1960s Jean Louis Demi-Couture Silk Chiffon & Velvet Dress
Jean Louis is the designer who famously designed the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962 for JFK's Birthday party when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy. Louis's attention to detail and the exquisite craftsmanship and couture level techniques are clearly apparent in this stunning dress. Vertical stripes of velvet are applied to a weightless silk chiffon backing. The photos cannot begin to convey the fluidity or richness of how this fabric feels. The neckline is cut high and skin peeps through the stripes on the sleeve. The skirt is a simple pencil and very flattering. The waist nips in and you can add even more shape with the patent belt that is original to the dress. You get the illusion of nudity through the bodice with the backing of nude silk chiffon. Very sexy and very chic. Excellent, unworn condition.
We often will never know the original price on a dress and when we find a piece that does have its original tags it is even more fascinating. At first glance the prices may seem low but you do have to take into account the current valuations and then think of just how much money that would have represented during a past time period and it is pretty mind-boggling. The original price tag is still present on this little masterpiece by the designer Jean Louis and it was a hefty $1170 even back then! If you pop that number into a historical values calculator and use a rough date of 1966 you get an approx current value of just under $10,000 and that is without tax.
Fully lined through the bodice in a nude silk chiffon and through the skirt in a fine black tissue silk. The sleeves are unlined. It closes with a low side painted metal zipper and snaps under the decorative buttons down the back to the waist above that. The entire side between the zipper and the back buttons snap and hooks into place among the waist seam. Each sleeve buttons to close. The original belt is present and in perfect condition. All the interior work is hand finished.
Bust: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam of the lining
Bodice: 16.5" from shoulder to waist (meant to blouse when the belt is worn)
Skirt: 27" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing equivalent: SML-MED
As photographed for creative purposes by Joel Esposito. Stylist: Nadia Pizzimenti, Hair & Makeup: Sandra Yang, Model: Zoe Colivas. Click here to see the entire shoot in our lookbooks >
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival