It’s a big year for Britain, with both the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. To mark the occasion the V&A museum is pulling out all the stops with their latest fashion exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950. Yesterday I visited the V&A’s newly renovated fashion galleries (which, to me, looked exactly the same as they always did) for a preview of the Ballgowns exhibition.
The exhibition is split into two sections: downstairs you find your traditional ballgowns, with designs by the likes of Norman Hartnell and Worth of London, then upstairs you’re treated to three magnificent domes filled with red carpet dresses. Shailene Woodley’s Met Gala dress, designed by Christopher Kane is there, as is the Jenny Packham number Sandra Bullock wore to the 2011 Golden Globes.
A few of the designs on display are very recent runway pieces (my favourite look from Mary Katrantzou’s A/W 2011 collection is featured, as is a piece from Holly Fulton’s A/W 2011 line) so you’ll definitely spot something you recognise. The modern section of the exhibition is also arranged so that you can walk around the designs and view the pieces from all angles, which is a nice touch. Personally I felt it upstaged the traditional gowns, which weren’t displayed in such a spectacular or imaginative fashion. It’s a shame, as they are just as show-stopping.