Posts tagged suit.

Suit | c. 1902

House of Fath | Wedding Suit | c. 1954

Lady Alexandra Howard-Johnston (1907-97) was the wife of the Naval Attaché to Paris at the end of the 1940s. She required an extensive wardrobe for the many formal dinners and state functions that she had to attend.

A couture client would attend all the fashion collections, seated in the front row if she were especially important like Lady Alexandra. After the show, she would place her orders with her vendeuse (personal saleswoman).

Lady Alexandra dressed exclusively at the house of Jacques Fath (1912-54), and commissioned this dress from Jacques Fath shortly before he died, for her second marriage to Hugh Trevor-Roper (later Baron Dacre). She told Cecil Beaton, ‘the dress made for my wedding to Hugh was made up on the wrong side of the material (my idea because the colour of the right side did not suit me) and that dress was worn and worn’.

Doucet | c. 1892-97

This suit might well have been worn for a tour abroad. When it was conserved, reddish-brown dust was found on the surface. Linen was particularly popular for hot-weather travel because it was washable and comparatively lightweight.

At this period, women’s tailored suits had become very popular. They borrowed details from men’s dress, such as wide lapels and exterior pockets. This practical style suited the more emancipated lifestyles women were then leading.