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Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Owen Hyde Clark (designer)
    Worth London (retailer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk dupion with embroidery of sequins, pastes and crystal beads, lined with taffeta and faced with net

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Roy Hudson

  • Museum number:

    T.214&A-1973

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Image in copyright

The House of Worth, established in Paris in 1858 by Charles Frederick Worth (1826-95), was the original and founding couture house. Worth London was an offshoot of the original. It created refined, well-mannered garments for a mainly English clientele for the London social season.

Mrs Roy Hudson was a friend of Miss Whistler, Worth's head vendeuse (personal saleswoman). She purchased Worth gowns between 1947 and 1962. This dress dates from about 1955, when Owen Hyde-Clark was the chief designer. Worth was known for delicately embroidered dresses in shades of champagne and rose, and this dress is typical of the house's style.

The skirt is cut as a complete circle. It needed many layers of petticoats to fill the skirt and show the embroidery to its best advantage.

Worth (London) Ltd closed in 1967.

Physical description

Evening dress of rose pink silk dupion with large scale embroidery of white sequins, pastes and crystal beads on the bodice and skirt. The bodice is boned and lined with white taffeta, fastening at the side with a zip. The skirt is faced with nylon net. It has a matching belt.

A is the matching belt.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1955 (made)

Artist/maker

Owen Hyde Clark (designer)
Worth London (retailer)

Materials and Techniques

Silk dupion with embroidery of sequins, pastes and crystal beads, lined with taffeta and faced with net

Descriptive line

Evening dress of embroidered silk dupion, and matching belt, designed by Owen Hyde Clark for Worth London, England, ca. 1955.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

de la Haye, A., 'Material Evidence' in Wilcox, C., ed., The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-57 (V&A Publications, 2007), p.101 and pl.4.10
In the early 1900s the Paris couture house Worth opened a London branch, which merged with Reville in 1936. Clients were offered designs by Elspeth Champcommunal, a former Parisian designer and editor of British Vogue, alongside Parisian ones. In 1953 Owen Hyde-Clark, who had worked with Maggy Rouff in Paris and Bradley's in London, was engaged to design Worth's boutique range. About the same time the Parisian couture house Paquin bought Worth and in 1954 sold the name to Sydney Massin, who launched Worth (London) Ltd. Once client, Mrs Roy Hudson, was a friend of Miss Whistler, Worth's head vendeuse. She purchased Worth's gowns between 1947 and 1962. Dating from c. 1955, when Hyde-Clark was also responsible for couture, are two pink silk evening dresses worn by Mrs Hudson, one long [T.124-1973] and the other in the fashionable shorter length [T.217-1973] that was acceptable for all but the most formal occasions. Worth was known for delicately embroidered dresses in shades of champagne and rose, and these dresses are typical of the house's output (pl.4.10). However, the V&A also recently acquired a plain navy satin evening dress with matching stole. Worth (London) Ltd closed in 1967.

Exhibition History

The Golden Age of Couture. Paris and London 1947 - 1957 (Victoria and Albert Museum 22/09/2007-06/01/2008)

Labels and date

Evening dress
Worth London (established 1911, closed 1967)
1955

Worth, established in Paris in 1858 by Charles Frederick Worth, was the original and founding couture house. Worth London was an offshoot of the original. It created refined, well mannered garments for a mainly English clientele.

Dupion silk embroidered with sequins and beads

Given by Mrs Roy Hudson
V&A: T.214&A-1973 [22/09/2007-06/01/2008]

Materials

Beads; Sequins; Taffeta; Nylon net; Pastes; Silk dupion

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidering; Sewing

Categories

Embroidery; Fashion; Evening wear; Women's clothes

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection code

T&F

Qr_O120805
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