Lilac nylon, printed with design of interlaced naked women; fitted through shaped side seams; large pointed collar; CF opening with 8 square pearl buttons.
Intended for smart evening or summer holiday occasions, jumpsuits like this have a considerable history. Cruise pyjamas first became popular in the 1920s, combining an evening top with very full voluminous trousers, and worn for evening leisure events. By the 1960s, the trousers were, if anything, even more flared (these have flares measuring over 200cm all round) and patterns were frequently extremely in-your-face or psychedelic. This oufit was probably worn for summer evening cocktail or drinks parties, both on holiday or at home in the garden. The striking printed design is typical of the vibrant imaginative patterns of the 1960s, as seen in the other examples below. This jumpsuit comprised a smart and expensive purchase which was intended for wearing to evening parties rather than for casual leisure wear. It was bought from Picque, a fashionable boutique on Davis Street in Mayfair, where the donor recalled being struck by the outfit on first sight, subsequently buying it as very "avant guarde" and daring. Indeed, the wearer was so fond of this suit that she kept in her wardrobe for over thirty years before giving it recently to the museum, and we have included it in our exhibition of fashion from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Place of creation
© Manchester Art Gallery