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Jan 7, 2014

Fashion Field Trip: A Queen Within

I recently visited the World Chess Hall of Fame in the Central West End to see their current exhibition, “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess." While the exhibit has been open since October of last year, I thought it merited a post on BombPop in case people had not heard about it or, like me, found time to check it out. The exhibit will be open through mid-April, but hurry! You do not want to miss the opportunity to see this amazing collection of avant-garde designs created by some of the biggest names in fashion and worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.

The Mother Earth Queen

The various types of queen explored in the exhibit (Sage, Mother Figure, Magician, Enchantress, Explorer, Ruler, Mother Earth, Heroine and Thespian) are presented in colorful, whimsical tableaus, which are further enhanced by artwork and sculptures (including fabulous bespoke wigs) commissioned specifically for the show.

The Enchantress Queen
The idea for "A Queen Within" originated from the work of Alexander McQueen, and designs from his label make up the majority of the clothing on display. The McQueen pieces are fabulous and worth the price of admission on their own. If I had to pick a favorite garment in the show, it might be the sequined cocktail dress adorned with the face of his late muse and confidante, Isabella Blow.

Alexander McQueen
Other designers featured include Gianfranco Ferré, Gucci, Hussein Chalayan, Iris van Herpen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Martin Margiela, and Viktor & Rolf.

The Thespian Queen wears the "Swiss cheese" dress by Viktor & Rolf.
This beautiful exhibition really makes you think about what it means to be a queen, or a woman. How much of a woman's power is related to the clothing she wears? What does a queen look or act like? What kind of queen are you?

“A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess,” runs through April 18 at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland, 314-367-9243, worldchesshof.org). Admission is $10, $5 for students.

Pictures from the World Chess Hall of Fame.

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