V&A Museum Opens Fashion Gallery With Ballgown Extravaganza

V&A museum reopens the doors to it’s grand domed Fashion Gallery on Saturday with Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, an exhibition of more than 60 ballgowns from the 1950’s to today.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he V&A museum reopens the doors to it’s grand domed Fashion Gallery on Saturday with Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, an exhibition of more than 60 ballgowns from the 1950’s to today.

Such spectacular creations, once worn by young maidens at their coming out balls, at post-war Britain’s lavish balls, and later in the 1980’s at fashionable charity balls, are today more popular for red carpets and cat walks. Providing much glossy magazine fodder for the rest of us making do with rentals or high street copy’s for our special occasions. Now V&A are inviting us to lust after such opulence in the flesh, with headline making pieces such as Princess Diana’s ‘Elvis Dress’ and gowns worn by Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Hurley and Bianca Jagger. According to V&A, “There is a strong British design tradition of creating sumptuous ballgowns, one that has been upheld in the late 20th and 21st centuries through the work of designers such as Hardy Amies, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. The exhibition covers more than 60 years of a tradition that continues to flourish.”

Ballgowns is largely made up of pieces from the V&A’s collection, also designated as the UK’s National Collection, and has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of dress in the world. Covering two floors, the exhibition shows old and current designs for social events such as royal state occasions, debutante balls, opening nights, catwalk shows and red carpet events by a range of  designers from Ossie Clark and Catherine Walker to Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou. Innovative designer Gareth Pugh has created a stunning metallic leather dress especially for the exhibition. Expect some spectacular features such as a stylised ‘ballroom’ space with around 30 evening gowns on open display under spectacular pavilions surrounded by oversized pearls, and unusual interpretations such as a latex gown by Atsuko Kudo. It’s enough to make me want to repeat my freshers ball, but this time with a Vivienne Westwood on, and no puking.

You can own your own piece of Great British Fashion for just £6 by way of a Royal Mail stamp set. Commissioned by the V&A, it includes designs from Hardy Amies and Vivienne Westwood, see below.

Vivienne Westwood
Victoria and Albert Museum – 19 May 2012 – 6 January 2013

Mothers Day: Nostalgic Photo’s Of Mums In My Family

I remember looking through old photo’s as a kid and being so in awe of how polished and glamorous my Mum, Granny and Grandma looked, and moaning at my mum for not keeping more of her clothes to hand down to me and my sister.

As it’s Mothers Day on Sunday I wanted to celebrate the style of the Mothers in my family. I remember looking through old photo’s as a kid and being so in awe of how polished and glamorous my Mum, Granny and Grandma looked, and moaning at my mum for not keeping more of her clothes to hand down to me and my sister. Here they are all young and radiant…

Margaret-Bodsworth-70's

Margaret Bodsworth 70'sMy beautiful mum Margaret in the 1970’s

Irene Bodsworth Land ArmyMy late Grandma Rene in a photo taken when she was around 16 in her Land Army days. The photo was for her childhood sweetheart, my Granddad Ronald, taken when they still took black and white photos then coloured them in afterwards. She was tiny and a wonderful dress maker and embroiderer.

Jeanie-Lees SingletonMy hilariously funny and proudly Scottish Gran, Jeanie-Lees, who is going to be delighted when she sees this post! This pic was taken in the 1950’s when she was a passionate dancer and career woman, teaching at secretarial school and working as Thomas Cook’s PA.

Mud and Glamour at Goodwood Vintage Festival

Amazing outfits & alternative girl band Gaggle

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rmed with red lippy, fish nets and our best charity shop attire we headed to the first Vintage Festival at Goodwood in Sussex.  We caught The Noisettes, The Faces and rocked our floaty frocks in the roller disco and soul casino. The festival, dreamed up by Wayne Hemingway, included a pop-up 300 yard high street with a John Lewis, The Body Shop, Oxfam, Primark and a vintage catwalk theatre. Fortunately our wellies weren’t needed and the weather allowed us to get photo’s of some great retro outfits from rockabilly and mod to burlesque and 1940’s glam. One of our music highlights was 20-piece female choir Gaggle, (see bottom) described as “a response to boring man bands and bad burlesque and a force to be reckoned with musically, sexually and creatively”, who sang whilst simultaneously strutting their stuff on the catwalk.

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Braces Checked Trousers Tatoos Felt Hat

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival


Vintage Festival Street Style

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

Street Style at Vintage Festival

One of our music highlights was 20-piece female choir Gaggle, described as “a response to boring man bands and bad burlesque and a force to be reckoned with musically, sexually and creatively”, who sang whilst simultaneously strutting their stuff on the catwalk.

Gaggle at Vintage Festival