Chiffon and sequin dress

pale green dress

Evening dress, silk satin and chiffon with sequins and silk thread decoration, made by Jean Dessès, Paris, about 1955.
Gift of Mr and Mrs Crewe, 1978.

Made in pale green satin fabric lined with cotton and rayon. The fitted boned bodice, with satin insert to the front, has a satin over-bodice with a sweetheart neckline. The skirt is extremely full and heavy and is lined with rayon with an inner underskirt of rayon and net. The skirt has a wide band of chiffon applied at hip level and decorated in a floral pattern with sequins and overstitching in silk thread. At the back of the skirt are two stiffened bows with long trailing chiffon fabric.

This dress is the height of couture. It was probably copied directly from a catwalk design to fit the purchaser. Jean Dessès (1904-1970) made dresses for film stars and European royalty, such as the Queen of Greece. He specialised in draped chiffon creations influenced by the dresses of ancient Greece and Egypt. Creations like this were worn by glamorous women in the pages of fashion magazines. Although many people had more money in the 1950s than ever before, this fashion item was only for the very rich.

Gift of Mr and Mrs Crewe, 1978 1978.165