Kate Strasdin

Fellowship Year: 


Project Title: 

A Royal Wardrobe Unlocked: Queen Alexandra, 1863 – 1910

Alexandra Princess of Wales and later Queen Consort, was one of the most photographed women of her generation. Feted for her style she used clothes to negotiate her way through a fifty year royal career, dressing appropriately but also powerfully for her role. She recognised early on that clothes could influence the public perception of her and she dressed diplomatically throughout her period of influence. This project takes an object led approach to Alexandra’s life through the study of her surviving garments, alongside archival collections, underscoring the valuable addition material culture makes to biographical analysis.

The ROM holds the third-largest collection of these garments in the world.. As a Gervers fellow, Dr. Strasdin was able to continue her research on the extant garments associated with Queen Alexandra, and paint a fuller view of her life through the clothes that she wore.

About the Fellow: 

Dr. Strasdin completed her MA in History of Textiles and Dress at the Textile Conservation Centre, Winchester School of Art (now the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, University of Glasgow), studying the dress of early female mountaineers. During her time as a Gervers’ fellow, Dr. Strasdin was in her fifth year of PhD study, working on analyses of surviving garments belonging to Queen Alexandra, in addition to working as an assistant curator of the Devonshire Collection of Period Costume in Totnes, Devon and teaching History and Theory of Dress at University College, Falmouth, Cornwall.

Related Publications: 

Strasdin, Kate. Inside the Royal Wardrobe: A Dress History of Queen Alexandra. Bloomsbury: 2017.

“Queen Alexandra: Behind the Seams, an interview with Kate Strasdin.” Interview on Dressed: The History of Fashion podcast. 12 June 2018. https://www.dressedpodcast.com/podcasts/queen-alexandra-behind-the-seams...

Lecture on A Royal Wardrobe at Falmouth https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/FTILectures/dr-kate-strasdin

Authored by: Kait Sykes

Authored by: Kait Sykes