Icons of British Fashion exhibition “first of its kind” at Blenheim Palace

Fashion fans will soon be able to visit an exhibition celebrating some of Britain’s best-loved designers at Blenheim Palace.

Opening next month, the Icons of British Fashion exhibition will showcase works by Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Temperley London and Stella McCartney – among many others – until 30 June 2024.

Blenheim Palace

Each room along the 300-year-old palace’s visitor route will pay homage to a British fashion icon, starting in the Great Hall with designs on display by the late Dame Vivienne Westwood and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler.

Alice Temperley

The Icons of British Fashion exhibition will continue through the palace where visitors can marvel at the highly visual exhibition dramatically lit and displayed among the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s own priceless collections.

Other designers and brands in the line-up include Jean Muir, Terry de Havilland, Turnbull & Asser, Bruce Oldfield, Barbour, Lulu Guinness and Stephen Jones Millinery for Christian Dior.

Lulu Guinness campaign

Kate Ballenger, keeper of palace and collections, comments: “This exhibition is the first of its kind at Blenheim and will be our biggest to date. Visitors will not only be able to experience the palace in a new way but also discover more about the remarkable British fashion design industry.

“The exhibition is the first time this iconic group of designers will be shown together, against the backdrop of our amazing State Rooms. The juxtaposition of the designer’s vision against the beautiful palace and collection will provide a visual feast for our visitors.

Viviene Westwood runway

“We are so grateful that these amazing designers all agreed to support the exhibition. From the moment we first approached them, the level of engagement and enthusiasm from each designer or brand has been incredible.

“The designers are some of the most talented and iconic in the world – so it was not a difficult decision. Their contribution to British Fashion is undeniable. It has however been wonderful to see how supportive they are of each other.

Zandra Rhodes

“From the beginning we hoped that each designer would choose their own area and essentially ‘take over’. Each designer was encouraged to visit the Palace (if they had not previously been) and chose the room that they felt inspired by. We had an egalitarian approach of ‘first come, first served’ and it has fortunately worked out perfectly – they have all made themselves at home in their space.”

Zandra Rhodes

The exhibition coincides with a national campaign honouring the 150-year anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s birth. Visitors will also be able to see an original Churchill Siren Suit from Turnbull & Asser, as well as a new take on the iconic boiler suit and a smoking cap designed by Steven Jones. 

Admission to the Icons of British Fashion exhibition will be free with any valid Blenheim Palace ticket including Palace, Park and Gardens, Annual Pass or a Privilege Pass.

Find more information about the exhibition and book tickets here.