This beautifully tailored, princess-line dress is made of a high sheen silver-grey silk and has a vast and unusual circular train, faced in black velvet. Designed for the catwalk, this outfit has a sculptural quality, and the very weight of the scalloped hem makes it an impractical garment in which it is almost impossible to walk. Tailoring such as this assumed a key role in British fashion by the 1950s, for women as well as for men. A tailored suit or dress was an essential component of the daytime female wardrobe, usually in some type of wool, but sometimes in cotton or silk for summer wear. Britain's relative wealth after the war, paired with the increased availability of dress fabrics and trimmings made it possible for designers to be more imaginative and luxurious than in previous years.
Renowned for its tailored daywear, the house of Lachasse was founded in 1928 by Frederick Shingleton. Head designers included Digby Morton (1906-83) and Hardy Amies (1909-2004), both of whom later become notable designers in their own right, patronised by English society figures and royalty.
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