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Coming Soon: The Golden Age of Couture at the V&A






The Golden Age of Couture begins with the impact of Christian Dior’s New Look after the Second World War and covers a decade filled with luxurious elegance. Designers on show will include the likes of: Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies amongst others.



Over 100 dresses will be on display including daywear, cocktail and evening gowns created for high society and royalty. The show will also feature photographs by Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon, original documentary film, audio recordings and archival material.



A chance to examine pure handcrafted skill and quality – a section of the exhibition will reveal undergarments and the insides of dresses to show construction and technique.



Many of the exhibition pieces are from the V&A’s very own fashion collections. Others that have been tracked down for the show include a Givenchy blue cape (1957), identical to the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. A red silk Dior Ecarlate cocktail dress (A/W 1955/56) and a rare Jacques Griffe halter-neck evening dress (1950).



Mark Jones, Director of the V&A said: “The exhibition celebrates an important decade in fashion history which had a huge influence on the way women dressed and the way the fashion industry evolved. The V&A is lucky to have a superb collection of dresses from this period. This exhibition has been an exceptional opportunity to research the V&A collections and to tell the story of the couture industry after the war.”



Rounding off the exhibition will be a selection of contemporary haute couture designs taken from the A/W 2005/06 collection created by John Galliano for Christian Dior Paris.



The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 will launch with an exclusive gala event on Tuesday 18th September during London Fashion Week.



The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 will be on at the V&A, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 from Saturday 22nd September 2007 to Sunday 6th January 2008. www.vam.ac.uk



Ticket information:



Fee £9, (concessions: senior citizens £7; students, 12 – 17 year-olds, ES-40 holders £5)



Joint ticket with The Art of Lee Miller £12, £9, £7



Illustration created by David Downton for the V&A





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