Victor Stiebel (1907-76) was brought up in Durban in South Africa, arriving in England in 1924 to study at Cambridge. Having designed for theatre wardrobe at university, he worked in dress design at the House of Reville for three years until opening his own house in 1932. He enlisted for the Second World War in 1940, closing his house, but he returned to designing in 1946, working for Jacqmar, and becoming Chairman of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. He reopened his own house in 1958, having great initial success, but being forced to close after only 5 years in 1963 on health grounds.
Stiebel was very much part of the Establishment, and was commissioned to design new uniforms for the WRENS (1951) and the WRAF (1954) whilst also creating the going-away outfit for Princess Margaret on her marriage to Lord Snowdon in 1960. He was, however, also particularly celebrated for his romantic almost scuptural one-off evening gowns as in both of these dramatic examples illustrated; one in black cotton satin with a swathe of pleated white cotton from shoulder to hem; and the other in pink cotton organdie, printed with large white spots and finished with an attached white pique shawl collar.
Full item descriptions:
"evening dress & fashion design" [1951.96], Stiebel, Victor, Jacqmar
"evening dress" [1956.17], Stiebel, Victor, Anglo Swiss Textiles Ltd