March 30, 2009

Versailles plans court costume exhibit

An exhibit dedicated to court dress and the influence of French fashion in European courts is set to open, the Chateau de Versailles in France said Monday.

Court Pomp and Royal Ceremony is slated to run from Tuesday through June 28.

A true testament to court life in the 17th and 18th centuries, only the Palace of Versailles could house the first exhibition comprising more than 200 exceptional exhibits, Chateau de Versailles said in a statement.

Under the Ancien Regime, all the courts of Europe paid tribute to and copied the brilliance of French luxury and finery, establishing the reputation of Paris as the capital of fashion, the release noted.

Since the French collections have now disappeared, most of the exhibits come from the collections of the major European museums: the Victoria and Albert in London, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Royal Armory in Stockholm, the Green Vault in Dresden and Rosenborg Castle in Denmark, which are lending some of their exhibits for the first time, organizers said. A collection of jewels, accessories and original paintings will accompany the procession of magnificent costumes, which have seduced the fashion house Chanel, sponsor of the exhibition.