ensemble; dress ensemble

This gold satin long-sleeved A-line mini dress and metallic paisley pattern waistcoat was bought from Biba in about 1969. Barbara Hulanicki's designs for Biba were often inspired by the romance of faraway places, be they the glamorous nightclubs of 1930s London or dark Moroccan souks. The fabric and the full sleeves and flowing necktie transform this simple outfit into an exotic ensemble inspired by eastern colours and textures. Following the success of Biba's Postal Boutique, which sold simple garments by mail-order, founder Barbara Hulanicki set up her first Biba shop in Abingdon Road, Kensington, in 1964. Two years later, Biba moved to premises in Kensington Church Street. This shop was so successful that in 1969 it moved again into a former carpet showroom with 9,000 square feet (836 square metres) of space in Kensington High Street, the area's busiest shopping street. In 1973 the shop expanded even more dramatically, taking over the former Derry & Toms department store in Kensington High Street. This last move proved too ambitious in the harsh economic climate of the mid-1970s, and the shop closed in 1975.
Production Date:
ID no:
© Museum of London
Object Material:
synthetic fibre & plastic & metal

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?