Evening outfit with clasp belt

This velvet dress was made in the 1930s for Joan Wells who was born in 1910 in Nelson. The zip features around the neckline are unusual for this period, however zips were a new (and quite often expensive) invention when first introduced to market in the early 1930s. So for a brief time, before zips became far more commonplace, they were highlighted and shown off as embellishment as well as functionality, a signifier of the wearer's modern and luxurious taste. 



Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Pamela Wells
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Garment type: Dress
Material: Velvet
Features: Clasp belt and novelty zips at the top of the bodice
Colour: Dark chocolate brown
Label: Unlabelled
Date: 1930s