Figure hugging is not the word! Of course....it's a Sarah Whitorth!

 

 

Amazing fuchsia dress for the harlot who may be tiring of black and red dresses and wants something a bit different but brazen and shocking; an it doesn't come much more so than this. In bright fuchsia pink with a spider & cobwebs fine print. You can't see the print so well in the photos as Sarah used a technique of rubberized printing ink so it reflects the light, and the pink is so bright and fabric shines, that in the sun it is difficult to see the print well.

In real life it's much more noticeable. Sarah's logo was a spider and with the tagline 'Deadlier than the Male' leaving you in no illusion as to the target customers: they are not gowns for the girl next door. They are killer dresses. While this one is boned, it has a zipper rather than the usual corset, and the back has a long panel of stretch clingy 'shirring' the elasticated gathering technique used on boob tubes etc in the 1970s. So with the colour too it's a bit of a departure for Sarah but she is also a fan of bright pink as well as the darker rich velvets & silks she usually used. And the late 80s this was reflected in alternative culture too: Fuzzbox had grown out of their goth phase and donned bright 'bimbo' wardrobe in a parody of irony - or was it? Having driven the disco dollies out of town maybe it was time to appropriate their wardrobe and 'turn it against the male gaze' ...Strawberry Switchblade another girly alternative band whose name indicated that double edged balance. The late 1980s Fuzzbox released Pink Pink Sunshine...and this dress is all about that ie 'when it's good and wicked at the same time'.

Nevertheless, despite the colour edginess (something a bit Skin 2 fetish scene about it despite not being latex) and obvious sexuality of the gown, this is still a very elegant piece.

 

 

Sarah started at Hyper Hyper in Kensington High St, and now at last her seminal work is now being recognized: the V&A museum, have her garments in their collection including examples of this print technique. Pam Hogg & Ghost were other designers who started at Hyper Hyper. I could have cried when it & Kensington market closed: that was the heart & soul ripped out of London fashion music & subculture wise and since then the high st has been sanitized with lifeless corporate stores same as everywhere else. I suppose The Goat is still there but it's a far cry from the days when Goths & rockabillies, punks , art & fashion students, bright young society debs, Brazilian salsa dancers (there was a club near) rude boys from up the road in Notting Hill, Japanese techno hipster tourists eager to photo all the fashion sights, & sophisticated & elegant older tweed & fur clad Kensington residents crammed it in a real eclectic social mix. And even in that mix, a velvet hair bowed Sloane Ranger or Siouxsie lookalike in a Sarah Whitworth gown entering would turn heads and everyone there knew it was a Deadlier than the Male dress.

The dress is a UK size 6 but I'm an & and can just get in it relatively comfortably. 

 

I think the fabric is a cotton sateen which has been mercerized, but please note while it shines it is unlike satin for eg: the finish is smooth & a slight shine, but less glossy. dress is unlined as this is meant to be a 'second skin' dress so you look like you are poured in.
 

Vintage 1980s Sarah Whitworth Deadlier than The Male spider & web pink dress

£345.00Price