Museum Exhibited 1970 Thea Porter Couture Dress in Silk & Beads
This Thea Porter dress, produced in 1970, was one of the dresses that I lent from my archives and was displayed in the 2015 exhibit "THEA PORTER 70s Bohemian Chic" at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, curated by Laura McClaws Helms. You may also recognize the dress as being the one worn by Nicole Richie when she celebrated her birthday in it back in 2006. The textile design that runs over the dress was done by Sheila Hudson.
It is wonderful to have such an iconic dress and to have become a part of its provenance. The Nicole connection has made the dress instantly recognizable world-wide. Like all of Thea's pieces, only a very few were produced. I have decided to let this one go and I know that I will most likely ever see another one in my career. The dress features a hand-sequined and beaded bodice. These are set so that they follow the textile design underneath and add the perfect little touch of high glamour to the finished product. The bodice is fitted to the bust and has wide straps made of the same silk chiffon that tie around the neck. The skirt is set into the waist on the bias and this makes the chiffon seem to float around you and feel light as air. At the very bottom hem there is a ribbon of purple velvet to finish. The dress is not 100% perfect but still sound and very beautiful. Please review the condition notes below. This is a once in a life time opportunity to own a marvelous and very rare example of one of Thea's best work.
The dress is lined in a tissue silk. The museum staff added structural support under each arm in the interior (photoed). You can see a small amount of thinning to the exterior (also photoed) and the inner addition of fabric was done to stabilize this. The hem is finished with parts of it being longer than others. The interior lining shows fading and marks but is sound. Finally there is evidence of some repairs to the skirt and neck tie. All as found and in the condition exhibited it. All of this has been taken into consideration when pricing.
Bust: approx 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: is slightly shorter in the front at about 31" and the back goes to about 37" from slight empire waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS (through the bust this is a true size 0)
Reference Photos: (1-2) Nicole Richie in Thea Porter, 2006. / (3-4) From the 2015 "Thea Porter, 70s Bohemian Chic" Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. / (5) Vogue, April 1970.
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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