Our modern-day mania for monarchy like Kate Middleton and The Royals, courtly style, swords and sorcery.
Photography by Wireimage.com
Thirty years ago, Lady Diana married Prince Charles. I was 12 years old at the time and not yet interested in fashion. I was, however, interested in fairy tales. I remember Dianaâ€™s long white train, the scarlet serge of the Foot Guards and the gleaming armour of the mounted Horse Guards surrounding the State Landau carrying the newly married couple.
About the same time, I also began my journey through J.R.R. Tolkienâ€™s masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. Not a strong reader, and because I suffered a number of fevers, it took me nearly a year to complete the fantasy epic. I remember reading it in bed, following Frodo and his friends through Middle-earth in an uncanny seasonal lockstep: When the leaves faded and began to fall in my world, so they did in the Shire; when snow blocked the heroesâ€™ passage over the Misty Mountains, snow seemed to bury my street; a year later, when the August sun began to dim over the tall cornfields across from my grandparentsâ€™ farmhouse, I read the final pages with tears streaming down my face because Samwise Gamgee watched Frodo finally sail into the Undying Lands, a world without death or pain.
So, it is with a certain bemusement and awe that I watch this seasonâ€™s continuing passion for Kate, a.k.a. the Duchess of Cambridge. There are tweets, posts and column inches dedicated to parsing the minutest of her sartorial gestures. She is already a queen of fashion, if not the British Empire. Some of what she inspires is silly, but itâ€™s all in the name of keeping the fairy tale alive and maybe making a few bucks too. For example, earlier this fall, Aruna Seth, a bridal shoe and accessories designer, created tiny footwear for Princess Catherine wedding dolls. The shoes are not mini-knockoffs of Kateâ€™s white lace pumps by Alexander McQueen. Instead, they are reimagined slingbacks with crystal encrustation on the heels.
How the royal trend has effected pantyhose sales, fascinators and other sartorial finds, on the next page...