Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Kensington Palace exhibition 'The Enchanted Palace'

London's Kensington Palace is a rather gloomy and melancholic historic royal palace, the curtains drawn to preserve the contents and the State Apartments fairly bare except for the paintings and a few items of furniture. But that's all to change on 26 March when its new exhibition 'The Enchanted Palace', which features fashion and installations, opens. 

These pictures are from Wildworks, a Cornish theatre company, which is collaborating with the palace to transform the rooms. Above is a re-imagining of Queen Victoria's bedroom, where she was proclaimed queen (she grew up in the palace).

For 'The Enchanted Palace' Vivienne Westwood, Stephen Jones, Aminaka Wilmont, William Tempest, Boudicca and illustrator/set designer Echo Morgan have each been assigned a room and will make costumes in response to the setting and the princesses who lived there. Westwood is making "a dress for a rebellious princess" inspired by Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George IV, Jones will display his hats in the Privy Chamber inspired by 18th-century busts, Wilmont's "dress of tears" is based on the tradition of mourners collecting tears, Tempest has Queen Victoria's bedroom and is creating a dress echoing the oriental bird pattern of the wallpaper, Boudicca will show "dresses the colour of time" and Morgan's "dress of the world" will be decorated with prints of antique maps.     

History, theatrical set design and my favourite designers – what more could I ask for.  

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