Coat thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Coat

autumn 1942 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The large buttons on this tailored coat bear a wartime message. They are moulded and pierced with the Utility symbol CC41, which stands for Civilian Clothing and 1941. The Utility Scheme was introduced in 1941 to ensure that consumer goods were produced to the highest possible standards at 'reasonable' prices. These standards complied with restrictions and rationing of raw materials. Utility clothes were usually identified by a distinctive double crescent CC41 (Civilian Clothing) label. Reginald Schipp designed the symbol. He was asked to disguise the 'CC' so that the public would not recognise the letters as such. This stylised motif became known as 'the cheeses' and was also printed on clothing labels.

The Board of Trade commissioned the design for this coat from the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. It was one of 32 stylish yet economical outfits intended for general production. In October 1942 Vogue magazine published the following description of the collection: 'All the designs are, of course, within the New Austerity specifications: only so many buttons, this much cuff and that much skirt...but they are an object lesson in the power of pure style over mere elegance'.

Although the designers of individual pieces were not publicised, this coat has Digby Morton's initials inked on a paper tag.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wool in cavalry twill weave, fastened with plastic buttons
Brief Description
Red wool coat, designed by Digby Morton, English, autumn 1942
Physical Description
Red cavalry twill coat. Large red plastic buttons bear a wartime message: CC41 (Civilian Clothing 1941).
Production typePrototype
Credit line
Given by the Board of Trade
Object history
In 1942 the President of the Board of Trade gave the prototype Utility clothes, designed by designer members of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, to the V&A. Although the designers of individual pieces were not publicised, this coat had Digby Morton's initials inked on a dress tag, which also identified it as 'Original no. 16'.
Production
Although the designers of individual Utility pieces were not publicised, this coat has Digby Morton's initials inked on a dress tag. The only other piece in the collection to have CC41 buttons is by Morton too.



Attribution note: Prototype Utility clothes were designed by designer members of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers.

Reason For Production: Commission
Summary
The large buttons on this tailored coat bear a wartime message. They are moulded and pierced with the Utility symbol CC41, which stands for Civilian Clothing and 1941. The Utility Scheme was introduced in 1941 to ensure that consumer goods were produced to the highest possible standards at 'reasonable' prices. These standards complied with restrictions and rationing of raw materials. Utility clothes were usually identified by a distinctive double crescent CC41 (Civilian Clothing) label. Reginald Schipp designed the symbol. He was asked to disguise the 'CC' so that the public would not recognise the letters as such. This stylised motif became known as 'the cheeses' and was also printed on clothing labels.



The Board of Trade commissioned the design for this coat from the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. It was one of 32 stylish yet economical outfits intended for general production. In October 1942 Vogue magazine published the following description of the collection: 'All the designs are, of course, within the New Austerity specifications: only so many buttons, this much cuff and that much skirt...but they are an object lesson in the power of pure style over mere elegance'.



Although the designers of individual pieces were not publicised, this coat has Digby Morton's initials inked on a paper tag.
Collection
Accession Number
T.54-1942

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record createdJune 13, 2008
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