Trendy Londoners cordially invite you to a celebration of quintessentially British elegance – from the classic to the quirky.
This dedicated late opening on Friday August 3rd has a programme that is brimming with films, talks, workshops and demonstrations proving that British elegance reigns supreme. Come in your finest to catch the eye of fashion photographer Marius Hansen, reviving the V&A’s Day of Record series. Join Noel Stewart’s millinery workshop to complete your look, be led on an elegant whirlwind performance by Dante or Die, and then, primped and preened, take a twirl on the Road Show's outdoor Ballroom, where the London Banqueting Orchestra will entertain with ballroom classics followed by Bishi, reinventing Cool Britannia with her bold and daring live performance.
Utterly Elegant is a complement to the V&A’s concurrent exhibition in the new Fashion Galleries. Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 is a spectacular exhibition of more than 60 ballgowns from 1950 to the present day and features red carpet evening gowns and catwalk showstoppers traversing the decades from Norman Hartnell to Gareth Pugh.
Trendy Londoners should meet outside the main entrance of the V&A Museum at 6.15pm. This is a FREE event and further details on the evening's programme can be found below. Dress to impress, in keeping with the theme!
- La Fille a la Mode, Dante or Die
Performances start at the Exhibition Road entrance to the Museum follow a mysterious accordionist in the company of dancers, actresses and musicians on a journey through the Museum for a seductive celebration of glamorous It Girls through the ages.
- Millinery Workshop: Noel Stewart
Create your very own elegant headpiece with renowned milliner to the stars Noel Stewart. Stewart fuses inspiration from contemporary art and architecture with traditional historical references. He worked alongside Stephen Jones during his time at Christian Dior Couture and has since established his own label creating hats for the catwalk and stars of stage and screen including Kiera Knightly and Britney Spears.
- Pattern Cutting Workshop: Deborah Milner
Can you cut it? Try your hand at sculpting a fashion masterpiece with former senior pattern cutter for Alexander McQueen, Deborah Milner. Learn techniques for creating beautiful architectural shapes worthy of Paris show pieces.
- Screening: Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Luxuriate in an exclusive preview of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. Having premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and the highly selective Telluride Film Festival, the documentary film paints an intimate portrait of the noted fashion editor and later consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The filmʼs most compelling moments are not the high-drama of her career or the celebration of her imagination and singular looks, but rather those that reveal her personal
history, vulnerabilities, steely determination and divine triumph.
- Screening: British Elegance in True Colour; curated by the Fashion In Film Festival
Curated by Marketa Uhlirova, this compilation looks at fashion designers and icons through the ages from the elegance of Norman Hartnell in the ‘30s and ‘40s, through the uncompromising individualism of Leigh Bowry in the ‘80s to the innovative observations of Alexander McQueen’s film backdrop for his 2003 Spring Summer collection Irene.
- Behind the Scenes: An Elegant Q&A: Justine Picardie & Oriole Cullen
Former features editor of Vogue Justine Picardie is in conversation with the V&A’s curator of Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, Oriole Cullen. Justine & Oriole will discuss the legacy of one of the greatest fashion icons of the 20th century.
- Behind the Scenes: Creating a Celebrity Look: Grace Woodward
Celebrity stylist Grace Woodward takes you behind the scenes of creating red carpet style, demonstrating how its done and offering her own tips for producing utterly elegant, high impact looks for evening. Marius Hansen and Morgan White revive V&A Contemporary Programmes Day of Record series, so get ready for your close up. Catch the eye of The New English Dandy photographer Marius Hansen or fashion portrait photographer Morgan White and strike your most elegant pose for posterity.
- DJ: Shellack Sisters (TBC)
Dust off your dancing shoes and step up the retro glamour with the Shellac Sisters as they mix it up with 1920s wind-up gramophones and their vast collection of vintage 78s.
- Outdoor Ballroom: London Banqueting Orchestra followed by Bishi
The Road Showʼs Gala Ball celebrates the Diamond Jubilee with a concert of classic ballroom numbers performed by the London Banqueting Orchestra. Followed by the extraordinary and innovative performer Bishi. Dress up and strut your stuff on the ballroom floor!