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Reframing Vivien Leigh
Reframing Vivien Leigh

Other donations

Vivien Leigh's Lucien Lelong jacket

Leigh's Lucien Lelong dress on display.

Source: The Fashion Museum Bath

Vivien Leigh in The Woman in Fashion

Vivien Leigh in The Woman in Fashion. Source. The Fashion Museum Bath.

RAMM and Topsham Museum were not the only museums in the South West to which Suzanne Farrington donated dress materials from her mother's life and career.

The Fashion Museum in Bath also holds three dress items owned by Vivien Leigh. These are:

  • a silk blouse from the 1950s;
  • a red and black fitted jacket designed for Vivien Leigh by Lucien Lelong in the 1940s; and
  • a black dress and matching jacket lined with dyed black mink fur made for Vivien Leigh by Pierre Balmain in the 1960s.

Letters and accession records held at the museum show that Suzanne Farrington donated the dresses to Doris Langley Moore, the museum's founder, in October 1967: three months after her mother's death.

Vivien Leigh and Doris Langley Moore had worked together earlier in her career when Vivien Leigh posed as a model for Doris Langley Moore's 1949 book The Woman in Fashion in historical dresses from the late 1800s.

A letter from Doris Langley Moore to Suzanne Farrington in October 1967 is held in the archives at the Fashion Museum. It thanks her for donating the dress items. It also notes that Vivien Leigh had been a 'Vice President of my Museum of Costume before it was taken over by the City of Bath'.

The Lelong jacket is currently on display in the main galleries of the Fashion Museum. You can view images of and learn about the histories of the other dress items at the museum in the Research Stories exhibiton on this site.