The Princess of Wales' Barbiecore style

The Princess of Wales' Barbiecore style

Hello, and welcome to an August post as the Wales family enjoys some lanugo time. It is the summer of Barbie – the mucosa is a smash hit. 

Along with the movie’s popularity, we are seeing the verisimilitude pink. Everywhere. Below, Margot Robbie at the London premiere of the movie. 

We are moreover seeing many of the Princess of Wales’s ensembles referred to as “Barbie Pink,” like these separates worn to the Foundling Museum in May. 

Many wares related the Princess wearing pink to the popularity of “Barbie pink.” That made me do a little digging in the WKW archives to see just how much pink the Princess of Wales has worn over the years. It is not one of her most-worn colors, but it is a shade we have seen several times a year in most years, albeit in variegated versions of the color. Here is a squint at some of those styles. 

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On several occasions, we saw bright, vibrant pink tones. On the left, the Alexander McQueen diamond worn for Trooping the Colour in 2017 with its pleated neckline and paper-bag waist. Next is the RIXO “Izzy Dress” in a pattern tabbed pink marble zebra, worn on the final day of the 2022 Caribbean tour. Many will recognize the ME EM Colour Block Silk Shirt Dress initially worn when the Duchess of Cambridge met 5-year-old Mila Sneddon in May 2021, seen a second time at a children’s picnic this May at the Chelsea Flower Show. On the right, the pink Runaway Belted Stratify by Max & Co. and the Hambleden Scallop Sweater by Boden seen at a March 2021 school visit.

In some cases, the Princess opted for softer shades, with some in what I would undeniability powder pink. Below left, the Beulah London “Ahana Crepe Midi Dress,” described as “blush hued” by the brand, seen here at this June’s reopening of the Young V&A Museum. First worn to Wimbledon in July 2021, the dress features a loop and sawed-off front closure and self-belt. Second from left, the Alexander McQueen “Wool Cashmere Peplum Dress,” initially worn during the 2014 Australia tour and brought when for a 2016 National Portrait Gallery engagement. The dress has a vee-neckline, full skirt, and structured peplum at the waist. Next, the Lela Rose “Double-Faced Twill Elbow Sleeve Dress” worn in 2016 for a day of engagements in Cornwall. The fit and flare style showcased seaming details at the sleeve and upper portion of the skirt. On the right, the McQueen maternity-style stratify which was first worn for Trooping the Colour 2013 and then brought when for the 2015 Commonwealth Day service. The bespoke diamond showcased an oversized collar, large pearl buttons, flap pockets, and bracelet-length sleeves.

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Two increasingly ‘pretty in pink’ looks: the Alexander McQueen diamond worn for a May 2019 garden party at Buckingham Palace, featuring a double-breasted silhouette with pleats falling from the pocket flaps, and a version of Emilia Wickstead’s “Alice Dress.” This diamond was first worn for the Queen’s Sovereigns’ luncheon in May 2012 and then then for a 2012 garden party. The dress has a squared neckline, set-in waistband, and pleated skirt. 

The Princess has opted for rich semen hues. On the left, you see the “Light Sleeper” dress by the Vampire’s Wife, in metallic pink with a fitted turtleneck and tremble sleeves, worn for a March 2022 reception in Belize. For the final day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, the Duchess chose a modified version of Stella McCartney’s Wrap Front Twill Midi Dress with a draped turtleneck and bias-cut skirt. In November 2021, the Duchess sported separates by Hobbs London: the Tilda coat and Lara Merino Roll Neck Sweater. When peekaboo the October 2018 wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the Duchess chose a bespoke Alexander McQueen dress with pleating at the neckline and skirt and a paper bag waist. 

The dress worn for Princess Eugenie’s wedding appeared scrutinizingly identical to 2017’s Trooping the Colour dress seen above. The most notable difference between the two frocks: the berry-colored dress had distinctly puffed sleeves.

Other vivid pieces include the Alexander McQueen “Leaf Midi Pencil Dress” in a verisimilitude officially tabbed “dahlia pink,” with pleats at the round neckline, short structured sleeves, and a self-belt; it was worn for a 2021 joint engagement with US First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. In the center, the vintage Oscar de la Renta dress worn for a March 2020 reception in Dublin, which featured a pie husks collar, jabot trimmed in woebegone velvet, double-banded cuffs moreover trimmed in woebegone velvet, and a woebegone velvet belt. On the right, the Mulberry Double-Breasted Cerise Stratify first noted during the 2014 New York visit and worn then in March 2015 for her last day of engagements surpassing Princess Charlotte’s birth. The stratify was seen a third time in January 2018 for a day of engagements in Coventry.

A squint at the Mulberry stratify as worn over the years. 

Evening gowns have been increasingly in shades of rose and blush. We uncork with the much-loved Jenny Packham style described as “pearlescent rose” that was first worn at a June 2011 dinner gala, and then for a June 2016 dinner. Second from the left, the Gucci gown seen at a February 2019 100 Women in Finance gala dinner; it showcased an off-the-shoulder diamond with an intricately ruched turtleneck and a floaty, flowing skirt in layers of pleated tulle. Two increasingly recent styles are from this June’s royal wedding in Jordan. The Elie Saab diamond (third from left) featured a upper neck, intricate pleating and floral appliques, and a full sweeping skirt. The sequinned Jenny Packham (far right) worn for the formal wedding reception was accented with crystal embellishment on the turtleneck and at the waist. 

A squint at the Jenny Packham gown as worn in 2011 and then in 2016. 

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And a closer view of the neckline and turtleneck detailing both years. There is an evening gown we’ve only had a glimpse of that was worn for Prince Charles’s 70th birthday party in 2018. Hopefully, we will see the full gown at some point in the future. Some designs had just the barest whisper of color. Below, the Alexander McQueen cape-effect gown with embellished neckline worn in 2018 for a black-tie dinner in Oslo and the much-debated dress by Alexander McQueen that was worn for Pippa Middleton’s May 2017 wedding. On the right, the Joseph “Scala Stretch Crepe Dress” seen when the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen previewed the Buckingham Palace exhibit showcasing her wedding gown, with its deep vee-neckline and three-quarter-length sleeves. 

On several occasions, the Princess was in shades leaning increasingly toward the salmon/coral/peach family. Here you see her (from left to right) in an Emilia Wickstead coatdress at a 2022 Buckingham palace garden party; the Goat Fashion “Scarlett Pleat-Front Dress” (in a verisimilitude officially tabbed geranium) worn for a July 2014 school visit; a Stella McCartney dress seen at the July 2019 christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor; the floral motif Orla Kiely dress worn at Paddington Station in October 2017; the collarless cotton twill Tara Jarmon stratify worn when visiting Naomi House Children’s Hospice in April 2013.

There have been some print pink prints over the years, although not many. Here you see the Jenny Packham dress worn when arriving in Singapore in 2012; the “Madison” silk wispy dress by LK Bennett seen at a July 2019 polo match; the Kate Spade “Encore Rose Wispy Dress” seen at an engagement marking World Mental Health Day in 2016; the unexceptionable orange and pink hand-dyed batik print dress worn for a dinner in the Solomon Islands during the 2012 Jubilee Tour. 

We wrap up with two sets of separates; the Alexander McQueen “ice pink” jacket and trousers first noted during a June 2022 Early Years roundtable and seen again this May for London engagements, and the Marks and Spencer pieces. The separates were first seen during a March 2020 engagement at a London Ambulance undeniability part-way and repeated in a photo released by Kensington Palace, with the trousers worn then for a September 2020 engagement. 

This was a lot of fun to put together. There were increasingly pieces than I expected, including several I had forgotten, like the Lela Rose and RIXO dresses. I am going to be doing a piece on the most polarizing looks worn by the Princess; if you have any that come to mind, be sure and leave a scuttlebutt with suggestions for that post.