#ThrowbackFashion Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James, England, 1934

Wedding dress, 1934
Charles James, born 1906 – died 1978

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1786_jpg_l

Miss Baba Beaton wore this dress when she married Mr Alec Hambro on 6 November 1934. It is an early example of the work of the designer Charles James. It anticipates later developments in his style, particularly his approach to complex cut. The beauty of the design lies in its deceptive simplicity and the designer’s complete understanding of the potential of the fabric.

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1751_jpg_l

Darts and seams shape the smooth ivory satin, which clings and drapes around the body in order to enhance the graceful figure. James said, ‘all my seams have meaning – they emphasise something about the body’.

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1753_jpg_l

Circumference: 66 cm waist, Circumference: 84 cm bust, Circumference: 68 cm diaphragm, Length: 150 cm overall, Length: 40 cm to waist, Width: 40 cm centre back, Width: 42 cm shoulder to shoulder, Length: 62 cm sleeve, over, Length: 52 cm sleeve, under, Circumference: 80 cm hips, Circumference: 18 cm wrist

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2010EG1752_jpg_l

 

Silk satin, trimmed with wax orange-blossom, cut on the bias

Wedding dress of silk satin by Charles James- England- 1934-2006BF2896_jpg_l

Although he was born in Britain, James worked as a milliner and custom dressmaker in New York between 1924 and 1929. In 1929 he opened premises in London. During the early 1930s he travelled extensively between London and Paris, establishing a Paris branch in 1934. Like Elsa Schiaparelli he was a friend of the Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and made use of Surrealist influences in his designs.

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Here are some creative projects that inspire me in Victoria and Albert Museum Archive. You can see other projects on my Pinterest or on my #ThrowbackFashion.

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#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress ‘Bird’s Wing’ of white silk taffeta, designed by Antony Price, England, 1986

Bird’s Wing
Antony Price, born 1945

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress 'Bird's Wing' of white silk taffeta, designed by Antony Price, England, 1986-2006AU1675_jpg_l

Closely swathing the figure, the silk taffeta of this dramatically structured garment is formed into large, irregular gathers diagonally positioned across the front. These culminate in an asymmetrical bodice, with an extraordinary, gravity defying shoulder extension. Designer Antony Price called this his ‘Bird’s Wing’ dress; the rigid folds of fabric with their feathered and serrated edge evoke associations of flight and movement. It was designed for his 1986 Winter collection.

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress 'Bird's Wing' of white silk taffeta, designed by Antony Price, England, 1986-2006BF2615_jpg_l

The simple, white taffeta, with its glossy, reflective sheen offsets the complex structure of the garment. The designer’s choice of a stiff fabric allows the raised folds to retain their shape and make the dress virtually self-supporting. The folds are held in place by large, self-covered buttons which secure the dress at the side, and also provide an important visual motif. In contrast the back is quite plain, a simple bodice with a single shoulder strap and a straight, skirt fitted with darts into the waist seam.

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress 'Bird's Wing' of white silk taffeta, designed by Antony Price, England, 1986-2006BC1929_jpg_l

Here are some creative projects that inspire me in Victoria and Albert Museum Archive. You can see other projects on my Pinterest or on my #ThrowbackFashion.

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress in chiné-printed and embroidered silk taffeta and lace, and machine-lace sleeve, designed by Christian Lacroix @Maison_Lacroix, Paris 1996

Evening dress and sleeve
Christian Lacroix, born 1951

This spectacular dress was given to the Victoria and Albert Museum very shortly after its first appearance on Lacroix’s catwalk in the autumn 1996 Paris fashion shows.

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress by Christian Lacroix, Paris 1996-2011EN2353_jpg_l

Christian Lacroix opened his haute couture house in 1986. His luxurious fashions, typified by this hooped evening dress, reflect an abiding passion for historical styles, ornate textiles, and elaborate decoration, all of which he translates in a contemporary idiom.

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress by Christian Lacroix, Paris 1996-2011EN2354_jpg_l

In a striking palette of acidic yellow and pastels, the dress forms part of Lacroix’s “18th-Century Haute Couture Collection,” which draws on a wide range of pre-1968 fashion references. Lacroix describes this collection as elegant and slightly dishevelled: “Nothing seems to be held in place. The fabric is wrapped. It pirouettes around obstinately asymmetrical necklines.”

#ThrowbackFashion Evening dress by Christian Lacroix, Paris 1996-2011EN2348_jpg_l

Place of Origin: Paris, France (made)
Date: 1996 (designed)
Artist/maker: Lacroix, Christian, born 1951 (designer)
Materials and Techniques: Chiné-printed silk taffeta and lace, embroidered with sequins, pastes and beads
Dimensions: [Evening dress] Length: 150 cm, Circumference: 70 cm bust, Circumference: 62 cm waist, Circumference: 170 cm hoop, maximum

Here are some creative projects that inspire me in Victoria and Albert Museum Archives. You can see other projects on my Pinterest or on my #ThrowbackFashion.