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How Kensington Palace inspired one of this year’s stand out Oscar gowns


It glittered just as much as the famous Academy Awards themselves and now a celebrated royal residence has been revealed as the starting point for one of the most talked about dresses at this year’s Oscars. The golden gown chosen by actor and entertainer, Billy Porter, for the main awards ceremony this year was inspired by the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace.

The dress, designed by Giles Deacon, features a golden sunburst bodice and a full skirt with print representing the Roman military motifs of the famous palace chamber. It was worn with golden platform boots by Jimmy Choo. The look has been described by its creators as a play on the concepts of masculinity and extravaganza.

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Its inspiration, the Cupola Room, was given its celebrated appearance in the reign of George I (1714 – 1727). It was designed by William Kent and is described as the most ornately decorated part of Kensington Palace. It is part of the King’s Apartments and Kent would go on to redecorate the rest of the State Apartments with his own, distinctive style following the warm reception the Cupola Room received.

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Grammy Award winner Billy Porter performed at the Oscars but was just as excited to talk about his couture choices on his Instagram, describing the dress as a ‘winged goddess’. Designer Giles Deacon was just as pleased with the end results, saying that the star looked ‘phenomenal’ in the creation which is known as the Cupola dress. And Historic Royal Palaces, which looks after Kensington, said the outfit was magnificent.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.