Guys, it's a big day. Presale codes for tickets to Taylor Swift go out today. I am manifesting a win. I thought in the meantime, I would try out a new series: Fashion Follow-Up! The name is still up in the air. It came to me while I was typing so definitely not set in stone. Fashion is one of my favorite things to read, watch. and talk about! I mean, it's the first word you type in to get here. I always wanted this blog to have a fashion focus but I feel like I haven't lived up to the dream. So, this week I'm putting my first attempt out in the universe and we'll see how it goes from there. Just please be nice as I find my footing these first few weeks.
So, what exactly is Fashion Follow-Up? Well, anytime an event happens that I think had some notable looks, I'll recap it here over the following day or two. Simple enough when you're not taking into account all the behind-the-scenes research. Honestly, though, I LOVE the research part! With that, I am so excited for you all to read the first edition of Fashion Follow-Up! The first event up on the "chopping block" is Remembrance Sunday which took place this past weekend in the United Kingdom. Remembrance Sunday is a yearly event dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers in the UK's armed forces. It is one of the biggest events in the royal calendar all year because the monarch is commander-in-chief of the UK's entire armed forces and many senior members have served in the various branches. This year was especially poignant because it was the first since the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September. There was a special tribute to her Saturday night at the Festival of Remembrance.
Saturday's event had many members of the royal family in attendance including: King Charles, Queen Camilla, The Prince of Wales, The Princess of Wales, and The Princess Royal. The Princess of Wales is notorious for her fashion and eagle-eyed watchers are always waiting to see what she wears next.
Here's the full look:
I only have one huge dislike of the whole outfit: that skirt is absolutely atrocious. The dress is by Self-Portrait and it is their black tailored crepe and chiffon midi dress. It clashes with the top of the dress so badly. It's like fitted beautifulness on the top and then a flowy, silky thing on the bottom. To me, the designer couldn't figure out where they wanted to go so they just incorporated two ideas that are not complementary. However, I will give her a slight pass because she wore this same dress in white to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and this whole outfit was a tribute to the Queen.
I LOVED the rest of the outfit! the blazer look, I think, was super chic and the fitted style was gorgeous. The neckline allowed for the jewelry to be the centerpiece of the look. And let me tell you: the jewelry was S-E-R-V-I-N-G!! For this event, The Princess of Wales opted to re-wear some familiar pieces to eagle-eyed royal watchers. The choker is from the late Queen's collection. It is the Japanese pearl choker and was gifted to Her Majesty in 1975 when she and the Duke of Edinburgh made their first state visit to the Empire of Japan. Originally, she was given just the pearls and they were later set into the four-strand piece, anchored with a curved diamond clasp. Made in collaboration with the Crown Jeweler, it is also thought that Prince Philip had a hand in the design as well. When she was the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate wore the choker to the celebration of the Queen and Prince Philip's 70th Wedding Anniversary. She also wore the piece at both of their funerals in April 2021 and September 2022. Her earrings were also steeped in symbolism. This particular pair was the Bahrain Pearl Earrings. Their inception begins all the way back in 1947 when the then-Princess Elizabeth was gifted seven pearls by the Hakim of Bahrain on her wedding day. Two pearls were set aside for the earrings and they are suspended by round diamonds of varying sizes accompanied by three baguette diamonds. Since then, the earrings have been loaned to Princess Diana and the Countess of Wessex and Forfar. Princess Kate has worn the earrings dozens of times: Remembrance Sunday Services in 2016 and 2019, 2017 Royal Ascot, Balmoral Church Services in 2018, 2019 Trooping the Colour, and the funeral services of both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Her bag is the Mulberry Black Suede Clutch in "Baywater"
The following day was actual Remembrance Sunday. Members of the Royal Family came together in a massive ceremony of pomp and pageantry. Remembrance Sunday honors fallen members of the United Kingdom's armed forces. Every year, the monarch leads the country in the honors. The Cenotaph in Whitehall was dedicated by King George V in 1920 to honor the fallen of the First World War. Every year since, the monarch has laid a floral tribute at the base of the Cenotaph. Members of the royal family who served, including Prince Edward and the Prince of Wales also laid tributes of their own. Meanwhile, other senior members were watching from balconies along Whitehall. The Princess of Wales stood with the Queen on the central balcony of the Foreign Office.
Here's the look:
This outfit is stunning! Princess Kate went with a go-to designer, Catherine Walker, who was also a favorite of her late mother-in-law. The dress she went with was the Evie Asymmetrical Coat Dress in black. The fit of it was flawless and the diagonal pintuck added a nice pop from the simple, clean lines of the rest of the dress. Her choice of earrings on Sunday were the South Sea Pearl Earrings. These were a favorite accessory of Princess Diana throughout the 1990s. Her daughter-in-law wears the earrings in a little different way. She kept the top part but replaced the original very large hanging pearls with the pearls from Princess Diana's Collingwood Pearl Earring Set, which are much more understated and classic.
I love a wide-brimmed hat moment and this was no exception. Philip Treacy is the designer to see for any royal hat. Countless designs of his have been seen on the heads of royal women for decades. From my research, this hat was a custom design based on the designer's AW20 collection. This hat reminded me very much of what Princess Charlotte wore to the Queen's funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19th.
Finally, we have to discuss a new piece added to the Princess of Wales's collection. Tucked discreetly under the poppies is a previously unseen brooch. This particular stunner was designed by Bentley and Skinner. It is their Art Deco Diamond Brooch and is genuine from the 1920s. The diamonds altogether come in at around 4.5 carats and this glitter-lovers dream retails for an impressive $17,147.26 USD.
What did you think of the Princess of Wales's outfits for Remembrance Sunday? Were there things you liked or disliked that I didn't mention? What are some other events I should cover? For royal fans like me, the South African State Visit is coming up and you know what that means? Tiara season is back! EKKK!
My internal clock is failing so please forgive this late edition of Caroline's Book Club!
#1: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
I. Loved. This. Book. I've read very few memoirs but this one was spectacular. The whole premise is this Italian villa that author bought and the restoration process and life in Italy and it's just fabulous! There are entire chapters solely dedicated to recipes in between the regular chapters. It's a little over two hundred pages so in my opinion, a pretty fast read. I enjoyed getting to travel through the pages and still think about it all this time later.
#2: One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
Buckle up, because we're going to Paris! This book follows two people- Grace and Audrey- who come to Paris following multiple disasters in their lives. Grace learns her husband is cheating on her with the babysitter (classy) and Audrey is desperate to escape her dysfunctional life fueled by her alcoholic mother. Grace and Audrey end up being neighbors above a French bookshop in this novel of self-discovery. They each learn the importance of taking chances even though they are both at very different points in life. While I was unsure about the ending, overall, this book is fantastic and I highly recommend!
#3: Darling Girl by Liz Michalski
Ever wonder how the story would've gone if Peter Pan was actually evil? Well, guess no more! This novel asks that very question by turning a beloved classic fairy tale on its head. Now we all know that Wendy had a daughter, Jane. In this take, Jane has a daughter called Holly. Holly has two children: Jack and Eden. Eden, as it turns out, is Holly's daughter with Peter Pan. Ironic, right? The boy who wanted to be a child forever had a child. Probably the most adult decision ever but I digress. Eden fell out of a tree years prior to the start of the novel and has been in a coma ever since. On top of that, because of her less than average DNA, she has a condition that causes her to age rapidly. She may be twelve but physically looks about twenty or so. Holly had her stashed at the family's country home and all was well until the girl in a coma just disappears one day. Thinking Peter is up to something nefarious, Holly returns to London hoping to finally uncover the truth- whether she's ready or not.
#4; Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Taking this one at face value, I was not prepared to like this book. It's about video game developers and that had never been an interest of mine. At least all the logistical stuff, that is. But I was pleasantly surprised. At its heart, this novel deals with love, loss, and the acceptance of whatever life throws at you. I laughed, I cried, I yelled, I closed it (and then opened it five seconds later). Everything was amazingly written and there were so many unexpected moments. Very rarely can a standalone execute a full-circle plot but this author pulled it off.
#5: The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
This book was a deliciously chaotic, trainwreck plot centered around an equally chaotic wedding. Siblings who've had a lifelong rivalry mixed with parents who can't stand each other, served with a platter of extended family members make for excellent reading. Also, half of the characters are British and they just manage to make snobby classy. People get arrested, people break up, people do actually get married, people have knockout fights in the kitchen at the wedding reception, people break noses. You truly never know what's going to happen in the next paragraph but you can't stop reading. This book is a true page-turner!
I hope this month's lineup gave you some books to read by the fire or maybe even put them on your Christmas List. Let me know if you end up reading any!
See you in December!
Happy Friday! I hope you're all having a fabulous week! Mine has been filled with lots of work and deadlines for finals next week. I can't believe the school year is a quarter of a way through already! Luckily, none of my classes change until after New Years so I don't have to get a new schedule down just yet. Although, that means I'm still in chemistry but, you know what? I choose to believe that I will survive. A lot has happened this month that I'm so excited to talk to you all about! College decisions, photoshoots, album drops, and a million other things in between. Let's discuss!
Hello, hi! This is Caroline two weeks later because, as always, I started writing and then stopped. Currently, I'm writing this on my laptop operating in split screen mode because I am on a mission. That mission is to sign up for presale notification of Taylor Swift t0ur tickets. The actual tickets aren't even on sale yet and I'm waiting in a queue just to be signed up for a notification. I keep switching between the tabs and my little person is moving ever so slightly. While I wait, I'm finally going to get to that update I promised weeks ago! First things first: TAYLOR SWIFT. She released a new album called 'Midnights' and I LOVE it. I think I'll do a separate post about my favorite parts so look out for that coming up! I have so many thoughts but I know some people could absolutely care less, hence- I won't bore you here. I will definitely bore you with other things, though!
Remember at the start of this how I was prepping for finals? Well, finals happened. I ended AP European History with an A- and in a shocking turn of events, managed a B- in Chemistry. My mouth was on the floor. And now I'm starting another twelve weeks with those same classes....so fun! I think it'll be a good few months. Yesterday went well and I have a different mindset overall! Although, my wardrobe does not show it. I've been wearing mainly sweatpants and t-shirts the last few days and I think my mom is a little annoyed at me. This morning she asked me what I wanted to wear and I said "comfy". She kind of sighed and said that I had so many cuter outfits. Which, for the record, I most definitely do but this week is a survival week until I get in a groove. So the outfits will change eventually. But also, I'm wearing my braces again and I don't think a leather skirt pairs well with pink unicorns. On a positive note, my Pumas fit over the braces so the ugly Sketchers are no more!
A queue update: At 9:11 am I am about halfway there! My October included senior photos and they turned out really great! I've posted a few online but maybe I'll put some here too. It was a little windy but at least you can't tell just by looking. My hair weighed about a hundred pounds with all the product and curls but it has returned to its natural resting state. Today I took a big step in that I deleted my Twitter account. Now, I love twitter. You can get news in seconds and there are a great majority of really wonderful, kind people but I've been reading a lot over the last few days about different developments and I just couldn't do it. Lots of websites reported that use of the n word went up 500% when the deal went through and the potential of hateful, horrible people getting back on made me actually angry. So I'm gone from there but I'm on Instagram @carhill765 and TikTok @carolinehill1 so go follow me over there and we'll have a ridiculously fun time.
Yesterday, I had to get my braces tightened so now they're purple and I want to rip all my teeth out. They are actually working and even the orthodontist commented on how my bite had massively improved from my last appointment. We're getting there. Almost eighteen and a half years with a gap and in a few months it won't even be there. I can't wait! In other news, as I have been typing, I have recalled all the functions my chair can preform. Over the last hour, my legs and feet have started to cramp because my braces are doing their job and holding them in the correct place. I was trying to stretch and move but they're stuck in a seated position. I happened to glance at the joystick which prompted a lightbulb moment: the footplates can be lowered with the joystick. So now they're extended and the burning pain has subsided. However, the inside of my left foot is sore and that is because, for some reason, my legs tense and brace into the material. Hoping they chill out soon. I think it's because the braces give them stability so when they do tense, it's much stronger due to the extra support.
Queue update: At 10:03 am I am less than 1/4 away from being at the front of the line! I'm in AP Euro right now and our assignment for the week is a virtual google slides museum about the industrial revolution in Britain. Yesterday we had to draw a village with pencil from the 1750s to the 1850s-60s. That was stressful because it slowly got bigger and you slowly ran out of real estate on the paper.
BREAKING NEWS: AT 10:12 am I GOT THROUGH THE QUEUE! Hopefully I get picked for presale access! Now on to holiday talk! I am a Christmas person. It is my time of the year and I put my decorations up around Halloween every year. I'm still waiting for a few more things that'll hopefully arrive later this week/month so that the whole design can come together. I'm planning on putting the tree up this weekend so hopefully you'll all get a Christmas decorated room tour this weekend or early next week. I'm editing a vlog right now but I need to search through my camera for one more clip and then I can do final edits and send it your way this afternoon or tomorrow.
This month, I have seven books to read but I am focusing on two specific ones at the moment. I am about two hundred pages away from finally finishing the Alexander Hamilton biography and I have another one called The Hotel Nantucket that is solely a school book so that I might finally finish it after nearly six months of it stewing on my bookshelf. In October, I finished eight books which is a record for the year, I believe. Finishing strong! I need to get my bookshelf down by a lot. Stay tuned on YouTube to see if I clear it before New Years.
I hope everyone's November is going smooth and that you all have a great holiday! I'm really excited to start bringing you all Christmas content! Make sure you're following me everywhere to see it all!
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!