The Biggest Fashion Exhibition Ever In The UK Opens This Weekend
Sponsored by Gucci, “House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth,” opens this weekend and is set to be the largest exhibition ever to be staged at Devonshire’s family home. The stately home whose previous tenants have included “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; Adele Astaire, sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire, two of the infamous Mitford sisters – Deborah Devonshire and Nancy Mitford, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy and former model Stella Tennant is said ‘to reveal the cast of characters that have graced the rooms of Chatsworth.’
Six years in the making, it will see the grand rooms of the house showcasing clothing from the past 500 years including couture pieces, wedding gowns, coronation robes plus 19th century fancy dress alongside letters, photographs, examples of textiles and design as well as the family’s famous collection of bug and insect jewellery. Six dresses from house’s legendary ‘the party of the century’ have also been reunited for the first time since they were worn to the Devonshire House Ball in 1897.
Curated by Hamish Bowles, the idea came about when Lady Laura Burlington (wife of William Cavendish, the Earl of Burlington, son and heir of the 12th Duke of Devonshire and current resident of the home) was searching through the Chatsworth textiles archive for a christening gown for her son and came across the huge collection of clothing and textiles that has amassed over the centuries.
Speaking about the exhibition Lady Burlington said: “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. 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.”
As part of the Gucci sponsorship, the exhibition also features two dresses designed by creative director Alessandro Michele. The Duchess’s dress was inspired by the Merian books in the Devonshire Collection and can be found in the State Closet while the heavily beaded dress for Lady Burlington is shown in the State Music room.
The House Style Exhibition at Chatsworth House by Mike Marsland
“House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth” will be at Chatsworth House from March 25 until October 22, sponsored by Gucci.
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