Queen Maud's wardrobe
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DESIGNERS - British


Queen Maud bought clothes from a number of accomplished dressmakers whose names have been eclipsed by the great couturiers in fashion history. Her wardrobe allows their reputations to be revived and their creations to be celebrated. This is an example of superb cut and decoration by the London dressmaker, Blancquaert. Intricate pin-tucking in the shape of leaves decorates the bodice and upper sleeves.


John Blancquaert began as a ladies' tailor in 1903. From 1928, the company was listed as 'Mme. & M. Blancquaert, court dressmaker and ladies' tailors' until they closed in 1941. Blancquaert appear not to have advertised in the leading fashion magazines. Clearly their beautiful clothes and excellent reputation by word of mouth kept them in business for almost forty years.
 
Day dress, Blancquaert, 1930-35
Day dress, Blancquaert, 1930-35, OK 100-1991 The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design: Stiftelsen Kunstindustrimuseet i Oslo. Teigens Fotoatelier AS

 

Reville-Terry was a well-known London fashion house in their day, who operated under several names - Reville & Rossiter and Reville Ltd - during the span of their business between 1905 and 1949. They were court dressmakers to Queen Mary and advertised regularly in Vogue in the 1920s.


Queen Maud's personal dressers made notes about what garments she wore on specific occasions. These indicate that she wore an evening dress of 'blue and silver-grey striped chiffon' from Reville-Terry on Midsummer Eve 1935. Although no label survives, this gown matches the description very well. Simple in its style and cut, the dress relies entirely on the clever arrangement of the striped fabric for its visual impact.
 
Evening dress, possibly by Reville-Terry, c1935
Evening dress, possibly by Reville-Terry, c1935, OK 72-1991 The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design: Stiftelsen Kunstindustrimuseet i Oslo. Teigens Fotoatelier AS