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Day dress

Day dress

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lawn, lacis, embroidery of heavy cotton, net, embroidered silk ribbon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Hon. Mrs J. J. Astor

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This style of delicate pale dress was immensely popular for wear at summer garden parties and fêtes. It has wide, inset panels of lacis patterned with a meandering leaf stem at the front, back and sleeve tops to complement the light fabric. An inner net bodice fastens at the centre front with a row of minute lawn-covered buttons and loops.

The fashion (current between about 1909 and 1912) for enormous hats was ridiculed in the popular press. However, fashionable women (even suffragettes) continued to wear these extravagant creations. False hair pads ('transformations') were often used, and the hats were anchored with long pins stuck through the hat and the real and false hair (safety guards shielded the sharp hat-pin points).

The dress was given to the Museum by the Hon. Mrs J. J. Astor and forms part of the Cecil Beaton Collection, brought together by the society photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). With great energy and determination, Beaton contacted the well-dressed elite of Europe and North America to help create this lasting monument to the art of dress. The Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range.

Physical description

Day dress of white lawn, with wide inset panels of white lacis with a meandering leafing stem at the front, back and sleeve tops. The bodice side panels have florets and spots embroidered in heavy white cotton. It has an inner bodice of off-white net, which centre fastens with a row of tiny lawn covered buttons. A double triangular collar is formed by lacis, trimmed with a bobbled white fringe and the edges of the inner net bodice. A black tie with bobbles is attached around the neck. The bodice is gathered into the waist, which has an embroidered black silk ribbon belt. The dress has an ankle length skirt.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1910 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Lawn, lacis, embroidery of heavy cotton, net, embroidered silk ribbon

Descriptive line

Summer day dress of embroidered lawn, France, ca. 1910.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971


Fashion; Embroidery; Day wear; Women's clothes


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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