Dame Shirley Bassey and Olly Alexander among 2023 V&A summer party attendees

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 21: Gwendoline Christie attends the V&A Summer Party and DIVA exhibition preview, supported by Net-A-Porter, on June 21, 2023 in London, England. Pic Credit: Dave Benett
Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Dame Shirley Bassey, Olly Alexander and Gwendoline Christie were among the famous faces at the 2023 V&A Summer Party.

The event in London on Wednesday launched the museum’s latest exhibition, Diva, which explores the “extraordinary power and creativity of iconic performers”.

The exhibition examines how the role of the “diva” has been redefined, subverted or embraced over time across opera, stage, popular music, and film.

Olly Alexander (Dave Bennett/V&A Summer Party celebrating Diva/PA)

Dame Shirley, Alexander, and Christie were joined at the event by other high-profile guests including Dame Joan Collins, Clara Amfo and Munroe Bergdorf.

Entertainment on the evening was provided by DJ Chloe Simone, whose setlist was specially curated for the V&A and inspired by some of the world’s most influential and recognised divas

British girl group the Sugababes also gave a live performance, with the evening concluding with a special DJ set by Shygirl.

Gwendoline Christie (Dave Bennett/V&A Summer Party celebrating Diva/PA)

Diva is due to open to the public on June 24 2023.

The major new exhibition will be the first of its kind to celebrate performers who have made their voices heard from the 19th century until today.

It features costumes and works of art worn by celebrities including Cher, Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton John, Lil Nas X, Janelle Monae and Marilyn Monroe, with over 250 objects drawn from the V&A archive collection.

British girl group the Sugababes also gave a live performance at the event (Dave Bennett/V&A Summer Party celebrating Diva/PA)

Visitors are given a headset to wear during their visit which automatically plays a soundtrack or song associated with the era or artist they are looking at.

Loans from across the world, spanning fashion, photography, design, costumes, music, and live performance, also contribute to the exhibition.