Queen Dress Exhibit Opens at Museum
.c The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) - A collection of Queen Elizabeth II's most extravagant and decorative evening gowns went on display in southwest England on Tuesday to celebrate the British monarch's Golden Jubilee.
The 14 dresses on display at the Museum of Costume in Bath were designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, Sir Hardy Amies and Ian Thomas. Included is one of the queen's favorites, a pink silk-organza gown from the 1960s embroidered with silver beads and white gauze ribbon in a flower design.
Opening the exhibition, British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent Jennie Bond said that while the queen has never been a fashion icon like the late Princess Diana, or Princess Margaret in her youth, her dresses influenced mainstream style.
``Princess Margaret was extremely pretty and people used to follow what she was wearing, but Elizabeth almost had to be more understated - dignified at all times,'' Bond said. ``I think these dresses reflect that - there is no room to be adventurous, but I am sure that many of the trends were followed.''
Rosemary Harden, keeper of collections at the Museum of Costume, said it was a misconception that the queen wore a different dress every time she appeared in public. It was more important to the queen that the gowns were practical and stylish and, when she was traveling, that they fit in with local traditions.
``What matters to her is that she wears something appropriate to the occasion,'' Harden said. ``The clothes convey a message. This is very much the queen's working wardrobe.''
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