Designed by Christian Dior
Elastic, velvet and lace
Museum no. T.140-200
Given by Caroline Wren
The 'New Look' launched by Christian Dior (1905-57) in 1947 made very small waists fashionable. Dior used firm underpinnings such as girdles, under-wired bustiers, and tulle and horsehair petticoats to achieve this. As the 1950s progressed, foundation and support garments became increasingly sophisticated. Lightweight materials such as nylon and new stretch fabrics ensured greater comfort.
This is a ready-to-wear corset, created by Dior. It was given to the museum when a Londonlingerie shop closed and gave the V&A its stock. The original hand-written price-tag is still on the corset and gives the name of the design as ‘Colette’. It also gives the price as £8, which was just over an average week’s wages in the middle of the 1950s.