Thursday, February 5, 2015

History’s Runway: The Duchess of Windsor’s Bal Masque; Ligne Trapèze, 1958

This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Ah, Wallis. You didn’t mind looking like a circus performer, did you? This unusual “Masked Ball” themed cocktail evening dress of black silk tulle, and beaded net tulle is trimmed with black satin bows.

The dress has a low round neck, elbow length sleeves and a bell-shaped skirt. The net is caught in drapes by the bows. The bodice and sleeves are trimmed with black beads and the hem is punctuated by a black satin band.

This is the work of the House of Christian Dior. And it looks every bit of the year of its creation—1958.

This was made for the Duchess of Windsor. She wore it when she was 62 years old! Daring. And, a little trampy. Christian Dior was one of Wallis’ favorites of the many designers she frequented. The gown was designed by Yves Saint Laurent for the House of Dior. Yves Saint Laurent claimed to have been influenced by the designs of the 1860s.

I wonder what Tim Gunn would say.

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