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Evening dress

Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1949 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chaumont, Marcelle (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand-painted organza, gathered and boned, organdie

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:

    T.92 to B-1974

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition []

Gloria Guinness (1912-80) was a wealthy, elegant socialite and writer. She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962, second only to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Gloria Guinness kept a full wardrobe in each of her seven homes, so that she would never have to pack. She saw haute couture as an art form and patronised many couture houses.

She gave dozens of items to the V&A, including pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior (1905-57), and Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927). Amongst these famous names were several lesser known labels, such as Marcelle Chaumont (b.1892; house closed in 1953), showing that she cast her net wide in her pursuit of fashion. The gown is made of hand-painted organza, in the yellow and gold tones that Gloria Guinness favoured.

Physical description

Full length evening dress of white organza. The full waisted skirt is hand-painted with a gold design of ribbons and bows. The bodice is finely tucked, it is strapless and is boned at the seams, and it has a gathered frill at the top. There is a side zip fastening. With a petticoat of white organdie attached to the dress at the tip of the bodice and it is also boned. Belt of white organza.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1949 (made)

Artist/maker

Chaumont, Marcelle (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Hand-painted organza, gathered and boned, organdie

Dimensions

Circumference: 88 cm bust, Circumference: 69 cm waist, Circumference: 250 cm hem

Object history note

Designer
Chaumont was trained by Vionnet and inherited her premises and staff when she retired in 1939-40. Pierre Cardin was briefly employed as cutter in 1945.

Donor
Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, better known as Gloria Guinness (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.

Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.

She was voted second 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962. Jackie Kennedy was in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

Historical context note

Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, better known as Gloria Guinness (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.

Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.

She was voted second 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962. Jackie Kennedy was in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

Descriptive line

Full-length evening dress of hand-painted organza with matching belt and organdie petticoat, designed by Marcelle Chaumont, Paris, 1949

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

L'Officiel, June 1949, p.24
Vickers, H., 'Cecil Beaton' in Wilcox, C., ed., The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-57 (V&A Publications, 2007), p.169 and pl.7.12 & 7.13

Labels and date

Evening dress (robe du soir)
Marcelle Chaumont (house 1940-52)
Paris
1949 spring/summer

Mexican-born Gloria Guinness was one of the best-dressed women of the post-war years and patronised many different designers. This group of dresses by Chaumont, Lafaurie and Dior are in her favoured shades of yellow.

Hand-painted organza

Given by Mrs Gloria Guinness
V&A: T.92&A, B-1974 [22/09/2007-06/01/2008]

Materials

Organdie; Whalebone

Techniques

Painting; Weaving; Sewing

Subjects depicted

Ribbon; Flowers

Categories

Evening wear; Fashion; Women's clothes

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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