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How “Costuming the Crown” Fulfills Winterthur's Overarching Mission

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Anyone who watches “The Crown” on Netflix knows that the characters’ royal fashions (especially those gorgeous gowns) are one of the stars of the show.

Forty costumes from Season 1 and 2 of the series about Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign are on display at Winterthur through January 5, 2020. The “Costuming the Crown” exhibition is the first time the collection of clothing made for the award-winning drama will be on display and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the role costume design plays in the series.


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Gowns, dresses, casual wear and military uniforms were designed to define characters and recreate the era to dramatize the public history and private stories of the royal soap opera across The Pond.

Costume designers Michele Clapton and Jane Petrie have won an Emmy for Outstanding Period Costumes and the Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Period Television for their work on the show.

 

Costuming the Crown Exhibition at Winterthur

Laura Mina, associate conservator at Winterthur, looks on at one of the forty costumes on display at “Costuming the Crown.”//photo by Jim Graham

 

Being able to take a close look at the costumes may yield some surprises. Eagle-eyed fashion lovers might notice, for example, that the pattern on one of Princess Margaret’s gowns is painted on rather than woven into the fabric, says associate conservator Laura Mina.

The exhibition represents a departure from Winterthur’s focus on American history but is in keeping with its overarching mission to offer new and unique ways of understanding and connecting with other time periods.

For more information about the exhibition, visit winterthur.org.

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