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.