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Look of the Week: Courtney Love Channels Punk Princess Vibes at London’s National Portrait Gallery

(Credits: Yahoo News Singapore)

On a glamorous evening at London’s National Portrait Gallery, a star-studded guest list graced the regal halls for the museum’s inaugural fundraising Gala since its extensive three-year renovation culminated in 2023.

Against the backdrop of 18th-century portraiture, luminaries such as former British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, renowned artist Tracey Emin, and Dame Kristen Scott Thomas, now both a Miu Miu catwalk model and a BAFTA Award-winning actor, dazzled in their elegant attire, adhering to the evening’s dress code of “glamour.”

While many attendees from the upper echelons of the British creative scene opted to showcase homegrown labels, including Erdem worn by Alexa Chung and a satin, off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood number chosen by TV presenter Maya Jama, one might expect a California native to feel out of place.

Yet, Hole singer Courtney Love certainly embraced the occasion with flair. Departing from the London Fashion Week norms, Love resurrected a name from fashion history and arrived in arguably the most spectacular gown of the evening.

National Portrait Gallery *Credits: Bloomberg)Clad in a cascading ensemble of gray silk duchess satin and black tulle, Love embodied the essence of punk royalty amidst the splendor of St. Martin’s Place.

Her breathtaking gown, a custom creation by Elizabeth Emanuel, renowned as Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer, was a variation on Emanuel’s iconic “Marie Antoinette” frock, which Love had admired in a recent issue of Tatler magazine. Reimagined in a darker palette for heightened drama, the gown featured crystal appliques adorning the waist and a corset intricately boned and laced in black.

The pièce de résistance of Love’s ensemble was undoubtedly the bustle skirt silhouette, meticulously hand-draped by Emanuel, exuding an air of grown-up sophistication intertwined with princess-like allure. Reflecting on the gown, Emanuel described the effect as both mature and regal, encapsulating Love’s distinctive style while paying homage to historical elegance.

Portrait Gallery (Credits: Britannica)

Emanuel, whose acclaim soared after crafting Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown in 1981, has cemented her place in fashion history. The pearl-embellished, ivory taffeta masterpiece, adorned with ’80s puff sleeves and a 25-foot train, remains a timeless symbol of sartorial excellence.

In June 2021, four decades after its debut, the iconic dress was showcased at Diana’s former residence in Kensington Palace, immortalizing its place in the annals of fashion lore.

Later that night, Love was found playing music as a DJ, full of excitement. She had a ripped tulle sleeve, probably from getting caught while she was really into her performance. This showed how much energy and unstoppable spirit she had, truly making her feel like a princess loved by everyone.

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