Fit for a Queen

Ending soon at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis is an exhibit of Queen Silvia’s Nobel Gowns. Queen Silvia is a beautiful woman, very active in charities supporting children. Silvia Sommerlath wed King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden in 1976, shortly after he ascended the throne.

The gowns shown date from the 70s to today. The variety of cuts and styles vary — Queen Silvia looks good in many styles. Pictures of her wearing the gowns, with the requisite sash and her crown and brooches, are with each gown. The fabrics were astounding (often silk), and it would have been wonderful to be able to touch them. I always find it especially hard with textiles, so often have my hands behind my back or in my pockets so I don’t forget. One of the docents came over while I was leaning as close as I decently could to see details, and said that before the show opened, the volunteers were able to walk around all the dresses and look closely.

Several had beading and embroidery. This one (when the docent came over – link unavailable post-show) has great sculpted and beaded flowers on the front of the skirt and the sleeves. The bodice of this one (link unavailable post-show) was completely beaded with pearls (I believe glass pearls). The skirt has scattered pearls and crystals, and it’s not just on the top layer, but on the layers beneath. I’m very partial to red — this dress (link unavailable post-show) is stunning.

The pictures are likely too small to see, but one of the crowns that Queen Silvia is wearing in the pictures has cameos at the points. The necklace she wore with the two pictures I noticed her wearing the cameo crown was three cameos connected by multiple strings of pearls. I believe that the cameos were all different.

There was also a table set with the place settings used at the Nobel dinner, and descriptions of what the event is like, the progression of events. If you go through the slide show, take a look at the surroundings too. The Turnblad mansion is the home of the American Swedish Institute, and very beautiful. I am particularly taken with the sunroom. I can’t find any pictures of it on the ASI website — you’ll just have to trust me that it’s wonderful.

9/30 – The American Swedish Institute removed the images from their website when the show closed.  Sorry!

Leave a Reply