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Fit for a Queen: Dialogues on the Art of Arab Fashion with Curator Melissa Leventon

Queen Sirikit, Queen Mother of Thailand, is considered to be one of the most beautiful, stylish, and best-dressed women in the world. In this conversation with Dr Reem El Mutwalli, fashion historian, Melissa Leventon, author of Fit for a Queen discussed her book paying tribute to the wardrobe created by French designer Pierre Balmain for the Queen’s royal visit to USA and Europe in 1960. She discussed the collection, now housed at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok, the design process, details about the individual designs, and the public’s reaction to the wardrobe. The webinar discussion was held 2nd February 2021, below is an excerpt from the this informative discussion that we hope readers will enjoy.

For more the full discussion, The Zay Initiative and how you can register for their upcoming webinars, visit:

The Zay Initiative is a non-profit, UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. Their goal is to empower and sustain global cross cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds.


Melissa Leventon was Curator of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from 1992–2002. She now works as an independent consultant specializing in costumes and textiles with the Curatix Group, which she founded in 2000. For more on her services, visit:


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