Queen Elizabeth's Gown by Norman Hartnell

Just a quick compliment to our Pierre Balmain page regarding the gowns worn to a state dinner hosted by the wife of the British Ambassador to France, Lady Gladwyn, for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip on April 9, 1957.

Lady Gladwyn wore a lilac lace and silk evening gown designed by Jacques Fath. It had a heavily boned bodice and a darker hued cotton and crinoline underdress.

Jacques Fath 1957
Worn by Lady Gladwyn
Donated to Victoria and Albert Museum
©Victoria and Albert Museum

The full view of the gown worn by Lady Diana Cooper can be seen on our Pierre Balmain page. Featured below is a close-up of the lovely appliqued bodice of the 1957 Pierre Balmain designed gown.

Pierre Balmain 1957
Worn by Lady Diana Cooper
Donated to The Victoria and Albert Museum
©Victoria and Albert Museum

Baroness Alain de Rothschild wore a tulle and net evening gown designed by Christian Dior not long before his death. The gown's netting was of nylon and rayon and the bodice featured a satin ribbon and heavy boning. It was named La Ligne Libre.

Christian Dior 1957
Worn by Baroness Alain de Rothschild
Donated to The Victoria and Albert Museum
©Victoria and Albert Museum

Queen Elizabeth II wore an evening dress designed by her favorite designer, Norman Hartnell. The ivory Duchesse satin gown was embroidered with pearls, brilliants, beads, and gold thread. The embroidery design included miniature bees, grasses, wheat, and wild flowers.

Norman Hartnell 1957
Worn by Queen Elizabeth II
Donated to The Victoria and Albert Museum
©Victoria and Albert Museum

Lady Gladwyn wrote in her diary: "The supper was, I think, just right for the occasion, cold salmon, chaudfroid of chicken, a salad, oranges and lemons filled with sorbet, and a wonderful Bollinger...The difficulty was to get rid of all the guests. They lingered on and at half past one in the morning Cecil Beaton was still sketching Diana Cooper in the Ionian Room". (From Victoria and Albert Museum Text)

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