Exhibitions: the call of London fashion

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Exhibitions: the call of London fashion

This year, you will not be able to resist the appeal of England. There are three exhibitions there which celebrate fashion. Their common point? Women of the British monarchy, timeless icons.

Exhibitions: the call of London fashion

Diana, a princess of fashion brings glamour to Kensington Palace

Whether you followed all the comings and goings of the Princess of Wales in the press or not, you will be delighted by this exhibition devoted to her. 21 years after Diana's tragic death, the Pigott Gallery in Kensington Palace in London has chosen to examine her wardrobe and trace its development. An original way of trying to understand the metamorphosis of the timid young girl, Prince Charles's fiancé, into a confident woman, who knew how to combine elegance with glamour. Or how Diana became a model who inspired the whole world.

Through the rooms of what was Diana's London residence, you can view the first neat blouses again – and in particular the pale pink one worn for the official engagement portrait. Further on, you will recognise the famous blue velvet dress in which she danced with the no less famous John Travolta, when she was invited to the White House. You will admire the numerous creations of Catherine Walker – from formal finery to suits of all kinds and the close-fitting outfits which the Princess of Wales wore for almost 15 years. Your tour will take you through the Sunken Garden, past garments and sketches, full of charm and tinted with nostalgia. It has been rechristened the White Garden for the duration of the exhibition, in homage to the Princess who adored white flowers.

Diana, her fashion story
Until 17 February 2019
Kensington Palace
London
W8 4PX
United Kingdom
+44 (0)844 482 7777
www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/explore/diana-her-fashion-story/

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Exhibitions: the call of London fashion

Velvet diplomacy in Bath

For another glimpse of the links between fashion and monarchy, head for the charming city of Bath, 250 km away from the capital. Bath Fashion Museum is rolling out the red carpet for an exhibition dedicated to the outfits worn by some of the most emblematic characters in the British Royal family in recent decades. A journey through the heart of fashion, but also a behind-the-scenes insight in the lives of influential women. Apart from their aesthetic value, their fabric, texture, cut and accessories testify to the role played by those who wore them during official appearances.

As you stroll through the different rooms of the museum, you will discover the love for beautiful clothes of the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, who notably called on the services of the couturiers Christian Dior and Norman Hartnell. You will go back in time as you admire the dress in which Alexandra of Denmark married the future King Edward VII. This piece from the Royal collection dates back to 1863 and has been kindly loaned for the occasion by the Queen. Also presented is the gold and pale green velvet outfit worn by Queen Mary in 1947, for the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, who is now on the throne. Whether they were wives, mothers or sisters, all these figures from the British monarchy embody an era and helped to write the history of the Crown. With its gently nostalgic appeal, this exhibition is a powerful tribute to Royal women and their decisive role.

Royal Women
Until 28 April 2019
Fashion Museum
Bennett Street
Bath
BA1 2QH
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1225 477789
www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

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Exhibitions: the call of London fashion

Christian Dior or the history of an association with England

Return to London, which is giving homage to one of the icons of French and international fashion, by devoting an exclusive retrospective exhibition to Christian Dior. It should be said that the designer cultivated close links with Great Britain, from the 1950s onwards. Although the fashion house was only founded in 1946, Princess Margaret ordered her first springtime dresses back in 1949. Meanwhile, Dior presented his New Look which overturned the codes of elegance and redesigned the female figure. It was the beginning of a long relationship, characterised by collections and fashion shows.

The presentation of the 1954 autumn-winter collection has even been specially recreated for the occasion. Your immersion is total. You can also admire the famous dress designed for Margaret's 21st birthday. You will be fascinated by this masterpiece in floaty tulle with an embroidered bodice. In total, no fewer than 500 items (perfumery, make-up of the period, magazines, personal belongings of Christian Dior), including 200 fashion outfits reveal the fascination which British style held for the French designer.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
From 2 February to 14 July 2019
Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 2RL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7942 2000
www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/dior-designer-of-dreams