The V&A’s Best British Ballgowns

A few sneaky pictures from the pre-Best British Ballgowns exhibition in the Victoria & Albert museum. Taken on my iPhone, excuse the so-so quality. After turning up after four pm one day, we were told that tickets were no longer being sold for the main exhibition. After coming all that way and catching a glimpse of the stunning gowns in the main exhibition hall, there was no question as to whether we would come back the next day. We were however, allowed into the free fashion exhibitions, which is what I have here. With a range of fashion’s greatest and most iconic styles and trends from the 1800s right up to seventies Biba, the V&A showed why they are renowned for their fashion exhibitions. Without a doubt, my favourite pieces were the 1920s Flapper Girls and the vintage sequined Chanel jumpsuit.

After returning to the museum the next day – this time it wasn’t even an option for me to whip out my iPhone due to the burly security people doing the rounds – the main exhibition, i.e. the real deal Best British Ballgowns, was smaller and more exclusive, but no less stunning. Featuring contemporary creations for the most part, some immediately identifiable – Princess Diana’s pearl-encrusted dress and bolero for example – to those never-before-seen creations from altogether fantastic designers, I could have walked around what was a relatively small space for hours on end. Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane, Roksanda Illincic, Erdem, Chanel, Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Lanvin were just some of the major designers on display throughout the main exhibition. Running until January 2013, I’ll be making a trip again.


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