Monday, September 17, 2012

Irony perfected: sells out Middleton dress as more topless photos emerge

It's ironic. As news and more photographs of a topless Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) continue to circulate, on Monday, the much-photographed Prabal Gurung dress she wore on a recent trip to Singapore went on sale at Amazon’s daily deals site for fashion goods, MyHabit.

The dress went on sale for $599, somewhat less than one-third its original price of $1,995 at 9:00 a.m. PDT on Monday. It quickly sold out, though; a check at 11:30 a.m. PDT show none were left.

Note: the sale of the dress had been arranged before Middleton wore the dress. It was bad timing for the Prabal Gurung, as virtually anything Middleton wears sells quite well. It's most likely he could have sold out his inventory at full price, quite easily. Meanwhile, it’s a big win for MyHabit.

The irony is that, in terms of Kate Middleton news, most of the world's attention is on the recently released topless photos that were taken by a still unknown photographer using a telephoto lens from a kilometer away from a private villa in Provence in the south of France, where she and Prince William were staying.

Those photos were published late last week in Closer magazine. That was not the end of it, though, as on Saturday the Irish Daily Star published images, and on Monday, under the headline, "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude," Italian magazine Chi hit newsstands with a 26-page photo spread.

The Chi photos include at least one shot that did not appear in previous publications; it shows the duchess applying sunscreen to herself. Chi, like Closer, is published by the Mondadori publishing house which is owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The royal family is taking a two-pronged approach, legally. Lawyers for the royal family were scheduled to appear on Monday in a court in France, where they are pursuing civil action. The lawyers intend to ask a judge for an injunction to prevent further publications from printing the photos.

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TMZ has said that there are as many as 200 photos of Middleton sunbathing topless alongside Prince William.

The second approach involves a criminal complaint. In addition to seeking damages from Mondadori, the couple's lawyers will also file a criminal complaint against the photographer or photographers who took the photos. It will then be up to French prosecutors to pursue - or not pursue - a criminal case for either breach of privacy or trespassing.

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