1970s Stavropoulos Couture Layered Bias Cut Silk Chiiffon Dress
George Stavropoulos was an amazing designer and his work is extremely overlooked in my opinion. He was known for his evening wear and his signature looks often involved draping and the use of multiple layers of silk cut on the bias. He did not like overt, flashy ornamentation and instead focused on cut and fabric to convey the beauty of each piece. It was said that his gowns "seemed to float on air". He launched his label in 1960 and soon was dressing women like Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Barbra Streisand and Maria Callas. The majority of his gowns are almost entirely made by hand and to couture standards. By the early 1980s a gown by him started at around $8500 and they went up in cost from there - that starting price point equals to around $26,000 in today's dollars. So when you buy a vintage Stavropoulos gown you are getting incredible value for your money. The only reason many of his gowns are not considered Haute Couture is because he was not an official member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
This is a wonderful example of his work. The outermost layer of silk is a beautiful pale lavender that sits over additional inner layers of the pale blue and cream. The body of the gown is made up of five full layers of the finest, lightest silk chiffon. Each layer is bias cut and floats over the one underneath it. The three most inner layers are an off-white colored silk. Then there is a pale baby blue layer, and the final exterior layer is that pale, pastel purple color. This gives the gown a remarkable and unique color because the colors underneath each show through the chiffon. It is entirely cut on the bias. This is also a feat of technical achievement to have all those bias cut layers sit over each other so perfectly. The sleeves are very full and each poufs out above the wrist and are finished with beaded applique work at the cuff. Both the front and back plunge into a V. Another spray of hand done appliqued bead work curves over one side of the bust and down to the waist towards the other side. It is a work of art, very romantic and ethereal in feel and even better in person then how it photoed. Presents as excellent condition but has some small flaws - please review the condition notes below.
The inner layers of silk act as the lining and there are a total of 5 layers of silk as described above. It closes with a back hand set, painted metal zipper. There are some tiny pulls, very faint water spots, smudges and small variation on color scattered across the front and areas across the back, a faint spot on one arm and at the front. Once on the amount of fabric effectively camouflages these but they are present and it is important to note. I have photoed the areas and reduced the price accordingly. If you don't mind that your vintage is not 'perfect' this is a remarkable dress for this price point. I have had it lightly cleaned when it came into the studio as I do everything, and some may come out more with additional round of cleaning. The bias cut will allow for a variety of sizes.
Sleeves: approx 25" and will come up slightly once the cuff is closed
Shoulders: slightly inset and 13" across
Bust: 16-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12-15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: approx 60" from shoulder to hem and will come up slightly once on due to the bias cut
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Shown photographed on Laura McLaws Helms by Kimi Selfridge.
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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