A new fashion exhibition brings the Met Gala to Kensington Palace

Clothes once worn by Beyoncé, Blake Lively, Billy Porter, Nicola Coughlan and Katy Perry will fill the rooms of Kensington Palace, as part of a blockbuster new fashion exhibition.

Crown To Couture explores the parallels between the 18th century court and red carpet fashion and celebrity today.

Almost four years in the making, it’s the biggest exhibition ever at Kensington Palace. It brings more than 200 items – from gowns to handbags and jewelry – many of which are instantly recognizable.

Pregnant Beyoncé wore an intricate gold embellished dress and matching headpiece by Peter Dundas to perform at the 2017 Grammys. The bright green Christopher John Rogers gown Lady Gaga wore — complete with face mask — at the 2020 VMAs; And the intricate gold dress actor Billy Porter wore to the 2020 Oscars. Designed by Giles Deacon, the design of Porter’s dress was actually inspired by one of the rooms at Kensington Palace.

These are side by side with similar extravagant dresses from the Georgian period – including a dress worn by Lady Helen Robertson around 1760, with a skirt nearly three meters wide.

“We wanted to examine the 18th-century court through the lens of modern fashion – because there are so many parallels across the ages,” Carol Seifs, manager of creative programming and interpretation at the historic Royal Palace, told PA Media.

When we dig deeper into the Georgian era and the current 21st century – in spectacle, in life, how things are perceived – the red carpet and the Georgian court, we realize that there are many connections. “

Each class is dedicated to a different aspect of attending a big event – from getting ready to attending the courtroom or the red carpet to the after party.

The parallels between the two eras are exaggerated. In the getting ready room, Georgian beauty products sit next to a modern makeup table.

In the 18th century, high-class women were invited to watch them get ready – which could take five or six hours – just as ‘get ready with me’ videos became popular on social media.

The King’s Gallery was a place where you wanted to look your best and be seen by others in the 1700s, and is now home to some of the most unique costumes on display.

Many come from the Met Gala. Known as fashion’s biggest night, it’s one of the most important events for celebrities to watch every year.

Singer Billie Eilish’s romantic pink Oscar de la Renta gown — inspired by Marilyn Monroe and worn for the 2021 event — is the first thing you see when you enter the room, and a stream of looks follows.

These include singer Lizzo’s structured Thom Browne collection (worn to the 2022 Met Gala), model Iris Lowe’s Moschino gown (2022) and actress Blake Lively’s jaw-dropping Versace presentation for New York Architecture – which she wore while co-chairing the event. 2022.

In the contemporary aspects of the exhibition, there is an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Swords explained.

She said: “Those are about diversity, gender, race, everything – we’ve included, we’ve embraced and challenged that – but we’ve tried to do it in a sensitive way.”

Swords mark Beyoncé’s Grammys outfit on display in the King’s Presence Chamber, flanked by Yeoman Warders.

In Georgian times, it was a place where monarchs would receive royals, ministers and foreign ambassadors, and Swords said it was an opportunity to highlight her “black prowess” by placing Beyonce.

Swords wants visitors to see that “the connections across the century are deeper than we imagine.

“We always think that the past is the past, but people are people.”

Crown To Couture runs from April 5 to October 29 at Kensington Palace.

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