This unique and groundbreaking book presents dynamic and interpretive photographs of 60 years of British ballgowns 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.
Britain's traditional social season of debutante parties, private balls, weddings, and charity events has long provided fashion designers with opportunities to create 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 In more recent years, the ballroom has been replaced by the red carpet.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.
About the Author: Sonnet Stanfill is the curator of 20th-century and contemporary fashion at the V&A. Oriole Cullen is the curator of modern textiles and fashion at the V&A.