Diana"s Elvis dress to go on show in glittering ballgown exhibition charting 60 years of British style


Diana's Elvis dress to go on show in glittering ballgown exhibition charting 60 years of British style
V&A display includes pearl-studded Catherine Walker design worn by Diana on two occasions

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UPDATED:

14:02 GMT, 8 May 2012

One of Diana, Princess of Wales's favourite dresses is to go on show as part of a glittering display of ballgowns at the V&A.

The South Kensington museum is set to unveil the new exhibition, charting six decades of lavish British style, later this month.

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will feature more than sixty designs created for glittering social events over the past 60 years, from all sorts of events, taking in private parties, Royal balls, state occasions and star-studded premieres.

Catherine Walker's Elvis dress, designed for Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana loved the Catherine Walker Elvis dress so much she wore it on a tour of Hong Kong, and again at the British Fashion Awards shortly afterwards

History: Diana dubbed this Catherine Walker dress the 'Elvis'. Studded with 20,000 pearls, Diana loved it so much that she wore it on a tour of Hong Kong in 1989, then shortly afterwards to the British Fashion Awards

The exhibition, to be located in the V&A's newly renovated Fashion Galleries, is a stunning display of
beautiful ballgowns worn by Royal debutantes, show-stopping red carpet
dresses that sparked a thousand flashbulbs, and high fashion catwalk
creations.

Eveningwear comes from designers past
and present, and is set to include pieces from the archives of
Catherine Walker, Hardy Amies, Victor Stiebel and Zanda Rhodes.

Visitors will be able to see a pink silk
gown from The House Of Worth, a couture house established in Paris in
1858 by Charles Frederick Worth, and considered to be the original and
founding couture house.

The company, who also had the offshoot
Worth London, created refined garments for a mainly English clientele
for the London social season, with subtle shades of champagne and rose
their trademark.

Ballgowns through the ages: V&A show British style as it has changed over the past six decades, from debutantes downs to a custom-made Gareth Pugh dress in PVC lace

Ballgowns
through the ages: V&A show British style as it has changed over six decades, with a contemporary PVC lace design from Atsuko Kudo with 50s styles from Worth of London, rear left, and Hardy Amies, right

Elsewhere, there is work
from Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan, and fresh from the catwalks
will be works from the breathtaking collections of Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Erdem and Jenny Packham.

A selection of royal ballgowns will
be on display, including the white pearl-studded gown designed by
Catherine Walker for Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana dubbed the garment,
studded with 20,000 pearls, the 'Elvis Dress', thanks to the fact it
was inspired by the late singer's stage costumes.

She loved the dress so much that she
wore it twice, once on an official tour of Hong Kong in 1989, and
shortly afterwards to the British Fashion Awards in London.

Elsewhere in the royal collection is a
Norman Hartnell gown designed for Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and gowns
worn by today’s young royals.

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950
will also include dresses worn by actresses and celebrities including
Elizabeth Hurley, Bianca Jagger and Sandra Bullock, and a stunning
metallic leather dress created especially for the exhibition by
innovative designer Gareth Pugh.

An Alexander McQueen catwalk dress, as worn by Daphne Guinness

Lavish creation: An Alexander McQueen catwalk dress, as worn by Daphne Guinness

A Nicholas Oakwell haute couture gown frmo the designer's 2011 show will be on show at the V&A

A Roksanda Ilincic design from 2009 will be on display

A Nicholas Oakwell haute couture gown from the designer's 2011 collection will be on show at the V&A, while right, a Roksanda Ilincic design from 2009 will also be on display

A stunning couture dress designed by Giles Deacon, modelled here by Coco Rocha, forms part of the modern side to the collection

Contemporary glamour: A stunning couture dress designed by Giles Deacon, modelled here by Coco Rocha, forms part of the modern side to the collection

A 1955 evening dress by couture house Worth of London

A sculptural piece by Victor Edelstein

Founders: A 1955 Worth London dress in pink silk with crystal embellishment, dating from the time when Owen Hyde-Clark was chief designer. Cut as a circle, the piece would have needed many petticoats for full effect. RIGHT, a 1986 gown from couturier Victor Edelstein

Intricate: Silk satin and beaded Rumina gown by Erdem, A/W 2008

Intricate: Silk satin and beaded Rumina gown by London Fashion Week catwalk star Erdem, A/W 2008