They say that fashion writing is formulaic, sort of a plug-and-play post-facto algorithm that depends more on the turn of phrase than the heavy lifting of say, sports writing. But maybe “they” are wrong … or right, but for the wrong reasons! As proof of the reality that tough guesswork lies at the core of any fashion criticism, let me invite you, dear reader, to write with me what is certain to be one of the big stories of this year: the breaking news of The Design of The Dress for The Bride at The Wedding. It’s not easy, but I’ll help you do it yourself — just complete the sentences below. Here goes:
Even Big Ben skipped a beat as Kate Middleton stepped into the nave of Westminster, a vision of loveliness in (pick one):
a. Meters of bright lime parachute silk;
b. A slit up to their flamenco skirt, surmounted by a simple souvenir tee with the Señor Frogs logo;
c. Just high heels and a rumpled David Beckham jersey, fresh grass stains intact;
d. A white fluffy wedding dress, modest except for the lacey bits that weren’t.
Escorted by her retinue, the future Princess of Wales reflected the candelabra of the cathedral in the thousand sparkles of:
a. Wind-up disco ball earrings that softly played the BeeGees hit, “Stayin’ Alive”;
b. The Canal Street choker spelling “Kate” in cursive cubic zirconium bling;
c. The pink raver body glitter spackling her limbs and cheeks;
d. A diamond tiara that QEII pulled out of the “tiara” section of the family jewelry closet.
Kate playfully reflected her willingness to update the oft dowdy look of the House of Windsor by her own stylistic touches, even raising a royal eyebrow by:
a. Walking her pet ferret, “Minxy,” down the aisle with her in a matching tulle veil;
b. Daringly sporting a solar-powered levitating veil simply to out-hat the Queen;
c. Inviting British glampop icon Boy George to be her make-up consultant;
d. Awkwardly toting a portion of the Elgin Marbles down the aisle as her “something borrowed.”
No bride walks alone, and surely Kate must have known that she walked in the very footsteps of:
a. Lady Di, her beloved, bespoke and begone mother-in-law whose legacy hangs in the air like a perfume of the gods and whose 25-foot bridal train might still be in the closet;
b. Diana Ross, whose extraordinary cheekbones Kate had chosen as the model for the High Street surgeon who did a little work on Kate’s “own” cheekbones;
c. Her soon-to-be-sort-of ancestor Queen Victoria, who started this whole white wedding dress thing that has taken off in the past hundred and fifty years.
d. A lot of other people, many now dead or not even celebrities, and almost none of whom were a perfect sample size, so who cares who they were?
Even as the Archbishop of Canterbury, wearing a very smart ivory chasuble and matching mitre, intoned that marriage is a sacred institution which “no man may rent asunder,” those gathered could not help but wonder about the impermanence of all things as Kate:
a. Insisted on reciting gender neutral vows by replacing “man” and “wife” with “BFFs” and adding “his OR her” to all possessive pronouns;
b. Added a Kabbalah chant to the end of her own vows, and proceeded to sprinkle Madonna-branded sacred bottled water on the assembled guests;
c. Surprised her betrothed and everyone else with a wailing rendition of the Spice Girls hit “2 Become 1;”
d. Asked Will in the pre-nup that her clothing allowance be denominated in yuan, because the pound sterling may not be around, well, forever.
So that’s the news. Or it might be. Tune in to E!, Hello! or any other reputable celebrity news institution later today to see what really happens … if necklines plunge, veils rise, empires fall.