The dress that brought the nation together: Queen Elizabeth II’s fashion legacy


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Karen Franklin

One of Queen Elizabeth II’s many legacies is an example of how clothes can bring people together. Throughout her 70-year reign, Britain’s long-time monarch, who has been driven by lenses and women, has demonstrated an ethical and refined understanding of visual branding.

The value of fashion and image-making had already been positively explored by Elizabeth’s father, King George VI: his brother Edward VIII invited the couturier Norman to regain the public’s trust after he abdicated to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. Hartnell to see the Buckingham Palace art collection for inspiration. While the sophisticated Simpson wore the latest fashions, the King ordered dresses for his wife and daughters, which evoked the traditions – and thus the serenity – of the Victorian era.

Following the death of her father in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne brought with it an urgent need to re-establish stability for her people. Elizabeth’s show, the glamorous and glamorous queen, is now reinforced with the gravitas and authority to ensure her long-term play for politicians, world leaders and subjects alike.

Notes from the Royal Collection Trust show that Hartnell submitted nine different designs for the crown dress and the young queen chose the eighth, a tiered tier of embroidery surrounded by pearl, diamante and gold bagel beads.

Elizabeth is brilliant in her political savvy and under pressure from the world, she has had the most red carpet moments of all. “Dignified” was her own word for her attire, which captivated and delighted her subjects.

This emperor quickly learned to avoid the novelty of fashion, the power of clothing or clothing, exchanging short-term trends and loud statement images with deliberate advertising in every aspect. Therefore, Elizabeth never misses an opportunity to convey a message of reliability, stability and perseverance to her audience.

Of course, there were high notes of fashion for day clothes, but they came as a flourish. Looking at archive photos from her reign, we see her effortless deployment of ’50s decadent trends like the cinched waist. 60’s short skirt length, sleeveless dresses and pixie hats; And 70’s turbans and bright prints. And who can forget the queen’s power suit for the 80s in high-octane colors?

During her lifetime, Elizabeth established herself as a master of overcoats, dresses and matching hats in colors like purple, orange, red and fuchsia. Warmth and approachability—as well as the need to easily stand out in a crowd with her short stature—mean the color beige has been underrated.

Another royal dressmaker, Hardy Amis, summed up the timeless quality required of the royal look in his memoirs, writing, “Style is more satisfying than chic. Style has heart and honors the past; Chic, on the other hand, is fierce and lives entirely for the moment.

Style also takes top management and, in collaboration with her trusted personal assistant and wardrobe curator Angela Kelly, Elizabeth has created a manifesto for professional wardrobe success. Fabrics were experimentally designed for limited rust and anti-scratch appeal, and weighted at the edges to prevent wind-blown damage. Subtle prints were used to hide markings, and there were even detachable underarm straps to hide sweat. For trips abroad, costumes are designed to subtly appreciate the culture and traditions of the host country.

White gloves, always by Cornelia James, were sometimes changed several times a day, and hats with matching hats were coordinated with the popular Rain or Anello and David mid-heel shoes (broken and constantly repaired by the staff). It’s all finished off with a medium-sized, often-worn liner.

In the year Speaking to The Times in 2012, Stuart Parvin, who has designed for the Queen since 2000, revealed that her dresses were registered by name and revealed who she wore and who she met. “That’s why people feel like she’s wearing things once, because there’s such a system,” says Parveen. “If you were going to meet President Obama, you wouldn’t be wearing the same clothes.”

However, there can also be efficiency. For example, at the Royal Variety Show in November 1999, Elizabeth wore a multi-colored harlequin bodice with bright yellow sleeves, much to the delight of the paparazzi. And then there was the sharp lime-green ensemble worn on the runway at the Trooping the Color parade to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Personally, Elizabeth, a horsewoman and horse owner, prefers neutral shades. Tweeds, boots and waterproofs are held together by the signature silk triangle knit. For family celebrations and official events at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the Queen proudly wears the Balmoral tartan, designed by her great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert.

To know that denim isn’t the fabric the queen enjoys is to know that this is a woman who never takes a day off in an ongoing non-verbal conversation with her subjects: a conversation for those who need reassurance, a statement for those who want her power, and a statement for anyone who wants to connect on some level with the woman who wears the crown.

This expression of the benefits of a state born of abstract growth, rather than a dramatic change to shock or calm, can be seen as a virtue in the eyes of the public – and one that this empress will no doubt be anxious to pass on to her young clan. .

Top Image: Queen Elizabeth and Anna Wintour front row at the Richard Quinn fashion show during London Fashion Week 2018.

™ and © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. all rights reserved.


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