Kelly, Angela - Dressing the Queen

Kelly, Angela - Dressing the Queen
The Queen's dressmaker, Angela Kelly, has revealed that "months of preparation" went into creating two identical dresses for the monarch's starring role in the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Kelly explained that not even those making the pieces knew why two of the same design were required - as Danny Boyle's plans were kept shrouded in utmost secrecy. The scene in question saw the monarch star alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond, first inside Buckingam Palace, and then apparently jumping out of a helicopter over the Olympic stadium - with a stunt double wearing an exact replica of the Queen's dress. "The Buckingham Palace dressmakers worked quietly for months, never having both dresses out of storage at the same time," explained Kelly in her new book, Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe. "Even they did not know why two dresses were required for the same event." Everything about the design had to be carefully considered, from the colour to the cut. Eventually a peach hue was selected as it had to be bright enough to stand out against the dark backdrop of the stadium, but also couldn't be a colour associated with any of the competing nations. The striking pleated skirt was chosen to ensure that the dress was recognisable to the audience when it emerged from the helicopter. In the tome - released today by the Royal Collection to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year - Kelly takes readers behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace's dressmaking headquarters, revealing the extensive amount of time and planning that goes into each of the monarch's outfits. "The preparations for the Diamond Jubilee began in earnest in 2010, when I started to research and purchase fabrics," wrote Kelly. "But since the Queen is frugal and very aware of costs, I was keen to use fabrics from our stockroom, some of which date back to 1961 and before." The dressmaker has also disclosed other royal style secrets, such as how the Queen taught her to "squeeze" a fabric sample to test how badly it creases before deciding to use it, or how hemlines of coats and dresses should be weighed down to avoid any embarrassment in windy conditions. In this unique publication Angela Kelly tells the story of the creation of Her Majestys Diamond Jubilee wardrobe. The reader is taken behind the scenes to explore how The Queens concern to be seen by as many people as possible on public engagements and consideration for her hosts influence the design of what she wears. The book follows the entire creative process, from initial sketches and fabric swatches to the completed outfit with accessories, and celebrates the many remarkable highlights of the Diamond Jubilee year. Hardback, in English, 144 pages, 24x30 cm, all colour photographs.

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