Beauty v. Beastly

December 27, 2011

Even the most egregious style offenses can be teachable moments. 2011’s fashion faux pas taught us invaluable lessons to carry into 2012.

Don‘t mess with Mum: Princess Beatrice’s antlers, above, gave us a brilliant new way to cause scenes at family gatherings. When Kate and Wills didn’t invite Beatrice and Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, to their wedding, the princesses wore the most ridiculous hats they could find. In essence, they flicked off their entire family from the third row. Well played, girls.

Bigots lose big: John Galliano, once the visionary behind Christian Dior, proved that those who make anti-Semitic statements or racial slurs have no place in fashion. Dior has struggled without him, but fashion executives and consumers have their priorities straight.

Classy trumps trashy: Ask any little girl whether she wants to be Kate or Kim when she grows up. All will say Kate. The juxtaposition of a slightly boring-yet-beautiful fashion icon with the over-sexed, over-exposed first family of reality television signals a shift in America’s style and tastes. In 2012, we’ll be bringing on the cardigans and kicking out the Kardashians.

Katherine Boyle reports on arts, museums and culture for the Style section.
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