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Le Strange Fruit

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Back arrow27/2/06      Back to blog      1/3/06 – 5/3/06Forward arrow


I have requested to look at anything in the modern stores labelled ‘Anonymous’ – with Antonia in the modern stores. Began with a clear slate, no expectations and no idea of what to expect. Although essentially a collection of pieces without labels or known provenance, we came across many pieces with incredible detailing. One piece, which could have only been an Ossie Clark piece, another that might have been a Balenciaga or Givenchy from the 50s.
Vionnet dress
I noticed a complicated gold metal and tulle overlaid dress which looked incredibly like a Vionnet piece – all her typical signature details: I was willing to bet my life that this was a Vionnet. I insisted to Antonia that this was a Vionnet, and my persistence paid off when Antonia on close inspecting of the inside of the garment found a Vionnet label. Wow. We could not believe that this was not noticed before.
Vionnet dress
On closer inspection of the acquisition files later that day, I noticed that the original notes suggested that this might have been a Vionnet, but that there was no real proof of its provenance – that was in 1976. Now we have proved that the V&A have another Vionnet piece on their hands. Thirty years later. Wow!!! Other pieces, which I studied that afternoon with Kate, included a Valentina dress and bolero jacket, expertly cut. Also a series of opera coats.

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