Ballgowns to go

Coast gowns inspired by V&A fashion archive

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Inspired by the V&A’s hugely successful exhibition , high street stalwart Coast has been quietly creating its own sumptuous selection of red carpet worthy gowns. Modelled by Suki Waterhouse, the dresses offer rich pickings for brides in search of an off-the-peg wedding gown, or something a little special for her bridesmaids.

 

 

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Having been granted unique access to the V&A’s costume collection, Coast’s design director and her team were inspired to create six statement dresses that nod to the eternally glamorous eras of the Thirties and Fifties...

 

 

 

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This open-backed and elegantly embellished number, Patience, is perfect for brides with a penchant, but perhaps not the purse, for Jenny Packham. As on the red carpet, Art Deco inspired, silk bias cut gowns endure in the world of weddings – especially in 2013, thanks to the forthcoming remake. The Patience is also a great option for a second dress, if you plan to change-up during your evening wedding reception.

 

 

 

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Another bridal-worthy offering is the Cecily, a gentle fishtail shape in silver duchess satin, featuring dramatic chiffon panels and crystal beadwork. For this particular dress, the Coast design team were said to be inspired by Jean Charles Worth’s covetable designs.

 

 

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Elsewhere, fashion brides with an aversion to ivory should look to the Vera Wang esque Phoebe, a frothy fairytale of dove grey organza, with a statement deconstructed skirt. Phoebe is inspired by the 1950s photography of Norman Parkinson and the dreamlike creations of the Couture catwalks.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, something for the bridesmaids. In recent years, shorter, more informal bridesmaid styles have become just as prevalent as the classic floor-sweeper, and the Blanche – a pastel-pretty 1950s style ballgown – more than fits the bill. This mint-hued confection features intricate layers of circle and scallop shaped organza, while a smattering of beading and sequins adds further frivolity to the proceedings. The debutante style is inspired by society portraiture by the likes of Cecil Beaton.

 

 

 

 

 

Another bridemaids contender: the Daphne – said to be inspired by the iconic silhouettes of vintage 1950s Balenciaga and Valentino. Soft tulle lemon layers, individually sewn couture bead work and hand crafted cording on the bodice combine to create a dress that your bridesmaids would be more than a little thankful to wear. A further twist? Mix and match the Blanche and the Daphne for a sweet, off-beat bridal party look.

Coast’s Ballgowns collection is now available in selected Coast locations and online. Prices start from £550.

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