Inside Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe

Our Chief Merchandising Officer, Ruth Hartman, had the opportunity to witness (wearing head-to-toe Le Tote of course!) Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe, the grand exhibition at Buckingham Palace earlier this fall… 

What was the first thing that came into your mind when you stepped foot in the state room?
The first thing that struck me was the scale. I have always wanted to tour the state rooms but nothing quite prepares you for the sheer magnitude and grandeur. Everything inside was absolutely amazing — from the furnishings to the wall decor, works of art, the different ornamentations… And of course, all the secret doors for the royals to be able to slip away into their private quarters!


Being up close with the Queen’s clothes must have been quite an experience!
It was! The exhibition was part of the celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. They did it magnificently, taking you through various state rooms and then to the ballroom where the main exhibit was staged. More than 150 iconic outfits — from the dress she wore as a little girl to her father’s coronation to her own coronation dress, state tours, Charles and Diana’s wedding… — were curated. Interwoven with history, the exhibition was so educational, transporting you instantly to a different era. Being there was as close as you can get to key moments in history. The product was just so beautiful — truly haute couture. The fabrics, the attention to detail, some of them even had real diamonds, woven with gold and silver thread!  

What are some of the other things that stood out?
They had an entire section focused on the hats from three of her main milliners. It was also quite fascinating to see her style evolve throughout the years. I loved seeing gowns she wore for her various state visits. Whether it is the maple leaf embroidered for the Canada visit or when she went to all the colonies — the attention to detail was always diplomatic, appropriate and respectful.

Finally, who is your fave royal?
Kate Middleton. She’s so simple yet elegant. Diana was a trendsetter, she was all about fashion but I like that Kate treats it as a part of her life, but not trying to be an icon. And I love that she’s trying to live a life with her family as normal as it possibly can be.  Behind all those secret doors. 🙂

PS: Love Kate Middleton’s style? Channel some fashion royalty with these picks from our new arrivals! Add to closet now!


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