A New Exhibition at Kensington Palace Charts Regal Style on the Red Carpet

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Journey on, and you’ll discover the “Politics, Fashion and Power” segment in the Council Chamber, dedicated to looks that have doubled up as statements beyond style. The Ozwald Boateng suit Santan Dave wore to the Brit Awards in 2020 and Lizzo’s 2020 Billboard Music Awards minidress by Christian Siriano—emblazoned with “vote”—both feature, as well as the rainbow cape worn by Lena Waithe to the Met in 2018, designed by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera. “Tonight, this cape is not imaginary, it’s rainbow-colored,” she said on the night. “And we got the black and brown, you know. I’m reppin’ my community, and I want everybody to know that you can be whoever you are, and be completely proud, and be doin’ it, so… Wear the damn cape.”

Look up

Taking a peek at the ceilings is strongly encouraged, especially in the Cupola room that inspired the ornate dress that Billy Porter wore to the Oscars in 2020, designed by Giles Deacon, on display in this space for the first time. A commissioned film directed by Milo Bennett, with style and creative direction by Rose Forde—which stars Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé wearing Stefan Cooke—is projected onto the grand historic walls, while Hayward and Sambé also star in special photographs by Justin French. Remember to look down, too: this room features some famous footwear, like Rihanna’s buckled Borli Manolos (2016 Billboard Music Awards) and the Louis Vuitton X Nike Air Force 1s that Virgil Abloh (who designed the shoe) wore to the Met Gala in 2021.

It shines a spotlight on contemporary designers

The “after-party” room in the Queen’s Gallery. Photo: Richard Lea-Hair

Kensington Palace in London has recently unveiled an exciting new exhibition, charting royal style from the twentieth century to present day. Titled ‘Dressed at the Palace: Royal Couture from the 20th Century’, this exhibition is dedicated to showcasing regal fashion from over one hundred years of red carpet appearances.

The exhibition itself consists of two separate compartments, one dedicated to an archive of royal wardrobes and the other to dressing up in the regal outfits displayed. Inside, visitors will have the chance to experience what it looks like to step into the shoes of past and present royals as some of the dresses and coats are available to try on.

‘Dressed at the Palace’ is a fashion lover’s paradise with a treasure trove of clothes to admire, ranging from prominent garments such as Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress and Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white number, to small accessories such as the Queen’s pearl necklace collection. Every piece of the collection has been carefully chosen and arranged to reflect a different era and style.

For visitors interested in the history of regal fashion and how it has shaped the modern world of couture, this exhibition is a must-see. It also offers a glimpse into the heritage of fashion, from folkloric theatrical dress to traditional aristocratic wear.

Featuring pieces from over one hundred years of royal events, ‘Dressed at the Palace’ is an incredible and fascinating insight into the glamour, craftsmanship, and elegance of regal style on the red carpet. For those who love to learn about the history of fashion and the influence of royalty, this exhibition is not to be missed. The exhibition will remain open to the public until December 31 2020.

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