Sunday, 20 May 2012

You shall go to the Ball




Beaded silk satin gown by Norman Hartnell, 1953. Given by Lilli Palmer


Satin and flocked tulle gown by Vivienne Westwood. Created for Lady Bianca Job-Tyoran to wear to Queen Charlotte's Ball, 1994.


Gown by Victor Edelstein, 1986. Worn and given by Lady Heseltine.


State evening ensemble 'Elvis Dress' for Princess Diana by Catherine Walker, 1989.


‘The Carwash Dress’, Giles Deacon, 2007


Yuki Torimaru, 1976


Gareth Pugh , 2011

From debutantes and royalty to charity balls and the red carpet, Ballgowns: British glamour since 1950 charts 60 years of stylish evening wear. The exhibition highlights the styles, silhouettes and colours that have been perennial favourites for many years.

Since the mid-20th century, the occasions for wearing formal attire have evolved from the private event to the public parade. In the 1950s the London season was still organised around established events such as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball.

Towards the end of the century, as these traditions became less important, events such as the charity ball provided a new arena for displaying extravagant evening wear. Today it is the red carpet and celebrity gala that showcase the gowns of glamorous women.

For the most part, ballgowns have stood apart from fashion, while occasionally reflecting current developments in the fashion world. Yet they remain objects of fascination. The luxurious fabrics, intricate work and fine finish demonstrate the skill of British designers in creating dresses that convey splendour and spectacle.
Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950, which opened yesterday, is at the Victoria and Albert museum until 6th January 2013.

11 comments:

  1. I'm totally swooning over the Victor Edelstein gown....but Im sure a pinch of gin is helping also!

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    Replies
    1. It's made for you, dear! And you could hide a whole flagon of gin under that bow... Jx

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  2. Let me just cinch my waist in a tad more and I'm good to go.

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    Replies
    1. Just a tad, dear? Jx

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    2. Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm too tightly bound to smack you. Dear.

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    3. Not while wearing Lady Bianca Job-Tyoran's cast-offs! Jx

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  3. I tend to use the last one for those darn parental meetings...

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    Replies
    1. Scare the living daylights out of the mums and dads! Jx

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  4. Replies
    1. A little outing to London afoot, BEB? Jx

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  5. Very tempting, I must admit..........xxx

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