A royal follower of fashion
AMAJOR exhibition celebrating The Queen’s enduring dress sense has opened at Buckingham Palace (until October 2). ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’, which is also at the Palace of Holyroodhouse until October 16 and at Windsor Castle (September 17– January 8, 2017), highlights Her Majesty’s support for British couture and millinery through 150 outfits and the extraordinary craftsmanship that goes into her state-occasion gowns.
At Buckingham Palace, there is a rare chance for a close-up view of her wedding and Coronation dresses, which were both designed by Norman Hartnell. The wedding dress, paid for with clothing coupons—the government allowed her 200 extra ones— is decorated with 10,000 seed pearls and has a 15ft star-patterned train inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera, symbolising rebirth after the Second World War. Sir Norman placed a secret, lucky four-leaf shamrock on the left side of the skirt of the Coronation dress, so The Queen’s hand would rest on it (www.royalcollection.org. uk; 0303 123 7300).
The Queen wanted her Coronation dress to be made of satin like her wedding dress