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Evening Dress

1949 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Gloria Guinness (1912-80) was a wealthy, elegant socialite and writer. She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962, second only to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Gloria Guinness kept a full wardrobe in each of her seven homes, so that she would never have to pack. She saw haute couture as an art form and patronised many couture houses.

She gave dozens of items to the V&A, including pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior (1905-57), and Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927). Amongst these famous names were several lesser known labels, such as Marcelle Chaumont (b.1892; house closed in 1953), showing that she cast her net wide in her pursuit of fashion. The gown is made of hand-painted organza, in the yellow and gold tones that Gloria Guinness favoured.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Evening Dress
  • Belt
  • Petticoat
Materials and Techniques
Hand-painted silk organza, gathered and boned, organdie
Brief Description
Full-length evening dress of hand-painted silk organza with matching belt and organdie petticoat, designed by Marcelle Chaumont, Paris, 1949
Physical Description
Full length evening dress of white silk organza. The full waisted skirt is hand-painted with a gold design of ribbons and bows. The bodice is finely tucked, it is strapless and is boned at the seams, and it has a gathered frill at the top. There is a side zip fastening. With a petticoat of white organdie attached to the dress at the tip of the bodice and it is also boned. Belt of white organza.
Dimensions
  • Bust circumference: 88cm
  • Waist circumference: 69cm
  • Hem circumference: 250cm
  • Dress length: 142cm (Approximately)
Production typeHaute couture
Gallery Label
Evening dress (robe du soir) Marcelle Chaumont (house 1940-52) Paris 1949 spring/summer Mexican-born Gloria Guinness was one of the best-dressed women of the post-war years and patronised many different designers. This group of dresses by Chaumont, Lafaurie and Dior are in her favoured shades of yellow. Hand-painted organza Given by Mrs Gloria Guinness V&A: T.92&A, B-1974(22/09/2007-06/01/2008)
Credit line
Given by Mrs Loel Guinness
Object history
Designer

Chaumont was trained by Vionnet and inherited her premises and staff when she retired in 1939-40. Pierre Cardin was briefly employed as cutter in 1945.



Donor

Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, better known as Gloria Guinness (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.



Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.



She was voted second 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962. Jackie Kennedy was in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)
Historical context
Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, better known as Gloria Guinness (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.



Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.



She was voted second 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962. Jackie Kennedy was in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)
Subjects depicted
Association
Summary
Gloria Guinness (1912-80) was a wealthy, elegant socialite and writer. She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962, second only to Jacqueline Kennedy.



Gloria Guinness kept a full wardrobe in each of her seven homes, so that she would never have to pack. She saw haute couture as an art form and patronised many couture houses.



She gave dozens of items to the V&A, including pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior (1905-57), and Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927). Amongst these famous names were several lesser known labels, such as Marcelle Chaumont (b.1892; house closed in 1953), showing that she cast her net wide in her pursuit of fashion. The gown is made of hand-painted organza, in the yellow and gold tones that Gloria Guinness favoured.
Bibliographic References
  • L'Officiel, June 1949, p.24
  • Vickers, H., 'Cecil Beaton' in Wilcox, C., ed., The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-57 (V&A Publications, 2007), p.169 and pl.7.12 & 7.13
  • Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971
Collection
Accession Number
T.92 to B-1974

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record createdFebruary 3, 2006
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