“A Queen Within”

Inside the World Chess Hall of Fame’s Exhibition Preview in NYC


When the World Chess Hall of Fame approached ALIVE to attend an exclusive NYC preview of the upcoming “A Queen Within” exhibition, we were there in a New York minute.



Amidst an elite crowd of national and international fashion influencers, ALIVE co-founder and publisher Elizabeth Tucker joined the likes of Vanity Fair, Women’s Wear Daily, InStyle and others for a sneak peek of the groundbreaking exhibition that debuts in St. Louis Oct. 19. The high-profile event teased curator Sofia Hedman’s unique concept of using designer garments to explore the personas of the queen archetype in chess. Among the pieces previewed were Alexander McQueen’s Annabel Lee poem coat with prose by Edgar Allen Poe, Hussein Chalayan’s 2007 bubble dress and the snake dress from Iris van Herpen.

In response to Hedman’s quote that “The queen is the most unpredictable piece, so we wanted to have quite unpredictable designers in the exhibition,” InStyle wrote, “Mission accomplished.” Likewise, Interview Magazine said, “Like any good queen, the exhibit was equal parts logic and beauty.”

With so much fanfare, the star-studded list of preview attendees comes as no surprise. Actress Radha Mitchell, ABC’s Deborah Roberts, CFDA’s Steven Kolb, fashion historian Valerie Steele, Decades’ Cameron Silver, fashion blogger and STL native Derek Blasberg, New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis and McQueen’s muse Annabelle Neilson all made appearances. Equally impressive was the list of St. Louisans who made the trip to support Executive Director Susan Barrett and the World Chess Hall of Fame, including fashion influencers Susan Sherman, Tania Beasley-Jolly, Atul Kamra,Kelly Malone, Peggy Reilly Tharp, Sam Foxman, Jimmy Jamieson, Matt Strauss, Kevin Glazer, Jan Goldstein, Helene Sayad, Allyson Mace, Phil Slein, Kitty Ratcliffe, Laura Reeves, Amanda Cook, Kelly Peck, Emily Koplar and Anjali Kamra.

“Here we were, in the middle of an A-list fashion crowd‰ÛÓincluding AmyFine Collins, Simon Doonan, Nadja Swarovski,Cameron Silver, Nicole Miller and many others‰ÛÓand all were totally enchanted by the mini exhibition, as well as the idea of chess in general,” says Susan Sherman, project manager for the exhibition and surrounding events. “I think the show is going to blow people away by combining chess and fashion in a very unexpected way. This exhibition is of international caliber that any museum would be proud of‰ÛÓit’s yet another chance for St. Louis to shine.”

Check out the ALIVE photo galleries for pictures from the red carpet and the preview.


Photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky

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