This autumn, the Fashion and Textile Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary with the exhibition The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon, which opens to the public tomorrow after a glamorous Royal opening due to take place tonight. Numerous Royal and celebrity guests are expected at the event, such as her HRH The Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Anne Glenconner, Lord and Lady Woolf, Cilla Black, Nicky Haslam, Shakira Caine, Helen Storey and Zandra Rhodes.
The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon is a major retrospective of Britain’s foremost high-society couture label from the 1950s to the present day and features over 150 designs, contextual material and dresses commissioned by some of the world’s most stylish women, including outfits for Diana, Princess of Wales, HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Michael of Kent and HRH Princess Alexandra. The exhibition explores how the formality of the post-war years gave way to the Swinging Sixties and a new generation of aristocrats and celebrities wanting clothes to get them noticed. The season’s most lavish coming-out parties, most influential weddings and high-powered balls all fuelled demand for beautiful, bespoke and fashionable clothes, and Bellville Sassoon established themselves ad the go-to couture house for young, glamorous and exclusive designs. Their fashion-forward approach, combined with luxurious workmanship, offered an exciting alternative to the conservative styles of traditional couturiers.
The company expanded in the 1980s to become Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany when the designer joined in 1987, and Mullany further developed the ready-to-wear business and the company’s long-standing association with Vogue patterns. He continues to design for the Vogue license today, which has enabled thousands of women to create their own Bellville Sassoon designs at home.
Celia Joicey, Head of Fashion and Textile Museum, says: ‘Bellville Sassoon’s designs epitomise high-society glamour. Bellville Sassoon reinvented British couture in the second half of the 20th designs wonderfully evoke a world of debutantes, socialites, weddings and royalty. We are delighted to be collaborating with David Sassoon to create this major exhibition.’
The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon
Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
20 September 2013 – 11 January 2014