Fug File: Well Played

Well Played: Royal Fashion Exhibits of the UK

As you know if you followed me and Heather on a variety of social media during our recent Visit Britain trip, we saw two exhibits of royal fashion while we were in the UK, and I promised a full report. In short: Both were terrific. And both exhibits really delve into topics we discuss here a lot — namely, why certain gowns are chosen for certain events, and the high level of wardrobe planning that goes into dressing someone in the public eye.

When we were in Scotland, we saw the newest of the two, “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style From the Queen’s Wardrobe.” It’s a beautifully curated three-room experience that displays everything from ball gowns to suits to hats, along with photos from when The Queen wore the outfits. What’s more, it’s part of a special trio of similarly themed exhibits that we were told do not repeat each other, and will all be on for a limited time at different points of the year and at different royal residences, with only a short period of overlap in which you could see all three. So PLAN ACCORINGDLY, because it’s worth it, and here are the logistical details to juggle:

Constituting the largest collective display of The Queen’s dress ever mounted, the first exhibition will open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for Her Majesty’s birthday on 21 April 2016 until 16 October 2016. The second, and largest exhibition will be at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, from 23 July to 2 October 2016 and the third will open at Windsor Castle from 17 September 2016 to 8 January 2017.

Apparently the Buckingham Palace exhibit will have over 100 looks (!!), so essentially I demand that at least one of you go to that one and the Windsor one and report back. We have a few shots of what we saw in Edinburgh, courtesy of their press office, and I have to stress that it really is a fabulous sight to behold.

Earlier in the week, we saw “Fashion Rules” at Kensington Palace, which has selections from Princess Diana’s and Princess Margaret’s wardrobes, as well as other items from the Queen’s, and it is ALSO excellent. That one has been on for a while — I think it is at least semi-permanent — but it seems that they cycle items in and out, since there were looks there that Heather didn’t see when she’d visited a few years ago. They allow photos, and I took many, which I bring to you today. Further, both that and the new Royal Collection exhibit feature original fashion drawings (such as the image that opens this slideshow), and those are so awesome. I want to have some of them framed to hang in my house. They’re amazing pieces of art, and thank goodness someone thought to keep them.

While I’ve got you here, we also saw the History of Undercrackers Exhibit at the V&A, which was also very good. We went the day that I was in my most excruciating foot pain, and there was something poetic about the fact that I kept noting to Heather how extremely uncomfortable corsets looked whilst I was unable to walk thanks to choosing to wear attractive but heeled boots that day. (In my defense, those shoes are usually very comfortable, but we’d taken like 30,000 steps the day before and my feet were in outright rebellion like my American forebears.)

[Photos: Royal Collection Trust, Jessica Morgan]


Well Played: Ariana Grande in Christian Siriano at the Time 100 Gala

Well, we still have the ponytail, so that’s not ideal (she must not have gotten the Full Updo memo that went to Nicki Minaj and Priyanka Chopra). But I actually enjoy this on her.


Ariana Grande is a tiny, tiny little tiny person, but she’s not allowing herself to get lost in that fudge cream puff of a dress. Also, the Time 100 has to be a big deal to her. It’s a proper grown-up event full of proper grown-up people, unlike pretty much every music industry award show. And she is treating it a bit like her Oscars. Which I like. Go big or go home, and I’m glad she picked the former. Instead of tottering out in a strapless short cocktail frock and 5-inch platform stilettos, and inducing a yawn, she opted for the kind of gown that seizes this moment and feeds it carbs and Champagne and a sandwich and just bloats the HELL out of it.

A front view for your consideration


Royally Played: Happy Birthday, Queen Elizabeth II

I know this is the sort of thing that would normally go into Royals Round-up, but I didn’t want to wait for Friday to wish the Queen a happy 90th, and to eyeball the new family photos, full of kids and purses and cardigans. It’s a very noteworthy birthday, and the Queen looked quite charming yesterday for various celebrations, plus, you know, GEORGE.

In related news, as you are probably aware, right now Heather and I are actually in Great Britain for the Queen’s birthday, thanks to the kind invitation of Visit Britain, and we are going to Windsor today to hang out with her (just kidding — other than in the sense that the three of us will all be simultaneously in Windsor even as you read this; edited to add that, if you follow us on social, you probably saw that we were VERY CLOSE to Her Majesty today, actually, and it was quite exciting.).  We’ve been doing tons of SnapChats (we are FugGirls there), and tweeting and Instagramming it up, but I’m going to put some highlights from our respective Instagrams after the jump, including my newest commemorative mug, if you want to see what we’ve gotten up to. There is a giant piece of meat on a spit, if that entices you? You can also check out photos from the trip so far on our Facebook page, here — there are landmarks ahoy, tapestries, Sherlock locations, the hotel where Kate spent her last night as a single lady, and other various shenanigans.

Let’s begin with the photos the Royal Family shared on Instagram:

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Fug or Fab: Reese Witherspoon in J. Mendel

This almost FEELS like something she’d design for Draper James, if she ventured into eveningwear.

Reese Witherspoon in J Mendel

I’ll say this for Reese: She knows her brand. I very nearly gave this an outright Well Played, because it’s pretty and it’s fun — especially compared with what Jessica Biel and Naomi Watts wore — but I can’t help wondering if that bodice is too snug. And once I saw that, and wondered if she can breathe, my ribs started to hurt. So I had another glass of wine, and now I like it again, because I can be bought by the mischievous grape. That’s why this is in your hands now.

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[Photo: Fame/Flynet]


Well Played, Emily VanCamp at the Captain America: Civil War Premiere

I seriously cannot ever remember that Emily VanCamp is in the Captain America movies. Every time she shows up at these, I am newly surprised. And then when she turns up in the movie, I am surprised anew. And then when I see the movie on TV, I am AGAIN surprised. Do I have Emily VanCamp Blindness?

Premiere Of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War" - Red Carpet

VanCamp Blindness would be so much more useful if I disliked her outfit, but I wouldn’t mind remembering this one.

[Photo: Getty]


Well Played, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira

Both of these women are demonstrating enviable game in both day dress AND cute coat categories. Which just happen to be my favorite of all the categories.

[Photos: Getty, Fame/Flynet]


Well Played: Diane Kruger in BOSS

Well, this is going to be awkward for her. She’s promoting the movie she shot with Norman Reedus – the dude she allegedly cheated on Pacey with – and Pacey also has a small part in it. So right there you know she’s expecting some awkward questions, and probably dreading walking the red carpet with either one of them (my money is on Pacey not appearing at all — his role is, I believe, quite small anyway). All of which is to say that if she decided to wear a nun’s habit to this thing, I wouldn’t blame her.

Diane Kruger

Instead, she went with something casually yet completely awesome, and makes it look as easy as if it were just another weekday. Oh, Diane. You always go out of Fug Madness a round earlier than I would have imagined, but sometimes you really do stick the damn landing.

[Photo: Fame/Flynet]

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