Style and Splendour

 Date:02/02/2005 - 08/01/2006
 Type:Culture, Fashion
 Location:England, London

Around 800,000 people have so far (November 2005) seen the V&A; exhibition, 'Style and Splendour', which is open until 8 January 2006. On display is the spectacular wardrobe of Queen Maud, the British Princess who became Queen Consort of the newly independent Norway in 1905. Daughter of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, Maud was renowned for her fashionable style

Her clothes document an extraordinary era of fashion history, from the decorative but elaborate dress of the Victorian era to the streamlined chic of the 1930s. Her wardrobe comprised royal robes, sporting wear and accessories. This display will include some 50 outfits ranging from her wedding trousseau of 1896 to the latest Worth designs purchased just months before her death in 1938.

Queen Maud’s wardrobe encompasses both her public and private lives, from sumptuous state gowns and elegant evening dresses for official occasions to her riding habits, winter sportswear, and simple tailored suits for afternoons in the garden with her grandchildren.

“The wardrobe of Queen Maud of Norway features an unparalleled collection of early 20th century fashion, all relating to the lifestyle and taste of one woman.  The V&A Museum is delighted to be featuring a selection of ensembles from this exceptional collection.”

- Susan North, Curator of 17th and 18th century fashion at the V&A.

Maud engaged with contemporary fashion throughout her long life, and commissioned the great couturiers of the day, notably Worth, Redfern and Morin-Blossier as well as accomplished dressmakers such as Blancquaert and the Norwegian designer Sylvian. Her wardrobe illustrates the impeccable standards of couture dressmaking and tailoring of the period. Flawlessly beaded gowns, perfectly cut and hand-finished suits, beautifully embroidered and appliquéd dresses all exemplify the superb workmanship of the era.

Style and Splendour will be on show for a year to coincide with the centennial anniversary of Norway’s emergence as an independent nation in 1905, following the peaceful dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden.

V&A Publications are publishing a book entitled Style and Splendour: the Wardrobe of Queen Maud of Norway 1896-1938 (Hardback £30.00) by Anne Kjellberg and Susan North to accompany this display.  Using photographs of the wardrobe of Queen Maud now preserved in the Kunstindustrimuseet in Oslo, it tells the story of the evolution of women’s fashion from the 1890s to the 1930s.

Style and Splendour – Queen Maud’s Wardrobe 1896-1938

2 February 2005 - 8 January 2006

V&A South Kensington
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Entrance to the V&A is free.
Entrance to Style and Splendour is free.
The Style and Splendour display will be in gallery 40, Dress Gallery.
General enquiries: 020 7942 2000

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