|Okay, this is Princess Anne's. |
But look at the beading!
According to the Royal Collections website, the exhibition is being split across three official residences. The one at Holyrood is going to focus on tartan in Royal dress, which could be very interesting. Hopefully they won't omit the tweeds either, or cashmere knits, as Scotland's textile heritage is world-class. The exhibition at Windsor Castle will show official day and "magnificent" (I quote) evening wear, plus fancy dress costumes from wartime family pantomimes. The biggest exhibition, and the one I'd really like to see, will be at Buckingham Palace, and will cover Royal couture for major events, including the Queen's wedding and coronation.
At that long-ago exhibition I mentioned, because the dresses were behind glass it was possible to get really close to them. And, oh, the workmanship in one Norman Hartnell dress! It was patterned all over in beaded ripples. So much work. So beautiful. The embroidery and beading on things like the Coronation gown must be staggering. I'd be happy just to go and see a selection of Hartnell pieces, frankly. It's funny how his name seems to have vanished - the names of the French couturiers, even the ones whose houses no longer produce clothing, are remembered far better than the likes of Hartnell and Hardy Amies.
I've been itching to do some more embroidery - once I've got the tank top off the knitting needles, I might do that rather than start knitting straight away. (Plus if I knit more, that will deprive Ziggy and Pippin of the chance to play in my wool stash, which they have just discovered. It would be a shame to spoil their fun.) Norman Hartnell did actually put his name to some commercially-produced embroidery transfers. As I already have lots of transfers, I shall probably find something 'Hartnellesque' and have a go at that.
Anyway, whether I get round to doing any embroidery or not, I really want to go to see that exhibition. I think it would be interesting for anyone interested in fashion and image-making; outside of Hollywood, political figures are the people with most interest in image creation, and the Queen's had decades at the top of that game. For the art of image-making, as well as the art of dressmaking, I reckon the exhibition is going to be fascinating.