Kensington Palace has recently opened a brand-new exhibition showcasing some of the greatest red-carpet outfits alongside a collection of historical dresses from the Georgian court.


As the annual Met Gala rolls around, many fashion fans turn to social media to relive past iconic fashion moments and watch new ones as they happen. However, seeing a photo and seeing the real thing in person are two completely separate experiences and many would argue that the outfits worn at the Met Gala cannot be captured in all their glory in a single photo. This exhibition offers you the chance to get up close to some of the most iconic fashion looks of all time from not just the Met Gala but from other red-carpet events as well. It gives you a chance to really appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of the pieces, and honestly seeing Blake Lively’s iconic 2022 Met Gala look where she paid homage to some of New York’s finest architecture was simply amazing.


This exhibition also shows how fashion is not just about looking good but can also be used to protest or spread messages about various causes or issues. In the 18th century different colours were used to show allegiance to various political groups. Politics still influences fashion today with stars using fashion to spread further the message of causes they believe in. High-profile events with extensive media coverage can make the message more accessible to more people. In 2020 Lizzo famously wore a dress to the Billboard Music Awards decorated with the word ‘Vote’ to spread the message and show the importance to believe in the power of your voice. This dress features in the exhibition alongside other outfits worn by celebrities to show support for various causes and communities. The wide reaching, positive effect of these outfits shows how fashion can be a powerful tool to make change and create awareness.


This exhibition also provides a great opportunity to see some of the dresses from the Historic Royal Palaces' Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection including court dresses, shoes, and fans. Very few of these court dresses have survived to today due to the fact that reusing the fabric to make new garments in order to save money was quite common. The dresses (also known as mantua) were typically very expensive due to the intricate embroidery and expensive fabrics, but it was all in an effort to increase your status and power in the King’s court. Fashion is still a powerful tool today and months of preparation goes into celebrities looks before they walk the red carpet in order to make sure that all the attention is on them.


This exhibition allows visitors to get a glimpse into the flamboyant and glamorous world of fashion, red carpets, couture, and court while also revealing how fashion holds more power and significance than one might think. Interesting links are drawn between modern day red carpets and 18th century court fashion and for 2 hours you can be transported into a lavish world of sequinning and stitching, power and politics, the only downfall of which is that you leave feeling rather underdressed.