bill gibb

Rare 1973 Bill Gibb Museum Documented Metallic Green Lurex Skirt Top and Jacket Set

A version of this set is held by the Liverpool Museum and was a key piece in the exhibit at the Walker Art Gallery Collection for the Fashion Icons: Celebrating Gay Designers exhibit. The show notes for their piece stated; 'Bill Gibb was born in Scotland and moved to London to study fashion design at St Martin’s School of Art. Between 1969 and 1972 he worked as a freelance designer for the fashion house of Baccarat before launching his own company. This evening dress, with its petal-shaped hemline, and glowing jewel-like colours, is typical of much of Gibb’s work in the early 1970s. In particular, his use of an exotic pattern and a metallic Lurex thread in the fabric shows how he was often influenced by rich historic fabrics and non-Western cultures.'

Gibb was one of the most influential and famous designers in 1970s Britain and his clothes were sought out and worn by the rich and famous. This set is a wonderful example of the kind of work he was doing during this time period. His use of these metallic lurex fabrics helped to add a fantastical twist to the story he was trying to tell through his clothing. This set has all four original pieces to it. There is a skirt, a sleeveless tank that buttons at the front, the most fabulous jacket and a matching belt. The skirt is cut to midi length and is made of a series of flat knife cut pleats that fall from a more fitted hip. The choice of the lightweight lurex lets it have a ton of movement when you move and the pleats swish around you when you walk. The sleeveless top tucks into that. It is made in the traditional tailoring manner with a panel of lining fabric attached all the way around the bottom. This is something you normally see in couture pieces. This additional panel of fabric is made so that when you tuck it into the skirt you are not adding any bulk or lines around the hip area. The top buttons down the front and closes with holographic faceted buttons. Topping these two pieces is the jacket. It is cut with high capped shoulders and has an over-sized dog eared collar. It cinches in at the waist by seaming and flares out below that to past the hip. There are big curved pockets on each hip and the same buttons close the jacket that are on the top. It almost has a slouchy cardigan feel to it. The set comes with its original belt that has an unusual finish of a flexible holograph strip on the front of it. This strip picks up on the buttons of the jacket and top. I have shown the belt over the skirt and top, and then also around the jacket, since it works either way. The colour in the lurex is a fabulous mix of a soft green with other colours running through. The heavy dose of glitter running over the lurex softens the fabrics and gives it a fairy tale quality. I love the nod to the forties that the set has and the fabric is truly incredible. This is a rare set from one of my personal favourite designers. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition.

The skirt is lined through the hips and then where the pleats start it is unlined. It closes with a side zipper. The top is unlined and buttons to close with of lining around the lower half that you tuck into the skirt. The jacket is lined in a green silk satin and buttons to close. Two buttons on each cuff. Pockets on each hip of the jacket. Original tie belt. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.

Jacket
Sleeves: 24" approx.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 18-18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14.5-16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16.5" from neck to waist
Skirt: 16" from waist to hem

Top
Bust: 16.5-17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 21" from shoulder strap to hem

Skirt
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 34.5" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD2739

Reference Photos: (1) Evening dress, Bill Gibb, 1973 from the Walker Art Gallery Collection, Fashion Icons: Celebrating Gay Designers" exhibit / (2) Evening dress, cellulose acetate, nylon and lurex, Bill Gibb, 1973, Liverpool Museum Archives. / (3) Charlotte Rampling wearing Bill Gibb for Harpers & Queen, February 1973. Photo by Barry McKinley.

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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