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

Evening Dress

ca. 1925 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This short dancing dress is made from orange silk velvet. It has a sleeveless bodice that is straight cut and low waisted. The skirt is composed of two rows of knee-length streamers tapering to a point, each decoratively stitched to the bodice. The topmost is made of orange velvet stitched in beige, the lower of peach velvet stitched in pink. Each streamer is edged with a gold bead fringe, and lined with bright yellow silk. The belt is a narrow sash in an orange self material doubled with a peach velvet that matches the lower set of streamers. The dress is unlined but the neck and armholes are faced with narrow bands of matching satin. Voisin of Paris made it about 1925.

By 1925 evening dresses were designed to reflect the frenzy of the newly discovered charleston and jazz dancing. Short and square gowns were often embroidered with sequins, pearls or metallic threads, to achieve the maximum effect of brilliance and to accentuate the movement of the dance.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Evening Dress
  • Belt
Materials and Techniques
Hand-sewn silk velvet, with hand-embroidered beads, partly lined with silk and faced with satin
Brief Description
Evening dancing dress and belt made from silk velvet, designed by Voisin, France, ca. 1925
Physical Description
Short evening dancing dress made from orange silk velvet . Straight cut and low waisted, low cut, and sleeveless bodice. The skirt is composed of two rows of tapering pointed knee-length streamers, each decoratively stitched to the bodice, and the topmost is of orange velvet stitched in beige, and the lower of peach velvet stitched in pink. Each streamer is edged with a gold bead fringe, and lined with bright yellow silk. The belt is a narrow sash in orange of self material doubled with peach velvet matching the lower set of streamers. The dress is unlined but the neck and armholes are faced with narrow bands of matching satin.
Style
Production typeLimited edition
Object history
This evening dress was worn by Miss Emilie Grigsby (1876-1964) who was a wealthy independent American who came to England from New York. She established a salon which was frequented by writers and the military. She was considered to be one of the great international beauties, with extremely pale, almost transparent skin and golden hair. She was frequently the subject of articles in the New York Times during the early 20th century. Her clothes were purchased from couturiers in London, Paris, and New York, and demonstrated an elegantly avant-garde approach to style.
Historical context
By 1925, evening dresses were designed to reflect the frenzy of the newly discovered charleston and jazz dancing. Short and square gown were designed to achieve the maxime effect of brilliance and accentuate movement.
Summary
This short dancing dress is made from orange silk velvet. It has a sleeveless bodice that is straight cut and low waisted. The skirt is composed of two rows of knee-length streamers tapering to a point, each decoratively stitched to the bodice. The topmost is made of orange velvet stitched in beige, the lower of peach velvet stitched in pink. Each streamer is edged with a gold bead fringe, and lined with bright yellow silk. The belt is a narrow sash in an orange self material doubled with a peach velvet that matches the lower set of streamers. The dress is unlined but the neck and armholes are faced with narrow bands of matching satin. Voisin of Paris made it about 1925.



By 1925 evening dresses were designed to reflect the frenzy of the newly discovered charleston and jazz dancing. Short and square gowns were often embroidered with sequins, pearls or metallic threads, to achieve the maximum effect of brilliance and to accentuate the movement of the dance.
Collection
Accession Number
T.139&A-1967

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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