mr blackwell

1950s Mr. Blackwell Demi-Couture Densely Covered Pink Sequin Dress

Richard Blackwell launched his line in the late 1950s and even then his dress sold for between $800 and $1000 (or up to $10,000 in the modern terms). He dressed many of the stars of the day including Jane Russell, Dorothy Lamour and Jayne Mansfield. His 'custom' line was the pieces that were made to order, and were one of a kind and were fitted to a specific client in the demi-couture tradition.

This dress is from that part of his design label and is a spectacular example of his work. It is a wonderful dress regardless of its label and rarely do such fine examples of this time period, with this level of glamour, come to market anymore. The cut is simple but dramatic. It is cut in that classic bombshell, hourglass shape and it was made to hug every curve. The dress is suspended from two sequin covered straps and the neckline is cut simply at the front and scoops in the back. The bust is shaped and wired and glides into a nipped in waist. The hips are cut in a curve to follow the curve of the body and the skirt narrows in. The back has a fishtail hem so that you can actually walk. The entire dress is densely covered with hand placed pink sequins. These are so heavily applied that they overlap and crowd over each other haphazardly for a 3D effect. I love that the bottom hem is finished with the polar opposite as far as the placement of the sequins. Here they are laid out in precise rows with each sequin placed exactly over the one on either side so you get the smoothly finished contrasting hem that covers the final 10" of the dress. It has a matching silk chiffon scarf that is partially sequinned with the same orderly row effect as the hem. It is amazing. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a pink silk and closes with a back, painted metal zipper. Boned and shaped through the bodice. The matching scarf has one small area of fading on the sequins and the silk. I see no areas of sequin loss on either piece and it looks to have been worn very little if at all. This is very fitted but will work on a curvy girl fabulously.

Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from top of shoulder to front hem, 60" to the longest point at the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD2982

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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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.