The straight simple dresses of the mid-1920s lent themselves particularly well to bold large-scale surface decoration, embroidered, woven or printed. Worn for Ascot with a wide brimmed silk trimmed hat, this smart summer outfit represented the height of sophistication with its nod to exoticism. It has been cut as a long simple tube, providing a blank canvas for Molyneux's striking Japanese printed silk, and apart from the dropped waist, the image is uninterrupted by seams or fastenings. For evening or cocktail parties, beading was a more typical decoration for twenties dresses, again using the flat front of the dress as an ideal display medium.
Molyneux (1891-1974) trained under Lucile (Lady Duff Gordon) and opened his own fashion house in Paris in 1919. His simply cut, elegant designs earned him a place as a favourite among royals. He was also highly respected in the fashion world, and no less a figure than Christian Dior considered him to be one of his greatest predecessors, and a world class couturier.
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