Dress thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Dress

1940s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Hardy Amies, Digby Morton, Bianca Mosca, Peter Russell and Worth (London) Ltd. created the prototype Utility designs. Throughout the 1940s the Utility programme aimed to produce goods, from furniture to clothing, that used a minimum of materials while demonstrating both excellence and simplicity of design. This overall, or housedress, was designed to Utility standards. It has no more than two pockets, five buttons, six seams, 160 inches of stitching and no superfluous decoration. It is made of a floral printed fabric, an area of textile production in which Britain has long excelled.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton
Brief Description
Dress/overall, printed cotton, made for Utility, England, 1940s.
Physical Description
Single breasted, front-fastening utility dress/overallwith maroon buttons. Shirt style collar and revers, short, puffed sleeves. Belts attached to front seams tie at back. Two small patch pockets at skirt sides. In a brightly coloured all over floral print on cotton, in orange, yellow, red, blue and dark brown on white.

Dimensions
  • Length: 117cm
  • Waist, untied circumference: 106cm
  • Waist, tied, approx. circumference: 74cm
Marks and Inscriptions
CC41 / OS (Label)
Gallery Label
Hardy Amies, Digby Morton, Bianca Mosca, Peter Russell and Worth (London) Ltd. created the prototype Utility designs. The Broad of Trade specified that a dress could have no more than two pockets, five buttons, six seams, 160 inches of stitching and no superfluous decoration. Utility garments were sometimes brightly coloured but pattern repeats were small to avoid wastage when cutting.(1997)
Credit line
Given by Miss Pennie Smith
Summary
Hardy Amies, Digby Morton, Bianca Mosca, Peter Russell and Worth (London) Ltd. created the prototype Utility designs. Throughout the 1940s the Utility programme aimed to produce goods, from furniture to clothing, that used a minimum of materials while demonstrating both excellence and simplicity of design. This overall, or housedress, was designed to Utility standards. It has no more than two pockets, five buttons, six seams, 160 inches of stitching and no superfluous decoration. It is made of a floral printed fabric, an area of textile production in which Britain has long excelled.
Bibliographic Reference
Illustrated in Christine Bodyell, Horrockses' Fashions: Off-the-Peg Style in the '40s and '50s (London: V&A Publishing, 2010), p. 28, pl. 1.10.
Collection
Accession Number
T.55-1979

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record createdAugust 27, 2003
Record URL