Royal Fashion Rules Restyled

Kensington Palace released a royal fashion exhibition showing garments worn by Princess Diana, the Queen and her younger sister Princess Margaret. The outfits they wore were often used to communicate with: to either tell stories or give information. You can see this in the exhibition as well as ‘rules’ and requirements for garments worn by the royals abroad and at home.

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The exhibition exposes Princess Margaret’s fashionable 1950s. She was one of the first to wear Christian Dior’s full skirted New Look in the post-war time. We get to see the Queen’s elegant style during the 1960s and 70s and the tailored garments designed for Diana in the 1990s. The exhibition also shows us designer accessories especially made for a member of the family to focus on them, such as Christian Dior’s scarf for Princess Margaret. The princess was known for being a young style icon and a glamourous royal. Princess Margaret has been seen in many beautiful garments but stated that “my favourite dress of all… was my first Dior dress, white strapless tulle and a vast satin bow at the back”.

Princess Margaret’s hand-painted scarf made by Christian Dior.

Princess Margaret’s hand-painted scarf made by Christian Dior.

Norman Hartnell has designed gowns for historical events such as for Queen Elisabeth’s wedding to The Duke of Edinburgh and for the day that she became Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II. The exhibition exposes both sketches and garments designed by Hartnell worn by both the Queen and Princess Margaret.

Sketch of the dress by Norman Hartnell

Sketch of the dress by Norman Hartnell

The Princess of Wales moved towards a tailored look in the 1990s and collaborated with designers such as Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield as well as supporting other British designers. Her style changed over ten years, and in the 90s became more chic and sophisticated. One of Diana’s most well-known dresses is on display, which is one of the gowns designed by Catherine Walker. The dress was worn by Diana on a State banquet hosted by President Fernando Collor in Brazil. The princess wanted a dress that was stylish, sophisticated and considerate to the Brazilian’s loss in the World Cup to Argentina. Therefore, the dress could not be green, yellow, blue or white. Diana ended up wearing the beautiful dress pictured below:

Gown designed by Catherine Walker for Princess Diana

Gown designed by Catherine Walker for Princess Diana

Gown designed by Catherine Walker for Princess Diana

Gown designed by Catherine Walker for Princess Diana

Maybe as a little contribute to the Queens 90th birthday you would like to visit the exhibition. It is open until August 31st and I am thinking that it is probably worth your time.

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Check out the Duchess of Cambridge at the 100th century Vogue cover HERE.

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Text: Christine Rye-Johnson

Images: Daily Mail, Vogue, Culture Whisper, Historic Royal Palaces

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