Trend-Alert/London HOT-SPOT: Ballgowns.....British glamour since the 1950s at the V&A!

As promised, I am back with a glimpse of the 'Ballgowns' exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London's South Kensington.....and an evening of Utter Elegance which I attended with a few of my lovely girlies last Friday. I have always liked the V&A, so recommending it as a must-see London Hotspot is an easy enough task, but the question at hand is whether it was worth buying a ticket to see the 'Ballgowns' exhibition?

The 'Ballgowns' exhibition, which claims to offer a glimpse into glamorous red-carpet and showstopping frocks since the 1950s, began on 19th May 2012 and will run until the 6th January 2013 at the V&A (London). Surrounded by a larger fashion section was a dainty circle cordoned off for this special exhibition, which included ballgowns worn by Her Majesty The Queen and the late Princess Diana, as well as an interesting few from Alexander McQueen and other designers that made me wonder what it would have looked like when it was first worn. Watching the extravagant exhibits on lifelessly pale plank-like mannequins reminded me that it is indeed 'the lady who wears the dress', as each lady may choose to wear the same dress differently according to personal taste or preferences, thereby creating a different resulting look that can either stun one into crackling applause or gawking silence. Then seeing the same exhibits in beautiful photographs in the accompanying hardbound book, aptly entitled 'Ballgowns', made me feel a sigh of pity for missing the moment when those gowns twirled into action for the ladies who wore them proudly some time ago. Perhaps an attempt to create a video of those gowns being worn by models so that the gentle sway of fabric and captivating sparkle from sequins can be seen, or displaying photographs of the original wearers would have left me feeling less empty though the exhibition was laid out across two floors I could have whisked gradually through it within 20 minutes, so perhaps more gowns, background information or a bigger area with more interactive exhibits would have been a good idea. Though photography within the special exhibition was strictly prohibited for copyright reasons, I managed to snap a few photos of the surrounding open fashion exhibition, which were most interestingly vintage with some period pieces that kept me in awe of their beauty and elegance. Though I left the 'Ballgowns' exhibition wishing I had seen even more gowns and that they could be awakened by some lively models, we still had a good time at the V&A and so the exhibition is a worthy visit with a recommended 3 ♥♥♥ out of 5 lovely hearts from me!
[For more information on the 'Ballgowns' Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, please click here:

Romantic Regency.....

On our way out of the V&A......

In my black embroidered Qi Pao with hand-sewn beading....

After the exhibition we ventured down Cromwell Road to the 68-86 Restaurant at the Radisson for a bite to eat and began chatting away! Having not seen my girls for some time....some as long as my university days....there was much to catch up on and it was also a great opportunity to dress up for a special evening together, so we went with the Utterly Elegant theme and had fun snapping away with our cameras whilst waiting for some food. For me it was also a chance to wear one of my most treasured Qi Pao dresses, which some of you darlings may know that I only usually wear in celebration of the Chinese New Year or special events. This black silky number with delicately detailed embroidery and hand-sewn sequins as well as beads climbing across the front of the dress is simply beautiful to me.....add in the low mandarin collar, pink piping accentuating the long side slits, decorative knotted buttons and elegant full length.....this well tailored garment can steal a passionate and longing look from me every time! I can go on and describe my love for the Qi Pao again....and again....which may bore those of you who have heard it all before, but I must say again how the timelessness and profusely vintage touch that the Qi Pao has...makes Pin Curls work really well with it! And as the Oriental trend is sent down the AW12 catwalk by designers such as Proenza Schouler, Dries Van Noten, Osman, Zac Posen and Antonio Marras.....there is no better time to try a beautifully embroidered Qi Pao or oriental brocade Cheongsam-like dress!

[Just in case you missed Why I Love the Qi Pao, please click on the 'Qi Pao' label or here:]

With my lovely girlies at the 68-86 Restaurant (Radisson).....

Ballet and the Qi Pao.....
So all in all we had a lovely evening together! And as the excitement of the Olympics continues.....which I must say I am utterly proud that Great Britain is in third place at the moment and even more so for Christine Ohuruogu's brilliant Silver medal win at 49.70seconds for the 400 metres race...there is even more to look forward to! I am also excited to be watching an Olympic basketball game with a dear friend tomorrow and hopefully utilising my Union Jack in a vintage inspired hip hip hurrah and may the medals keep rolling in for Great Britain! Have a fabulous weekend my darlings!

Until the next time,
May xx

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