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Evening dress and petticoat
  • Evening dress and petticoat
    Bohan, Marc, born 1926
  • Enlarge image

Evening dress and petticoat

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1964 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered organza with openwork, cutwork and appliqué, net, silk lined and boned

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Alfred Bloomingdale

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Embroidered organza evening dress and petticoat.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1964 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered organza with openwork, cutwork and appliqué, net, silk lined and boned

Marks and inscriptions

'Christian Dior Paris No. 123091'
On woven label, black on white


Circumference: 100 cm bust, Length: 148 cm shoulder to hem

Object history note

This evening dress was made for the American socialite and philanthropist Betsy Bloomingdale (b. 1922) in 1964, and was a favourite dress of hers. Betsy Bloomingdale has regularly appeared on the International Best Dressed List since 1970, and in 2009, her wardrobe was the subject of an exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum. The show, titled "High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture", displayed gowns worn by Bloomingdale since the 1960s.

This particular dress was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1974 as part of the Cecil Beaton Collection brought together by the society photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). With great energy and determination Beaton contacted the well-dressed elite of Europe and North America to help create a lasting monument to the art of dress. His Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range.

In November 2005, Betsy gave a group of fabric swatches to the FIDM museum for their collection, saying in an accompanying note that they were "from a dress I adored by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior. They always sent you extra pieces of the "extravagant" dress in case "repair" was needed. This was my very favourite, long white organdy with this beautiful applique. . . It ended up in the Museum in London for a Cecil Beaton exhibit. . . . I wish I had it today!" The swatches were passed to the V&A by FIDM so that they could be reunited with the original dress. Their Museum numbers are T.77, 78 and 79-2016.

Daniel Milford-Cottam

Descriptive line

Embroidered organza evening dress and petticoat, designed by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Paris, 1964






Evening wear; Fashion; Women's clothes; Embroidery

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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