Little Black Dress

Event Details

End: 1 June 2008

Categories: Exhibitions

Photo of dress by Curiel, 1955
Dress by Curiel, 1955

Fashion & Style gallery It’s the fashion icon of all time! Whatever the occasion, the Little Black Dress is the one itemguaranteed to transform you into a sophisticated goddess of style – at a moment’s notice. Brighton Museum celebrates the contribution of the Little Black Dress to women’s lives with an exhibition charting the history of this iconic garment, from the 1920s to the present day, curated by leading fashion designer Andrew Fionda (of the label Pearce II Fionda). Designers from haute couture to the high street have contributed dresses of all kinds. Many have personal resonance for the rich and famous.

Designers represented include

Amanda Wakeley

Anouska Hempel

Antony Price


Barbara Hulanicki (Biba)

Ben de Lisi

Betty Jackson

Bruce Oldfield

Catherine Walker

Charles James


English Eccentrics

Giles Deacon

Hamish Morrow


Janice Wainwright

Jean Muir

John Galliano

John Rocha

Julien MacDonald

Marios Schwab

Nicole Farhi

Norman Hartnell

Pearce Fionda

Sarah Arnett

Zandra Rhodes

Come and see

  • Ben de Lisi’s red carpet dress for Kate Winslet
  • Julien MacDonald’s flowing creation worn by Victoria Beckham in That Extra Half Inch
  • Anouska Hempel’s dramatic puff ball, modelled by Hilary Swank in Tatler
  • stage costumes from 1930s musical star Adelaide Hall, and Brighton’s 21st century drag celebrity, Dave Lynn
  • favourite outfits of Zoe Ball, Joanna Lumley and Joan Collins
  • a John Galliano design donated by the Countess of Albemarle, a regular on best dressed lists in New York and London

Brighton’s own take on the Little Black Dress is shown through personal and quirky interpretations drawn from the wardrobes of local residents. Other exhibits are drawn from Andrew Fionda’s personal archives and Brighton Museum’s