Profile in Style: Camilla Parker Bowles


When the Duchess of Cornwall opts for dignified shock value, she turns to fashion’s High Priestess of Punk. Her dowdy days long behind her, the newly adventurous Camilla Parker Bowles went big, bold, and blue in custom Vivienne Westwood at the 80th Royal Variety Show. In the sapphire statement gown Vivienne created especially for the event, Camilla caused a media riot and easily stole the thunder from the evening’s entertainment, Leona Lewis and Take That. It’s not every day that a Royal Family member consorts with a designer who is the antithesis of all things sensible and respectable. Indeed, Camilla was initially hesitant to deviate from her standard Robinson Valentine attire; it was her chief milliner, Philip Treacy, who finally convinced her to risk it and invite Vivienne into her wardrobe spectrum.

As irony might have it, Camilla is quite fetching as a Westwood woman: she declaws the label’s trademark anarchic caricature, subduing it into an offbeam elegance. Even in Vivienne’s signature Dame corset and Diva skirt, Camilla radiates colorful, eccentric charm. Who is next: Margiela? We relish the prospect.