Royal Watch News
Exhibition to show how Queen Elizabeth transformed fashion
Oct 29, 2012, 12:01 GMT
A new exhibition is to show how Queen Elizabeth transformed British fashion.
The 'Hartnell to Amies: Couture by Royal Appointment' show will showcase designs by royal couturiers Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies and the effect the monarch's outfits at historic events has shaped the style landscape.
Over 150 garments, including ballgowns, cocktail dresses and ready-to-wear designs worn by British high society - often taking its lead from the monarch - will go on display in the exhibition at London's Fashion and Textile Museum.
Hartnell - who opened his first haute couture boutique in Mayfair, London, in 1923 - attracted many fans after his creations became popular with Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother and her daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
He was responsible for designing the queen's wedding dress in 1947 and her Coronation gown - which was embroidered with gold and silver thread, seed pearls and crystals - in 1953.
Exhibition highlights include several previously unseen watercolour sketches of his designs for the Coronation dress, a sketch of the 'first cocktail dress for HRH Princess Elizabeth now HM the Queen' which was a black dress embroidered with white beads from 1947 and samples of Hartnell's embroidery from dresses worn by the queen for overseas state visits during the 1950s and 1960s.
Amies began his fashion career in the 1930s at the London tailors, Lachasse, and he first designed for the queen in the early 1950s.
Amies - who designed for the monarch up until a year before his death in 2003 and also designed for Diana, Princess of Wales - was responsible for transforming her daytime wardrobe tailored coats, dresses and jackets and created the outfit she wore for her first ever televised Christmas message in 1957.
Michael Pick, a biographer of Hartnell and Amies and guest curator of the exhibition, insists the exhibition shows the queen, now 86, was a 'fashion leader' after she took the throne on February 6, 1952, and was a style inspiration to British women.
He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: 'After the Second World War, society still went to Paris for their clothes, but the queen gave confidence to British women to buy British designers.
'As a young, beautiful and photogenic woman in the 1950s and 1960s, she was a fashion leader and her circle and the wider public wanted to look like her. The consummate skills of Hartnell and Amies helped to re-assert Britain's reputation as an international centre for fashion.'
'Hartnell to Amies: Couture by Royal Appointment' exhibition runs at the Fashion and Textile Museum from November 16 to February 23, 2013.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&C
COMMENT on Exhibition to show how Queen Elizabeth transformed fashioncomments powered by Disqus
Latest Headlines in Royal Watch
- 1. Princes William and Harry open Help For Heroes centre
- 2. Prince Charles protester fined
- 3. Princes Charles and William to call for poaching action
- 4. Duchess Catherine's etiquette knowledge
- 5. Prince Harry to throw party for US swimmer