c. 1971. Moire rayon jersey, lined with crepe de Chine.
In August 1971 Vogue magazine illustrated six designs from Jean Muir's latest collection, including this classic dress. The description ran: 'isn't it romantic? tucked or gathered bodices springing great or greater sleeves'. With its top-stitching, carefully tucked bodice and softly pleated skirt, the fluid dress characterises the designer's meticulous attention to the dictates of cloth and methods of construction.
This evening dress and matching hat form part of the Cecil Beaton Collection, brought together by the society photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). With great energy and determination, Beaton contacted the well-dressed elite of Europe and North America to help create this lasting monument to the art of dress. The Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range.
Jean Muir: A Fashion Icon
7 Nov - 15 march 2009
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers St, Edinburgh
Explore the work of an international fashion designer and unravel the distinctive Jean Muir.
Jean Muir was an iconic figure in the world of fashion design. Highlights from her inspiring collection, donated to National Museums Scotland by her widower Harry Leuckert, will be on display for the very first time.
The British designer held a unique place in the international fashion scene, from her emergence in the swinging 1960s to her death in 1995. In Paris, she was the 'new queen of the dress' and in New York, 'the jewel in the crown of British fashion'. To her customers she was 'addictive' and in her own words, 'evolutionary not revolutionary'.
Jean Muir: A Fashion Icon celebrates the life and workings of this individual and revered dressmaker. Find out why she obtained such accolades through a stunning display of garments, sketches, patterns and accessories, catwalk footage and fashion photography.
Fri 7 November
Forty Years of Fashion Photography
Robin Gillanders, photographer and lecturer at Napier University, discusses four decades of fashion photography in relation to the Jean Muir exhibition.
Special Exhibitions gallery, National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. 14:00 (1hr). Free. Book now on 0131 225 7534.
Sat 29 November
Jean Muir Study Day
Explore and celebrate the work of leading British Fashion designer Jean Muir, within the context of international fashion between 1966 and 1995. Speakers include fashion historian Amy de la Haye, curator Kristina Stankovski, Jean Muir's senior designer Joyce Fenton-Douglas, journalist Iain R Webb and jeweller Nuala Jamieson.
David Hume Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh, 10:00-16:30 (lunch not included). £35, members £30, students £16. Book now on 0191 370 4048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.