Fashion had long since been retrieved from the role of a basic human need and been adapted to the concept of expression of self, status, values, tradition and culture. It is undoubtedly a representation of diversity and culture for each country, in that manner, going hand in hand with the people that appear for them. An instance of traditional fashion paired with a high-end representative of a country creates a picture that teems with grace and uniqueness, and many would be in accord with the fact that none other than esteemed women in monarchies retain the power to fittingly complete this image.
Reality would compel one to admit that the vast royal family of Britain remains the monarchy most talked about in the world; from Queen Victoria to Lady Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, the royal Brits are and have been followed fashion-wise for centuries.
The scrutiny on the British monarchy, however, has mildly diverted the attention of fashion-adoring royalty-followers from the monarchies that persist around other parts of the globe viz; the royal families of Spain, Norway and Thailand. The queens and princesses belonging to these monarchies have established their own dominions in fashion, deftly heralding the values, traditions and cultures of their respective countries while also embracing the irresistible styles of the Western world.
Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, the only daughter of King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, for instance, excels in poetry, badminton and is a prize-winning equestrian.
The first, notable evidence of her devotion to fashion could be her namesake designer brand, Sirivannavari, which is a platform for the princess to flaunt the creativity instilled in her exceptional designs. The designs incline considerably towards Thai culture, especially as they involve Thai silk, a material adored previously by the princess’s grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, famously dubbed “The Queen of Thai Silk.”
The brand Sirivannavari made its debut alongside a Balmain fashion show following an invitation from Balmain’s Creative Director, Pierre Balmain in 2007. Hence, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, renowned for style and glamour, is a devoted supporter of Balmain, in addition to being a common face in the front rows of Chanel and Dior fashion shows.
The Sheikha Moza bint Nasser—wife to the former Emir of the State of Qatar, the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani—on the other hand, is more of a social worker that has acquired a variety of high-end titles in significant organizations such as UNESCO and the Arab Democracy Foundation, than a designer. Regardless of the government titles that practically define her for her services to women and children, and her age, Moza is respected in the community of fashion for her impeccable taste of style.
Whether it happens to be a traditional attire that speaks for her country or a Christian Dior, Armani Privé or Giambattista Valli production, Moza does not fail to honor the Islamic culture that is a part of her in the process of making noteworthy fashion statements.
She is constantly seen with her signature hijab turban on her hair while her graceful figure turns heads as she strides across the floors in her customized couture-meets-Middle-East ensembles.
Very much in similarity to Moza, Rania Al-Yassin, the gorgeous, Kuwaiti Queen Consort of Jordan’s former King, remains another member of monarchy who salutes her religion and adopted country of Jordan while indulging in exquisite choices of style.
The humanitarian and philanthropist is obviously a generous supporter of designer brands viz; Ellie Saab, Givenchy and Valentino, judging from the several instances of public appearances where she is enrobed in the brands’ creations, having tailored them in a manner that emphasizes Jordanian culture.
While her sparkling, lavish gowns encapsulate her title, Queen Rania has proved that decking casual wear does not exclude itself from her forte or fail to indicate the person that she is.
In moving from the Middle East to Southern Asia, the mind of a fashion-admirer would not neglect Jetsun Pema, presently the youngest Queen consort in the world, for her exquisite manner of taking traditional Bhutanese clothing to a level of couture.
Queen Jetsun’s most common assortment of clothing would include a kira and a toega, both of which epitomize Bhutanese culture.
The intricate patterns and contrasting colors on the young Queen’s ensembles, aside from the distinctive notes of Bhutanese heritage, play a major role in improving their uniqueness, making her a fashion icon for her rapidly accumulating fan base.
In closing, it would only serve as the right to conclude that, where men lead with the mind, the majority of women stand by their side and take on the role of leading with the heart, embracing style as a respectful visual aspect.
By Mischelle Rupasinghe