Fashion is in an Anglophile mood at the moment. Just a month after the “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibition opens at the Kensington Palace, another must-see major fashion retrospective just landed in Britain. Set in the estate of Chatsworth House in the Derbyshire countryside, the “House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth” opens its doors to the public last Saturday and will last till Oct 22.
Even if you do not know your history of British stately homes, you might have spotted the manor in shows like The Crown (2016) and Pride & Prejudice (2005). Another factor that separates Chatsworth from the other aristocratic manors is its strong fashion connection. Just consider the style savants who have graced the halls here like the legendary dance siblings Adele and Fred Astaire as well a Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, the sister of John F Kennedy. Another famous resident of the estate is Deborah Mitford, the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, whose granddaughter is the model Stella Tennant (both pictured above).
The current exhibition happening at Chatsworth is possible thanks to its deep links to the fashion industry. It all began six years ago when Laura Burlington, the daughter-in-law of the current 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, stumbled upon clothing and textiles that have been in storage through the centuries. Burlington is a former model, stylist and seamstress of Roland Mouret, She roped in an expert Hamish Bowles, the dandy editor-at-large of American Vogue to pore through the archives and play co-curator for the exhibition. The result is an exhibition spanning 500 years of history with over 100 items ranging from a gold brooch to a pair of crocodile shoes that belonged to the 11th duke, peppered throughout Chatsworth’s cavernous rooms.
The Britannia ouvre of this exhibition also attracted the creative eye of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, who staged his Cruise ’17 show at the cloisters of Westminster Abbey and shot that season’s campaign on the estate grounds. The brand is sponsoring the event and also designed the two frocks for the Duchess and Lady Burlington. Here, we show you some of the highlights if you’re ever popping by.