May Moore Duprez

Theatre Costume
ca. 1910 (made)
May Moore Duprez thumbnail 1
May Moore Duprez thumbnail 2
+3
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Although billed as the Little Dutch Girl, music-hall performer May Moore Duprez's act was not limited to that one character and this sensational sequinned dress was one of two that came into the Theatre Collections. It is a rare surviving example of a glamour/fantasy style, developed in music-hall, and owing little to fashion, save that the bodice would have been modified in line with changing body shapes. This bodice and the fitted hips are characteristic of 1910, suggesting the full-bosomed mature look, but the flaring short skirt reveals the performer's legs at a time when women's dresses were still floor-length. Every millimetre is encrusted with sequins, each one painstakingly sewn on by hand, and the costume would have shone and sparkled under the stage lights. As she moved the skirt, Duprez's legs would have been revealed surrounded by a froth of underskirts in the finest chiffon, which would also have helped cushion her legs against the weight of the sequinned skirt.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Theatre Costume
  • Music Hall Costume
  • Dress
  • Theatre Costume
  • Music Hall Costume
  • Sleeve
Materials and Techniques
Sequins and net on a cotton backing
Brief Description
Dress worn by May Moore Duprez, possibly at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, and the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, ca. 1910
Physical Description
Dress worn by May Moore Duprez, possibly at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, and the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, ca. 1910. Short dress held over the shoulders with narrow straps covered in red sequins. Inserted into the skirt are triangular panels, creating a very full flare to the hem. The dress is completely covered with sequins, the main background being dark blue. The bodice is trimmed around the top with red and gold sequin bands, and across the centre of the bodice are outlined shallow curves in red sequins filled with gold sequins; between the curves are scattered pale yellow sequins; the bodice decoration continues into a shaped triangle in the skirt, outlined in red and filled with yellow gold sequins. The flared panels in the skirt are covered with red sequins, each set from the top with a single stem and leaves in gold sequins, each finished towards the hem in large flowers formed of thickly encrusted elliptical sequins, with dense centres of gold sequins.
Dimensions
  • Height: 100cm
  • Width: 95cm
  • Depth: 85cm
Credit line
Given by Mrs Virginia King
Object history
Costume worn by May Moore Duprez possibly at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, and the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, ca. 1910
Summary
Although billed as the Little Dutch Girl, music-hall performer May Moore Duprez's act was not limited to that one character and this sensational sequinned dress was one of two that came into the Theatre Collections. It is a rare surviving example of a glamour/fantasy style, developed in music-hall, and owing little to fashion, save that the bodice would have been modified in line with changing body shapes. This bodice and the fitted hips are characteristic of 1910, suggesting the full-bosomed mature look, but the flaring short skirt reveals the performer's legs at a time when women's dresses were still floor-length. Every millimetre is encrusted with sequins, each one painstakingly sewn on by hand, and the costume would have shone and sparkled under the stage lights. As she moved the skirt, Duprez's legs would have been revealed surrounded by a froth of underskirts in the finest chiffon, which would also have helped cushion her legs against the weight of the sequinned skirt.
Collection
Accession Number
S.502-1979

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record createdMay 14, 2004
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