1994 Geoffrey Beene Leopard Print Chenille & Metallic Netting Dress
Geoffrey Beene was one of the great American fashion designers and he was recognized for both his artistic and technical skills. He launched his label in 1963 and a piece from his very first collection landed on the cover of Vogue. A Coty award followed a year later. In 1984 the Council of Fashion Designers created the annual Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award in honor of Beene's fashion legacy. When researching this dress we found an editorial shot from Vogue that year of one of his dresses in the same fabric which verified the date of this piece. It is absolutely gorgeous.
I love Geoffrey Beene's work and this one is a beauty. It is made from an ultra soft leopard printed chenille velvet that is one of the softest things I have ever felt. It is very fine and very light in weight. It has this wonderful soft deep plush to it and is incredibly luxurious feeling. He then used a black silk netting to contrast that for the shoulders and sleeves. The netting is transparent and is detailed with a gold metallic thread and fused dots of a flat piled black velvet. The bodice is cut to curve around the bust and it is then cut on a sharp angle towards the neck on both the back and front. The netting is set on both sides of that so you get a glimpse of skin through it and then it curves over the shoulders and down to form the sleeves. From there the fabric skims over the waist and hips and then narrows down slightly to the hem. I have photoed the incredible seaming through the mid part of the dress. I also took a photo of the way the hem is cut from the side. It is just an incredible small detail that I love. A high slit runs up the center so that when you move or sit you get a flash of leg. Just an amazing dress and a fabulous example of his work during this time period. Excellent condition.
The fabric is self backed and the dress unlined. It closes with a hidden set back zipper. Each sleeve has a hidden set snap at the cuff. All of the inner seams are ribbon edged. It appears to have never been worn, or worn very little. Tagged a vintage size 6
Sleeves: approx 25"
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 17" flat across the back from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 14" flat across the back from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across the back from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from neck to front hem, 58" to the back hem
Slit: 26" from hem up
Modern Sizing equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: Valerie Celis in Geoffrey Beene for Vogue US, 1994. Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth
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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