A stunning new exhibition explores how the kings of the red carpet – quite literally – today are influenced by the style and style of the Georgian court.
A deep dive into glamor features the exquisite installations at Kensington Palace’s State Apartments, which once hosted lavish, almost daily parties for the crème de la creme of high society.
Beginning April 5, visitors are invited to see the parallels between the heyday of fashion during the historical period compared to modern Hollywood high fashion.
It features more than 200 items—including ball gowns, court suits, handbags, and jewelry—and promises to draw “fascinating parallels” between 18th-century royals and today’s stars.
The exhibition—called Crown to Couture—will revive the event’s glamourous looks of modern style, presented against the backdrop of Georgian-era society.
Beyoncé’s appearance for the 2017 GRAMMY Awards will be shown in the King’s Presence Room – the room where royalty has entertained courtiers, ministers and foreign ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the King’s Drawing Room, known for its lavish ornate chandeliers, will also display the custom-made Moschino dress (right) worn by Katy Perry at the 2019 Met Gala (left)
These include Billy Porter’s ‘Sun God’ outfit, designed by Sam Ratelle and designed by Blonds at the 2019 Met Gala, and the shimmering Givenchy dress inspired by Kendall Jenner’s Audrey Hepburn worn at the 2021 event.
It’ll also follow the meticulous preparation process when dressing for a season’s hot ticket event — both today and years past — looking at everything from lingerie to makeup.
The role and importance of designers is also explored, particularly given the “original designer” Francis Abington who is best known for his work in mid-18th century London.
Abington’s contemporary counterpart – Sam Ratell, known as the “unsung hero” of today’s red carpets, will also be celebrated.
Other elegant looks to be honored include Billie Eilish’s vintage flowy pink Oscar de la Renta dress from the 2021 Met Gala – the first visitor greeted upon entry.
Lizzo’s Thom Browne dress, Iris Law’s Moschino cutout dress, and Jessie Buckley’s Schiaparelli bodysuit — all from the following year’s Met Gala — will also be included in the fashion celebration.
Also presented will be Colman Domingo’s bright fuchsia Versace jumpsuit from the 2021 Academy Awards, Tom Ford’s Timothée Chalamet bodysuit from Cannes 2021 and Lady Gaga’s stunning emerald green look – created by Christopher John Rogers for the 2020 MTV Awards. Lance Victor Moore.
What’s more, Beyoncé’s appearance for the 2017 GRAMMY Awards will be shown in the King’s Presence Room – the room where royalty would receive courtiers, ministers, and foreign ambassadors.
Other chic looks to be honored include Billie Eilish’s classic flowy pink Oscar de la Renta dress from the 2021 Met Gala.
Bailey’s dark pink gown is the first visage visitors are greeted upon entering the fashion show
Lizzo’s Thom Browne dress, from the 2022 Met Gala, also on display at the show’s lavish and elegant
Meanwhile, the King’s Drawing Room, known for its lavish ornate chandeliers, will also be showing off the bespoke Moschino dress worn by Katy Perry at the 2019 Met Gala.
Some of the other historic features on display are the yellow Mantua from the National Museums of Scotland – the widest tile dress in Britain at almost three metres.
It was first worn by Lady Helen Robertson of Lydekerk to court around 1760 – and designed to make a lasting first impression.
“We are so excited to transform the Kensington Palace State Apartments for the largest exhibition ever, Crown to Couture,” said Polly Putnam, curator at Historic Royal Palaces.
To see these historic spaces filled with amazing examples of both historical and contemporary clothing really brings them to life, and we can’t wait for our visitors to experience these rooms in a whole new way.
“From your choice of designer and materials to the subtle messages your dress conveys, this gallery demonstrates the parallels between the world of Georgian court and the modern red carpet as they have never been seen before.”
Claudia Akot-Williams, Curator at Historic Royal Palaces notes that the exhibition will make us feel closer to what might seem like an ancient past.
‘Georgian court customs may seem distant and anachronistic,’ she said, ‘but we hope Crown to Couture provides a new and familiar lens through which to understand palace spaces and court traditions.
Looks include a floral dress worn by movie star Audrey Hepburn to the Academy Awards in the 1950s.
Pictured in the gallery is a silver tapestry gown from 1660 worn by Lady Theophilia Harris (left) next to a dress designed by Edith Head for Roman Holiday (right)
Also shown is Lady Gaga’s stunning emerald green look — which Christopher John Rogers created for the 2020 MTV Awards —
Lady Gaga’s bold ensemble is also topped off with a gorgeous face mask by Lance Victor Moore
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wore an elegant, flowing champagne dress to the 2019 Emmy Awards. The dress is shown in the gallery
It features more than 200 items—including ball gowns, court suits, handbags, and jewelry—and promises to draw “fascinating parallels” between 18th-century royals and today’s stars. Pictured is Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s outfit
Billy Porter pictured at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in 2020. This streaming ensemble is also shown
By putting the historic court dress into conversation with contemporary red carpet fashion and modern celebs, we’re beginning to see that maybe they’re not strangers after all.
We are delighted to be collaborating with a wide range of exceptional creators, including designers, stylists, performers and photographers, as well as renowned museums to explore the enchanting world of Georgian courts and once again fill these spaces with the pioneering artists of today.
Crown to Couture opens to the public on April 5, 2023 and is included in admission to the palace.
It will run until October 29.
The Historic Royal Palaces Gallery is generously supported by Garrard, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and Cunard.