Set in the Royal grounds of the prestigious Kensington Palace, the Fashion Rules exhibition is dedicated to the extraordinary, excessive and exuberant lives of the great Royal Family. Pieces from HM Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales, never seen before by the public eye, feature gallantly on display.
Each room reflects the style of these powerful heads of fashion, both as Royals and as in their personal lives. Alongside the many pieces, each room is filled with memorabilia and projections of each of these incredible women showcasing how each became their own icon.
Beginning the exhibition with HM Queen Elizabeth II, we note the great works of tailoring extraordinaire, Hardy Aimes, whom her majesty herself is a great fan of. Prominently placed is a decadent grey silkorganza gown, decorated with lashings of pink silks and beads in a mayflower motif. It was designed for her visit to the commonwealth state of Canada in 1959 and worn with exceptional grace.
The next phase of the exhibition looks at the effortless style of Princess Margaret, showcasing a selection of her finest dresses. One gown in particular stands out, a piece by Norman Hartnell featuring subtle detailing and a slender hour glass silhouette. Having often been photographed with the social glitterati of the 70s, she wore the gown at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations where her sister, HM Queen Elizabeth II, presented a music award to ABBA in 1977.
Lastly, but by no means least; Diana Princess of Wales. This section of the exhibition presents the many looks of a true icon of power dressing for the modern woman. Featured on display is a layered midnight blue, strapless evening gown by designer Murray Arbied, worn to a dinner at Clardiges Hotel for the President of Greece in 1986.
It is impossible not to be taken in by the wondrous array of delights on show, encapsulating how each of these women inspired a generation to dress. This exhibition is certainly one Royal affair not to be dismissed.
Written by Elliot Bateman. Images courtesy of HPR.