Not currently on display at the V&A

Riding Habit

1912 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The construction of riding-habits is a highly specialized branch of the tailor's art. Because riding-habits are subject to considerable stress, the emphasis throughout is on firm and accurate construction. Seams that take strain and might rub are lined and reinforced with black cotton, and buttons are backed with cotton. This particular example was made for Mrs James Fraser (née Miss Grace Isabelle Spencer-Smith), the mother of the donors.

John Redfern was born in England about 1819. In the 1870s he began designing beautifully constructed and practical tailored garments to meet the needs of women engaging in various sports, from yachting and tennis to archery and riding. His designs were adopted by royalty, actresses and fashionable women for everyday wear as well as for sports. He opened branches in London (1881), Paris (1881), New York (1884) and Rhode Island (1885). He closed his fashion houses in 1932. They were resurrected in 1936, but closed again in 1940.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Skirt
  • Breeches
  • Crop
  • Cravat
  • Cravat
Materials and techniques
Physical description
The single-breasted jacket with cut-away fronts is lined throughout in pearl-grey satin and has the label PARIS NEW YORK REDFERN LONDON plus a tape stamped with the number 57983. The matching flared apron skirt is cut away at the back and shaped at the right side to accommodate the knee (when mounted). Strong black cotton twill forms a capacious inner pocket and shaped linings. The calf-length breeches in jersey (for ease of movement) fly-fasten at the front. The seat and right knee are lined with chamois.
Credit line
Given by Mrs J. G. M. Stewart and Mrs I. O'Reilly
Summary
The construction of riding-habits is a highly specialized branch of the tailor's art. Because riding-habits are subject to considerable stress, the emphasis throughout is on firm and accurate construction. Seams that take strain and might rub are lined and reinforced with black cotton, and buttons are backed with cotton. This particular example was made for Mrs James Fraser (née Miss Grace Isabelle Spencer-Smith), the mother of the donors.



John Redfern was born in England about 1819. In the 1870s he began designing beautifully constructed and practical tailored garments to meet the needs of women engaging in various sports, from yachting and tennis to archery and riding. His designs were adopted by royalty, actresses and fashionable women for everyday wear as well as for sports. He opened branches in London (1881), Paris (1881), New York (1884) and Rhode Island (1885). He closed his fashion houses in 1932. They were resurrected in 1936, but closed again in 1940.
Collection
Accession number
T.333 to B-1982

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Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
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