Outfits worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, will be the centrepiece of a new exhibition at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum; celebrating over 50 years of unique British fashion house Bellville Sassoon.
In 2011 British designer David Sassoon donated his archive of hundreds of fashion drawings from the 1950s to the 2000s to the Fashion Museum in Bath. This generous gift charts the history of the firm Bellville Sassoon as one of London’s top couturiers, and represents an unparalleled record of a life in fashion.
Twenty five choice evening dresses have been selected by Mr Sassoon, each one lovingly kept across the years by Bellville Sasson’s loyal clientele, and now borrowed back especially for the display which runs throughout this year.
Rosemary Harden, Manager of the Fashion Museum, said: “This special display at the Fashion Museum celebrates both the gift of the design archive to the museum, and the success of three extraordinary designers – Belinda Belville, David Sassoon, and Lorcan Mullany – who together have run this uniquely British fashion house for over 50 years.”
The centrepiece of the display will be three ensembles designed by Bellville Sassoon for Diana, Princess of Wales, including the cantaloupe melon silk ‘going-away’ outfit that she wore as a young bride in July 1981.
Bellville Sassoon has designed clothes for a host of famous names including Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Jerry Hall, Helen Mirren and Ivana Trump. David Sassoon’s designs have also appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Magazine.
David Sassoon said of the fashion house’s work: “We specialise in a very British brand of grand chic”, and the display will include the pink taffeta evening dress decorated with pleated frills worn by Lady Beatty at the Proust Edwardian Ball in 1971, as well as a steel blue satin embroidered dress from the late 1990s and a mocha silk embroidered dress, inspired by a Chinese shawl.
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is keen to offer everyone the chance to enjoy a wide variety of culture and creativity. This exhibition is designed to appeal to all – from the fashion-conscious to fans of celebrity, or those with an interest in how styles have changed in the recent past.
“The Fashion Museum houses one of the world’s great museum collections of historic and fashionable dress. This unique archive of Belville Sassoon designs is a perfect example of why the Museum has been designated as having a collection of outstanding national significance.”
The Fashion Museum is open daily from 10.30am to 4pm (exit 5pm). For more information visitwww.fashionmuseum.co.uk or call 01225 477789.
Residents are reminded that as both the Fashion Museum and Roman Baths are managed by Bath & North East Somerset Council; entry is free all year round to local residents on production of a Discovery Card. To find out more visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/discoverycard, email email@example.com or call 01225 477785.