Wednesday, 16 May 2012

V&A Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950 - exhibition preview

Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London
For anyone who doesn't quite see the appeal of vintage, just one trip to the V&A's new exhibition will win them over. 'Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950', previewed last night within the gorgeous surroundings of the renovated Fashion Galleries, is a celebration of fashion that transcends the decades. This exhibition gives you a wealth of inspiration for looks that will never go out of style with beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers. 
Nicholas Oakwell Couture
More than sixty designs from the 1950s to the present day, for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights, are displayed over two floors. Tour de force eveningwear from the V&A’s vast collection by designers such as Norman Hartnell, Victor Stiebel, Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker, Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan are on show, as well as dresses fresh from the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen, Giles, Erdem, Roksanda Illincic, Mark Fast and Jenny Packham. Innovative designer Gareth Pugh has created a stunning metallic leather dress especially for the exhibition.
Erdem AW2008
A selection of royal ballgowns are displayed, including a Norman Hartnell gown designed for Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Diana’s ‘Elvis Dress’ designed by Catherine Walker and gowns worn by today’s young royals. Dresses worn by actresses and celebrities including Sandra Bullock, Daphne Guinness, Elizabeth Hurley and Bianca Jagger are also shown.

The exhibition takes place in the V&A’s new Fashion Galleries space and is open to the public from 19 May 2012 – 6 January 2013, daily 10.00 – 17.45 and until 22.00 every Friday. Tickets are £10 (concessions available), although V&A Members go free. For advance bookings visit (booking fee applies).

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