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  #1  
Old 07-15-2016, 08:50 PM
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Should a Royal wear cloths from their RFs country of origin?

Hi everyone,

Back on the Charles and Diana's wedding thread a interesting discussion about how it's considered custom for members of The BRF to wear UK designed and manufactured clothes has come up and about how this is not the custom with other RFs. Is this a fair custom? Is there an obligation to promote local design on behalf of a Royal? Does this rule also apply to men, or the formerly reigning RFs or minor members of the families in question? Are bridal gowns exempt from this rule or would this be a time when the rule would most certainly apply?

This isn't about national costume for certain events - that's a given. This is about contempary desinger clothing, please reply I'm interested to see what the rest of you all think.

NB/ I just noticed the spelling error in the title (I'm typing on an iPad) the above should say clothes not cloths. Thanks
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:55 PM
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I think all members of the BRF should stick to British fashion.
It's not like they have limited choices; there are so many options in the UK that there's no need to go elsewhere.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:04 PM
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It's also interesting to note that this is also a rule with the FLOTUS and a number of other First Ladies from other countries as well.

I'm talking about all RFs not just the UK
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
It's also interesting to note that this is also a rule with the FLOTUS and a number of other First Ladies from other countries as well.
It is not a rule, it is a guideline and they all make exceptions/try to follow it. There are lots of messages a leader can send by their choice of dress and styling.
Max and Kate excel at this, but everyone has made meaningful gestures with dress/accessories to convey supportive messages - beyond what designer they wear.
An excellent read on the topic of styling/messages can be found in
Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeline Albright.


Off topic, I admit, but a delightful read! I recommend it not because she and I are Americans but because she actually used THE BROOCH to enhance her role/message as Secretary of State. Guys can only use a tie - but we as women have other choices and SOS Albright mobilized her arsenal! Its a fun read.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:57 PM
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Do I think they have to always? No. But for major events like a wedding I think Yes. This is a time when the spotlight is even more on them and who their designer is. Promoting a British designer or at least label is key. Or for royals like Mary in Denmark, she is Patron of Danish fashion, she should be wearing Danish designers a majority. In her case it is literally part of her job.

As for former royals I don't see why they would be obliged at all. Their titles are not recognized in their county and they have no obligation save their private estates there. Same goes for minor members. They are privat citizens. They get no funding and have no role. They are welcome to wear what ever they choose.

The two big occasions I say Yes on, is weddings and tours. If they are in India or Japan representing their county, they should promote the trade (unless wearing a designer of that country). A british princess wearing an American designer in India, or a Danish princess wearing a French designer in Japan or such, doesn't make sense to me. In their private lives or minor events back home, sure, but not when meant to represent your country.

wedding dresses most have done well:
Kate: Sarah Burton- English designer and label
Diana: David (Welsh) and Elizabeth (English) Emmanuel designers
Sarah: Lindka Cierach- Lesotho born British designer (British parents)
Anne: British Maureen Baker for first
Zara: Stewart Parvin, one of the queen's royal dress makers
Autumn: Sassi Hofford, British designer
Sophie: Samantha Shaw, British designer
Camilla: Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, British duo, did both
QEII: Norman Hartnel, top British designe

outside UK:
-Victoria: Pär Engsheden (Swedish)
-Sofia: Ida Sjöstedt (Swedish)
-Letizia: Spanish designer Mannuel Pertegaz
-Mathilde: Edouard Vermeulen (Belgian) also did Laurntien and Claire's
-Mary: Danish designer Uffe Frank
-Marie: her dress is said to have been sewn by a Danish woman- foreign designer
-Queen Margrethe- Jorgen Bender. He also did Anne-Marie, Benedikte, Alexandra SWB and Alexandra Manley's.
-MM: Norweigan Ove Harder Finseth
-

wives of heirs/close to the throne who didn't:
-Maxima: wore Valentino
-Stephanie wore Eli Saab
-Madeleine wore Valentino




On Maxima and her husband's other major event, when he became king, she did wear Dutch. The cream first dress of the day was Natan, but the beautiful blue gown she wore with the tiara (the one most will remember for the day was Dutch designer Jan Taminiau. So was the beautiful purple lace gown she wore later that night.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:59 PM
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I've always found it odd that such complaints only focus on women as almost all Royal men get their suits either from the uk or from Italy and nobody says anything about that. It's probably because menswear isn't as big a deal as womenswear I guess - I've just always found that strange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
Do I think they have to always? No. But for major events like a wedding I think Yes. This is a time when the spotlight is even more on them and who their designer is. Promoting a British designer or at least label is key. Or for royals like Mary in Denmark, she is Patron of Danish fashion, she should be wearing Danish designers a majority. In her case it is literally part of her job.

As for former royals I don't see why they would be obliged at all. Their titles are not recognized in their county and they have no obligation save their private estates there. Same goes for minor members. They are privat citizens. They get no funding and have no role. They are welcome to wear what ever they choose.

The two big occasions I say Yes on, is weddings and tours. If they are in India or Japan representing their county, they should promote the trade (unless wearing a designer of that country). A british princess wearing an American designer in India, or a Danish princess wearing a French designer in Japan or such, doesn't make sense to me. In their private lives or minor events back home, sure, but not when meant to represent your country.

wedding dresses most have done well:
Kate: Sarah Burton- English designer and label
Diana: David (Welsh) and Elizabeth (English) Emmanuel designers
Sarah: Lindka Cierach- Lesotho born British designer (British parents)
Anne: British Maureen Baker for first
Zara: Stewart Parvin, one of the queen's royal dress makers
Autumn: Sassi Hofford, British designer
Sophie: Samantha Shaw, British designer
Camilla: Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, British duo, did both
QEII: William Hartnel, top British designe

outside UK:
-Victoria: Pär Engsheden (Swedish)
-Sofia: Ida Sjöstedt (Swedish)
-Letizia: Spanish designer Mannuel Pertegaz
-Mathilde: Edouard Vermeulen (Belgian) also did Laurntien and Claire's
-Mary: Danish designer Uffe Frank
-Marie: her dress is said to have been sewn by a Danish woman- foreign designer
-Queen Margrethe- Jorgen Bender. He also did Anne-Marie, Benedikte, Alexandra SWB and Alexandra Manley's.
-MM: Norweigan Ove Harder Finseth
-

wives of heirs/close to the throne who didn't:
-Maxima: wore Valentino
-Stephanie wore Eli Saab
-Madeleine wore Valentino
Norman Hartnell is who you are thinking of.

Just had a brainwave regarding the BRF - what about commonwealth designers? Some technically the BRF are heads of state for 15 other countries as well as the UK than logically shouldn't they be wearing designers from those countries as well?

Here what I posted in another thread about this, I think it's relevant here

Quote:
[after the decree nisi was issued, and it was about sending a deliberate message about how she was bigger than the RF - she also started to show more skin as well, again this was about sending a deliberate message. The other RFs tend to be more relaxed about such things maybe because they are more into the whole pan European thing than the UK is?
Nonetheless, the rule is if that person gets their money from the civil list (ie from the treasury and ultamintly the tax payer) the expectation is that said money should be put back into the uk economy promoting local business and not on foreign labels. The critisim stems from the idea that if you are going to receive taxpayer money as your income than it should be for promoting local industry and go back into the local economy. It's also for this reason the RF all drive cars that are manufactured in the uk and are historically uk brands. Same for a number of luxury goods brands - it's about the perceived greater good.

You may notice that the more peripheral members of the RF who don't receive civil list money but instead live off their own money (inheritances, buisnesses, marrying somone rich etc...) can wear what they like but still often go for uk labels for reasons of convention, patriotism, and to avoid critisim in the press.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:25 PM
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I think royal females of the past adhered to the designers of their own countries more than today. For the Queen Mother Norman Hartnell was THE designer and she stuck with him from the 1930's, passing her daughter on to Hartnell and later Hardy Amies.

It was probably more important in those days to wear British fashion as there was competition from Paris (which really ruled the world of fashion until the 1960's) and also the British textile industry was a huge part of the economy of Britain then but was struggling in the 1930's and after the war. Support of that kind was often vital, going right back to Queen Victoria who had poor Spitalfields silk weavers produce the silk for her wedding dress and British lace makers from Honiton made her veil.

I sometimes think that Royal women just click with a designer and that's it! Diana was iconic in the world of fashion in the 1980's and 90's but by far her favourite designer was Catherine Walker. Theirs was a true partnership. She wore over 500 of Walker's dresses in her time.

Nowadays, Paris doesn't really rule the roost any more and fashionable royals like Letizia of Spain mix up their fashion choices. For instance she wears a lot of Hugo Boss (Germany) as well as Verela of Madrid.

All the same, I do think it's important for Royal women, especially those who are admired for their fashion choices to wear clothing from their home countries as much as possible. Women like Kate, Letizia and Maxima are photographed often. In a way they are flagships for their country and their country's designers. I know that the British fashion industry for example makes millions each year, an important part of the economy.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:41 PM
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Historically most Royal women ordered their clothes from the fashion houses in Paris regardless of where they were. that is partially why Germany never really developed a fashion industry of its own until the late twentieth century, despite its plethora of royalty, nobles, industrialists and courts needing dressing. Same deal with Italy - it's very ironic that it's fashion industry did not take off until after its monarchy was abolished. Same could be said of the ME, only Eile Saab is the main designer of note and a lot of that has to do with him dressing Raina

I do know that the queen mother did wear Lanvin in the 1920s but did not go for the full on Hartnell look until after she was queen. There was also a political reason behind this as well - Wallis Simpson was v keen on French labels and QM due to her body shape and stature could not compete - so the sparkly fluffy Neo Victorian look was not only for aesthic reasons but also political - George VI and Elizabeth's old fashioned regal virtue verses David and Wallis's modern cosmopolitan glamour.

I guess why an overt emphasis on the Franco-Italian labels (esp. The ubiquitous Valentino and Chanel along with YSL and Dior) makes me uneasy is that it veers into dictators wife/jet set territory - empress Farah comes to mind in that sense, you'd think she would have been able to find a young and up n coming Iranian to dress her and it wasn't like Iran did not have a textile industry to support.
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Old 07-16-2016, 12:01 AM
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Take Alexander McQueen. It's 51% owned by a publicly traded French Luxury Goods company Kering who also owns Gucci and 50% of Stella McCarthy. Sarah Burton designs a dress in London but it uses fabric from outside the UK and is made outside the UK. How British is the dress then?


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  #10  
Old 07-16-2016, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
I've always found it odd that such complaints only focus on women as almost all Royal men get their suits either from the uk or from Italy and nobody says anything about that. It's probably because menswear isn't as big a deal as womenswear I guess - I've just always found that strange.
Reality is very few people care about men's fashion, unless it is awful. A suit is a suit. Designer's wouldn't get much press from men.

Besides, the majority of royal grooms wear military uniforms for weddings, as well as many of their appearances. So they are wearing the epitomy of their country's designer.

Male weddings:
The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Wedding Wednesday: Grooms in Uniform

-Charles, Philip, Andrew- royal navy
-William- Irish guards
-Mark Philips and DOK- their army regiment
-Georg VI: RAF
-DOG: Welsh guards
-Harry wore blues and royals to Will's
-Haakon wore the blue gala uniform of the Norweigan army
-Fred wore his naval dress uniform
-WA wore the uniform of a captain in the royal navy
-Felipe navy uniform
-CP Swedish naval
-Philippe- Belgian air force colonel
-Joachim to Marie wore the gala uniform of the royal infantry
-Edward wore a waist coat designed by London designer John Kent
-Guillaume wore a Luxembourg military uniform
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
Take Alexander McQueen. It's 51% owned by a publicly traded French Luxury Goods company Kering who also owns Gucci and 50% of Stella McCarthy. Sarah Burton designs a dress in London but it uses fabric from outside the UK and is made outside the UK. How British is the dress then?


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Hmm point taken, but try telling that to the Daily Mail...
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:29 AM
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If the designer is English, dress was made in England and sewn by English, which Kate's was, its pretty darn English. Cloth or part foreign owners are a reality of any clothing company. Its not like shoes made in sweat shops in China with an US logo slapped on the side.
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:48 AM
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I am not talking about a wedding dress which is a one off but normal clothing. I can't believe that every British designed piece of clothing is always made in the UK.


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Old 07-16-2016, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
I am not talking about a wedding dress which is a one off but normal clothing. I can't believe that every British designed piece of clothing is always made in the UK.


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You've got an important point skippyboo. The custom of clothing all being from the royals country of origin is fairly recent and in some cases not realistic as some countries just don't have the market to support a wide variety of designer labels, or there are too many cultural issues In the way ie the Muslim countries and some parts of Asia.

Also the fact that most of these houses are often owned by multinationals is another fly in the ointment - a point that could be made about a number of non apparel goods such as cars, food, household goods, electronic equipment inc computers etc...
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:15 AM
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Something I've noticed is that the Swedish royals wore valentino, dior etc to weddings and christenings. Except for Victoria. And I can say, as a swede, while I don't care in general that they don't wear only Swedish, on the weddings, nobel and other high profile events I do prefer (or at least appriciate) when they wear Swedish designs, just because it's the perfect occations to show it of! So while I don't care that their stuff is not always Swedish, I have reacted when Madeleine christened her kids that she (and Silvia) were in Valentino. Not a big deal... but it's appriciated when they do wear Swedish.

The UK, I think is another thing. I think it's still OK for them to wear the Italian, US, French clothes. But I do appriciate that Kate wears alot of McQueen for big events. A thing is also that the british royals have two things going for them. Firstly, UK is a rather big fashion country so they have great variety to choose from. And also, they have the whole commonwealth of countries (or at least the countries the Queen is head of state over) to choose from and still make them within "repping our people". In Sweden, the royals wearing Danish or Norweigan almost feels "close enough" as wearing Swedish since it's such a kinship between the countries.

Don't know what I wanted to say. Just rambling on!!
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:18 AM
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IIRC The Duchess of Cambridge wore a Canadian designer when she visited here. When Diana was making tours as The Princess of Wales, she wore all Chanel when she arrived in Paris. She wore an Escada outfit in Germany as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
Just had a brainwave regarding the BRF - what about commonwealth designers? Some technically the BRF are heads of state for 15 other countries as well as the UK than logically shouldn't they be wearing designers from those countries as well?
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:21 AM
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IIRC The Duchess of Cambridge wore a Canadian designer when she visited here. When Diana was making tours as The Princess of Wales, she wore all Chanel when she arrived in Paris. She wore an Escada outfit in Germany as well.
Ahh I see. I just guess that Australian and New Zealand labels don't do formal wear well.

Here's a quote from Queen Noor's memoirs about the question of royal clothing:

Quote:
It has always puzzled me that a woman in the public eye is judged first for her appearance than for her achievements. Granted the fashion business is a huge industry worldwide and the clothes a woman in a high profile position chooses to wear cannot only ensure success for an individual designer but promote the fashion industry of a whole country. Princess Diana, for example, did wonders for British designers and, therefore, the economy of Britain. This is why French First Ladies wear French designers and American First Ladies wear American designs. It is good for business. Had there been a Jordanian Designer I could have showcased, I would have, but at the time there were not any.
HM Queen Noor of Jordan, Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, Phoenix, London 2003 [2004 PBK EDN] p 150

Quote:
Originally Posted by hernameispekka View Post
Something I've noticed is that the Swedish royals wore valentino, dior etc to weddings and christenings. Except for Victoria. And I can say, as a swede, while I don't care in general that they don't wear only Swedish, on the weddings, nobel and other high profile events I do prefer (or at least appriciate) when they wear Swedish designs, just because it's the perfect occations to show it of! So while I don't care that their stuff is not always Swedish, I have reacted when Madeleine christened her kids that she (and Silvia) were in Valentino. Not a big deal... but it's appriciated when they do wear Swedish.

The UK, I think is another thing. I think it's still OK for them to wear the Italian, US, French clothes. But I do appriciate that Kate wears alot of McQueen for big events. A thing is also that the british royals have two things going for them. Firstly, UK is a rather big fashion country so they have great variety to choose from. And also, they have the whole commonwealth of countries (or at least the countries the Queen is head of state over) to choose from and still make them within "repping our people". In Sweden, the royals wearing Danish or Norweigan almost feels "close enough" as wearing Swedish since it's such a kinship between the countries.

Don't know what I wanted to say. Just rambling on!!
Given Madde's well documented popularity issues and poor performance as a working Royal, taking a greater interest in Swedish labels and promoting them could have been one way to help boost her standing with the public - I know she has been trying harder of late but it feels like a lost opportunity as she would be a lovely ambassadress for Swedish design.
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
IIRC The Duchess of Cambridge wore a Canadian designer when she visited here. When Diana was making tours as The Princess of Wales, she wore all Chanel when she arrived in Paris. She wore an Escada outfit in Germany as well.
Kate also wears Erdem quite alot in the UK and otherwise, a Canadian brand. Also, her beloved Kiki McDonough jewelry is Austalian.
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:44 PM
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My own personal take on this is that if the money comes from a state salary, is not from private funds, and the occasion is public; than apply what we here in the wellywood cardy brigade like to call the "dom-post rule" i.e. "What will the newspapers say about this?" - As a very general rule if you have the choice, go for the local labels when in doubt, and major foreign labels should be worn with discretion out of public sight.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:07 AM
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Ahh I see. I just guess that Australian and New Zealand labels don't do formal wear well.
Can't speak for Australia but if NZ Fashion Week is anything to go by . . . you bet your booties baby!

As for the "dom-post-rule", if we followed that 'Cup Week" would be a fashion wasteland.
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