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Fashion rules

A glamorous new exhibition #FashionRules opens today at Kensington Palace in London, presenting dresses of three members of the British royal family: HM Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s, Princess Margaret in the 1960s and 70s and Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s. Five rooms of elegant displays, showcasing 21 couture dresses, explore how these three women reflected the trends of the day.

HM The Queen and the 1950s
The fashion ‘rules’ for The Queen in the 1950s were full of grace and elegance. Evening gowns were long with full skirts and nipped-in waists forming an hourglass silhouette. The dresses were embellished with beading and lace and worn with long evening gloves. The Queen also had other ‘rules’ to consider – from ‘diplomatic’ dressing to wearing light colors to ensure she stood out in in black and white photography.

Princess Margaret and the 1960s and 70s
A ‘royal rebel’ in the fashion stakes, Princess Margaret was at the forefront of fashion and style in the 1960s and 70s. The differing roles of The Queen and her younger sister Margaret were reflected in their clothing choices. Princess Margaret had greater freedom to wear changing fashions and was under less pressure to patronize British designers.

Diana, Princess of Wales and the 1980s
The wardrobe of Diana, Princess of Wales reflected the ‘rules’ of dressing of the era and was full of drama and glamour. She popularized many key 80s looks such as wide shoulders, dropped waists, bold trimmings and sparkling embellishment. The Princess also continued the tradition of diplomatic dressing, wearing colors and styles appropriate to the countries she visited.

Designers featured at the exhibition include: Norman Hartnell (designed Queen Elisabeth’s wedding dress in 1947), Jacques Azagury (famously reinterpreted a 1920s ballgown for Diana, making it a proper 1980s statement dress), and Marc Bohan at Christian Dior (designing for Princess Margaret, who like Jackie Kennedy wore his elegant ‘slim look’ evening dresses).

In the foreground: an evening dress by Zandra Rhodes, in the color of Japanese cherry blossom. Worn by Diana, Princess of Wales for a state banquet in Kyoto, during a royal visit to Japan, 1986.

Finishing touches to the displays.
First from left: a Jacques Azagury dress worn by Diana during a visit to Italy, 1985
Diana, Princess of Wales in a Jacques Azagury dress during a visit to Italy, 1985 – See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/palacehighlights/FashionRules/Diana#sthash.j5lcz57O.dpuf

All information sourced from the exhibition’s website. To find out more, go here.

#FashionRules opens at Kensington Palace today and will hopefully continue at least until mid August when I’m back in London (couldn’t find any information about its closing date). Adult ticket costs GBP 15. Opening times: Monday-Sunday 10am-6pm.

Diana, Princess of Wales and the 1980s

The wardrobe of Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s was characterised by the signature drama and glamour of the decade.

– See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/palacehighlights/FashionRules/Diana#sthash.j5lcz57O.dpuf

HM Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s, Princess Margaret in the 1960s and 70s and Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s. – See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/palacehighlights/FashionRules/default.aspx#sthash.wd9xMOC6.dpuf
HM Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s, Princess Margaret in the 1960s and 70s and Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s. – See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/palacehighlights/FashionRules/default.aspx#sthash.wd9xMOC6.dpuf
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