Drop-waist dress with lace collar

British Royalty has long had an influence on New Zealand fashion – beginning with Queen Victoria’s penchant for black and later the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana. This was particularly evident during a Royal Tour. Queen Elizabeth II wore slacks and also Horrockses day dresses on her 1954 tour to New Zealand and Australia, securing the fashion credentials of both for local fashion followers. Princess Diana was revered for her style and her support of the British fashion industry. She led the adoption of the ‘Sloane Ranger look’ and, in the early 1980s, frequently wore the romantic, demure designs by British label Bellville Sassoon. Consequently the look was very influential in New Zealand – this Miss Deb dress is a good example of that fashion trend. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has also become a fashion icon, albeit for a particular niche. In a ironic reversal of our trend to imitate, she has chosen a New Zealand-born designer, Emilia Wickstead, as one of her favourites.


Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Designer: Maurice Mihotich
Manufacturing location: Auckland
Garment type: Dress
Material: Polyester
Features: The dress lining is used to create a blouson effect at the dropped waistline and the extended shoulder line has large shoulder pads. The sleeves have a fitted band at the hem so that they can be pushed up on the arm to create a puff sleeve.
Colour: Blue, white
Exhibition: Decades of Fashion, Palmerston North, 2014
Label: Miss Deb
Date: 1980s