As the latest unofficial installation in the ongoing 2012 celebration of All Things British, London’s Victoria & Albert museum hosts an exhibit on ballgowns in fashion entitled British Glamour Since 1950. Open long after the Olympics are over (January 6, 2013 to be exact), this selection of over 60 designs created for a rich array of social events including private parties, royal balls, state dinners and opening premiers serves as a comprehensive survey of English eveningwear from the 1950s through today. Including everything from unlabeled finds to pieces by distinctly Britain-based designers both living and late like Zandra Rhodes, Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Mary Katranzou, and even Gareth Pugh, the exhibition is an exercise in scale and material, as the larger-than-life creations feature dramatic silhouettes in fabrics from taffeta to metallic leather.
Through January 6, 2013. All photos © David Hughes, viewable in the exhibition catalogue.
Elizabeth Emmanuel, 1999. Worn by Elizabeth Hurley for an Estée Lauder ad.
Unlabeled, 1950s. Synthetic.
Victor Edelstein, 1986. Worn by Lady Anne Heseltine.
Zandra Rhodes, 1981. Worn by the designer herself to the opening of London’s Barbican Centre in 1982.
Alexander McQueen, 2010. From the last collection before his passing.
Mary Katranzou, 2011.
Giles Deacon, 2007.
Gareth Pugh, 2011. Created especially for the V&A.