Exceptional 1960s Donald Brooks Couture Dress w Chenille Cording on Black Metallic Lace
Donald Brooks pieces are extremely well made and his main label pieces, like this one, border on couture in their construction as they were all made to order. Brooks launched his main line label in 1963 with a collection for the Spring 1964 season. He quickly became one of the most sought after of the American designers and his client roster included Mrs. Kennedy, Claudette Colbert and Faye Dunaway. The New York Times said that he was one of 'the three B's of fashion' alongside Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. He helped to launch the American Council of Fashion Designers, won three Cody Awards and he designed the costumes for numerous Broadway plays. He launched a secondary boutique line 1971 but by 1973 both of his self-named labels shuttered as he chose to focus on his costume and stage work which was really his first love. This dress is beautiful and A wonderful example of his work.
This is one of the best pieces I have had in the shop by Brooks and it is an absolute dream. This is the type of dress that you will only ever find in vintage. The cost to produce this level of fabric no would be sky-high. It is an intricate combination of chenille cording that has been coiled and hand stitched into place over a metallic black lace base. The cording with its ultra-soft finish is what adds dimension and texture to the dress. The netted and embroidered lace that it sits on has a metallic finish at its edges and an open weave so that you see little glimpses of skin through the pattern. The fabric then has glossy black sequins that have been hand sewn into place to follow parts of the curving design of the chenille. The lines of the dress itself are kept simple so that the fabric takes center stage. The bodice dips into a V at the front and is cut to be fitted to the body. The waist is seamed and set just above the natural waistline. A silk satin ribbon is attached and wraps around to add detail. The skirt falls from there and widens out as it nears the hem. The sleeves are gorgeous. Each sleeve widen out and is very full by the cuff. I love how the ends are finished with a scalloping. That same scalloped detailing also finishes the neckline and hem. The metallic detailing on the underlying lace that peeks out around all of the edges is just fantastic. It is a work of art. Excellent condition
The bodice is lined in a nude lingerie weight netting and the skirt is lined in an inner nude silk. The sleeves are unlined. The inner skirt closes with a zipper and the the outer skirt snaps over that. The back buttons to close with hand covered silk buttons and loops.
Shoulders: no true defined seam
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14.5" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 37.5" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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