Shedding a positive light on extinction, this temporary exhibition suggests that though millions of species have become extinct over the centuries, their demise has actually made space for a huge diversity of life forms that have taken their place. The role of extinction in the evolution of life is explored through exhibits of past species, as well as scientific information on today’s endangered animals and the conversation initiatives that aim to support them.
Displayed over two floors, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will feature more than 60 ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers.
The exhibition will cover over 60 years of a strong British design tradition that continues to flourish. Eveningwear from the V&A’s vast collection, by designers including Victor Stiebel, Zandra Rhodes, Jonathan Saunders and Hussein Chalayan, will be on show alongside dresses fresh from the catwalk shows of Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Erdem and Jenny Packham.
In 1948 London hosted the first Olympic Games after the Second World War. The ‘Austerity Games’ (as they became known) took place at a time of economic crisis in a city devastated by bombing, but they provided a platform for reconciliation and reconstruction. In 2012 Britain welcomes the Olympics once more, and while the spirit remains, the context in which they are taking place has entirely changed. British Design 1948–2012 traces those changes by exploring buildings, objects, images and ideas produced by designers and artists born, trained or based in Britain.
The displays examine the shifting nature of British design over 60 years: three galleries respectively explore the tension between tradition and modernity; the subversive impulse in British culture; and Britain’s leadership in design innovation and creativity. The exhibition reveals how British designers have responded to economic, political and cultural forces that have fundamentally shaped how we live today. They have created some of the most inventive and striking objects, technologies and buildings of the modern world.