The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon

On Saturday we went to the Fashion and Textile Museum, in Bermondsey, London (where I saw the Kaffe Fassett exhibition several months ago.) I’d seen an advert for a Bermondsey Street Fashion Heritage Walk with local Historian Stephen Humphrey – free when you purchased a ticket to the Bellville Sassoon exhibition.

Belinda Bellville founded the company in 1953 and joined forces with with designer David Sassoon in 1958, creating the Bellville Sassoon brand. Bellville Sassoon has existed for over 50 years, dressing all of the female Royals apart from the Queen. Lorcan Mullany joined the company in 1987 and now designs patterns for Vogue Butterick.

The exhibition was full of stunning gowns, as you will see. Some more of their time, others classic truly beautiful pieces. The smaller exhibition space did not allow the taking of photographs probably because there are a few of the many outfits the label created for Diana, Princess of Wales, displayed. There are also notes Diana wrote to accompany sketches sent by the designers, and several montages of Royals wearing the label’s clothes.

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20131118-092658.jpgMany of the dresses were lent to the exhibition by their owners. The beauty above was worn (see photo behind) by Dame Shakira Caine. Former Newsreader Angela Rippon’s sparkly dress from 1999 is displayed (though not shown here) it’s a teeny tiny size, and very lovely.

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20131118-092730.jpgThe museum with the blue sky above reminded me of being in Barcelona! The sun shone for most of the 1.5hr tour. We walked around the local area looking at the features of former warehouses – some not just flats now, but always, always luxury flats as Stephen highlighted – and learnt about the former sites of the leather industry. Stephen Humphrey is a walking encyclopaedia of names, places, dates and fascinating stories about the industry, people and buildings from centuries past. It was absolutely fascinating, if you can book yourself onto a tour do not delay!

If you fancy a wander around the Bermondsey area one day go to the museum, then go and see how many streets you can spot with related names, here are a few to start you off: Lamb Walk, Tanner Street, Leathermarket Street and Gardens, not to mention the related pub names…

As we walked around I counted at least 5 men carrying lovely bunches of flowers. I thought there must be a romantic breeze in the air, somebody else thought a lot of morning after apologies might be required. Flowers? Nice but I was more than happy to be given a surprise present – a super magnet from the FTM shop for those moments when my pins jump all over the floor.

And that, as Little Pete used to say, was “another good day”.

4 thoughts on “The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon

  1. What a wonderful experience Rachel – such stunning gowns and embroidery! I like the sound of the super magnet – a very useful, sensible gift . . . . . . but flowers would have been very acceptable too surely? Joy x

  2. Pingback: Fashion and Textile Museum: Knitwear, Chanel to Westwood | The Little Room of Rachell

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