Victor Stiebel (1907-76)
Satin embroidered with beads and rhinestones
Museum no. T.172-1969
Worn and given by Lady Templer
This dress was designed by the London couturier Victor Stiebel (1907–76). He was originally trained by the court dressmaker, Reville.
Lady Ethel Templer (née Davie, 1904-97), bought this dress in the late 1950s. She was very slim and was able to buy the original dress worn by a house model for the collection. It was originally strapless, but she asked Stiebel to add the straps because her shoulders were narrow. Lady Templer was the wife of the British High Commissioner to Malaya, and required an extensive wardrobe for the many formal dinners and state functions that she had to attend.
The embroidery upon the bodice would have originally been more silvery than it appears now. The metal has oxidised making it appear slightly black and dull.