Making an entrance – ocean liner style

The 'grande descente', or grand staircase, was a classic design feature of the 20th-century ocean liner. For many passengers the highlight of each day at sea was the theatrical descent from the upper decks into the dining room, where they could see and be seen in their most elegant eveningwear.

Find out how we recreated the experience of the 'grande descente', complete with three glamorous fashion ensembles – typical of those worn onboard in the 1920s, for the exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style (3 February – 17 June 2018).

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