Seven looks for seven decades of reign: the cornerstones of Queen Elizabeth’s style

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Before writing the article, the question we ask ourselves immediately is: in 70 years of reign how many clothes will have worn the Queen Elizabeth? Hundreds of thousands, millions perhaps? Really difficult, therefore, to choose seven, one per decade of monarchy, representative of her personal history of fashion and, in general, of that of costume that she too contributed to writing over several decades. Since, then, this April 21, her Majesty adds another candle to the very long line of flames on her cake. Happy birthday to you Lilibeth, 96 years old and simply the best in the world.

Often the only woman in rooms full of men, she has seen various trends coming and going throughout her kingdom. Among her greatest successes there is, of course, having built an iconic style over time and free from fashion conventions. For this reason the image of him can be recognized from a mile away, between blocks of color and silk foulard. “The queen shows the world how she feels through her looks,” she tells People Bethan Holt, author of the new book, The Queen: 70 Years of Majestic Style. “Once you dig a little below the surface, you can see how much incredible research has gone into creating each of her legendary looks.”

Bethan Holt’s book, The Queen: 70 Years of Majestic Style

Some believe that at the exact moment she became queen, which is when her father died in Sandringham on February 6, 1952, while she was with Philip on a safari holiday in Kenya, Elizabeth was wearing a pair of jeans. If so, that would have been the last time for her wearing (at least in public) a couple of five-pocket pockets. A week later, at her parent’s funeral, she showed up with a black dress above the ankles, while the mother carried a long one to the floor. “Lilibet, your mourning skirt is too short,” her grandmother Queen Mary had warned her. It was from that exact moment that Her Majesty began enforcing their style decisions.

Elizabeth (with the Queen Mother beside her and Philip behind her) at the funeral of her father George VI. Getty photo


Since then, in fact, women all over the world tried to copy the queen’s new looks, the first major influencer in history, but it wasn’t always easy as most of her dresses were couture creations. Among her most desired looks of hers is the black and white blazer-style dress by Norman Hartnell, the designer who oversaw her wardrobe in the early decades, worn in 1952 at the Empire Theater in Leicester Square. A rare moment of Elizabeth channeling men’s clothing, never worn again, of which low-cost reproductions were promptly made.

Elizabeth in 1952. Photo Getty


While meeting at Buckingham Palace President Kennedy and his wife Jackie Elizabeth wore a frou-frou crinoline dress that, at the time, seemed old style next to the elegant Givenchy designer outfit of the First Lady. While Mrs. Kennedy wasn’t impressed with the queen’s style, we have to admit that that cerulean tulle dress wouldn’t look out of place on today’s runways.

Elizabeth with John Kennedy, Jackie and Prince Philip in 1961. Photo Getty


At the age of fifty, in the eighties, in the shadow of the super cool Lady D., Elisabetta began to be completely aware of not wanting to look too trendy. Although unquestionably it is above all his off-duty looks that represent important style milestones that designers still look to today. Like Ian Griffiths, creative director of Max Mara, who paid tribute to her at the Fall / Winter 2021-2022 fashion show, studding it with rubber boots, waxed jacket, quilted vest, Tattersall checked shirt and tweed cap.

Elizabeth in 1988. Photo Getty

Tim Graham

Max Mara Fall / Winter 2021-22. Photo Imaxtree

Courtesy of Max Mara Press Office

Since the beginning of the Third Millennium the queen’s unique and evergreen style he fascinated the world anew just as he did at the beginning of his reign; her colorful looks, behind which is the stylist Angela Kelly, have started to go viral on social networks. When she wore one of her beloved Launer’s handbags at William and Kate’s wedding, sales of the accessory jumped more than 60%. And when, in 2016, she wore lime green to her 90th birthday celebrations, she sparked dress purchases in this color splashed.

Elizabeth on her 90th birthday in 2016. Photo Getty

Max Mumby / Indigo

Always at ease with what she wears, casually, on the piece. Even Karl Lagerfeld, thrifty with compliments, praised her: «She is never ridiculous, but simply impeccable. For this perfect ».

Therefore, a really arduous undertaking choose a single representative look for each decade of his reign, but we tried. Be careful, however, why in the gallery you will not find the clothes, albeit eloquent, mentioned in the piece but others that represented power dressing over time according to Elizabeth II. God save the Queen, then. And also our selection.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– 90 years, 90 looks, 1 queen. And 1 icon
– 21 style statements that tell 2021 of real fashion
– Elizabeth in “green Edinburgh” to remember her Philip


Source: Vanity Fair

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