The Royal Armoury at the Royal Palace of Stockholm is best known for its historic collections of items belonging to famous dead kings with glorified pasts at various battlefields, but in 2011 they are putting some spotlight on the more recent history and topics that fit with the times we live in now.
Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending the opening and preview of their first new exhibition of this year, “Manligt – ur Gustaf V:s garderob” (“Masculine – From Gustaf V:s Wardrobe”), putting the focus on the royal fashion of King Gustaf V (1858-1950, king 1907-1950). He was the first uncrowned king since the mid-Middle Ages, the last Swedish monarch to yield important political powers and a tennis player commonly known as Mr G or V-Gurra.
The statement “the clothes makes the man” was the starting point of putting this exhibition together and it shows the gentleman’s fashion of the early 20th century as well as the clothes, accessories and hobbies that created the King’s image as a man and a royal. And this was during a time when the role of the monarch and the royals began to take a completely new form; leaping world events took place and the modern Swedish society took shape.
Some of King Gustaf’s suits, well known from the official studio portraits he posed for, are on display together with exclusive accessories like cufflinks, suspenders, ties and handkerchiefs. There is also a big vanity bag for travels, a silk umbrella with his monogram and engraved accessories for his (in those days) very royal smoking habit. On display is also one of the King’s famous tennis outfits consisting of matching shirt, tie, cardigan, trousers and shoes. And from his automobile interest comes a special gabardine coat.
One piece that raised my eyebrow was an oriental-looking dressing gown in silk with matching slippers in red calfskin. Not exactly something I can imagine that Sweden’s present head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf, would walk around in during mornings and evenings at Drottningholm Palace.
Well, without further ado, I end this with some of my own photos from the event….