- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is set to officially open the doors of its largest fashion exhibition to date: 'House Style: Five Centuries of Style at Chatsworth.'
Opening its doors to the public on Saturday, March 25, the exhibition is set to showcase the style of women emblematic of the life the castle over five centuries. As part of the fashion exhibition at Chatsworth, the castle's salons have been transformed into exposition halls featuring haute couture dresses, tiaras and headdresses as well as baptism, bridal gowns and coronation gowns from leading icons throughout the ages. In addition uniforms, outfits and costumes spanning from the 16th century to the 21st century will also be displayed.
Chanel, Gucci and Balmain featured in the 'House of Style: Five Centuries of Style at Chatsworth'
The exhibition aims to explore the style and personalities of some of the famous women to have grace the Chatsworth House salons, such as Duchess Georgiana (innovator of fashion in the 18th century), Duchess Deborah (one of the famous Mitford sisters), Adele Astaire (sister and partner Fred's dance), Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy (sister of JFK) and former top-model Stella Tennant. Divided by theme, the exhibition ranges from Coronation Dress; The Devonshire House Ball, Bess of Hardwick and the Tudor influence, The Georgiana Effect, Ducal Style, Country Living, The Circle of Life, and Entertaining at Chatsworth.
'House of Style' ends in a exhibition of the costumed balls gowns created for guestas visiting the Chatsworth house and includes magnificent couturier outfits from the likes of Chanel, Balmain, Vivienne Westwood, Dior , Tom Ford and Erdem. The exhibition, sponsored by Gucci, also includes two dresses personally designed by creative director Alessandro Michele for the Duchess of Devonshire and Lady Burlington. The dresses are said to have been inspired by the books of Maria Sybilla Merian of the Devonshire Collection. The Duchess's dress is set to be displayed in the State Closet, while the dress adorned with many Lady Burlington beads will be displayed in the State Music Lounge.
The idea for the exhibition stems from when Lady Burlington went in search of a baptismal dress for her son James in the castle archives and discovered a huge amount of boxes filled with clothing. She hired Hamish Bowles, American Vogue's international editor-at-large to catalog the collection, who went on to become the curator for the exhibition after realizing the magnitude of the archives. Six years in the making, the fashion exhibition includes key items such as a golden brooch from Duchess Georgiana, crododile shoes from the 11th Duke of Devonshire and Tennat's wedding dress.
"It is so exciting to see the designs become a reality for this complex and layered exhibition. House Style has developed over the last six years to encompass far more than we originally envisaged when we first started delving into the Chatsworth archive," said Lady Burlington in a statement. "In some cases, clothes that haven't seen each other since the 19th century are being reunited. I hope visitors will appreciate the scale and ambition of the exhibition, and enjoy exploring the stories that this clothing and memorabilia reveal about the Cavendish family.”
"Amanda and I are very grateful to our daughter-in-law Laura Burlington and the team for having the vision and determination to bring this exhibition to life. The breadth and diversity of what is on display in House Style, combined with the manner in which it is shown, makes this our most ambitious exhibition to date," added The Duke of Devonshire. "As someone who does not claim to know a great deal about fashion, I would certainly recommend House Style to all-comers, as the clothes are really a jumping off point into different moments of 500 years of history.”
The 'House Style: Five Centuries of Style at Chatsworth' runs from 25 March to 22 October 2017.
Photos: Courtesy of Gucci, copyright Chatsworth House