queen can still trigger a high street stampede. Her choice of a cream, leather, encore bag from S. Launer of London for the recent royal nuptials sparked a 60pc increase in business. Her 'Traviatta', black handbag yesterday was made by the same designers and cost £845 (€965).

The queen rivals Carrie Bradshaw's passion for shoes and for her 1953 coronation, Roger Vivier embroidered her slippers with rubies. Nowadays her favourite shoe label is H&M Rayne, who made her black patent heels yesterday.

As one would expect, Queen Elizabeth also boasts quite an most amazing jewellery collection.

The Queen Victoria bow, which twinkled on her jade coat at the Aras, was made by Garrard and was one of three made from 506 diamonds supplied by Queen Victoria.


Irish Independent

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