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This spectacular dress was worn by Mrs Carl Bendix, later Viscountess Allenby of Megido, at the Dream of Fair Women Ball held at Claridge's Hotel in February 1928. The Ball's theme was 'women of the past, present and future' and this dress represented the present. The dress was given to the London Museum after the ball to be 'exhibited after 1960 as a perfect specimen of our quaint period'. The design, with its cutwork silk and embroidery borders, is a playful, modern variation on the traditional wedding dress. It is said to have been inspired by Renaissance paintings. Hartnell made several wedding dresses of this design: versions were worn by the daughter of Lady Lacon for her wedding in 1928 (Bowes Museum, Durham) and by the Duchess of Argyll in 1933 (V&A).
DM 820 mm (bust), DM 900 mm (hips)
silk; glass; metal
© Image reproduced by kind permission of Hardy Amies plc
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