Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Twilight Talk: Alexandra- Royal Approach to Style

Hello everyone! 
So I have some very exciting news about a recent position at the Bath Fashion Museum. I am so happy to be the new social media ambassador for the museum. This is so exciting as I am a recent visitor at the fashion museum due to my fashion course, it is literally around the corner from where I study and so interesting to visit for research and events. Alongside posting about my coursework I will also be telling you about events at the museum and the visits that I make there! I hope you really enjoy my posts about it all! 

So to start off, I went to one of the Twilight Talks, which was about Queen Alexandra. It was so lovely to turn up to a warm reception with wine available on entrance, the talk was in an exhibit room meaning that you were surrounded by historic pieces while Dr Kate Strasdin presented a story of Alexandra's wardrobe. 

Alexandra married King Edward who was Queen Victoria's eldest son, once she passed Alexandra and Edward became the new Queen and King of England. She had such a powerful image to uphold, especially when following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria. It was amazing to see all of the different pictures of dresses that she wore throughout her time as Princess and Queen. For any of you fashionista's out there, I am going to tell you a little bit about her style and life in the royal family. 

Weakness was not to be seen in the Royal family as Queen Victoria kept such a strong and powerful image. Therefore, due to Alexandra having a scar on her neck from a sickness as a child, she either wore high neck dresses or jewelled collars to cover it up. Being such a huge style icon she set a trend for this throughout the country. 

Another necessary role was to also wear British brands on important occasions, if not all of the time as she had to show patriotism and respect to her country. Her wedding dress for example was British lace upon request of the queen, although Alexandra hid a panel of Brussels lace inside her skirt. It is so interesting to learn about the little facts at these events by the historians who spend years dedicating themselves to a certain topic or person. When looking at the dress, only then did she find the panelled lace inside the dress. It makes me think of the large differences in the Queen and Princess yet how much Alexandra would have respected and obeyed Victoria and commit to her duty. 

We were shown garments from different parts of her life, whether it was her pregnancy, court duties, evenings, family occasions or visits to places such as Scotland.

Unlike Victoria, Alexandra hated visits to Scotland, from evidence she thought it was bleak. Only 2 of her dresses survived , both of which were very similar, they had a uniform appearance with an identical trim. Alexandra who kept her style up to date, expensive and cutting edge, would rarely have worn a similar dress. Her designs were altered by herself in the mornings before her daily duties. She brought out new styles such as the strictly corseted waist and hips showing off every curve, waistcoats and tailoring. 

One of her most popular dresses was her coronation gown which was heavily embellished in gold. There was again another huge controversy of whether her dress was british or French couture. Westminster had electric lighting installed as she wanted to make sure she stood out on the day. It created a youthful and dramatic look! 

In 1891 when her eldest son passed away she wore mourning for the rest of her life. Although unlike Victoria she did not wear all black, yet muted colours such as yellows, greys, lilacs and whites became her favourites. She was in half mourning. She still had to keep up her popularity which was all about appearance and fashion. 

I hope you've really enjoyed a few facts about Queen Alexandra. If you want to hear more about any other events on at the fashion museum please look at the Bath Fashion Museum website or comment on this post. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to also see more!