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Evening ensemble

Evening ensemble

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    late 1950s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hyde Clark, Owen (designer)
    Worth London (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin and faille cut on the bias with pleating and draping

  • Museum number:

    T.18:1, 2-2006

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The House of Worth, established in Paris in 1856 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 and the London social season.

This evening gown is an elegant and understated example of 1950s couture. It is made of navy satin with a matching stole, and has carefully crafted pleats and draping details which show the influence of the French couturier Christian Dior (1905-57).

Physical description

A navy evening dress of satin and faille, cut on the bias with interesting pleats and draped skirt detailing. The neckline is a V shape cross-over detail with fringed fabric detail in one of the pleats. The dress is fastened at the back with hooks and eyes and a zip at a diagonal to the right side of a V shaped plunge from bodice to skirt. At this back fastening are two superficial self covered buttons. No corsetry construction or lining inside bodice.
The full skirt has a cross-over V effect pleating from the hips. The skirt lining is silk and nylon net, fastening with a hook and eye at the waist.
There is a matching stole with fringed edging.

Place of Origin

London (made)


late 1950s (made)


Hyde Clark, Owen (designer)
Worth London (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Satin and faille cut on the bias with pleating and draping

Marks and inscriptions

'Worth, 50 Grosvenor Street'

Historical context note

The House of Worth was established by Charles Frederick Worth in 1856 in Paris, and flourished through the generations until it merged with Paquin in 1953.

The London branch of the House of Worth survived until 1967 as the name was purchased by Sydney Massin in the early post-war period, and Worth London Ltd. operated from 50 Grosvenor Street until that date.

Descriptive line

Navy satin evening dress and stole, by House of Worth, London, late 1950s

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 & pl.4.10

Labels and date

Evening dress and stole
Worth London (established 1954-67)
Late 1950s

The fringed fabric detail in the pleats and stole owe much to Dior, who often employed such 19th-century touches.


V&A: T.18:1, 2-2006 [22/09/2007-06/01/2008]


Satin; Faille; Nylon net; Silk


Weaving; Sewing


Fashion; Evening wear; Clothing

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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