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Evening dress

Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1994 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Walker, Catherine, born 1945 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk velvet with diamanté and beading

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the designer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This evening dress, made in 1994 by the London couturier Catherine Walker, shows her use of glamour and restrained luxury. Rich, black silk velvet is cut and sewn into a perfect full-length backless sheath suspended from a pearl and diamanté yoke. Both the clinging gown and the Art Deco style jewelled collar were inspired by 1930s evening fashion, but the design is brought wholly up-to-date for 1994 with a dramatic diamanté pendant down the bared back.

This combination of regal elegance and unexpected sparkle clearly shows why Diana, Princess of Wales, favoured dresses by Catherine Walker for nearly fifteen years. The V&A collection also includes the famous pearl-encrusted 'Elvis' dress that Catherine Walker made for the Princess in 1989. (see T.1:1&2.2006)

Physical description

Black silk velvet dress embellished with a pearl collar and diamanté pendant finishing with a straight front and short, mermaid train.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1994 (made)


Walker, Catherine, born 1945 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Silk velvet with diamanté and beading

Object history note

Registered File number 1995/29.

Descriptive line

Evening dress, black silk velvet with diamante and pearl collar, by Catherine Walker, UK, 1994.

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

De La Haye, Amy (ed.). The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947- 1997. London, England: V&A Publications, 1997, plate 40.

Labels and date

Catherine Walker's designs are sophisticated and elegant, never overstated. This immacutely executed evening dress features a short train. The sleekly cut velvet is accented with pearl and diamanté embroidery inspired by 1930s jewellery designs. [1997]

Production Note

Autumn/Winter 1994-95 collection.


Pearl; Diamanté; Silk (textile)


Velvet weave


Evening wear; Women's clothes; Fashion


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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