Dress thumbnail 1
Dress thumbnail 2
+4
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery

Dress

ca. 1905 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This type of dress was seen as the healthy and aesthetic alternative to the corseted and constrictive fashions in conventional dress. Falling from the shoulders, it does not restrict the body and it skims lightly over contours that would normally have been shaped by a boned under-garment. Loosely based on medieval attire, the dress has four panels that gently flare to a trailing hem and train trimmed with velvet. The separate long, tapering tabard has fly-away shoulders and is held loosely at the waist with a crêpe band. The crêpe is similar to those made by Liberty's, the London fashion shop. Liberty's sold a wide range of lightweight silks in soft plain colours that were ideal for artistic clothes such as this. The harmonies of muted grey, mauves and purples are typical for this period.


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

  • Dress
  • Tabard
Materials and Techniques
Crêpe, embroidered velvet in mercerised embroidery cottons, lined with silk. Anna Buruma, Liberty archivist identified the silk of the underdress as Liberty 'Nitas' silk, from a swatch book held at the Liberty archive on 15 June 2017.
Brief Description
Dress of silk crêpe and tabard of embroidered velvet in cottons, designed by Forma, London, ca. 1905
Physical Description
Dress of deep lilac silk crêpe and tabard of embroidered velvet in mercerised embroidery cottons and lined with silk. Embroidered with a floral design. Possibly made using materials from Liberty of London.
Dimensions
  • Length: 60in (approx.)
Marks and Inscriptions
FORMA 40, Conduit St W
Credit line
Given anonymously
Object history
Madame M Forma is listed as a dressmaker (not court dressmaker) in the 1911 London Post Office Directory at 40 Conduit Street. She is not in the 1902 edition. No others checked as yet.
Summary
This type of dress was seen as the healthy and aesthetic alternative to the corseted and constrictive fashions in conventional dress. Falling from the shoulders, it does not restrict the body and it skims lightly over contours that would normally have been shaped by a boned under-garment. Loosely based on medieval attire, the dress has four panels that gently flare to a trailing hem and train trimmed with velvet. The separate long, tapering tabard has fly-away shoulders and is held loosely at the waist with a crêpe band. The crêpe is similar to those made by Liberty's, the London fashion shop. Liberty's sold a wide range of lightweight silks in soft plain colours that were ideal for artistic clothes such as this. The harmonies of muted grey, mauves and purples are typical for this period.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.638&A-1964

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 24, 2003
Record URL