Geoffrey Beene founded his fashion label in 1963, creating clothing characterised by a relaxed informality, clean lines and simple silhouettes. In his first years as a designer, Beene became known for his highly constructed, 'architectural' dresses and also his whimsical references to popular culture. By the early 1970s, recognising that his clientele appreciated the comfort, affordability and classic styling of sportswear, Beene moved away from the structured garments of his early career and experimented with draping his designs in lighter fabrics such as the tan jersey of this skirt. Beene's signature aesthetic became softly draped, loosely-constructed separate pieces that gently suggested the body beneath.
This jacket and skirt ensemble was worn and given by Catharina Tinniswood who worked for Geoffrey Beene as both a show and fitting model in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The designs Tinniswood donated to the V&A were the garments she modelled for Geoffrey Beene.