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On display at V&A South Kensington
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Fashion Design

c.1950 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a fashion design, depicting a woman wearing a black crepe dress, which is a lightweight dress made of various types of fibre having a crinkle surface, with a printed crepe waistband and jacket. It was designed by Marjorie Field in the 1940s for the haute couture firm Field Rhoades which was registered in the London street directories at 77, South Audley Street, London W1 from 1948 to 1949.

Three smaller pencil sketches show details of the front and back views of the dress without the jacket, and back of the jacket. The design is inscribed with the name of the fabrics ('crepe' and 'printed crepe') out of which the dress is intended to be made. This design would have been used as a presentation drawing, for the client to decide which model they wanted to have made, as is evident from the note 'Reserved for Mrs Cosmo Russell.' This design was for a garment to be made to measure exclusively for this particular client.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil on paper
Brief Description
Fashion design for dress by Marjorie Field, c.1950
Physical Description
A pencil drawing depicting a woman wearing a three-quarter length dark dress, with a patterned jacket and waistband, with gloves, a hat, and jewellery. Three smaller pencil sketches to the right show the front of the dress without jacket, the back of the dress without jacket, and the back of the jacket.
Dimensions
  • Height: 32.9cm
  • Width: 20.2cm
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Reserved / Mrs Cosmo Russell.' (In pencil at top right)
  • 'Field Rhoades' (In pencil at bottom right)
  • 'Printed crepe / Coolie-jacket / + waistband / over a black / crepe dress.' (In pencil at top right)
Credit line
Given by Paul Williamson
Object history
NB The name of the jacket relates to the term "coolie" which was used historically by English speakers to describe low-status manual labourers from Asia, particularly China and India. It became a racial stereotype applied to all people of Asian descent. The term is repeated here in its original historical context.



The provenance can be traced back to Gwen Mandley, an artist who was a friend of the designer, Marjorie Field.
Production
The haute couture firm Field Rhoades was registered in the London street directories at 77, South Audley Street, London W1 for the years 1948 to 1949.



Attribution note: This design was reserved uniquely for the client, Mrs Cosmo Russell.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a fashion design, depicting a woman wearing a black crepe dress, which is a lightweight dress made of various types of fibre having a crinkle surface, with a printed crepe waistband and jacket. It was designed by Marjorie Field in the 1940s for the haute couture firm Field Rhoades which was registered in the London street directories at 77, South Audley Street, London W1 from 1948 to 1949.



Three smaller pencil sketches show details of the front and back views of the dress without the jacket, and back of the jacket. The design is inscribed with the name of the fabrics ('crepe' and 'printed crepe') out of which the dress is intended to be made. This design would have been used as a presentation drawing, for the client to decide which model they wanted to have made, as is evident from the note 'Reserved for Mrs Cosmo Russell.' This design was for a garment to be made to measure exclusively for this particular client.
Collection
Accession Number
E.472-2005

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record createdMarch 3, 2006
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