'Ecarlate' cocktail dress, Christian Dior

'Ecarlate' cocktail dress, Christian Dior

'Ecarlate' ('Scarlet') cocktail dress
Christian Dior (1905-57)
1955
Paris
Silk grosgrain, lined with silk, nylon and organza net, and tulle; with spiral steel 'boning' in the bodice
Museum no. T.25-2007

Christian Dior (1905-57) launched his couture house in 1947, and soon became one of the most successful fashion designers of the 20th century. The smooth silhouette of this dress is formed by underpinnings and petticoats. The draped fabric knot is inspired by 19th-century dress, and is typical of Dior's historicism.

Dior often named his collections after letters of the alphabet, and this particular dress comes from the 'Y line'. The deep v-neck of this dress typifies Dior's 'Y' motif, as does the inverted Y shape of the pleats of the skirt