During my recent visit to London, a highlight of the trip for my mom, my sister and me was seeing the recently opened Crown To Couture exhibition at Kensington Palace. Crown To Couture showcases how the fashion and style habits of the Georgian Court influence today’s style world and red carpet fashion. With over 200 objects on display, Crown To Couture is the largest exhibit to ever take place at Kensington Palace and it was a truly fabulous experience!
Making your way through Kensington Palace, you’ll see pieces from the Georgian Court era juxtaposed with their more modern counterparts, such as scenes from Kendall Jenner’s Met Gala prep compared to the toilet service of a British politician’s wife which would have been used to prepare for Court gatherings. The exhibit talks about one of the first “stylists”, an actress Frances Abington who was considered fashionable at the time and paid by individuals making court appearances to help them select what to wear, similar to the way celebrities hire stylists now for red carpet and public appearances. My take away from the exhibit was that things truly stay the same, but just evolve- the importance of a first appearance at court is similar to the importance of a celebrity’s first appearance at the Met Gala for instance.
As the exhibit continues, the tie in to Kensington Palace’s architecture, décor and the specific rooms of the State Apartments plays a larger role in the exhibit. The King’s Gallery which would have been a central location to see and be seen in the Georgian Era is lined with iconic gowns and tuxedos, including a personal highlight, Blake Lively’s Met Gala dress inspired by Lady Liberty. Another favorite for me was seeing Beyonce’s 2017 Grammy gown in the King’s Presence Chambers. Beyonce’s gown is set up in the spot the monarch would have stood to receive courtiers or foreign dignitaries and is even flanked by the uniform of two Yeoman Guards who would have stood guard with the King.
I think I’d end up listing almost every piece if I gave a full list of all my personal “highlights” from this exhibit, but it truly was one of a kind and a must see for any fashion and style lovers visiting London. The exhibit runs until October 29, 2023. If you visit, I’d love to hear your thoughts and any of your personal favorites!
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