Big Bucks Fashion: New Buckingham Palace Exhibit Showcases 18th Century Style

Glittering gowns of improbable proportions. Gravity defying updos that expand like marshmallows in a microwave. An obsession with implausibly pearly grins that are anything but God-given.

Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians exhibit at Buckingham Palace in London

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023

We’re not talking about celebrities strutting their stuff at New York’s Met Gala or the latest film debut. Rather, these are some of the 18th century trends highlighted in Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians, a new exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London.


Chelsea, London: Live Like a King–or Rock Royalty

Few countries possess a flair for pomp and pageantry quite like Great Britain. While gilded carriages and ermine-trimmed robes are only trotted out for the most magnificent occasions, like the coronation of King Charles III or the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, Chelsea–one of the poshest post codes in London–boasts spectacular styles, sleek supercars, and famous personalities in perpetuity.

Musical legends, including The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix, reigned supreme here in the Swinging Sixties, and Chelsea-based designers like the late greats Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood altered the fashion landscape forever.

Read more about how to roll like the Stones–or blue-blooded royalty–in my story in GoWorldTravel.

Vivienne Westwood is memorialized in a mural on Chelsea’s King’s Road. She gained renown for her punk and “New Romantic” fashions of the 70s and 80s. © Amy Laughinghouse

Brandy and Cheese? Yes, Please!

Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie, circa 2003. Banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. Burnt orange and avocado green colour schemes. And cheekless chaps…made of corduroy.

This world has borne witness to some cringe-worthy combinations over the years—although it’s possible I invented that last example. (Coming soon to a runway near you?)

But sometimes, unexpected hook-ups are surprisingly satisfying. No, I’m not referring to that no-regrets Tinder night with Mr. Wrong that felt oh so (swipe) right. I’m talking about—brace yourself—brandy and cheese.

XO and VSOP brandy with cheese

Courtesy Clementine Communications

Sure, you’ve probably sipped wine with a rough and ready chunk of cheddar or nibbled pecorino with port. Historically, however, brandy does not fraternize with fromage.

man holding tray of brandy

Now, that looks like a well-balanced meal.

But at one memorable Thameside event hosted by spirits experts Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison, my eyes were opened and my palette popped—thanks to St. Rémy’s master blender, Cécile Roudaut, who was there to prove that she isn’t afraid to rock the boat while basting tastebuds. (more…)