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Ballgown Exhibit Bows at Victoria & Albert Museum

A fashionable crowd gathered at the London museum to celebrate the opening of “Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950.”

BALLGOWN BASH: A fashionable crowd including model Laura Bailey and designers Sarah Burton, Giles Deacon, Roksanda Ilincic, Stephen Jones, Christopher Kane, Erdem Moralioglu, Jenny Packham and Alice Temperley all gathered at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum Tuesday night, to celebrate the opening of the V&A’s exhibition “Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950.”

The show spotlights glamorous pieces from the V&A’s archive, such as designs by Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker and Victor Stiebel, through to Norman Hartnell creations worn by the late Elizabeth the Queen Mother to contemporary pieces by Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon and Jenny Packham.

Packham noted that the pink silk, crystal-studded dress she has in the exhibition — which Sandra Bullock wore at last year’s Golden Globes — is the first of her designs to have been displayed at the V&A. For Jones, the show illustrated how occasion dressing has become less experimental over the years. “Nowadays, [people] think it’s really wild to put a frill on the bottom of a skirt,” he said, adding he was instead drawn to an outre Zandra Rhodes gown with gold pleated panniers in the exhibition, that she designed in 1982. “It is just the craziest thing you’ve ever seen,” he said. The exhibition, which is part of the Fashion 2012 program of cultural events during London’s Olympic year, opened Wednesday and runs through to January 6.

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