Royal School of Needlework

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Home > New Embellishment in Fashion Exhibition

Embellishment in Fashion Exhibition - Booking Essential

We are delighted to announce that our new exhibition Embellishment in Fashion opens at Hampton Court Palace this September and

tour bookings are now open.

Throughout the years, both professional and amateur dressmakers have used embroidery and beading to embellish garments and accessories. This exciting new display from the RSN’s unique Textile Collection captures the style and versatility of embroidery and embellishment from the 18th to 20th centuries.  It will showcase a wide range of pieces from blouses and men’s waistcoats to purses, gloves and shoes. 

All visitors must pre-book.


There are different Tour options to suit all interests including Talk & Tours, Tour & Taster workshops; as well as Curator’s Tours that include rare insights to additional pieces from the RSN Collection.  We also offer bespoke Group Tours.  Tours start from £16 per person and the exhibition runs until March 2018.  

To view a diverse range of fashion pieces spanning 200 years, Book online here or contact Natalie Thew by email / tel: +44(0) 20 3166 6939.   

The exhibition is in the RSN’s Embroidery Studio at Hampton Court Palace and only open on set days, so pre-booking is essential.

Embellishment in Fashion is curated by the RSN’s Chief Executive Dr Susan Kay-Williams and Dr Clare Rose, an international expert in the history of fashion and Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies on the RSN’s Degree Course.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams said: “Whether a garment is covered with embroidery, affecting the complete look or it features a scattering of beading to achieve a more subtle, elegant finish, it is wonderful to see how embroidery and embellishment have influenced fashion through the years.  The traditional art of embroidery is in vogue and continues to influence fashion in the modern world, which helps to ensure this skilled technique continues to be passed on to new generations.”

These give the opportunity to view our fabulous Exhibition followed by a taster hand embroidery session inspired by the exhibition itself. Commencing at 11am in the morning with an illustrated talk, a senior member of staff will share fascinating historical facts and information about the Royal School of Needlework.  Visitors will then have the opportunity to view the exquisite pieces in the Exhibition. In the afternoon, the taster class will introduce you to a variety of embroidery stitches and techniques guided by our expert RSN Tutors, the class will finish at 4pm.
We also offer Family Talk & Tours on select dates in the year. These Tours begin with a brief introduction to the RSN and the Exhibition, followed by a Taster embroidery session for the children.

Information and how to book:

  • The exhibition is held in the RSN Studios at Hampton Court Palace.
  • Talk & Tours take place on set dates throughout the month
  • Each Talk & Tour features a presentation and a guided tour of the exhibition
  • Individuals and Groups are welcome

Talk & Tours

Talk & Tours £16

Tour & Taster from £75

Curator's Tours £22

For details call
T: +44 (0)20 3166 6939 (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday only)


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