Cocktail dress with beaded tags

This simple sheath-style cocktail was first shown in the exhibition After 6 and Before 8 at the Auckland Museum in 2003. It appealed to New Zealand Fashion Museum curator Doris de Pont and was in part the inspiration for Looking Terrific: The story of El Jay.

With the eyes of today the beaded tags and yoke beading has visual reference to Korowai. A totally modern interpretation and not at all intended at the time of manufacture when it was available in three fashionable colourways – natural white, sea green and soft blue.

Read more about Gus Fisher and the El Jay label in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Looking Terrific: The story of El Jay.


Credit: Auckland War Memorial Museum. ref 1995-133-1
Maker: El Jay (Gus Fisher)
Manufacturing location: Auckland
Garment type: Cocktail dress
Material: Silk crepe, beads, sequins
Features: This dress is made from a piece of ready-beaded fabric from Dior Paris.
Colour: Natural white
Label: El Jay
Date: circa 1967