Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Royal Book Challenge: A Hundred Years of Royal Style by Colin McDowell


A Hundred Years of Royal Style by Colin McDowell
192 Pages
Published 1985
ISBN: 0584110715

I learnt about this book via the @royaltybookfan twitter-feed. It's a fantastic feed to find out about more obscure publications in ebook format. My ereader is seriously close to smoking from the amount I've downloaded since I started following.

Books relating to royal style tend to focus on Diana. As if there were no other trend setters prior to her existence. A Hundred Years of Royal Style is different in that it covers fashions of royal ladies, even those, such as Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who would not be considered particularly stylish to begin with.

The author discusses the role of royal clothing as well as how, in absence of any real royal news, it has been portrayed in the media. A focus on Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, reveals a woman who enjoyed clothing and took enjoyment in developing her own look.  In comparison to many of the other royal ladies, like the Queen who, despite having the resources to have fun with fashion, view clothing from nothing more than a practical standpoint.

The book includes interesting details about clothes as well as sketches of outfits for the Queen and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. There's an interesting breakdown of royal warrant-holders for Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and the present Queen from 1901 to 1984. If you need to know who supplied Queen Alexandra with perfume in 1914, then this book is definately the one for you.

© Marilyn Braun 2012

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.


TL Bartusch said...

Really interesting. Now of course the interest in clothes in the absence of news or clothes as news spawns blogs.

Suzie Louis.

Rman said...

Seems like it's an interesting book. I don't know much about womens style but I think the British royals from the past knew how to dress than todays British Royals. I think in the past the royals made sure they looked the part and weren't frightend to wear jewels to represent they're status. Now the British royals seem to be scared of wearing jewels and they like to dress a bit older than they are.

Sometimes I like the Queen's style but sometimes I think her overcoats seem to drag her down in a way. They don't have much shape to them.

I think Princess Anne dress too old for her age. She's in her 60's and act dress like she's in her 80's or something.

The Duchess of Cornwall looks okay. Sometimes I think she's trying to channel the late Queen Mother in her way of dressing.

The Duchess of Cambridge is doing okay so far. I think the media is too quick to name her a "style icon." I think everyone have to realize that over time her style will change when she becomes more comfortable with her role. Although she has made great progress for nearly a year of being a member of the royal family, she's got a long road ahead of her and just need everyone to give her a chance to grow.

I'm more into the style of The Prince of Wales.