This cream striped Edwardian day dress uses its sharp lines to good decorative effect. Mostly set vertically, the stripes are angled diagonally in the two frills on the lower skirt and (running the other way) in the central cross-over panels in the bodice. The lines draw into chevrons at the back seam. The most delightful embellishment, however, is the row of black and white beads shaped almost like rugby balls that adorn the central diagonal panel. There is also a lace insert in the ‘V’neck, framed by the horizontal lines of the black silk lapels, which are echoed in the collar in the same fabric. There is no boning and the dress displays the new looser fit that became fashionable after 1908. The ‘V’ neck was also part of this change, denounced from many pulpits as scandalously revealing. Lace inserts, as here, were a sop to such concerns. The waistline looks as if it may have originally had a belt, which has not survived.

This dress is thought to have been part of a collection of costume assembled by Katy Stapleton (née Lang) for a theatre group she ran in Macandrew Bay. It does not look like something run up for a drama production, however, and was probably acquired by Mrs Stapleton second-hand. The original ownership and history are thus lost. It is, however, a fine example of a day dress c1910.
Production Date
Mid 1920s
1400x430x320mm (on mannequin)