20th Century

The two pieces from the twentieth century in the exhibition represent the fine craftsmanship that is the hallmark of haute couture. While mass-produced ready-to-wear clothing became nearly ubiquitous, the haute couture industry in Paris continued to produce custom made clothing such as this Balmain ball gown and Chanel suit.


Balmain evening dress, 1958

The interior this evening gown from the 1950s is as stiff and structured as any of the pieces from the 19th century. The drapery of the bodice has been stitched onto a support that is essentially a corset. The very deep waiststay anchors the bodice into place and ensures that the strapless neckline will not … Continue reading Balmain evening dress, 1958

2 thoughts on “20th Century

  1. Hi Sarah.
    A couple of years ago I wrote to you to say how wonderfull it was to see photos you had taken of the inside of a garment you had been writing about. I expressed how great I thought it would be to have an exhibition of the inside of garments and how they are made. Well… I have just come across this!
    Thank you so very much. What a fantastic job you have done! It is excellent!
    I shall spend many hours reading this information and enjoying the photos.
    Thanks again
    Kind regards
    Delwyn Everitt
    New Zealand


    • Hello Delwyn!

      I am so glad you have seen the website and have written. It absolutely was your idea (even the title) and I am very grateful. I actually gave you credit (albeit anonymously) in the recent issue of Threads magazine that ran a feature about the exhibition. I imagine you will probably not be making it to Kent to see the exhibition, but I am glad you can see the virtual exhibition on the website.

      Thank you,


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