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Evening Dress

1935 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This dress, designed by Jeanne Lanvin, is made of purple satin, cut on the bias of the fabric. It is sleeveless and has a low cut rectangular neckline. The back of the dress is cut into a point, attached to the back of the collar and showing two triangles of naked flesh. A huge collar based on a rectangular form is made of triangles and squares. The collar is covered with narrow parallel rows of stitching which reinforce the fabric and allow the collar to keep its shape. Lanvin broke the long line of the dress by attaching two ribbons, equally covered with stitches, at either sides of the waist. The ribbons, once fastened, emphasise the waist, a new and important feature of 1930s fashion. By using one single, very strong colour in this dress, Lanvin achieved the simple, yet sculptural look of the 'classical' fashion of the period.

Satin became popular in the 1920s when it was increasingly used for costumes in the silent cinema for its evocative character and the way it attracted the light. In Hollywood cinema, satin became the emblematic fabric of the 1930s Art Deco evening dresses and was mostly used in monochrome colours.
read Art Deco fashion Distinct, elegant and vivid in colour, items from the V&A's fashion collections reveal the relationship between Art Deco design and the clothing and jewellery of the 1920s and 1930s. From Jeanne Lanvin's haute couture to the bold geometric jewellery of Raymond Templier, Art Deco's multiple...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Satin, machine-sewn
Brief Description
Full-length evening dress made of satin, designed by Jeanne Lanvin, Paris, 1935
Physical Description
Full-length evening dress made of purple satin and cut in the bias of the fabric. Sleeveless and with a low cut rectangular neckline. The back of the dress is cut into a point and would show two triangles of naked flesh. At waist level, the dress shows a diamond-shaped piece of satin on each side of the body allowing the fabric to cling to the waist. The huge collar is based on a rectangular form, and is made of triangles and squares. The collar is covered with narrow parallel rows of stitching. Two ribbons, equally covered with stitches, are attached at either sides of the waist. Slight train. Machine-sewn.
Style
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Jeanne Lanvin, Paris' and 'unis France' [within a diamond] (On a label stitched near the foot of one of the side seams)
  • 'Hiver 1935' (Stamped on the label)
  • '47218' (On the label, written in pencil)
Credit line
Given by Mrs I. L. Martin
Production
Winter 1935
Summary
This dress, designed by Jeanne Lanvin, is made of purple satin, cut on the bias of the fabric. It is sleeveless and has a low cut rectangular neckline. The back of the dress is cut into a point, attached to the back of the collar and showing two triangles of naked flesh. A huge collar based on a rectangular form is made of triangles and squares. The collar is covered with narrow parallel rows of stitching which reinforce the fabric and allow the collar to keep its shape. Lanvin broke the long line of the dress by attaching two ribbons, equally covered with stitches, at either sides of the waist. The ribbons, once fastened, emphasise the waist, a new and important feature of 1930s fashion. By using one single, very strong colour in this dress, Lanvin achieved the simple, yet sculptural look of the 'classical' fashion of the period.



Satin became popular in the 1920s when it was increasingly used for costumes in the silent cinema for its evocative character and the way it attracted the light. In Hollywood cinema, satin became the emblematic fabric of the 1930s Art Deco evening dresses and was mostly used in monochrome colours.
Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
T.340-1965

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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