his is so magical I don't know where to start. Hypnotic is an understatement.....this is truly a dress that can weave some old black magic!
It has elements of the 1940s and 1950s, so I would estimate its date at c 1950. The skirt isn't quite full circle, but it makes up for that in the incredible workmanship of the silk velvet piping designs. A mesmerizing visual of symmetrical spiral labyrinth circles tracing out and round, to arrowhead designs at the waist, and widening spirals to the bottom.
It is made from silk taffeta with the piping work and breast top border, all silk velvet. So has a sweetheart neck look with the integral bolero line, beautifully pleated. Be aware this is a size 10 dress, a small 12 would get in it. BUT, unless you are well endowed in the breast department you WILL need a padded bullet bra to fill it out properly. I recommend What Katie Did for these if you can't get your hands on an original, and I am wearing one in the images. I will also provide a free modern underskirt which can be worn with.
The dress reminds me of Schiaparelli, as I have seen some surrealist spiral work by her before, and it 'feels' very French to wear structure and finish wise. But then again there are elements that remind me of intricate spiral and arrowhead design in some latin American vintage dresses made for 1950s actresses I have seen from the period so not sure. Then also the arrowhead motif in rockabilly Hollywood & Las Vegas dresses etc. What I am sure about is the quality of workmanship with all this silk velvet piping is sensational, and the fine detail , the still crisp integral high quality cotton underskirt , the breast and shoulder integral 'bolero' structure etc.
So during the 1950s did this rock with the brat pack? Swing out & boogie woogie at Le Chat Qui Peche jazz club in Paris? Mambo in Havana or Rio?
I hopefully will find out more about it, but what I am sure about is this is a work of Art, born to hypnotize when moving..... will you put someone in a spin with it?
Spellbinding, magical 1940s/50s silk taffeta & silk velvet dress - Haute Couture