Book Piece c1974 Thea Porter Couture Hand Painted "Wave" Dress
In 2015 I lent many pieces of Thea Porter from my archives and shop to Curator and Fashion Historian, Laura McLaws Helms, who put together the exhibit of Thea Porter's work at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London. She also wrote the accompanying book "Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic" and many of my pieces landed in either the book or the exhibit, or appeared in both. The fabric of this dress appears on page 84 of the book to illustrate the collaborative efforts between Hanae and textile designer, Hannah Meckler. This particular dress has her "wave" pattern which was "painted onto meters of silk chiffon that were made into evening dresses and Abayas". Laura was kind enough to date this dress to circa 1974.
This is a wonderful Thea Porter dress that has a bare back and halter neckline. Thea's pieces did not always have an overt feel of sensuality to them so a dress so bare from her is a bit of an anomaly and a rare find. The hand painted design runs vertically over the dress and draws the eye up which gives the added feel of height and slimness. On the skirt, the silk has been set on a bias cut so that the design perfectly follows the cut and flow of the silk. The wave pattern is done appropriately in beautiful hues of ocean and sky. The skirt is constructed from yards and yards of almost weightless, flowing, bias cut silk chiffon. This gives the dress an airy, floating feel and a sense of fullness that is highlighted beautifully at the slightest movement. The bodice is fitted and cut with a scarf tie, halter neckline that curves up and around the neck to tie at the back. A low, sexy back leaves an expanse of bare skin. Tiny curved pleats angle up to the silk chiffon rosette under the neck and each of these has been meticulously created by hand. It is very beautiful and a wonderful example of Thea Porter's work and her collaborative efforts with textile designers of the time period. Excellent, museum quality condition.
Fully lined in baby blue tissue silk. It closes with a back painted metal zipper and the halter has straps the close with hook and eye at the back of the neck and then there is a panel of silk chiffon that ties into place over that. Light boning on either side of the bodice. All hand finished and hand done. Slight discoloration to lining only on the inside near the waist - it does not show on the exterior. Tagged a vintage UK 10
Bust: approx 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 13" from neck to slight empire waist
Skirt: 45" from slight empire waist to hem
Modern Sizing equivalent: XS-SML
Photo Credit: From the Book Thea Porter; Bohemian Chic
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival