Lot 276
  • 276

Designed by Victor Stiebel

200 - 300 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Evening Gown
  • with embroidered label
  • pink satin, net, lace
  • Designed and made circa 1962
pink satin full length evening dress with lace cap sleeved gold and pink voided brocade and lace style bodice and full bell-shaped skirt


The salmon satin bodice has small dark marks on the left shoulder and minor stains to the edge of the vertical band up the centre of the bodice and around the neck line on the reverse; commensurate with location. The small satin bows attached to bodice and waistband have some discolouration as visible in the photograph. The integral satin skirt has a small dark stain approximately 10cm. down from the bow and waistband as visible in the photograph, and there are further surface pale brown shaped stains to the left hand side of the skirt approximately 37cm. up from the lower edge (two approximately 3cm high and some smaller). There are similar small stains and areas of discolouration around the lower section of the satin skirt all the way around and some dirt to the edge of the hem, none of which are immediately apparent; and are only noticeable on close inspection. There is a dark, narrow, crescent-shaped mark halfway down on the left hand side and some minor pulling on the right hand side and in areas around the hem. The hem of the satin dress is tucked under approximately 6cm (and there is evidence due to dark brown line, that originally a 1cm hem and has been tucked under more at later point). The bodice has a zip which extends from the edge of the sleeve on the left hand side, underneath the arm and extending into the satin skirt. The total length of the zip is 44cm. There are some tiny pulled areas, fairly noticeable, to sleeves and across the shoulders on the reverse. There is an internal fitted pale musk-pink tulle underskirt and a further pink and salmon coloured silk slip (discoloured). The slip extends to become the lining of the bodice and is discretely visible through the netting with a sweet-heart neckline. The slip has an integrated zip extending approximately 30cm. up the left hand side. The dress internal slip bodice is boned front and back and has discrete net crocodile straps for shoulder support. The waist band with Petersham binding attached internally around the waistband (partially detached). There is some discolouration but no underarm soiling. Despite its imperfections, the condition does not detract from the overall appearance of the dress, with its charming and striking colour and elegant brocade bodice.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

The couturier Victor Stiebel (1907-1976) made many clothes for Vivien Leigh, and the two became lifelong friends. Born in South Africa, Stiebel opened his first business in 1932 in 21 Bruton Street, Mayfair, and in 1958 set up a couture house at 17 Cavendish Square, which closed in 1963. As well as film stars such as Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn, Stiebel’s clients included members of the royal family. Vivien and Stiebel’s close relationship is illustrated by a correspondence of over one hundred letters now in the Victoria & Albert Museum's Vivien Leigh Archive. A variant of the present pink satin evening gown can be seen in Stiebel's sketch-book from 1962 (London College of Fashion Victor Stiebel Archive, Sketch Book of 1962 & 1963, VS265) as well as realised in portrait of a model with Stiebel himself.

In an unpublished interview with biographer Hugo Vickers, the actress Fabia Drake, a close friend of the Oliviers, recalled: 'the person I think she was most intimate with in the world of fashion was Victor Stiebel. She not only bought a great deal many beautiful clothes from [him] and he adored dressing her because of her beauty and her elegance - but there was a very great friendship between them - and he loved her - I think that is something one can say without a pause - he loved her [...] I don't think any woman is a heroine to her couturier unless she has some great qualities' (Fabia Drake, unpublished interview with Hugo Vickers, 10.2.1987).