Day dress and cape
Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975)
Woollen jersey, cape fastened with chrome clips, and leather belt
Museum no. T.302&A-1971
Couturier clothing like this was custom-made for each individual client, and was out of most women's reach. However, couture influenced the silhouette and style of more affordable fashions, and dressmakers everywhere followed its lead.
Only a few outfits in the V&A's collection illustrate 1930s day attire but, luckily, one is this ultra-fashionable ensemble by couturiere Madeleine Vionnet. The dress is cut on the bias - a prevalent 1930s trend, creating garments that skimmed over the body's curves. The 1930s silhouette is therefore slinky and close-fitting and the line was simple and uncluttered, with few trimmings or accessories. Simple dresses were teamed with short or long capes, or boleros.