Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

McQueen, Westwood, Rhodes, Saunders; the V&A’s upcoming exhibition Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 celebrates the best in British ballgown design.

Erdem Autumn/Winter 2008

Source: David Hughes

Erdem Autumn/Winter 2008

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.

Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London, 2011

Source: Carlos Jimenez, V and A Images

Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London, 2011

Traditional 50s ballgowns will be exhibited alongside contemporary dresses by Stella McCartney, Victor Stiebel, Catherine Walker and Erdem.

Worth of London

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Worth of London

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.

Alexander McQueen  Spring/Summer 2011

Source: Christopher Moore, catwalking.com

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2011

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.

State evening ensemble 'Elvis Dress' , Catherine Walker 1989

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

State evening ensemble ‘Elvis Dress’ , Catherine Walker 1989

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.

Victor Edelstein 1986

Source: David Hughes

Victor Edelstein 1986

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will run from May 19  – January 6 2013 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7

Hide Comments (1)Show Comments (1)
Comments
  • Gwynneth Carville November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    wow an exhibition not to miss. I have been working on a sketchbook of fashion dresses, inspired by the womanly silhouette of the 50’s over the past few weeks. I will have to visit though either well before or after the Olympics !! I might come with the students too – I teach at The Manchester College.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.