If you haven’t yet hop-footed it down to the V&A this summer, and you call yourself a fashion fan, then where exactly have you been? Not only have the long-standing Fashion Galleries been revitalised and remodeled, boasting an amazing array of fashions from the last few hundred years (seriously, I doubt even Victoria Beckham could fit in some of the 19th Century corsetry on display), but the ‘Ballgowns: British glamour Since 1950’ exhibition has proudly opened up along side it.
Running until the 6th January 2013 (so you still have time people!) the exhibition spans 60 years of strong British design, and proudly boasts an eclectic collection of ballgowns (and one token jumpsuit if you can spot it) that have attended some of the most prestigious events in society. We are talking proper dresses too. Like the kind you fantasise about wearing as a child playing dress up and imagining you are Cinderella. While the collection features outfits worn by the Queen Mother, Princess Diana and other (less famous) royalty, dresses by Vivienne Westwood to Peter Worth litter the ground floor, while the upstairs Mezzanine holds more modern delights.
And this is where is gets really exciting (and shiny). With designers now being as, if not more famous than the movie stars and shlebs who get sewn in to their creations, the ballgowns of the 21st century are really something to behold. Hussien Chalayan, Erdem, Mark Fast, Craig Lawrence and Jenny Packham all have their masterpieces displayed along side Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon and a specially designed Gareth Pugh creation produced purely for the V&A. Oh, ff only these dresses could talk! So, if you have not yet visited the exhibition, take an hour out of your schedule and go and be dazzled by our country’s incredible designer talent, old and new.