DEBATE: Does the Queen need a style makeover?
HRH divided the fashion world last week with her choice of frock
Sunday 05 December 1999
Owner, Wardrobe boutique
The Queen needs a makeover, but not for the reasons most people think. Whoever dressed her was insensitive - that dress was not complimentary, and I hate to see a woman ridiculed for what she wears. A woman her age needs gentle make-up and hair and flattering clothes. I think it should be up to her whether she wants to change but if she consulted me I'd suggest she look at her hairstyle - it adds 10 years. Then perhaps she should update her make-up. She could look better, but her clothes really need to be appropriate for the role she has. And perhaps she feels comfortable the way she is.
Columnist, The Oldie magazine
I think it's bad enough that the Queen had to go to the Royal Variety Performance and talk to a load of pop stars, without the tabloids carping on about her choice of dress. It's mean and disagreeable. She looked fine. What do people expect her to wear? She is a lady of 73 after all. If she tried to dress up like a model then people would just get at her for that. She can't win. In my opinion she's well advised to steer clear of trying to be fashionable - whenever Mrs Blair tries it it's a disaster. The Queen dresses appropriately for a Queen, she's dignified and elegant.
Of course. I can't imagine who advises her - she looks like a granny. She should stick to simple outfits in soft, lovely colours like lavender blue, which look great on her. Her hair style is out of the Ark - I learnt to do that one when I was a junior and I can't believe she still wears it like that. She'd look much younger if she coloured it. It's every woman's dream to have a hairdresser at home and a personal shopper. With these advantages the Queen really should do better. The European Royals are all very stylish, but ours all seem to have something against glamour.
'Red or Dead' fashion designer
There is nothing more unstylish than not being yourself. It really stands out when people have had a makeover. This whole idea that style is more important than substance is very Eighties. I thought the Queen looked fantastic in her "harlequin" dress, you can just tell that she likes wearing it. We shouldn't listen to what a handful of fashion pundits say. The Queen's fans will love this dress, its the sort of thing they'd wear, just have a look at any wedding. I call it "pensioner chic". The Queen's style will never be cool, but that's great. It would be embarrassing if she went around dressed in Armani.
Editor, Majesty magazine
We like the Queen the way she is - who'd want her looking like Joan Collins or Cherie Blair? She's an unchanging figure and in a changing world, that's comforting. I found her "harlequin" dress dazzling with her almost white hair and pale skin - she has a fantastic complexion. People have criticised a lack of co-ordination with shoes and handbags - they're not great but she has to stand for hours so solid shoes are essential. Her wardrobe is also a uniform, she wears bright colours so that people can see her and black is reserved for more solemn occasions.
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