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Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1970s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cobb, Ronald (costume designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Card, paint, synthetic fabric, lamé, rhinestones, plastic, sequins, satin, nylon, cotton rep, wire and wood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jimmy and Helen O'Brien

  • Museum number:

    S.694:1 to 4-1996

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Eve was a small Central London night club which opened in 1953 and was well-known for its imaginative floor-shows. Its founder, Helen O'Brien, devised a witty entertainment containing all the elements traditionally associated with night club entertainment - singers, dancers and glamorous showgirls - but presented them in a highly original way. Her designer, Ronald Cobb, created costumes for sequences with unexpected themes, such as Shakespeare's plays, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and The Mind of Goya. The club appealed to a sophisticated audience that enjoyed spotting the references.

In the 1970s the majority of the Eve showgirls were topless. Their costumes were minimal but elaborate, no more than a headdress, sleeves and a G-string, but all incorporated amusing references and symbols appropriate to the theme. The Postage Stamp costume, from a sequence based on methods of communication, included a 'body shield' which provided the girl with a little cover - until she opened her arms at an appropriate moment.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (possibly, made)

Date

1970s (made)

Artist/maker

Cobb, Ronald (costume designer)

Materials and Techniques

Card, paint, synthetic fabric, lamé, rhinestones, plastic, sequins, satin, nylon, cotton rep, wire and wood

Object history note

This costume was created for one of the sequences in a revue at Eve, a London night club
Eve was founded by Helen and Jimmy O'Brien in 1953. They had been members of another London club, Murray's Cabaret Club, and their designer, Ronald Cobb, had also worked for Murray's. Cobb designed and supervised the making of the showgirls' costumes from Eve's earliest days until its closure in 1992.

Descriptive line

Theatre costume, Postage Stamp costume worn by a showgirl at Eve night club, 1970s

Materials

Card; Paint; Synthetic fabric; Lamé; Rhinestone; Plastic; Sequins; Satin; Nylon; Cotton (textile); Wire; Wood

Techniques

Sewing; Glueing; Cutting (dividing); Painting

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Stage costumes

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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