From ballgowns designed for Elizabeth the Queen Mother to red carpet creations worn by celebrities like Elizabeth Hurley, "Ballgowns: British Glamour" is an exclusive exhibition showcased by the Victoria & Albert Museum that is scheduled to start from 19 May.
The exhibition will be featured in the newly renovated fashion galleries within the museum and will display 60 years of stylish evening wear. The event will feature more than sixty designs for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights.
Eveningwear from the V&A's vast collection, by designers including Victor Stiebel, Zandra Rhodes, Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan, will be on show alongside dresses fresh from the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Erdem and Jenny Packham.
According to a report on the museum's Web site, since the mid-20th century, the occasions for wearing formal attire have evolved from the private event to the public parade. In the 1950s the London season was still organised around established events such as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball. Towards the end of the century, as these traditions became less important, events such as the Charity Ball provided a new arena for displaying extravagant evening wear. Today it is the red carpet and celebrity gala that showcases the gowns of glamorous women.
A selection of royal ballgowns will be on display, including a Norman Hartnell gown designed for Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as Princess Diana's state dresses and gowns worn by today's young royals. The show will also include dresses worn by actresses and celebrities including Elizabeth Hurley, Bianca Jagger and Sandra Bullock and a stunning metallic leather dress created especially for the exhibition by innovative designer Gareth Pugh.
Apart from this, special attractions for the event include a gown created by couture designer Victor Edelstein and worn by Lady Heseltine, a state evening ensemble "Elvis Dress" for Princess Diana by Catherine Walker and a silk, satin and beaded "Rumina" gown by high-end designer Erdem.
Get a glimpse of the exclusive exhibits in this slideshow