c1968-1970 Embroidered Thea Porter Silk Caftan 'Faye' Dress
In the book that accompanied the Thea Porter exhibit of which we lent a dozen Thea Porter pieces to, author Laura McLaws Helms (who is also a contributing writer for our blog Curated), describes the Faye dress:
"...the Faye dress was high-necked with flowing sleeves, a full skirt and tight bodice. named for her client, the American actress Faye Dunaway, it was usually made of a sheer georgette in a rainbow of colors with a panel of antique brocade covering the chest.... The Faye was continually remade in several variations from 1968 onwards, and was a notable success. Porter reminisced later that: "One night at Elaine's in New York I saw Betty Bacall and Jane Fonda both wearing the Faye dress, luckily in different colors." Constructed from white lace, the Faye dress made for the ideal wedding gown; Thea described the dress as 'nun-like and all-enveloping', yet the transparency of the fabric revealed more then the cut supposed - balancing the design cleverly between modesty and romanticism."
This version is done in cream with a stunning turquoise blue velvet trim on each of the wide full sleeves and circling the lower hem. The antique brocade panel at the front is a stunning textile that subtly works in that same blue but in a more pastel version of it amonsgt the metallic threads. The fabric has been embroidered and trails of cream on cream thread run down it from shoulder to hem. The back is left open in a elongated key-hole that runs between the hook & eye at the neck and the closure at the waist. It is absolutely stunning. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in silk except for the sleeve which are left unlined. Slips over the head to wear with a hook and eye at the back neck and at the waist. Hand finishes
Sleeves: approx 20"
Inset shoulders: 12"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference photos: Both from the book "Thea Porter, Bohemian Chic" Laura McLaws Helms and Venetia Porter. Photo 1: (left) Susanne Elliott at her wedding in a lace Faye dress with long scalloped veil, Lincoln, 1970. (right) Lace Fate dress worn by Susan Elliot, held at the V&A. Photo 2: A Faye dress from 1970, held at the V&A
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.