Photos by John Young: (left) Belinda Bellville with model, (right) Belinda Bellville and David Sassoon with model, 1962

Photos by John Young: (left) Belinda Bellville with model, (right) Belinda Bellville and David Sassoon with model, 1962.


Glamour and Gowns

Couture by Belinda Bellville and Bellville Sassoon

Belinda Bellville, society dressmaker and Viscountess Coke’s mother, is world renowned for her stylish dress designs and as co-founder, with David Sassoon, of Britain’s foremost couture label Bellville Sassoon. Our ‘Glamour and Gowns’ exhibition ran throughout the 2013 visitor season. Elegant ball gowns and designer dresses took centre stage in the Statue Gallery of Holkham Hall, charting the path of fashionable couture over the last fifty years.

On display were a collection of dresses created by Bellville et Cie and Bellville Sassoon including ball gowns, cocktail and party dresses, as well as a wedding dress belonging to Sophie Coltman Rogers (was Whately) and a yellow jersey, pin tucked dress, designed by Bellville Sassoon, available as a pattern from Vogue Patterns. In addition, drawings, patterns and photographs create a fascinating insight into Belinda Bellville’s glittering career.

The dresses on display were kindly lent by Lady Anne Glenconner, Valeria Viscountess Coke, Mrs Camilla West (was Bellville), Lady Carey Basset, Sophie Coltman-Rogers (was Whately) as well as Belinda Bellville and Viscountess Coke.

Complementing the exhibition, on the evening of 19th April David Sassoon gave a talk on the history of Bellville Sassoon to an audience of over 100 people. His talk covered the period that he and Belinda Belville worked together creating an international success, as well as providing an insight into dressing some of the country’s most glamorous women, celebrities and royals.

Click here to view a PDF showing the information panels displayed during the exhibition.

BBC Look East
In April 2013 BBC Look East filmed on location at Holkham. Click here to watch television presenter Alex Dolan as she interviewed Belinda Bellville and her daughter Viscountess Coke about the exhibition (courtesy BBC Look East).

BBC Radio Norfolk
In April 2013, BBC Radio Norfolk interviewed Belinda Bellville with her daughter Viscountess Coke. The radio interview highlighted some of the many stories behind the design of the beautiful collection of ball gowns and dresses on display in the exhibition.

Courtesy of BBC Radio Norfolk.