Post Primer: The royal engagement photos
Elspeth Lodge December 13, 2010 – 12:12 pm
The official engagement photos of Kate Middleton and Prince William were released to the world on Sunday. Below, the portraits demystified.
Were the photos airbrushed?
Mario Testino, the photographer of the two “official” engagement portraits, freely admitted to airbrushing the shots. However, sources say he only touched-up the pictures minimally and nothing was done to change the physical appearances of either the Prince or Ms. Middleton.
OK. So what, exactly, was done?
“There was a minimal amount of airbrushing done,” said one insider to the Telegraph.“The final portraits amount to a piece of art, rather like the official paintings that would have been done in previous generations, and so they were touched up a little to get them just right.”
The source told the Telegraph that nothing had been done to alter the couple’s features, such as thickening Prince William’s hair, and that the fixing up had more to do with background colour contrast.
Miss Middleton, who had never posed for an official studio portrait before, did her own hair and make-up; she also insisted on choosing her own clothing — two of the outfits were reportedly from the mid-level U.K. chains Reiss and Whistles.
ElleUk.com calls Miss Middleton’s style in both photos “luxurious, but accessible.”
In the less formal, more intimate photo Miss Middleton wears a cream coloured Whistles blouse that retailed for £95 when on sale. It was from the brand’s first collection—apparently the blouse is two years old.
How are companies cashing in?
Whistles plans to bring the blouse back so fans can buy it. Said a Whistles spokesperson:
“We are delighted that Katherine has chosen to wear Whistles in her engagement photographs. Whistles is known for its vintage inspired silk blouses which are currently best sellers in its stores. Due to a surge of customer interest we will be re-releasing the ‘Kate’ blouse as a limited edition in early 2011.”
In second, more formal picture Ms. Middleton is in a cream colored dress with a ruffle up the side— a ‘Nanette’ dress from Reiss’s current collection, which would have retailed for £159 when it was in stores last year and Links of London earrings.
So what message is Ms. Middleton sending?
According to ElleUk online, Reiss Brand Director Andy Rogers commented on Ms. Middleton’s wardrobe choice:
“I take it as a real endorsement of the British brand — she went for a premium British brand, rather than a British designer. I think that’s important; she could have gone for any designer in the world. I think she went for us because it meant she was able to wear something luxurious, something of a good quality, that’s appropriate for the current climate.”