Evening dress by Dior

Evening dress by Dior

Cocktail dress
Designed for Dior of London by Marc Bohan (born 1926)
London, England
1957
Satin organza, net and horsehair stuffing
Museum no. T.235-1985
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Given by Mrs William Mann

This cocktail dress, made of raspberry coloured satin organza has two bows that appear to hold the soft gathers of the material together as it flows from the deep, falling collar into the closely fitting bodice.

Christian Dior (1905-57) wrote that ‘many a dress of mine is born of the fabric alone’ and in this dress he manipulates the luxurious, crisp satin organza to great effect. The bodice is complemented by a simple skirt. Full and short, its bouffant shape is pleated into a tight waist and supported by four layers of net petticoat beneath, the innermost reinforced by horsehair stiffening.

Dior always included a red dress in his collections. He wrote that red 'is the colour of life. I love red and I think it suits almost every complexion. Bright reds - scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson, cherry are very gay and youthful.' He also described bows as the 'natural ornament' of a dress.