Gala DressCourt and Couture
12 January - 26 August 2012
Come to a royal gala event at the Amalienborg Museum! The exhibition displays a colourful and unique selection of HM Queen Margrethe's most splendid gala dresses from the Court's major occasions from the 1960s to the present.
The many elegant and imaginative dresses were made by Danish and French designers in haute couture houses such as Balmain and Givenchy. Several of the Queen's gala dresses were made by the designer Jørgen Bender, who made both evening wear and other garments for the ladies of the Royal House from 1967 to 1999.
The exhibition provides an insight into the exquisite craftsmanship that is used in the creation of a gala dress. The Queen herself has contributed to the design of the dresses, and in many cases they are made out of material that she has found on her travels. The dresses are often altered and re-used in new versions.
The exhibition provides an opportunity to experience some of the Queen's newest dresses as well as dresses known from portraits, for instance those painted by Preben Hornung, Thomas Kluge and Niels Strøbek.
A highlight of the exhibition is the chance to join a Royal reception line - as if you were greeting the Royal Family - and to see the fine Court uniforms and learn about Court customs and the wearing of Orders.
The exhibition is the Amalienborg Museum's contribution to the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of HM the Queen's reign, in January 2012.
1990 Erik Mortensen for Balmain, Paris. This dress, of shimmering midnight blue taffeta made for the Queen's 50th birthday, has been altered three times. Jørgen Bender changed the neckline and sleeves twice, and later the Queen added the black lace with sequins. The skirt and train are gathered ingeniously in the middle and tied with black velvet bows. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
1966 The Fashion Salon of Magasin du Nord
This dress is made of a very light patterned cotton material; the model probably came from Givenchy. The "waterfall" on the right side of the dress continues into a long stretch of material that forms an in-built stole. The side-seams are sewn in such a way that they follow the pattern of the material. Worn at occasions in Stockholm and Lisbon in the 1960s. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
1983 Jørgen Bender.
The queen, as often is the case, had a hand in the design of this dress of dark red lace fabric, which she had bought in France. The fabric is lined with a slip dress in a slightly lighter color that one senses through the lace. The dress was worn on a state visit to Spain in 1983 and for the Queen's official portrait in 1990. It is this portrait that is included in the logo for the 40th anniversary of HM the Queen's reign.
With occasion in mind, the Queen's sense of style and substance can be seen in the Spanish touch - perhaps inspired by the flamenco dancers spectacular deep red dance dresses and the court painter Velázquez 'portraits of the Spanish royal family's ladies wearing baroque opulent 1600-century costumes. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
1966 The Fashion Salon of Magasin du Nord, later altered by Jørgen Bender
Made of the silk material ziberline, with sleeves and train of Japanese gold brocade bought on a journey to Kyoto in 1963. The brocade is from an obi, which is the broad textile strip that is tied with a bow at the back of a kimono. The chrysanthemum is the symbol of autumn in Japan. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
1994 Jørgen Bender
This coral red taffeta dress was made for the Prince Consort's 60th birthday.
The dress material is unusually closely woven, with very fine thread, which makes it possible to shape the distinctive flowers on the shoulders. In the centre of the flowers nestle little roses and crystals.
The poppy, as a summer flower, is an appropriate motif for the Prince Consort's birthday on 11 June. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
1995 Jørgen Bender
Gala dress of moss green and greyish violet silk taffeta. This was among the dresses that were made for Prince Joachim's wedding. The sleeves and waistline are decorated with silver lace and draped with violet silk taffeta. The dress is technically distinguished because of the exquisite way the materials are set into each other.
The romantic colours of the dress call to mind the garments of the Rococo period. (Foto: Roberto Fortuna, fra bogen ”Dronningens Kjoler” af Katia Johansen, Gyldendal 2012)
The exhibition is curated by textile conservator Katia Johansen, who is also the author of the new book Dronningens Kjoler (Gyldendal, January 2012).
With more than 300 illustrations the book provides a personal insight into the Queen's style and taste. It has been written on the basis of several interviews with the Queen and gives an account of the Queen's own involvement in the creation of her gowns.
For the book Roberto Fortuna has photographed a large number of the magnificent dresses that can also be seen in the exhibition.
For further information about the exhibition contact Museum Curator Axel Harms email@example.com
Pictures for use by the press: dkks.dk/press