The V&A's redesigned Fashion Gallery, by 6a Architects, re-opens on May 19, 2012 with a new display of fashion from the collection. Some 100 outfits are on show, arranged chronologically. Early examples include a mantua (gown) from the 1760s, a man's frock coat from the 1790s, an 1850s wedding dress and a silk crinoline from the 1860s. From the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries are tailored costumes and red-laced shoes, an embroidered evening coat in the Japanese style by Worth, flapper dresses, early tennis wear and swimwear. Other highlights include a Schiaparelli evening coat with an embroidered design by Jean Cocteau, evening dresses by Dior, Balmain, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Lanvin and others. A focus on the 1960s and 1970s includes designs by Ossie Clark and Barbara Hulanicki for Biba. Punk is represented by a Vivienne Westwood outfit, while recent acquisitions of designs by Helmut Lang, Dries van Noten, Prada and others brings the displays up to date. The refurbished gallery also allows for presentations of accessories, textiles, fans, scarves, jewellery, fashion dolls, photographs, portraits and other contextual material. A separate exhibition space in the gallery hosts temporary shows, the first of which is 'Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950' (May 19-Jan 6; admission charge applies).
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