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Object Name

Cocktail dress


Paquin (Primary maker)
Paquin (maker)

Date Made



Pink and black cocktail dress with large back bow 1950's. Short strapless cocktail dress, of black corded silk with straight skirt and false button front with seven self covered buttons and false pockets at bust. A pleated pink corded silk insertion at top front bodice extends to a large decorative bow at centre back. Centre back zip. Bodice is heavily boned and padded with two internal hooked tapes and press studs at opening. Black organza lining to skirt. From exhibition label early 2000s: Silk cocktail dress, 1951 Paquin The house of Paquin was founded in Paris in 1891 by Madame Paquin, the first major female couturier, or couturiere. The house continued after her death in 1936 closing in 1956. This dress, in the popular colour combination of c.1950, black and pink, is probably the most chic dress in this exhibition. The Givenchy beside it is its only competition. From exhibition label 'Grand Designers' Madame Paquin was married to a wealthy businessman who provided the initial financial backing for the firm she founded in Paris in 1891. She was the girst fashion designer to be awarded the 'Legion d'Honneur' in 1913. Very aware of the value of marketing her clothes, she often took models to race meetings and social events to show off her designs. Her career spanned many stylistic changes and although she died in 1936, the house of Paquin continued for twenty years.

Catalogue Number



National Museums NI