A new Kensington Palace exhibition is exploring the relationship between fashion designer and royal client. It's filled with mesmerising gowns alongside original sketches, fabric swatches, unseen photographs and handwritten notes from the royals; all curated from the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection and designers' archives.
It's a chance for the public to see and learn about looks created for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana's iconic wedding dress — on loan from The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex — is enriched with items like the working paper pattern used to cut each piece of fabric and designer David Emanuel's sketches.
And, beautifully complementing the iconic gown, it is being reunited with the princess' 'Going away outfit', designed by David Sassoon for Bellville Sassoon. The bespoke outfit was worn by the princess on the royal tour to Australia in 1982, and to open a Grimsby hospital in 1983, but was in fact first worn on her wedding day; designed to see her off on her honeymoon.
The sweet outfit was cleverly designed with two versions of the jacket, dependent on the unpredictable British weather, one with longer sleeves.
Matthew Storey, curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said in the press release: "While one of the highlights will undoubtedly be Diana, Princess of Wales’s showstopping Emanuel designed wedding dress, - which will be reunited at Kensington Palace with her going away outfit for the first time in 25 years – for me one of the true stars of the show has to be the gown created by legendary stage designer Oliver Messel, which provides a fitting finale for this dazzling display of royal style."
The gown to which he refers is an eighteenth-century style gown designed for Princess Margaret, on show for the first time since the event it was made for - a costume ball in aid of St John Ambulance in July 1964.
If you can't visit in person, Historic Royal Palaces will be hosting an exclusive online evening event from 7pm (BST) on 9 June where a panel of experts including curators, designers and fashion editors will discuss the wonders of the exhibition and the history and culture explored in it.
Royal Style in the Making is open now at Kensington Palace and will run until 2 January 2022. Tickets: Adult £25.30 / Concession £20.30 / Child £12.70. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members. BOOK HERE
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