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Couture, court dress and Kensington Palace combine in major new exhibit

Kensington Palace will host one of the most extensive fashion exhibits in recent memory next year with its couture and court dress exhibition.

Historic Royal Palaces, the entity that supports Kensington Palace and other royal palaces, announced on Wednesday that it would launch Crown to Couture next spring, tracing modern couture to Georgian-era court dress through fashion trends.

The charitable organisation announced that couture pieces worn by Lady Gaga and Lizzo will be displayed alongside court dresses, “highlighting parallels between the world of the red carpet and the Royal Court in the eighteenth century.”

There will be over 200 fashion pieces featured in the exhibit to show how the court influenced the fashion world through to the present day. Lizzo’s 2022 Met Gala outfit, a gold cape jacket designed by Thom Browne, will display in The King’s Gallery alongside a green gown worn by Lady Gaga to the 2020 MTV Awards.

Historic Royal Palaces noted that Lady Gaga’s dress “reflects the size and scale of dresses that would have been worn in this historic space centuries before.”

Court dresses that will go on display include a delicate tissue gown, the Silver Tissue Gown, that would have been worn at the Court of Charles II and is believed to be one of the few fully complete dresses that still exist from the 17th century.

Another court outfit, the Rockingham Mantua, from the 1760s, will also feature on display. Other items belonging to Historic Royal Palaces’ Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection will be displayed, including “fans, dress swords, hats, jewellery, shoes, stockings, stays and even a wig curler.”

Crown to Couture is a co-production between Historic Royal Palaces, Garrard, and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

Crown to Couture will run at Kensington Palace from 5 April to 29 October 2023. Tickets are available at Historic Royal Palaces’ website.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.