At the weekend the Victoria and Albert Museum launched its latest fashion exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, in its newly renovated V&A fashion galleries. The exhibit, which runs until January 6, 2013, features more than 60 dresses worn and designed by fashion's most famous faces, and includes designs dating back as early as the Fifties.
The exhibition is displayed over two floors within the redesigned fashion gallery, which has undergone architectural renovation by 6a Architects, who have restored the gallery’s original Edwardian domed architecture that provides a sense of grandeur, ambience and light, as well as adding more than 400 sq mt of display space.
Downstairs features the more traditional ballgowns worn by royalty and pieces from the V&A archives, and the mezzanine level features a stylised ballroom space, with around 30 evening gowns designed by contemporary UK-based designers on display. This space features dresses by Vivienne Westwood, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Giles Deacon, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, as well as specially commissioned gowns including a metallic leather dress designed by Gareth Pugh.
Alongside the new exhibition, the museum has opened a new fashion shop, which will feature trend-driven fashion, accessories, designer exclusives and select fashion titles, as well as V&A’s own publications. The fashion shop also includes a fitting room, which is thought to be the first within a museum retail environment, so customers can try on the V&A’s own range of dresses, t-shirts and jackets.
Images: V&A Images