The Quilted Ballgown

vogue nov 1948

Quilting. It’s not something you see very often in an evening gown; I suppose it takes a certain amount of panache to pull off. Especially if the gown is made of silk taffeta, as this one is. Can you imagine what that must have been like to sew? I expect it would make the dramas on Great British Sewing Bee seem like a broken biscuit at a church tea party. I don’t even want to think about it.

Regardless, I shall sit and gaze in awe at this beautiful gown, designed by Adrian of Hollywood and modelled here by Jean Patchett in the November 1948 issue of Vogue. It is difficult to see the true shape of the skirt, but from a close look at some of the quilting, it appears to be a sheath style dress with an overskirt designed to resemble side wings. The central (sheath) panel is quilted, as is the bodice, whereas the side panels are not and allowed to drape. Patchett teams the dress with an elegant diamond choker and white opera gloves.

Now I know this isn’t something that you’d wear to the supermarket on a Saturday morning, but wouldn’t you just love to wear a dress like this – just once? It would be impossible not to upstage the bride/film star/lady mayoress if you turned up wearing it… it’s almost worth doing!


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