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Stylist Gets Ballgown Lust

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Enjoy fashion's new focus on show-stopping ballgowns with images from the V&A's new exhibition - as well as exclusive designer creations for Harrods, shot by the legendary Rankin.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is being commemorated with everything from special edition lingerie to exotic cocktails, but we're particularly excited by the ballgowns showcased this month in honour of the monarch's influence on British fashion.

Gareth Pugh designed the metallic leather dress, above, especially for the Victoria & Albert museum's exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, which runs until 6th January 2013.

The V&A's exhibition features around 80 gowns, from elegant evening dresses designed for Queen Elizabeth by Norman Hartnell in the 50s, through to the 2009 ballgown Beyonce wore to President Barack Obama's inauguration ball.

It features dresses designed by the likes of the legendary Hardy Amies, iconic 60s and 70s designer Ossie Clark, award-winning visionary Hussein Chalayan, the acclaimed Stella McCartney and the late Alexander McQueen.

Diana's glittering "Elvis" gown, designed by Catherine Walker, is pictured above middle. The gown is covered in 20,000 pearls and was one of the late princess' favourite outfits.

The exhibition will feature recognisable gowns that have swept through red carpets on everyone from Diana, Princess of Wales, to Sandra Bullock.

The classic designs are posed in a luxury ballroom-esque setting and are protected by glass cases.

A broad range of styles from the world's finest designers makes for an arresting and artistic display.

Beautiful handbags, shoes and gloves are among the accessories on display at the show.

Harrods is displaying 13 bespoke ballgowns designed by the world's top ateliers in its Brompton Road windows, to tie in with the V&A's exhibition. Rankin captured some of the gowns in a stunning "Queen" themed photoshoot for Harrods Magazine.

Carolina Herrera designed the striking dress above, in the theme of Snow White's Wicked Witch.

Romona Keveza's scarlet red creation is used to depict Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts, above.

Pictured above, Marchesa's intricately crafted ballgown paints a picture of Hans Christian Andersen's famous Snow Queen.

Legendary Persian Queen Scheherazade is recreated in timeless Valentino, above.

Gowns created for Harrods by Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Elie Saab and Jenny Packham can be seen in their design stages, above.

What's your all-time favourite ballgown? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Pictures: Getty Images/Harrods

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