Ardent admirers of the Bellville Sassoon fashion house in London have just a few more weeks left to see an exhibition at Bath’s Fashion Museum, one of the world’s leading fashion museums.
The exhibition features 25 choice evening dresses assembled by David Sassoon, each one lovingly kept across the years by Bellville Sassoon’s loyal clientele.
The display includes 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), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “I would urge everyone who is interested in women’s fashion to take advantage of this last opportunity to view the Bellville Sassoon exhibition, which demonstrates British couture at its most luxurious, with diamante embroidered party dresses of the 1960s to a trio of ensembles created by Bellville Sassoon for HRH Diana, Princess of Wales, in the 1980s, on display.”
Bellville Sassoon was founded in 1953 by Belinda Bellville, who retired in 1981. The company was renamed Bellville Sassoon in 1970 to recognise the contribution made by David Sassoon, who had joined the company in 1958 and remained for some 50 years. The company is currently run by Irish fashion designer Lorcan Mullany.
Bellville Sassoon actually has its origins in Belinda Bellville’s grandmother, Cuckoo Leith, who ran a dress-shop in the 1920s. Belinda Bellville invited David Sassoon to join the firm in 1958. Bellville Sassoon counts numerous socialites and the royal family as amongst its clientele and was the most prolific of Princess Diana’s early designers. Bellville Sassoon designed her “Gonzaga dress”, among numerous other items of clothing.
Aside from Princess Diana, Bellville Sassoon has designed clothes for HRH Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the Duchess of York. Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Hall, Anita Baker, Melanie Griffith, Helen Mirren, Ivana Trump, Madonna, Jada Collins and Melissa Brown and the company’s designs have appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Magazine.
Bath’s Fashion Museum opens daily from 10.30am to 4pm in the winter months, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 25 and 26 December. The Museum recommends you allow 1½ – 2 hours for your visit. For more information, please go to http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk