Evening dress, cellulose acetate, nylon and lurex, 1973
Accession number WAG1994.88.1
Evening dress, cellulose acetate, nylon and lurex, Bill Gibb, 1973
Synthetic suede shoes, 2006
Bill Gibb's designs are in complete contrast to the clean, simple lines and modern shapes favoured by designers in the 1960s. Instead, his clothes are flowing, decorative and romantic, taking their inspiration from many different world cultures.
Gibb loved to mix together a number of complicated patterns and textures within one garment and often added beads, embroidery and other trimmings. Despite his interest in the past, he used the modern fabrics available in the 1970s, including man-made fibres such as acetate, nylon and lurex.
This evening dress, with its petal-shaped hemline, and glowing jewel-like colours, is typical of much of Gibb's work in the early 1970s. In particular, his use of an exotic pattern and a metallic lurex thread in the fabric indicates how he was often influenced by rich historic fabrics and non-Western cultures.