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Walking costume

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1912 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mascotte (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool gabardine, lined with silk satin, trimmed with Jacquard-woven silk, metal

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This tailored costume was made by London fashion house Mascotte. The jacket and skirt of purple gaberdine are trimmed with a binding of fancy black silk braid. The hip-length jacket, fastened with a single button, has narrow sleeves and a buckle at the back to provide shaping at the waist. It is lined with purple silk with the Mascotte label at the neck. The skirt, which is in the narrower style of the 1910s, flares slightly at the hem and is made to look as if it wraps around the front. In fact it is fastened at the back with hooks and eyes. A slight fullness at the back of the skirt is held with a small buckled tab. Five pairs of decorative buttons, covered in black braid which descend from the waist are almost entirely hidden by the jacket which suggests it would have been worn separately with just a blouse when inside.

Mascotte of 89 Park street was one of the great houses of the Edwardian period and like the house of Lucile, a much more famous contemporary, was run by a Society Woman, Mrs Cyril Drummond. Worn by Miss Heather Firbank (1888-1954) this ensemble forms part of a collection of well over 100 pieces of her clothing acquired by the museum in 1960. Miss Firbank (1888-1954), daughter of the affluent Member of Parliament Sir Thomas Firbank and sister of the novelist Ronald Firbank, patronised many of the top London dress-makers and tailors of the time. Mascotte, based in Park Lane was just around the corner from the Firbank's London residence.

The Heather Firbank 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 Museum in 1960: 'Lady of Fashion: Heather Firbank and what she wore between 1908 and 1921'.

Physical description

Purple woollen gabardine coat and slim skirt. The coat is hip length and is fitted with a 'V' neck. Single button fastening at the back. Long and tight sleeves trimmed with a black metal buckled band at the waist. The coat is lined in purple silk satin, with cut-away front fastened with single silk-covered button. The front facings of coat is bordered with black-on-black woven Jacquard silk brocade, and the cuffs are similarly trimmed. Pocket inside the lining on the left side.

Narrow and fitted skirt flaring slightly to the hem. With a wrap-over effect in the front, edged with wide bands of the same Jacquard silk, and with rows of double silk-covered buttons from waist to the top of wrap-over effect. There is a slit to allow for movement. At the centre back there is slight fullness held with a black metal buckled tab. Wide petersham waistband fastens with hooks over the slit.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1912 (made)


Mascotte (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wool gabardine, lined with silk satin, trimmed with Jacquard-woven silk, metal


Circumference: 875 mm, Circumference: 661 mm, Width: 405 mm, Length: 1405 mm, Length: 1645 mm

Descriptive line

Wool coat and slim skirt, made by Mascotte, London, ca. 1912

Labels and date

Blouse and skirt

The V&A has a wardrobe of clothes worn by Heather Firbank. She lived in Mayfair and patronised the top London couturiers such as Lucile, where she frequently ran up large bills. Her wardrobe includes garments for every occasion: garden parties, dinners and balls; visiting, walking, playing golf and going racing.

Skirt (part of a jacket and skirt suit)
Labelled, ‘Mascotte 89 Park Street Park Lane’
Wool gabardine
Museum no. T.43A-1960

Cotton lawn with machine embroidery and machine lace
Museum no. T.59-1960
Both worn by Miss Heather Firbank (1888–1956) [2012]


Gabardine; Silk satin; Silk (textile)


Tailoring; Jacquard weaving


Fashion; Day wear; Women's clothes; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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