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Historic Royal Palaces teams with fashion brand Olympia Le-Tan

Inspired by the successful Crown to Couture exhibition currently being held at Kensington Palace, the brand Olympia Le-Tan has created three unique limited edition clutch bags to kick off its three-year licensing deal with Historic Royal Palaces.

Items from the exhibition have been interpreted across the brand’s signature book clutch for the collection, which have all been hand embroidered with silk thread and felt appliqué, a technique that can take up to 300 hours to complete.

Crown to Couture opened in April and celebrates the glittering world of the Georgian court alongside the high glamour of the modern day red carpet. It is the largest exhibition ever staged at the Palace with over 200 objects on display – from some of the finest examples of 18th century court dress through to iconic contemporary red carper looks.

The Spitalfields Mantua is one of the highlights of the exhibition, dating from the mid-18th century. The silk on the stunning mantua has been brocaded with woven flower motifs which have been interpreted by the designers and seamstresses at the brand Olympia Le-Tan onto a book clutch.

Meanwhile, George III’s Coronation Fan was produced in commemoration of the Coronation of King George III in 1761. Aptly on display during this Coronation year, it features within the exhibition to highlight accessories worn to court. The King and Queen both feature on the fan wearing their Coronation robes, alongside symbols and regalia that were associated with the Coronation ceremony such as crowns and sceptres. These have all been hand embroidered, with the design uniquely covering both back and front in exquisite detail, with the primary colours of the original fan shining through.

Finally, the satire print ‘Tight Lacing or Fashion before Ease’, also on display in the exhibition depicts women’s fashion in the late 18th century and shows how some of the processes of getting ready for court were critically interpreted. This is just one print within the Historic Royal Palaces’ print collection which covers fashion, interiors and architecture, as well as iconic palace scenes.

“I am thrilled to share our collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces for the Crown to Couture collection,” commented the brandOlympia Le-Tan, head of curating. “This partnership has been a remarkable opportunity for us to merge the worlds of fashion and history, paying homage to the regal heritage of Historic Royal Palaces and the enchanting exhibition at Kensington Palace. The rich history of the palace provided us with a captivating tapestry of ideas, allowing us to create a collection that exudes elegance and grace.

“Each piece in the Crown to Couture collection is meticulously handcrafted, with the utmost attention to detail. The intricate embroideries, painstakingly depicting royal motifs and symbols, add a touch of regality to our signature styles. It is a true celebration of craftsmanship and artistry, merging the worlds of fashion and heritage seamlessly.”

Jenny Smyth, licensing manager at Historic Royal Palaces, continued: “We’re hugely proud of our new partnership with the brand Olympia Le-Tan. The handcrafted nature of these pieces and the skill that has gone into producing them is reflective of the time and effort that has gone into creating some of the historic pieces in this exhibition, including the exquisite Spitalfields Mantua.

“This is a striking interpretation of what the Historic Royal Palaces licensing programme represents – be inspired by the past to create stunning product for today. We are excited to start work on new designs with the creative team from the brand Olympia Le-Tan.”

The clutches will be available buy in the Kensington Palace retail shop, as well as via the website of the brand, Olympia Le-Tan from 25 September 2023, the Spitalfields Mantua book clutch is available to pre-order now.

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