Bellville Sassoon secured an esteemed reputation amongst Jewish women (mainly owing to Sassoon’s Jewish roots) and became known as the label that dressed glamorous debutants and celebrities (including Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Hall, Anita Baker, Melanie Griffith, Helen Mirren, Ivana Trump and Madonna) and for having their designs featured on numerous covers of magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s. In addition, Bellville Sassoon garnered a dedicated following amongst members of the British royal family such as Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, Princess Michael of Kent, the Duchess of York and Diana, Princess of Wales (for whom the company created over 70 designs). Attesting to the close relationship established between the designers and such notable clients, the first room of the exhibition (titled ‘Royal Designs’) includes not only gowns worn on public occasions by British royals between but also the drawings of the dresses, fabric studies and original thank-you notes kept over the decades by David Sassoon.
'The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon' is on until 11 January 2014 at the Fashion and Textile Museum at 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF. The exhibition is accompanied by a book and by a series of talks and workshops. For more information, visit www.ftmlondon.org.