1950s Nettie Rosenstein Black Silk Full Skirted Dress w Interesting Blue Trim Neckline
Nettie Rosenstein was based out of New York City. She started a small home based dressmaking business in 1913 after getting married to Saul Rosenstein, who manufactured and made women's underwear. By 1919 her pieces were in such high demand that I. Magnin asked her to start selling to them. By 1921 her business had a workforce of 50 and she was on her way. In the early days her work was sold only under the department store labels and it was only word of mouth that the work was actually hers. By 1937 Life Magazine called her one of the most important American Designers. By 1940 she was in 92 shops across America and her dress cost up to $500 (just over $9000 in modern dollars). Her work was widely copied and she was particularly known for her 'little black dresses'. She designed until 1961.
This is an incredible dress and it is gorgeous. It is made out of a black silk taffeta that holds the shape of the dress wonderfully. The skirt is very full and it is very flattering on the body. The volume that you see in the photos has been created by the way that the skirt is cut and set into the waist with beautiful wide pleats of fabric. There are tulle layers under the skirt but I did not add any extra crinolines. You could add more if you wanted an even fuller look. The bodice is fitted and the waist nips in. At the waist there is a large wide silk taffeta belt that cinches you in even more. Just the way the silk slides through the buckle is a detail in itself. The neckline is very unusual. The black part of it is draped across the neckline to sit off of the shoulder and leave your collarbones bare. This is then lined with a pretty sky blue silk taffeta. Inside the upper part of the dress, that straps that curve over each shoulder are done in that same sky blue silk. They are set so that they sit wide on the shoulders. The two fabric create a little gap between themselves. The closer you are to the person wearing it the more you see the blue. It is just wonderful. I love when silk taffeta is used for these cocktail dresses from this era. It adds the weight needed to hold the shape and fullness but keeps them light and easy to wear. The dress is very pretty and romantic. Excellent condition with one tiny note below.
Unlined and closes with a back painted metal zipper. There are two layers of tulle inside the skirt. The belt closes with a slip buckle. Hand finished interior seam as per the detail shot I have included here. There are tiny pin marks on one shoulder where the owner must have worn a pin. Please see the photo after the label shot. It otherwise looks to have been worn very little.
Bust: to 17.5 " flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.25" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 29" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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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