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Cocktail dress - Malaga

Malaga

  • Object:

    Cocktail dress

  • Place of origin:

    London (garment, made)
    France (materials, probably, made)

  • Date:

    1966 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heim, Jacques, born 1899 - died 1967 (designer)
    R.L. Salmon Ltd (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk overlaid with synthetic net, sequin and braid trimming

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Naomi Robins.

  • Museum number:

    T.138-1998

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Jacques Heim dress of Spring 1966 is young and striking. Sparkling synthetic mesh dotted with pom-poms makes a drop-waisted sleeveless dress with flared miniskirt. In the 1960s, long-established couturiers struggled to attract younger clients who wanted outrageous clothes from Carnaby Street or Chelsea's King's Road boutiques. It was a losing battle, as trendy young people often declined to shop where their mothers did.

Jacques Heim launched his couture business in the 1920s. In the 1940s he was one of the first couturiers to sell ready-to-wear clothing in boutiques. In 1957, Heim struck a deal with the London manufacturer R.L.Salmon Ltd. They bought the exclusive rights to reproduce Jacques Heim's Paris collections for a British audience. Twice a year, the couture house sent them sketches and materials for Spring or Autumn collections. The final results were approved by Heim before the clothes were sold by high end London boutiques.

Physical description

Straight-bodied cocktail minidress with a dropped waist and flared near-circular skirt. Rough black silk overlaid with a sparkling synthetic black net with pom-poms dotted throughout. Wide bands of sequins and braid passementerie about the waist and high round neckline. Sleeveless. Back zipper.

Place of Origin

London (garment, made)
France (materials, probably, made)

Date

1966 (made)

Artist/maker

Heim, Jacques, born 1899 - died 1967 (designer)
R.L. Salmon Ltd (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silk overlaid with synthetic net, sequin and braid trimming

Marks and inscriptions

'JACQUES HEIM / PARIS LONDON'
Label in neck

'MADE IN LONDON'
Sideways along edge of label.

Dimensions

Length: 88 cm shoulder to hem

Object history note

This is one of a group of Heim garments donated in 1998 along with design books and fabric swatches, some of which directly relate to the garments.

From 1957, the London manufacturer R.L.Salmon Ltd had exclusive rights to reproduce Jacques Heim's Paris collections. Twice a year, the couture house sent them sketches and materials for Spring or Autumn collections. The final results were approved by Heim before the clothes went to high end London boutiques.

Historical context note

The fabrics for this particular design are in the design book dated Spring 1966, attached to the sketch for 'Malaga', number 3310. The original design shows a V neck, pocket flaps and short sleeves, and trimming around the hem, none of which are present in the actual object. A higher neck has been sketched in on the sketch, and an annotation says "No sleeves. pocket flaps"

This dress is rather more like the preceding sketch, "Izmir", which is virtually identical to the "Malaga" sketch, apart from the untrimmed hem, and is sketched as being made from an all-over dotted fabric, which suggests the net fabric with pom-poms used here. However, Izmir's swatch of fabric is a sorbet-pink linen with metallic threads.

Descriptive line

Straight-bodied cocktail minidress 'Malaga', designed by Jacques Heim, made by R.L. Salmon Ltd, London, 1966

Production Note

Spring 1966

Attribution note: From the Spring 1966 collection

Materials

Silk (textile); Net (textile); Sequins

Categories

Evening wear; Fashion; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Model

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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