domenica 23 agosto 2015

Delightful Denmark - Part II: Crown Princess Mary's Dresses Exhibited in Odense

Picking up from where I left off with my other blog post about the exhibition of Queen Margrethe's dresses currently on at Frederiksborg Castle, here's a look at - gasp! - some of Crown Princess Mary's most stunning eveningwear (well, for the most part eveningwear, with a couple of day dresses thrown in as well)!

Ten gowns from Mary's wardrobe are on display at Brandts Odense, one of the leading art museums in Denmark, as part of Danish Fashion Now, an exhibition that offers a snapshot of Danish fashion and examines how fashion influences are everday life, exploring the relationship between fashion and celebrity culture.

Capturing the eye of the visitor right at the front of the room is the stunning one-shouldered cerise gown Princess Mary wore to the evening ball following the wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco on 2 July 2011. The dress is made of organic cotton (surprisingly, as it has a very lustrous appearance and I'd have thought it was silk) with an outer layer of dyed chiffon and is by David Andersen:

The thickly carpeted entrance to the exhibition - on the screen at the back is curator Chris Pedersen.

Princess Mary walking with then-Prince Philippe of Belgium into the Monaco ball:

This strapless printed silk chiffon dress is by Heartmade, the creative brand of Danish designer Julie Fagerholt, was worn on 28 March 2009 at the annual dinner of the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York City:

I think this is an instance where the dress looks maybe a bit drab on the mannequin but really comes into its own once worn:

This very simple strapless ice blue silk chiffon dress by Niels Kristiansen was worn to the 2009 edition of the DANSK Award at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. For that event, Mary accessorised with a silver snakeskin clutch and statement earrings, as seen below:

This somewhat eccentric day dress with a thinly pleated skirt is a silk and polyester mix creation by Designers Remix, a fashion brand based in Copenhagen and founded by Charlotte Eskildsen in 2002:

The Crown Princess wore it to attend the Copenhagen Fashion Summit held in the city's Opera House on 22 May 2014:

This By Malene Birger monochrome gown with sequins and glass beads detailing on the bodice and cuffs was worn by Mary to attend the DANSK Design Talent Magasin Award on 3 October 2013:

Another stunner, this double weaved matt silk with hand applicated leaves and petals of painted silk by Charlotte Lynggaard was selected for the inauguration ceremony of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands on 30 April 2013:

Mary completed her look with a Bottega Veneta woven silk clutch, a somewhat flimsy baby blue feathered fascinator...oh, and diamonds!

This bright green polyester pleated Ise Jacobsen dress was worn for the official photo call to mark Prince Henrik's 80th birthday at Chateaux de Cayx in Southern France, on 11 June 2014:

And now we've come to my favourite dress of all, a dreamy creation of silk lace intricately studded with faux pearls and paillettes in a starburst design by Jesper Høvring. Mary wore this to collect a Bambi Award for her charity work in Berlin on 13 November 2014 (note the dress looks almost black in my pictures, but is in fact very dark midnight blue). This dress was in Høvring's A/W 2014 collection, only minimally altered for Mary (the original version was see-through on top, something that would obviously have been inappropriate for a princess):



You can tell this was my favourite dress from the whole exhibition, can't you? That was the last pic from the Bambi Awards, I promise! When I see Crown Princess Mary pull out all the stops for a glittery event like that, I do sometimes wish the Duchess of Cambridge attended more star-studded evening events. But enough about that, and on to something completely different: a matte ivory silk chiffon one-shouldered dress with flounced skirt and a black satin bow on the shoulder by Ole Yde, which Mary wore to attend the Crown Prince Couple Awards at Sydney Opera House on 28 October 2013.
Apologies for the poor quality photos, but my camera chose this, of all times, to run out of battery without warning, so I had to make do with my phone, which, in the room's dimmed lights, was far from ideal...Anyway, here we go:

This is, I believe, another dress that looks far lovelier on than on the mannequin, as the ruffled neckline and flounced skirt were made for movement:

Coming up to the last dress in the exhibition, what seems to be a favourite with the Crown Princess for New Year's Court events, a luscious burgundy silk velvet gown in a very simple silhouette:

Mary in 2012 (left) and 2014 (right). 

The lady herself toured the exhibition during an official visit to Odense on 23 June 2015 (Daily Mail article here):

Danish press cut-outs pinned in the museum foyer.

On the whole, having seen both exhibition of the Queen and the Crown Princess' dresses, I think the different styles of these two royal ladies really shone through their fashion choices. Whereas Margrethe has more flamboyant sytle (I'd go as far as to say extremely original!), with plenty of prints, colours and embellishments, and her clothes generally scream "Queen!", Mary seems to favour a more steamlined shape, usually in block colours, with minimal embellishments (although, seeing the looks in action, so to speak, she usually accessorises with some serious bling).

So, which royal lady's wardrobe do you lust after? Drop me a comment and let me know!
I'm team Mary, personally!

Practical info: "Danish Fashion Now" runs at Brandts Odense until 13 September 2015. Adult admission is 75 DKK (10 €/ 11 $). Brandts is open Tuesday through Sunday 10am-5pm, Thursdays 12pm-9pm. Odense is about 1h30 by direct train from Copenhagen, so makes an easy day-trip (even, at a stretch, a half-day).
No catalogue, although a number of general interest fashion publications are available from the (well-stocked) bookshop.
Odense is otherwise a delightful city, and the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, so well worth a visit anyway if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods!
offers a snapshot of Danish fashion and examines how fashion influences our everyday lives.
offers a snapshot of Danish fashion and examines how fashion influences our everyday lives.