The fashion show of the centuries
The Evening Standard called Crown to Couture, "Surely the starriest fashion exhibition London has ever seen".
This brand-new fashion exhibition for 2023 took over Kensington Palace's State Apartments and Piggott Galleries, featuring over 200 items from ball gowns to court suits and handbags to jewellery. The exhibition drew fascinating parallels between the world of today’s red carpet and the Georgian Royal Court in the 18th century.
200 FASCINATING OBJECTS
From Beyoncé To Katy Perry and Lizzo
Visitors were able to see Beyoncé's look for the 2017 GRAMMY Awards, designed by Peter Dundas, and the custom Moschino chandelier-inspired outfit designed for Katy Perry and worn at the 2019 Met Gala.
Other key iconic looks from recent years included Billy Porter’s "Sun God" outfit, styled by Sam Ratelle and designed by The Blonds for the 2019 Met Gala, and Kendall Jenner’s shimmering Hepburn-inspired Givenchy dress worn to the 2021 event.
Contrasted with these modern-day looks, were a stunning yellow mantua on loan from National Museums Scotland, the widest surviving court gown in Britain at nearly three metres, plus the exquisite Rockingham Mantua, one of several objects from Historic Royal Palaces' Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.
Header image: The Rockingham Mantua. © Historic Royal Palaces
"The most dazzling exhibition of the year... Beyoncé meets Bridgerton"
"Surely the starriest fashion exhibition London has ever seen"
"The court of George II meets Beyoncé and Lady Gaga"
How to Conserve a Historic Mantua Dress
When preparing historic fashion for an exhibition, a lot goes on behind the scenes. Join our talented conservators as they practice safely mounting this historic dress for display.Learn more about the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection
The Rockingham Mantua is an exceptional example of an 18th-century court mantua, with its wide skirt and priceless craftsmanship. It was probably worn by the Marchioness of Rockingham for George III’s Coronation, as a show-off display of wealth and status.
The Silver Tissue Dress
This rare historic dress known as the Silver Tissue Dress is 360 years old. Discover how this remarkable dress was carefully prepared for display in Crown to Couture, celebrating the craftsmanship and beauty of a dress that has survived since The Stuarts were on the throne.
This rare historic dress known as the Silver Tissue Dress is 360 years old. Explore behind the scenes at the Textile Conservation Studio, and discover how this remarkable dress from the reign of Charles II is carefully prepared for display, celebrating the craftsmanship and beauty of a dress that has survived since The Stuarts were on the throne.
Enjoy this exhibition and a range of member benefits, including unlimited adventures in some of the most magnificent palaces ever built, access to our unmissable events programme and exclusive discounts for experiences from our partners, as well as discounts in our shops, cafés and restaurants.
- Things to see
Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace.
- Open Wednesday - Sunday
- In line with palace opening hours
- Kensington Palace
- Included in palace admission (members go free)
Stunning collection of sparkling jewellery and stylish accessories to celebrate the glamour of the exhibition Crown to Couture.
These official gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by Kensington Palace's rich royal stories, past and present.