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Evening dress and bodice - Maxim's


  • Object:

    Evening dress and bodice

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1961 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bohan, Marc, born 1926 (designer)
    Christian Dior (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Velvet and sequins

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Straight cut evening dress, sleeveless, with high round neck. Black velvet bodice with a black sequin skirt with all-over interwoven design which matches the loose hip-length jacket with seven-eighths length sleeves. The skirt is slightly flared and gathered into the waist, and with two pockets in the front. The dress has a centre back zip fastening.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1961 (made)


Bohan, Marc, born 1926 (designer)
Christian Dior (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Velvet and sequins

Marks and inscriptions

'Christian Dior paris Automne-Hiver 1961 111396'
Label inside the jacket

Historical context note

The name of this dress, Maxim's, is clearly a direct nod towards the "Maxime" dinner dress from Christian Dior's first collection, That was a black woollen dress with a black velvet bow; this is a black velvet bodice dress with a sequinned skirt.

Gloria Guinness (nee Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, 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 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962 behind Jackie Kennedy in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

She owned seven homes, with a full wardrobe in each so that she would never have to pack or wait at customs. She spread her patronage widely, and amongst donations to the V&A of pieces by Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy etc., are pieces by lesser known couturiers such as Chaumont and Lafaurie.

Descriptive line

Straight cut evening dress and velvet bodice 'Maxim's', designed by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Paris, 1961


Velvet; Sequins


Fashion; Women's clothes; Formal wear; Evening wear

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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