Friday, April 27, 2012

Royal Anniversary

By the Green Queen
We all remember the hubbub over the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last year.  Some of us couldn’t wait to snap up every last detail of wedding info that we could find, while others couldn’t wait to see it all over and done with.  Whichever camp you found yourself in, you couldn’t deny that Royal Wedding Fever had a huge impact on fashion and wedding design.

So now here we are, a year later.  How much of the royal influence is still around?

Well for starters, anyone who has walked by a bridal shop in the past year has probably seen one of these:

Once considered old-fashioned, bridal sleeves came back in style with the Duchess of Cambridge’s stunning Alexander McQueen gown.  This trend continued to grow throughout the year with the release of the film Breaking Dawn, featuring another retro-style wedding dress with long sleeves.  Although long-sleeved bridal gowns are still rarer than strapless alternatives, more people have begun to realize how sophisticated and romantic the long-sleeved look really is.

Then, of course, there’s the ring.


The Lady of Kensington ring, Diamond Nexus’ homage to Princess Diana, was released in 2008 when we first unveiled our lab created rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.  Almost exactly three years later, Prince William used his mother’s original engagement ring to propose to Kate Middleton.  In the past year and a half since then, the popularity of this gorgeous affordable engagement ring has increased roughly 150%.  Really, is anyone surprised?  This thing is beautiful, glamorous yet refined, and works equally well as either an engagement ring or a cocktail ring.  And every time somebody mentions its name around the office, Meg pops up like a meerkat.

Lady of Kensington?  WHERE?!

And then there were…the hats.

That’s right.  Just when you thought it was safe, IT’S BACK

I don’t know what it is about hats, but people seem to love trying them on and finding the perfect one.  Not just work hats and gardening hats, but pretty hats.  There’s an element of playfulness in it, like we’re all six years old and playing dress-up again.  At the royal wedding, everyone’s goal was to have the most impressive hat of all.  (Princess Beatrice won by a landslide with the biggest “What the--?” accessory we’ve ever seen.)  While most of those are far too…ahem…elaborate for daily wear, there does seem to be an increase in “fun” hats on the market.  That is, hats that are bigger, floppier, and fancier than necessary, just because we like them that way.

Of course, there are different schools of thought regarding why people wear celebrity fashions.  Sometimes people want to emulate the stars they most admire.  Other times, people just see the new styles and decide they look interesting; they don’t particularly care about famous associations at all.  Whichever your approach, the royal wedding gave fashionistas all kinds of fun new trends to work with, and continues to do so even as the first anniversary approaches.

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