Designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga
Velvet alice band and varnished leaf shapes
Given by Mrs Loel Guinness
Museum no. T.61-1974
Gloria Guinness née Gloria Rubio y Alatorre (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century. Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Captain Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune. She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962 behind Jackie Kennedy in first place. She owned seven homes, with a full wardrobe in each so that she would never have to pack or wait at customs. She spread her patronage widely and amongst donations to the V&A of pieces by Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy etc, are pieces by lesser known couturiers such as Chaumont and Lafaurie.