|Gown by Givenchy, 1955|
Les Muguets -- The Lilies of the Valley
Made for the Viscountess de Bonchamps
Collected by Cecil Beaton
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Formal evening gowns, well into the 1950s remained an essential part of a society lady’s wardrobe. A lady often had a wardrobe filled with a variety of sumptuous gowns, usually couture, which were lavishly embroidered and accessorized with jewels. These gowns were meant to be worn to receptions and balls, the opera or the theatre. While some were worn more than once, a majority of these gowns were commissioned for a specific occasion, and worn only once.
The full-length, strapless dress with a high waist and train was worn with a pair of full-length black evening gloves. It was designed and made in Paris in 1955 by Hubert de Givenchy for the Viscountess de Bonchamps. The gown was later purchased by famed Society photographer Cecil Beaton who presented this, as well as an important collection of gorgeous gowns, to the V&A.