Not currently on display at the V&A

Waistcoat

1950-1957 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Remnants of silks from the workrooms of the London couturier Digby Morton were used to create this patchwork waistcoat, worn by the couturier. Some of the patches are cut from fabric used to make a cocktail dress and coordinating coat for his wife Phyllis in about 1952. Morton stated in an interview that he sometimes had clothes made for himself in his workrooms during slack periods and it seems likely that the waistcoat was among these garments. He is also known to have worn a ‘house jacket’ made from an antique cashmere shawl with a silk velvet collar and cuffs.
Relatively few couture garments designed by Morton survive and and the majority are either tailored wool suits or evening clothes made in dark fabrics. However reports about Morton's work in his lifetime stress his use use of colour. The range of multi-coloured plain and patterned silks used to create this waistcoat provide material evidence of this.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand and machine sewn; silk; elastic
Brief Description
Backless patchwork silk waistcoat
Physical Description
Man's patchwork backless evening waistcoat. The fronts are made from a range of plain and patterned silks, mounted on five-sided patches, arranged in a honeycomb pattern. The waistcoat has a black silk satin collar with black elastic (now degraded) at the centre back neck, and black silk satin revers, cut with a straight edge, which run from neck to waist. The centre front waist is trimmed with black cord frogging which simulates a toggle and loop.The waistcoat is lined with ivory ribbed slk. It is secured at the back waist with an adjustable elastic strap which is attached to the waistcoat fronts with metal hooks and bars.
Dimensions
  • Shoulder to hem length: 51cm
  • Elastic strap across the back width: 31.5cm
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Mrs Suki Bishop
Object history
The waistcoat was probably made for Digby Morton from remnants of dress silks in the workshop of his couture house in London. Some of the patches are cut from fabric used to make a cocktail dress and coordinating coat for Morton's wife Phyllis in about 1952 (T.156:1,2-2014).
Associations
Summary
Remnants of silks from the workrooms of the London couturier Digby Morton were used to create this patchwork waistcoat, worn by the couturier. Some of the patches are cut from fabric used to make a cocktail dress and coordinating coat for his wife Phyllis in about 1952. Morton stated in an interview that he sometimes had clothes made for himself in his workrooms during slack periods and it seems likely that the waistcoat was among these garments. He is also known to have worn a ‘house jacket’ made from an antique cashmere shawl with a silk velvet collar and cuffs.

Relatively few couture garments designed by Morton survive and and the majority are either tailored wool suits or evening clothes made in dark fabrics. However reports about Morton's work in his lifetime stress his use use of colour. The range of multi-coloured plain and patterned silks used to create this waistcoat provide material evidence of this.
Collection
Accession Number
T.152-2014

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record createdOctober 28, 2014
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