The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon
A ray of sunshine and sparkle on a cold, wet and grey London afternoon arrived in the form of the latest exhibition to hit the Fashion & Textile Museum which marks fifty years of the Bellville Sassoon label. A collection of beautiful couture dresses created for aristocrats, society hostesses and royalty including Diana Princess of Wales; all individually exquisite in their stunning design and intricate work.
Originally founded in 1953 by Belinda Bellville, Bellville et Cie offered a fresh and exciting alternative to the longstanding sedate dress designs that had dominated Mayfair. Bellville et Cie became the label must-have for London society with stunning evening wear gowns and show-stopping creations.
By 1958, due to immense popularity and an expanding empire, Belinda Bellville joined forces with the talented designer David Sassoon to meet the very high demand of commissioned dresses. It proved to be a match made in heaven which resulted in the collaboration transforming into a partnership and the birth of the Bellville Sassoon label in 1970. From its very conception in the 1950s, Bellville did not merely produce pieces that reflected the current trends of the day, she made them relevant for the young clientele dubbed ‘debs and duchesses’ who required clothing that would reflect their generation and not that of their parents.
Walking through the dresses on display at the museum, each one a work of art in its own right, I marvelled at the extensive work and high level of workmanship that had been devoted to every single item. Every conceivable colour and style is brought together under one roof in a visual extravaganza. It is easy to see how Bellville Sassoon has become a staple of British fashion and has stood the test of time.