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Dress - The Raffia Dress
  • The Raffia Dress
    Alexander McQueen, born 1969 - died 2010
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The Raffia Dress

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (designed)
    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    2000 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alexander McQueen, born 1969 - died 2010 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine-stitched woven rayon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Alexander McQueen

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B73

By deconstructing the dress’s traditional silhouette Alexander McQueen challenges tradition. Here McQueen employs a sculptural shape that while exquisitely constructed, emphasises a disconcerting asymmetry. Thus in McQueen’s hands the dress has moved well beyond a conventional interpretation of a wardrobe staple. McQueen graduated from Central St. Martin’s School of Art in 1992, before launching his own label in 1994. He has developed a reputation for imaginative, bold design, which is combined with an in-depth knowledge of tailoring, owing to the training he received at the Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard.

Physical description

Asymmetrical dress made of black and white "tweed-woven" rayon. The bodice is off the shoulders and sleeveless. The waist is gathered on an elastic band. The skirt flares on one side only and is longer and pointed at the back.

Place of Origin

Paris (designed)
Italy (made)


2000 (made)


Alexander McQueen, born 1969 - died 2010 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Machine-stitched woven rayon

Marks and inscriptions

'Alexander McQueen'
Makers's mark; English.

'Made in / Italy'
Bback of dress near collar; machine embroidery; silk thread


Length: 130 cm, Width: 89 cm

Object history note

also called the "Raffia Dress"

Historical significance: An interpretation of Balenciaga's geometrical cut. Interesting new version of British traditional tweed. This dress is also called the "Raffia Dress" because of the physical aspect of the fabric.

Historical context note

Was featured in Fashion in Motion at the V&A in July 1999

Descriptive line

Dress (known as the "Raffia Dress"), designed by Alexander McQueen in Paris, made in Italy, 2000.




Machine sewing


Fashion; Textiles; Womenswear

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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