Day Dress thumbnail 1
Day Dress thumbnail 2
+4
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Day Dress

ca. 1912 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Heather Firbank wore this crisp summer day dress. She was daughter of the affluent Member of Parliament Sir Thomas Firbank. Her brother was the novelist Ronald Firbank. According to his biographer, Miriam J. Benkovitz, Heather favoured 'exquisite clothes of a heather colour to complement her name'. The dress has a simple whitework collar. Its fresh youthful style conjures up images of leisurely summer picnics and boating parties from the years before the First World War (1914-1918).

In 1921 Heather's expensive clothes, bought from leading fashion houses, were packed into trunks and put into storage. There they remained for the next 35 years. In 1960 the V&A acquired well over 100 items from her wardrobe. This collection forms an invaluable record of a stylish and wealthy woman's taste between about 1905 and 1920. Many items were shown in an exhibition at the V&A in 1960. It was called 'Lady of Fashion: Heather Firbank and what she wore between 1908 and 1921'.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Printed cotton, machine-embroidered lawn
Brief description
Summer day dress of printed cotton, designed by Mascotte, London, ca. 1912
Physical description
Summer day dress of printed cotton. In crisp lilac and white cotton has a delicate whitework machine-embroidered lawn collar and bow trim.

The dress has a high round neck, natural waist line and long sleeves set in one with the shoulders. The skirt is slightly flared with stitched pleats at the hips and down the centre back. Decorative buttons down the centre front. The dress fastens with hooks and eyes. Stitched inside the centre front bodice is a small ribbon bow lettered in gold. At the neck is a machine-embroidered turndown white lawn collar and a bobble trimmed bow.
Object history
Worn by Miss Heather Firbank
Summary
Heather Firbank wore this crisp summer day dress. She was daughter of the affluent Member of Parliament Sir Thomas Firbank. Her brother was the novelist Ronald Firbank. According to his biographer, Miriam J. Benkovitz, Heather favoured 'exquisite clothes of a heather colour to complement her name'. The dress has a simple whitework collar. Its fresh youthful style conjures up images of leisurely summer picnics and boating parties from the years before the First World War (1914-1918).

In 1921 Heather's expensive clothes, bought from leading fashion houses, were packed into trunks and put into storage. There they remained for the next 35 years. In 1960 the V&A acquired well over 100 items from her wardrobe. This collection forms an invaluable record of a stylish and wealthy woman's taste between about 1905 and 1920. Many items were shown in an exhibition at the V&A in 1960. It was called 'Lady of Fashion: Heather Firbank and what she wore between 1908 and 1921'.
Collection
Accession number
T.24-1960

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest