First Love Maquette

Image license: CC-BY


This is a maquette for a cream, strapless evening gown, designed by Sybil Connolly, in 1953. It is a miniature model of a gown known as ‘First Love’. A maquette has a two-fold purpose: to help the client visualise a design and to assist the designer when considering scale and finish of a garment. 

This maquette measures 48cm in length (1.5 feet). It is made of fine, vertically pleated linen which resembles the bellows of a concertina. The top of this sleeveless gown is trimmed with a band of interwoven satin ribbon; the bodice cinches to a narrow waist, encircled in another band of woven satin. The interior of the bodice is padded and has vertical seams to provide structure. The full-length skirt consists of four tiers of pleated linen, each tier connected to the other by a band of interwoven satin ribbon. The skirt is lined with four underskirts of tulle and satin, creating a bell shape.

Pleated linen is the textile that became Sybil Connolly’s hallmark and made her famous. The method of permanent pleating was developed by Belfast handkerchief manufacturer, Spense Bryson. The fabric is placed between two sheets of pleated paper, then clamped in place and steamed to fix the pleats in position. It takes nine yards of linen to make one yard of pleated linen.  Pleated linen is uncrushable and any item made in this way can be rolled up, stuffed into small bag, then shaken out, unscathed.

In collection(s): Seeing without sight Fashion


Audio license: CC-BY

3 Prints

Print ID 2D/3D Generated Location Boops (Over last 90 days)
22,576 3D 8 months ago 🇮🇪
22,438 3D 11 months ago 🇮🇪
22,393 3D 11 months ago 🇮🇪