Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950
This innovative book presents dynamic and interpretive photographs of British ballgowns spanning 60 years and includes designs by Alexander McQueen, Bellville Sassoon, Bill Gibb, Erdem, Gareth Pugh, Stella McCartney and Zandra Rhodes. The specially commissioned photographs, by fashion photographer David Hughes, are supplemented by essays exploring the ballgown as a particularly British garment, with designers, clients and occasions unique to Britain. The social season of debutante parties and private balls, weddings and charity events have long provided Britain's fashion designers with opportunities to design elaborate, tour de force eveningwear. In more recent years the ballroom has been replaced by the red carpet. Though the context has changed, the ballgown remains a staple in many designers' collections and continues to serve as an expression of status, protocol and taste, while simultaneously embodying elements of drama and fantasy.
Sonnet Stanfill is curator of 20th century and contemporary fashion at the V&A. Oriole Cullen is curator of modern textiles and fashion at the V&A. David Hughes is a portrait, still life and fashion photographer. Magda Keaney is Curator of the Fashion Space Gallery at the London College of Fashion.