Chatsworth will explore the history of fashion and adornment in its most ambitious exhibition to date. House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth, which runs from 25 March until 22 October 2017, will give unprecedented insight into the depth of the Devonshire Collection and the lives of renowned style icons from Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire to Stella Tennant.
Hamish Bowles, International Editor-at-Large at American Vogue, will curate this landmark show with creative direction and design by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, the duo behind some of the most memorable fashion exhibitions of recent years.
The exhibition will bring to life the captivating individuals from the Cavendish family, including Bess of Hardwick, one of the most powerful women of the 16th century; the 18th century “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; and 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. Telling the rich history of both international style and the Devonshire Collection, the exhibition will demonstrate the power of fashion to illuminate these extraordinary characters.
Highlights will include exceptional couture designed by Jean Phillipe Worth and Christian Dior, together with influential contemporary garments from designers such as Gucci, Helmut Lang, Margiela, Erdem, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and Vetements.
The show will also feature personal family collections, including items belonging to the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, such as a Givenchy bolero worn on the Duchess’ wedding day. These pieces will be displayed alongside livery, uniforms, coronation robes and fancy-dress costumes, demonstrating the varying breadth of fashion and adornment from the Collection throughout the generations.
Important artworks will also be on display, including rare costume designs from the 1660s by Inigo Jones, Surveyor to the King’s Works and one of the most notable architects of 17th century England. Contemporary artist TJ Wilcox will be showing his intimate filmed portrait of Adele Astaire, which contains the only extant film of the star, found at Chatsworth in 2015.
Talking about the upcoming exhibition, curator Hamish Bowles said: “To be let loose in the wardrobe rooms, the gold vaults, the muniment room, and the closets, cupboards, and attics of Chatsworth, in search of sartorial treasures has been a dream come true for me. Chatsworth is a real treasure house and the characters of generations of Cavendish family members who have peopled its rooms and gardens and landscapes is revealed as vividly through their choice of clothing and adornments, as through the canvases and lenses of the great artists and photographers who have memorialised them through the centuries. In House Style, we hope to bring these compelling and fascinating people and the very different worlds they inhabited to life, through the clothes and the jewels that they wore.”
Sotheby’s is one of the major sponsors of the exhibition and has long-established ties with Chatsworth including the annual exhibition Beyond Limits. Later this year Sotheby’s will be launching its inaugural series of original programmes with the 13-part Treasures From Chatsworth. Celebrating the centuries-long passion for art and collecting of the Dukes of Devonshire over 16 generations, the series explores the extraordinary stories that emerge from the Devonshire Collection.
House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth runs from 25 March to 22 October 2017, and is included in the price of entry to Chatsworth House. For full details of ticket types and to book, please visit: www.chatsworth.org/book-tickets-and-prices