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Evening dress

Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1933 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Paul Poiret, born 1879 - died 1944 (designer)
    Liberty & Co. Ltd. (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, trimmed with silk velvet, diamanté

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs M. Massey-Stewart

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was born in Paris. He opened his own salon after serving an apprenticeship for Douçet and working for Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895), the English-born designer whose Paris salon dominated French couture. Poiret was one of the most creative fashion designers of the 20th century. He also revived fashion illustration, founded a school for the decorative arts and even diversified into perfume. He led the forefront of the artistic fashion movement away from the curvilinear silhouette of the early 1900s towards a longer, leaner line. His brilliantly coloured, looser clothes, often inspired by the 'orientalist' enthusiasm for Eastern fashions and traditions, were extremely popular.

By 1933, the year of this dress's creation, Poiret was bankrupt and no longer in the vanguard of fashion. He was commissioned by Liberty's, a London-based shop, to create a number of designs for its Model Gown Salon. This elegant gown (one of the few from that collection to survive) is typical of 1930s evening attire. Made in bias-cut ivory satin, it features a dramatic open back, fitted torso and gently flaring skirt. The cascade of velvet ribbons and diamanté buckles focuses attention on the back.

Physical description

Evening dress of pearl satin trimmed with jade green velvet ribbons. Cut low with a draped and weighted neckline which dips almost to waist level at the back. There are no sleeves. The dress is cut and darted to fit the figure closely, flaring slightly from the knees. The ribbons are arranged down each side of the bodice and join wider bands outlining the 'V' neck at the back with diamanté buckles and descending from there to the hem in stitched loops.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1933 (made)


Paul Poiret, born 1879 - died 1944 (designer)
Liberty & Co. Ltd. (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Satin, trimmed with silk velvet, diamanté

Descriptive line

Evening dress of satin trimmed with velvet ribbons and diamantés, designed by Paul Poiret for Liberty & Co. Ltd., London, 1933


Fashion; Textiles; Women's clothes; Evening wear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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