The Woman in Fashion – Costume book

The Woman in Fashion by Doris Langley Moore cover

The Woman in Fashion by Doris Langley Moore cover

The Woman in Fashion by Doris Langley Moore

Published by Batsford in 1949 and illustrated with costumes from the author’s collection photographed by Felix Fonteyn.

This book was produced in the days when museum quality historic costume would still be modelled on real people. Doris Langley Moore moved in illustrious circles and the models in this book include Margot Fonteyn, Moria Shearer and Beryl Grey, ballerinas, and  Vivien Leigh, Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave (as children), Googie Withers, actresses. There is a companion book, produced a few years later, The Child in Fashion, also featuring the Redgrave family.

Vivien Leigh in an evening dress c1883

Vivien Leigh in an evening dress c1883

Margot Fonteyn in a wedding dress c1877

Margot Fonteyn in a wedding dress c1877

Beryl Grey in a wedding dress 1837

Beryl Grey in a wedding dress 1837

The Doris Langley Moore collection formed the basis of the costume museum at the Assembly Rooms at Bath. There is a short series of films at the BBC archive

In 2004 my husband met Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave in Canada, and he took my copy of the book with him to show them. Rather marvellously, they both signed it for me, as did the wonderful Donald Sinden who wrote: I sign this – perforce – merely because I knew so many of these ladies (I can imagine him saying that!)

Vanessa Redgrave in a pink taffeta dress 1825. The only image in colour.

Vanessa Redgrave in a pink taffeta dress 1825. The only image in colour.

Lynn Redgrave in a dress c1863

Lynn Redgrave in a dress c1863

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