Curated by Oriole Cullen and Sonnet Stanfill, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 runs from May 19. The gallery hopes the exhibition will show how ballgowns went from being worn at private events to charity galas to being on display to the public at red carpet events.
Traditional 50s ballgowns will be exhibited alongside contemporary dresses by Stella McCartney, Victor Stiebel, Catherine Walker and Erdem.
Worn by celebrities at awards ceremonies, fashion models on couture runways and royalty at galas – previous owners of the dresses on display include Princess Diana, Kate Moss and Elizabeth Hurley.
The exhibition has been designed by Emily Pugh with a team of freelancers such as the architect Tom Elliott. They are using images, video clips and fashion accessories to add context to the dresses.
The V&A want the main gallery space to evoke a country manor and the mezzanine level to reflect the glamour of a red carpet event with dramatic pavillions and giant pearls.
Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will run from May 19 – January 6 2013 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7