In a bid to highlight the parallels between the world of the red carpet and the Royal court in the eighteenth century, dresses worn by celebrities including Lizzo and Lady Gaga will be displayed alongside historic costumes at one of the largest exhibitions ever staged at Kensington Palace. “From the glittering world of the Georgian court to the high glamour of the modern-day red carpet, ‘Crown to Couture’ is a new must-see fashion exhibition at Kensington Palace in spring 2023,” Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) noted.
“This major exhibition tells the story of how the rules and politics of dress at court have influenced modern-day couture fashion,” it added. The showcase will feature over two hundred stunning objects at the former home of Princess Diana that now serves as the London base for Prince William and Kate Middleton.
One of the featured items going on display is the Thom Browne dress paired with a gold cape jacket worn by Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala. This two-piece famous ensemble consists of a plain black corset gown and a billowing jacket with intricate gold detailing. Also on display is the luminous green gown worn by Lady Gaga to the 2020 MTV Awards. In this Christopher John Rogers ensemble, “the vast skirt of the futuristic-style dress reflects the size and scale of dresses that would have been worn in this historic space centuries before”, HRP said.
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Alongside this contemporary high-end attire, the exhibition will also showcase the stunning designs of the historic court dresses. As an example of fashion worn at the court of Charles II, the Silver Tissue Gown has been taken on loan from the Fashion Museum Bath for the exhibition. “Handmade of fine silk woven with silver thread, it is believed to have been worn to court by a young Lady Theophila Harris and is one of the very few complete dresses from the seventeenth century.”
Similarly, to recount the Georgian era fashion, the Rockingham Mantua dress, brocaded in silver thread and silver lace trim, will be on display. “The dress, believed to have been worn by the wife of British Prime Minister, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, in the 1760s is a large wide dress worn over whalebone hoops, synonymous with the era.”
In addition to the dresses, a number of objects from Historic Royal Palace’s ‘Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection’ including fans, dress swords, hats, jewellery, shoes, stocking, stays, wig curler, etc will also find a place in the exhibition.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with a wide variety of well-known fashion houses and emerging designers to showcase some of the most iconic red carpet looks of recent years and celebrate the wonderful diversity and creativity we see there today,” said Claudia Acott Williams, curator at Historic Royal Palaces.
“By bringing these familiar looks into the palace and placing them in conversation with spectacular 18th-century court dress, we hope to provide a new perspective on these historic spaces and the seemingly distant customs of the Georgian Court, and allow visitors to experience the palace as it was meant to be experienced: filled to the brim with the most fashionable and influential names of the day.”