Geoffrey Beene was one of the most awarded designers in the US. There is a currently an exhibit running of his work for the 2023 year titled MOVE: The Modern Cut of Geoffrey Beene. I wanted to share the exhibit notes because they sum his career so well saying 'At his core, Beene was a fashion rebel who ignored trends, instead preferring to design garments that began as geometric shapes and evolved into silhouettes that moved naturally with the human form. His intuitive understanding of the body informed fashions that were unparalleled in their combination of luxury, thoughtful design, and comfort. Beene’s colorful, imaginative creations have been recognized with many accolades, including eight Coty American Fashion Critics Awards and three Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. His work has also been celebrated through various exhibitions at institutions across the nation.'
This was a favoured silhouette of Geoffrey Beene that he was doing primarily through the late 1980s and into the very early 1990s. When looking through some of the images from the exhibit on his work there were dresses with very similar cuts from the 1990 season. It is a very pretty dress and very striking once on. The bodice is strapless and then it is completely covered in overlapping glossy black sequins at the front. At the back it is the same silk taffeta as the rest of the dress and I love how part of that extends and wraps around to the front just under the bust. This is all attached and adds a beautiful detail that really reflects his work from this time period. The bodice is meant to be fitted and has light boning inside to hold it in place. The top of it dips in the center and peaks slightly on either side to emphasize the bust. The waist is nipped in and then from there the skirt is cut beautifully full to the hem. The silk is all gathered into the waist and this is what helps give it that shape that you see. I love the oversized floral print that covers the silk and how there are these little woven dots running over the very top of the silk. These catch the light differently and are also a subtle nod to his love if dots in his work. Inside there is a black silk lining and the edge of that lining is finished with a sequin detailed lace. This peaks out from below the curving hem of the skirt and ties all the elements of the dress together. The dress can be worn on its own or with the matching shawl piece that is original to the dress. This extra wide shawl is caught up at each end in an elaborate twisted fabric flower that anchors it and allows it to open between for the volume you see. It can be worn numerous ways and I have photoed some of those here. You could also wear it over the head for a very glamorous look. It is so pretty. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a fine black silk and closes with a back hidden set zipper. Ribbon finished hem. Light boning through the bodice. The shawl is unlined with no closures
Bust: 17-17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10.5" from top to waist
Skirt: 36" from waist to longest points of hem
Shawl: 100" x 46.5"
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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