She is called the “middle-class” princess. Whatever elasticity we apply to it, her recent trip to Canada has only served to reinforce the notion that she is a marketing icon to the rich, wealthy and affluent respectable that is flip side of a Lady Gaga or a host of other pop culture celebrities. Its a composite of Cheryl Tiegs meets Heidi Klum meets the Buckingham Palace Brand. The entire trip could have been funded by the various wardrobe designers she promotes. The advertising value is immense:
11 Blogs and websites (and counting) obsessively dedicated to the daily minutiae of the Duchess’s style choices and how to copy-Kate them, the best of which are WhatKateWore.com, DuchessofCambridgeStyle.com and KateMiddletonStyle.org. (Not including usual fashion magazine sites such as Elle, Vogue, Harper’s, Grazia et al.)….
…30 Minutes (on average) from the time Kate’s outfit is identified to a garment achieving sellout status in all its online retailers’ shops like Net-a-Porter, if it was even still available.” Units of that $550 navy one-button Smythe blazer still in inventory at Holt Renrew the moment the photo was taken; now, of course, they’re all gone. Read More:http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/duchess+index/5076447/story.html
You have to wonder if this trip was not all about consumerism. How the Royals are bringing fashion to the masses through an entire fashion photo shoot from sea to shining sea. What’s the turnaround time for Target to punch out cheap chic copies ? In retrospect of this marketing whirlwind, it seems clear that better society’s flashing of the bling, and conspicuous consumption is easily unmasked for what it is:High culture as exemplified by William and Kate is merely another form consumerism; gold plated classic trickle down theory and textbook example of the relationship between class, status, private property and social inequality. The key word here is status. Try to buffer the Kate brand with status, buffing up her less prestigious pedigree with something more fundamental than class, private property or any economic concept.
…2 Slim, knee-length dresses, created by Montrealborn, London-based Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu; both blue, both lacy.
3 Windy wardrobe malfunctions. The first, when a gust of Prince Edward Island wind blew the skirt of her Alexander McQueen dress up and pushed the lining slip into HRH’s legs; the second and third courtesy of a too-flimsy, fluttery yellow Jenny Packham dress whipped up at the blustery Calgary tarmac on arrival, caught by the photo pool and later, another almost royal blooper captured by Canadian portrait photographer Christopher Wahl for Vanity Fair. Think Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.Read More:http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/duchess+index/5076447/story.html
—The predatory character of the upper class is reflected in the fact that it is not only exempt from any “industrial” employment, but is positively barred from it. This produces a sort of transvaluation of values, in which the useless becomes celebrated, precisely because it serves as sign that one is a member of the dominant class –hence the social significance of leisure. Of course, the instinct of workmanship is never entirely extinguished. Once the predatory class is sufficiently entrenched, fewer opportunities present themselves for displays of prowess. Thus this class invents for itself new, labor-intensive activities,which may involve great effort and skill, but which are demarcated from the activities of the laboring classes by virtue of being explicitly futile in their aim.—Joseph Heath on Thorstein Veblen. Read More:http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~jheath/veblen.pdf
Christopher Hitchens:A hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician. But try pointing this ou
en everybody is seemingly moist with excitement about the cake plans and gown schemes of the constitutional absurdity’s designated mother-to-be. You don’t seem to be uttering common sense. You sound like a Scrooge. I suppose this must be the monarchical “magic” of which we hear so much: By some mystic alchemy, the breeding imperatives for a dynasty become the stuff of romance, even “fairy tale.”
The usually contemptuous words fairy tale were certainly coldly accurate about the romance quotient of the last two major royal couplings, which brought the vapid disco-princesses Diana and Sarah (I decline to call her “Fergie”) within range of demolishing the entire mystique. And, even if the current match looks a lot more wholesome and genuine, its principal function is still to restore a patina of glamour that has been all but irretrievably lost….
…For Prince William at least it was decided on the day of his birth what he should do: Find a presentable wife, father a male heir (and preferably a male “spare” as well), and keep the show on the road. By yet another exercise of that notorious “magic,” it is now doubly and triply important that he does this simple thing right, because only his supposed charisma can save the country from what monarchists dread and republicans ought to hope for: King Charles III. (Monarchy, you see, is a hereditary disease that can only be cured by fresh outbreaks of itself.)
… This love takes the macabre form of demanding a regular human sacrifice whereby unexceptional people are condemned to lead wholly artificial and strained existences, and then punished or humiliated when they crack up.
The last few weeks brought tidings of the latest grotesqueries involving Prince Andrew, Charles’ brother. If I haven’t forgotten anything, he had just recovered from tidings involving over-warm relations with the Gaddafi clan when his ex-wife was found to have scrounged a loan from a wealthy American friend whose record, alas, was disfigured by a conviction for sexual relations with the underage. The loan would have defrayed part of the unending wasteful expenditure that is required to keep the Ferguson girl staggering between scandals and sponsorships. I mean, the whole thing is just so painfully and absolutely vulgar. And, among the Queen’s many children and grandchildren, not by any means exceptional behavior either.
This is why I laughed so loud when the Old Guard began snickering about the pedigree of young Ms. Middleton.Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/04/21/christopher-hitchens-middleton-would-do-well-to-escape-the-royal-family-sideshow/