“A White Shirt, Jeans, and Black Flats Is Summer’s Most-Wanted Look,” Vogue declared a few months ago, but it looks like that sensation didn’t end just because the season did. A new photo of one of the world’s most-watched families shows them embracing the classic trend, in a scene that seems straight out of a 1990s fashion spread.
Prince William and Kate Middleton released the photo via social media Saturday night, the family’s Christmas card for 2023. In the black-and-white shot, the 41-year-old couple poses with children Prince George (age 10), Princess Charlotte (age eight), and Prince Louis (age five).
The photo, by fashion photographer Josh Sinner, was taken earlier this year in Windsor, in what appears to be a studio setting, People notes. According to a Kensington Palace spokesperson, “The Prince and Princess saw Josh’s work and wanted to capture a memorable family portrait,” the Telegraph reports.
All five are dressed similarly, but not matchy-matchy in a creepy, uniform way. All are wearing classic button-down shirts, Kate and Charlotte are in jeans, William and George donned dark-colored slacks, and Louis—ever the rebel—appears in shorts. The only visible designer comes from a logo on George’s chest: Ralph Lauren’s iconic polo horse and rider, a mainstay of the 1990s-era American style.
The card is already drawing comparisons to King Charles and Princess Diana’s holiday card from 1992, in which William and Prince Harry posed in similar garb, in front of an almost identical backdrop. Telegraph fashion editor Bethan Holt sees a message in the image, writing that “beneath the surface, it’s full of references to a happier period in William’s relationship with his brother and mother.”
But to other pundits, it’s more a throwback to 1990s style. “Sinner’s photograph is the Americanization of the Waleses,” Hikmat Mohammed writes for WWD, “with a mix of ’90s JC Penney catalog with Calvin Klein’s Eternity campaigns.”
But to this correspondent’s eye, its preppy style and color-drained setting captures the glory days of now-flagging mall standby The Gap, specifically its 1992 campaigns with photos from artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Stephen Meisel. While that ad push featured heartthrobs like actor John Corbett, hip-hop duo Kriss Kross, and model Naomi Campbell, the vibe is similar: a direct gaze, deceptively casual pose, and a timeless, risk-free look.
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