A collection of costumes, made by esteemed British designer Sandy Powell for the 2019 film The Favourite, have gone on display at Blenheim Palace as part of a new exhibition, ‘Battlefields & Baroque’, a retrospective celebrating the life of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
The pieces, which are historical representations of period dress made with modern fabrics, will be held at the residency for the public to enjoy until 19 June.
Powell, who has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design 15 times, winning three awards for the films Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Aviator (2004), and The Young Victoria (2009), chose the monochrome style of black and white for the court characters in The Favourite, in order to differentiate them from the outside world.
The film, which was based on Queen Anne’s escapades at court, starred Olivia Colman as the monarch (who won an Oscar for her performance) and Rachel Weisz as Sarah, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, alongside Mark Gatiss as Churchill.
Queen Anne gifted the duke his title following his victories over Louis XIV in 1697, which ‘forever changed the face of Europe’. However, the duke fell out of favour with the sovereign due to his supposed scheming at court, and was exiled from the country, only to return safely after her death in 1714.
According to letters and diaries accumulated from the period, Churchill married his wife Sarah for love, despite the traditional concept of marriage as being largely a business transaction aimed at optimising power and wealth.
The costumes will be displayed alongside 18th-century armour, instruments, maps, documents and artefacts from the Blenheim archive.
The palace, which is the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of ‘palace’, is currently the stately seat owned by the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.
The exhibition will run from now until 19 June 2022. For more information visit blenheimpalace.com
Source: tatler.com – Costumes from multi-award-winner The Favourite go on display at Blenheim Palace