• Fashion Through the Ages auction at Christies

    Sale 5945

    Fashion Through the Ages

    3 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 107

    A BALL GOWN OF BLACK VELVET AND PLEATED LINEN

    SYBIL CONNOLLY, 1950S

    Price Realised  

    A BALL GOWN OF BLACK VELVET AND PLEATED LINEN
    SYBIL CONNOLLY, 1950S
    the black velvet bodice with petalled waistline, the full skirts of finely pleated linen gauze
    Labelled: Sybil Connolly, Dublin (2)


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    Sybil Connolly's emergence as an icon of the Irish fashion world in 1954 was marked by her use of native crafts, including incredibly fine linen; as much as nine yards was required to make up one yard of pleated dress fabric. On her move to Palmerstown House in the 1950s, Anne Bullitt was quick to appreciate the timeless and highly-crafted nature of Connolly's work. Three of her dramatic evening gowns are included in the wardrobe on offer here, as well lot 112, a little black dress.

    Each of the famed pleated linen gowns took up to several weeks to construct, and demanded a degree of attention from the atelier that ensured they were rarely copied, despite press attention in Ireland, across Europe, and especially in North America. Jacqueline Kennedy chose a pleated linen Sybil Connolly to have her portrait painted for the White House by Aaron Shickler.

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