The Raffia Dress

Dress
2000 (made)
The Raffia Dress thumbnail 1
The Raffia Dress thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

By deconstructing the dress’s traditional silhouette Alexander McQueen challenges tradition. Here McQueen employs a sculptural shape that while exquisitely constructed, emphasises a disconcerting asymmetry. Thus in McQueen’s hands the dress has moved well beyond a conventional interpretation of a wardrobe staple. McQueen graduated from Central St. Martin’s School of Art in 1992, before launching his own label in 1994. He has developed a reputation for imaginative, bold design, which is combined with an in-depth knowledge of tailoring, owing to the training he received at the Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Machine-stitched woven rayon
Brief Description
Dress (known as the "Raffia Dress"), designed by Alexander McQueen in Paris, made in Italy, 2000.
Physical Description
Asymmetrical dress made of black and white "tweed-woven" rayon. The bodice is off the shoulders and sleeveless. The waist is gathered on an elastic band. The skirt flares on one side only and is longer and pointed at the back.
Dimensions
  • Length: 130cm
  • Width: 89cm
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Alexander McQueen' (Makers's mark; English.)
  • 'Made in / Italy' (Bback of dress near collar; machine embroidery; silk thread)
Credit line
Given by Alexander McQueen
Object history
also called the "Raffia Dress"



Historical significance: An interpretation of Balenciaga's geometrical cut. Interesting new version of British traditional tweed. This dress is also called the "Raffia Dress" because of the physical aspect of the fabric.
Historical context
Was featured in Fashion in Motion at the V&A in July 1999
Summary
By deconstructing the dress’s traditional silhouette Alexander McQueen challenges tradition. Here McQueen employs a sculptural shape that while exquisitely constructed, emphasises a disconcerting asymmetry. Thus in McQueen’s hands the dress has moved well beyond a conventional interpretation of a wardrobe staple. McQueen graduated from Central St. Martin’s School of Art in 1992, before launching his own label in 1994. He has developed a reputation for imaginative, bold design, which is combined with an in-depth knowledge of tailoring, owing to the training he received at the Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard.
Collection
Accession Number
T.919-2000

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record createdNovember 27, 2000
Record URL