|Our Rainbow Queen / Sali Hughes|
NY: Plume, c2019.
The Queen turned 95 last week, and at about the same time, I found a copy of this book. Written by an English journalist who clearly loves the Queen's fashion, I enjoyed the images and the commentary on the styles, colours and significance of the outfits and accessories ranging over nearly a century of public life.
I'm also a fan of Queen Elizabeth's style -- I think she always looks dignified and royal, while also wearing colour and sparkle. I like her standard dress/coat or skirt suit. This book is mainly images, but has enough comment on each section to make it interesting and also give background on why this colour or occasion it was worn on is significant. The Queen thinks about these things; for example, the book says that she's careful not to wear the colours of any one specific country's flag at international events, so as not to inadvertently show favouritism. And I think we might all recall her brooch messaging when she had to meet with the former president of the US a while back.
The book is broken up into chapters by colour -- Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, and also Neutrals and Print. There are a mix of images from across her long reign. There are certainly plenty to choose from! Because this is mainly a photo based book, I was a bit disappointed that this American edition is pretty small, about 7x5. Just the right size to pop into your handbag to browse through when you have to wait for something, I guess. I had to examine the photos closely for all the detail, but found that I was interested enough that I still really enjoyed it.
There's quite a bit about clothing style and colour and the encoded meaning it has for someone like the Queen who has such a public role. Even her preferred shade of inoffensive nail polish (Essie's Ballet Slippers) is mentioned. I found the discussion of her handbags fascinating -- she's had the same supplier for years, and prefers a longer handle so she can loop it over her arm and receive posies and gifts easily. Really fun details to know about.
While I usually follow Kate for fashion inspo, I found this book about the Queen's style really engaging. There's one red and white outfit from the 70s that is super chic and I am thinking about copying now ;) If you want to celebrate the Queen's use of fashion as a means of royal messaging, this is a fascinating and fun book to check out. Happy Birthday to a stalwart monarch!