House Style at Chatsworth House

“The joy of dressing is an art “ John Galliano

Yesterday the sun was shining and I spent an amazing afternoon with my friend Sue who shares an equal love for all things fashion when we paid a visit to the House Style Exhibition at Chatsworth House.

I had no intention of blogging about my trip BUT I had my ‘big’camera on me and after walking around, taking photos, lusting after several dresses and generally being ‘gob-smacked ‘ at the majority of items on show I just had to share it with you .

Although the Exhibition ends very shortly there is some good news in that you have until 22nd October, 2017 to go and see it for yourself.

Go, go , go but maybe stick around and read my post first …

The House Style Exhibition demonstrates the power of fashion. It brings to life the captivating individuals from the Cavendish family over five centuries .

  • Bess of Hardwick, one of the most powerful women of the 16th century
  • The 18th century “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
  • Adele Astaire, the sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire
  • Deborah Devonshire and Nancy Mitford, two of the Mitford sisters, model Stella Tennant and John F Kennedy’s sister ‘Kick’ Kennedy will also be central to the show

I thought I’d share some of my favourite bits and pieces with you.

My heart starting racing as we entered the Painted Hall, it’s so breathtakingly beautiful. Look at that ceiling, that majestic staircase which was made for swishing down in fabulous frocks!

So much grandure.

So ‘Gone with the Wind’

We were met by a beautiful black Alexander McQueen dress , the one that Stella Tennant  wore on one of her first modelling shoots, complete with a Philip Treacy Mask,

She was joined by a bevvy of very regal Coronation Robes.

The Naughty Forty Diaries

The Naughty Forty Diaries

In the Chapel it was all about funeral, wedding and christening outfits.

I loved the ambience . Lit by candlelight only, the brilliant white of the dresses set against the darkness of the room was striking . The faces on the paintings that adjourned the walls , looking down on us almost as if they where mocking us.

Beautiful yet ever so haunting.

A wedding dress for every personality from plain to flouncy.

After five years on display in the Chapel it has recently been announced that Damien Hirst’s eight-foot tall bronze sculpture ‘Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain’ [ below] will reach the end of its loan period at Chatsworth also at the end of October.

Although it doesn’t make up part of the Exhibition it is magnificent, if slightly creepy.

We headed upstairs , dancing up the beautiful staircase.

I’ve always loved fancy dress . I’m not sure where I get that from ?!

In 1897 Duchess Louise Hosted a big party to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was named the Devonshire House Ball. 

Everybody was asked to dress as a person from the past. Duchess Louise herself dressed up as Queen Zenobia. Her dress below is made up of silver thread, sequins, diamonds and gold.

It’s simply Stunning!

I mean just how beautiful are these pieces.

We carried on walking around the exhibit, soaking up the atmosphere of the house, ohhhing and awwwing at the majority of the items we saw.

There’s so much to see I couldn’t possibly show you it all… but I’ll share a few more and you can discover the rest for yourself. Just be quick …

Above Prada – disco pants as I nick-named them!

At the end of one of the long corridors you come face to face with this work of art. The Marquise Masquee Ball Gown [ below]

Designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior it really is beautiful . Layers of silk taffeta with intricate detailing and rhinestones .

Couture at its finest. A dress most definitely fit for a Princess.

It is however not just about the ladies and their dresses … 

Andrew Devonshire had a pretty awesome collection of navy woollen jumpers. I’d quite happily have taken all these off his hands! 

I loved this unusual silk dress [ below] by Christopher Kane

The dress of my dreams however came in the Dining Room courtesy of this floor length bustier number by Burberry [below]

It was show-cased alongside dresses from the last 60 years including Chanel, Dior,  Christopher Kane, Vivienne Westwood and Gucci. 

Gucci are the main / official sponsors of the exhibition and should be immensely proud.

It’s a fabulous exhibition that I can’t rave about,  or recommend enough.

Entrance to the house & gardens is £19.90 which includes the exhibition. You have until Sunday and then it’s gone. You have been warned. 

Luckily for us Sheffielders Chatsworth House sits right on our doorstep. It’s a welcome change for something of this fabulousness and grandeur to be showcasing up here rather than London. We should embrace, make the most of and shout about it.

I left the Exhibition feeling elated .

When I got home I sat enthusing to the BF about what I’d seen then went to bed dreaming of THAT Burberry dress.

After all a girl can dream … dreams are free.

Designer dresses however are not!

Until next time,

Tracey x

4 thoughts on “House Style at Chatsworth House

  1. Sue says:

    Reading this brought back the memories, a great exhibition and afternoon out. You remembered more facts than me. The setting was perfect.

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