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ROYAL COUTURE....."The Crown": Costumes vs Reality!


ROYAL COUTURE....."The Crown": Costumes vs Reality!

Fur, Satin and Diamonds: Actress Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix' "The Crown" TV series

In case you have been living under a rock, "The Crown" is a fabulous new drama series on Netflix. The first season premiered on November 4th. The series chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II, from her marriage in 1947 to the present day and has been dubbed "the most expensive TV series ever!". So far, I have only watched the first seven episodes and it's followed her relationship with her husband Prince Philip, her sister Princess Margaret (and her love affair with Captain Peter Townsend), her mother, as well Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and many others. I am obsessed with the series and besides all the drama, yes, it's ALL ABOUT THE FABULOUS COSTUMES!

Gown Royals: Cast of "The Crown", Netfilx (L to R): Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary and Victoria Hamilton as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

Emmy-winning Costume designer Michele Clapton and her amazing team were responsible for all the Royal Couture of "The Crown". The "Game of Thrones" costume designer (she designed the first five seasons and returned to do four costumes in two episodes of season six) combined historical accuracy as well as vintage Vogue magazine research to inspire and help her with the immensity of such an epic show, according to this article.

Designer and her Designs: The Crown" costume designer Michele Clapton during a "The Crown" Costume Presentation in London back in October

As the big Royal Couture fan that I am , I was curious to check out some of the show's costumes vs. the actual fashions these real-life royals wore (if there were photos of course!). I think that Ms. Clapton did an exceptional job. I cannot even imagine having such a task. She said that over 95% of the principals costumes were custom made while many of the extras (and there were LOTS!) wore vintage garments from costume shops. Lets take a look at some of the gorgeous "The Crown" costumes for some of the main "characters" and what they actually wore:

The Wedding---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The TV Wedding: Actress Claire Foy as Princess Elizabeth (left) and Jared Harris as her father King George VI (right)--Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip Wedding Scene--"The Crown" Netflix

The Real Thing: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark Wedding: Her wedding gown designed by British fashion designer Norman Hartnell. Princess Elizabeth used clothing ration coupons to pay for the dress. The gown was made of ivory silk and 10,000 pearls imported from the USA. At first when I was watching the series and the wedding scene, I thought that the "costume" wedding gown was a bit too stiff and crinoline'd--as opposed to the actual photos I had seen of the wedding and the gown. In some of the photos, her wedding dress does look less crinoline'd (as if there's no tulle underskirts) while in the museum display photo, it looks more like it was made for the TV series .

Commonwealth Tour-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Polka Dot Queen: Actress Claire Foy  as Queen Elizabeth (left) in "The Crown", and the real Queen Elizabeth II (right) during her Commonwealth Tour 1952 Kenya. 

Coronation Gown: Actress Claire Foy as the soon-to-be-crowned Queen Elizabeth II in "The Crown

For the Coronation Scenes, costume designer Michele Clapton received a replica of the actual gown worn by the soon-to-be-Queen Elizabeth from Swarovski. The Austrian crystals company created one for an exhibition and they offered to loan Clapton the dress. At first, she declined but after realizing how much she had on her costume designing plate, she said "Yes!". 

The Coronation Gown was designed by Norman Hartnell: The silk and sequined gown took eight months to make and featured floral emblems of the countries of the United Kingdom and those of other states within the Commonwealth of Nations.

Movie Premieres----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fur and Satin: Actress Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II (left) in "The Crown" and the real Queen Elizabeth II (right) with her husband Prince Philip at the "Neapolitan Carousel" movie premiere in 1954

Flight Style-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Travel Style: Actors Matt Smith (as Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (as Queen Elizabeth II), as they board a B.O.A.C. airplane on "The Crown"

Mink Travel: Queen Elizabeth in mink fur coat and silk dress, and Prince Philip in uniform disembarking a flight on B.E.A. British European Airways

Princess Margaret--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Belted Dress Princesses: Princess Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret (right)

 Smokey Princess: Actress Vanessa Kirby portraying Princess Margaret (top photo, left lower photo) in "The Crown", the actual Princess Margaret (right, lower photo)

Michele Clapton-designed costume for Princess Margaret character in TV show "The Crown", Netflix

Princes Margaret was Queen Elizabeth's Fashionista sister. She was like the Princess Diana of the 1950's/1960's/1970's. A devoted fashion-lover, she loved Dior Haute Couture as well as many other fashion designers. While Queen Elizabeth's creations seemed as if they took one fitting (no one can imagine the Queen having the patience for more!), Princess Margaret's fabulous creations looked as if they took FOUR fittings! Gotta love her for that (well, as a designer I do!).

Diamonds and Satin: Princess Margaret

 Princess Margaret on her 21st Birthday in a Christian Dior Haute Couture gown, 1951

 Pink Princess: Princess Margaret in pink tulle and sequins

 Fashion Diva: Princess Margaret at an event in a one shoulder Duchesse Satin ballgown, fur shawl and diamond necklace

Queen Mary of Teck------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Queen Mary of Teck--Queen Elizabeth's grandmother (on her paternal side), was very Edwardian in her style and this was seen in the costumes created by Michele Clapton (left), followed by the looks seen on the real Queen Mary of Teck (right).

Duke and Duchess of Windsor-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Couture Divo and Diva: Actor Alex Jennings as Edward VIII Duke of Windsor, and actress Lia Williams as Wallis Duchess of Windsor in "The Crown" Netflix

The Real Fashionistas: Wallis, Duchess of Windsor and Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor

Family Drama: Cast of Netflix' "The Crown"

I'm excited to watch the rest of "the Crown" Season One! Let me know what you think of this season and the costumes!


TRAVELING IN STYLE.....Milan Italy: Food and Shopping!


TRAVELING IN STYLE.....Milan Italy: Food and Shopping!

Pizza Time! Mozzarella pomodorino pachino, ricotta, crudo di parma from Pizzeria Caputo Milan Italy

In my Part 2 of my "Travel In Style" Milan Blog (click HERE for my Part 1: Milan Cathedral Sightseeing Pics) it's time for the FOOD...and SHOPPING! Here is my Photo Gallery--For my shopping, I went straight to the Piazza del Duomo and the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II Shopping Center. It's not really a "Shopping Center", as we know it back in the US, but for Milan, this fits the bill fabulously! In fact, it is one of the oldest shopping malls, which originally opened in 1877 (!). It has Prada, Versace and many more international brands, as well as well-appointed restaurants...

Buonasera Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II--Nick Verreos at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II Shopping Center, Milan Italy

The glass roof/arcade of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan Italy

Beautiful tile floor--Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II, Milan Italy

Retail Therapy: Shopping bags from Zara and Alcott...this was the day after the US Elections and I was depressed and needed some "retail therapy". 

Foodie Milano-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Second Best Pizza in Milan: Mozzarella pomodorino pachino, ricotta, crudo di parma from Pizzeria Caputo

Delicious Dinner For One: Starter of Mozzarella di Bufala in Boccaccio (top photo) and Main Entree of Scialatiello Ghiotto Pasta (pasta with bacon, Parmesan cheese and tomatoes)--Bottega Ghiotta Milan Italy

THE BEST Naples-style pizza in Milan: Margherita Gialla Massimo Bottura at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo

Post-election Room Service Dinner: My hotel in Milan was having a special of a bottle of white wine, cheese, salami/prosciutto plate for 20 Euros! Naturally, I said "Si!" Usually, this would be considered Appetizers but since it was just was a nice full dinner! And it was DELIZIOSO!!!!

Buongiorno Milano: This is my go-to place for morning cup of cappuccino--Morning pastries display at Caffe Carlino Milano

Bellissimo--Loved my free Croissants and Espresso at my Una Maison Milano hotel

Ciao Milano. Alla prossima...Until next time!


ICE STYLE.....2016 NHK Trophy Costumes Recap: ICE DANCE, PAIRS!


ICE STYLE.....2016 NHK Trophy Costumes Recap: ICE DANCE, PAIRS!

Sexy-licious: French Ice Dance team of  Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron--2016 NHK Trophy

Continuing with my ICE STYLE blog on this past weekend's 2016 NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, in my last post I discussed the Ladies and Men HERE, so now, it's time to talk about Ice Dance and Pairs. Now, I must warn you that for some I have already talked about their costumes before for this 2016-2017 Grand Prix season, but I'm just including them here because, well, I just LOVE their costumes! Let's begin with some Ice Dancers I have not discussed:

ICE DANCE---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac France Short Dance to Blues: The Way You Make Me Feel performed by Judith Hill and Swing: The Way You Make Me Feel performed by Michael Jackson--I get the black-and-white costume connection to Michael Jackson, of course. I think these were nice costumes that effectively showed a thru-line to the music. While I enjoyed her white godet dress with delicate sequins, I think Romain was the costume star here with his sleek look. And I LOVED the superwide suspenders and too-short tie! 

Emi Hirai and Marien de la Asuncion Japan Short Dance to Blues: I Just Want to Love by Etta James and Swing: Puttin' On the Ritz by Irving Berlin--Emi's sequined applique royal blue costume was impressive and very Ballroom Dancing. I was just a little questionable of Marien looking so "Deney Terrio Dance Fever" but he's so hunky...I almost didn't care!

Emi Hirai and Marien de la Asuncion Japan Free Dance to Kiss, Purple Rain, U Got the Look by Prince: Prince is VERY POPULAR this season for figure skaters and here, it was the music inspiration for Japan's Hirai and de la Asuncion. At first I didn't really understand the Prince costume connection--especially since there was a lack of obvious purple coloring in either of their costumes. But with closer inspection, I got the 80's-like style details and I especially loved her red jersey and gold sequined chain-like costume. 

Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus USA Free Dance to Time by Billy Porter, Beyond The Sky by Karl Hugo and Time by Billy Porter: I thought these were quite pretty costumes worn by Americans Cannuscio and McManus. While her powder blue sequined dress was Pageant pretty, I LOVED his, especially the ombre dyed cowl-draped top. Not only did I admire the soft draping, I also liked the subtle gold and silver crystals that matched hers. I cannot stress this enough but it is always nice when men in figure skating let go of the whole "Manly-Man" costume schtick and embrace soft sensuality.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron France Short Dance to Blues: Bittersweet by Lene Riebau, Maxim Illion perf. by Club des Belugas and Swing: Diga Diga Doo by Dorthy Fields, Jimmy McHugh perf. by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy--I've discussed these costumes HERE if you want to now what I thought.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Canada Short Dance to Hip Hop: Kiss by Prince, Blues: Five Women by Prince, Blues: Purple Rain by Prince: I have also written about these costumes worn by Canada's Virtue and Moir but I just LOVED these photos and that is really why I wanted to put them here! Anyhow--yes, they skated to Prince (I told you he was a popular musical theme!) and you can read my comments on their costumes HERE.

Virtue and Moir of Canada Free Dance Pilgrims on a Long Journey by Coeur de Pirate
Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith: I have also already talked about these costumes back in Skate Canada International HERE. But seriously, I don't need a reason to show such fabulous photos and especially her SUPER CHIC beautifully pleated dress. J'Adore Tessa!

Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford Canada Free Skate to No, je ne regrette rien performed by Patricia Kaas: Back when I wrote about these costumes in my 2016 Skate Canada International blog HERE, I wasn't a big fan of her lilac/dusty rose sequined applique costume. I thought it was a bit "Toddlers & Tiaras". But, I have to admit that I kind of like it now: The sequin work is pretty nice with a closer detail photo and overall, she looks beautiful. And Eric's shirt is well-coordinated with her costume.

Wang Xuehan and Wang Lei China Short Program to Steppin' Out With My Baby performed by The Jump’ Joz Band: I thought these were fun but not perfect costume depictions of the "Steppin' Out With My Baby" music. Her red glittery costume was nice but not extraordinary and his black and white tuxedo look was a bit sloppy to be honest. Not sure who decided his shirt should be "untucked" and his overall costume be so un-sexy but it looked Junior-ish.

Mari Vartmann and Ruben Blommaert Germany Free Skate to Second Law by Muse: In a previous ICE STYLE post HERE, I discussed this German Pairs Short Program costumes to Michael Jackson so now I want to talk about their Free Skate. I really liked these looks especially her fire-red shredded sleeve and hem costume. Just take a look at how those details shine when he throws her up for the Throw Triple Twist. I also thought his black costume was modern and a nice compliment to hers.

Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea USA Short Program to Take Me to Church by Hozier: Pretty and well-done is all I can say with these all black costumes worn by American Pairs Kayne and O'Shea. I liked her black sheer with sequins look with a studded waistband.; It was very "Elie Saab"-like...for Figure Skating Costumes. 

Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea USA Free Skate to Song of India by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov
Marche Slave by Petr I. Tchaikovski: For their Free Skate, they went a bit more Costume "Ethnic" with an obvious nod to the Near East influence of their music. I LOVED her multicolored jeweled top section and sheer midriff. And Danny's sexy faux leather arm band accessory look was good. I just wished his cummerbund had the same jeweled sequins that we saw in her costume to make them relate to each other a bit more.