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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1973 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bates, John, born 1938 (designer)
    Jean Varon (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed artificial silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rena Hume

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

White artificial silk dress with black and white braid trimming. High waisted empire line, with narrow mid-calf skirt, and short raglan sleeves. Bodice split vertically down the middle. With a rounded neckline. Fabric printed with a bold red, yellow, blue, and green design of Art Deco style ladies arranged in gradually decreasing height.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1973 (made)


Bates, John, born 1938 (designer)
Jean Varon (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Printed artificial silk

Object history note

Acquired as late '60s, however, is probably more likely to be early 1970s, as Bates also used this same textile to create a large rectangular caftan, likewise trimmed with black and white braid. His caftan phase seems to have been around 1973-1974, so this dress is probably contemporaneous to them. Bates does not appear to have re-used his very distinctive printed textiles across seasons.

This is an atypically restrained design for this period of John Bates. From about 1973 to 1975, his dresses were frequently voluminious, dramatic, and featured startling details and a lavish, abundant use of fabric. In addition to his vividly patterned caftans, his signature look of 1973-1975 comprised ruffles, frills, flounces, fancy braids and multiple fabrics/prints, often with immensely full skirts and sleeves.

Descriptive line

Artificial silk dress with braid trimming, designed by John Bates for Jean Varon, Great Britain, 1973

Production Note

Attribution note: Probably for Spring-Summer 1973 only


Artificial silk



Subjects depicted

Art Deco; Women


Fashion; Women's clothes

Production Type

Ready to wear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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