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Dress Crysede

Dress Crysede

Dress Crysede

Early 1930s

Silk

Acquired from Josie Grant

This dress, in a style fashionable in the early years of the 1930s with a cowl neck and a fluted lower skirt, came into the John Bright Collection from Cornwall along with two other dresses made from block printed Crysède silks: ‘Hound and Tree’ and ‘London Pride’ (see Related Items). Very different in concept to these two designs, the fabric’s pink, green and yellow motifs float on the red ground with little pretence at scale or representation, apart, possibly, as highly stylised fruits or berries. While it has not yet been identified as a Crysède design its isolated motifs, many arced in shape, bear a similarity to those of an unnamed Crysède silk sample of 1930 in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O266806/dress-fabric-walker-alec/), also on a brightly coloured ground. The method of printing used to achieve these coloured designs on bright or dark grounds is known as ‘discharge’ and was described by Alec Walker, Crysède’s owner and designer, in the St Ives Times of 6th November 1925,

‘On ordinary prints … the colours are what is technically known as superimposed. I myself take out the original colour before adding the fresh one; for example, in printing a design with a grey background, I would first take out the grey before putting on the yellow or green as the case may be.’

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  • Dress Crysede
  • Dress Crysede