c.1976 Bill Gibb Couture High Fantasy Metallic Embroidered Silk Net Dress Set
A dress from this same 1976 collection was photoed on Tina Chow by David Bailey for Vogue. I have included those reference photos here and you can clearly see the same ribbon detailing and pleating technique used. Pieces at this level and beauty by Bill Gibb are extremely rare and it is a privilege to have such a gorgeous example of his work in the shop.
Bill Gibb was one of the most influential designers in 1970s Britain and his clothes were sought out and worn by the rich and famous. His work has a high fantasy element and he was crowned Designer of the Year in 1970. Much of his work verged on couture and he was unrelenting in striving for perfection. This dress set is amazing and I feel that it is a high couture, fantasy version, of the one worn by Ms. Chow. It is made up of two pieces - a long maxi skirt and a top that has an attached, full length net jacket. The inner skirt is gorgeous in its own right. It is made out of a fine silk chiffon with a soft pink silk interior. The exterior silk chiffon is knife pleated so that it has a lot of movement. The outside layer is finished with that pretty ribbon finish made up of three stripes of silk satin ribbon in a pale blue, a pink and a mint green. This same striping edges the inner portion of the top. The inner top is made from the same silk and chiffon combination as the skirt and treated with that same knife pleating technique. Sitting over, and attached to this, is a long jacket and it is here that the high couture fantasy aspect of the piece goes into full play. The neckline is cut wide across so it almost sits off the shoulder. The fabric that sits over the inner silk top is a fine ivory netting that has a stunning design of flowers and vines that trail up from the hem to the top. They are denser around the hem. Each bit of that design is hand embroidered with a multi-colored pastel thread that has a metallic silver running through it so that it has a subtle glint. It is like wearing a literal work of art. The combination of the fine embroidery work and the metallic of the silver is incredibly beautiful and delicate in feel. All of the edges are all finished with silver cording and there is a ling tie of it at the neck. The sleeves are even more incredible. They are cut extra long and each has an inner pleated base made out of a pale pink silk chiffon that is knife pleated like the skirt and inner top are. Over this is a slightly more ivory toned silk netting that poufs out from the shoulder and is caught up just below the elbow. It then flares back out, widening as it reached the end of the sleeve. Each sleeve is densely hand embroidered with that same metallic thread as the body of the jacket. Long silver cords hang down from the seam at the elbow. This is a rare and absolutely amazing piece that is even better in person. It would even make a beautiful choice for a bride who is looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding gown. Excellent condition
Both piece are fully lined in a pale pink silk. The skirt closes with a metal and nylon zipper. The top slips on to wear with snaps and hook and eye at the very top of the inner most silk part. Museum quality and appears to have never been worn, or worn very little. The colors in person are softer and bit more pink feeling in person. So much better in real life.
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips at inner lining: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 44" from waist seam to hem
Sleeves: approx 31"
Shoulder opening: approx 17"
Bust: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist- hips: open
Length: 25" from top of shoulder to hem of inner top, 58" from shoulder to the full length hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) Tina Chow in an ensemble by Bill Gibb. Photographed by David Bailey for British Vogue, April 1976. / (3-4) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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