oleg cassini

1950s Oleg Cassini Couture Black Silk Full Skirted Dress w Unusual Neckline

I think our modern world forgets just how important Oleg Cassini was as a designer in his heyday. From his first film in 1941 he was responsible for many of the best looks on film, dressing stars like Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney (who he married), Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and the list goes on and on. In 1952, he opened his own fashion house on Seventh Avenue. By 1961 he was appointed by Jacqueline Kennedy as her exclusive couturier. Some of his early works especially, were more on par with couture, using the same techniques and high fashion fabrics as the French couture houses.

This is an early example of his work and obviously one that was made with those exacting and meticulous high end techniques as described above. This is the kind of dress that is a rare find nowadays. This dress is a dream. It is made of a fine black silk faille. The fabric choice allowed Cassini to sculpt and mold it exactly as he wished. The bodice of the dress is shaped by a series of vertically set panels of fabric that expand and widen as they past the waist and form the skirt. Meticulous vertical seaming curves the dress around the bust, nips it in at the waist and skims it over the hips. The shape of the skirt is brought in a touch at the hem and this is achieved by inset pleats that are set along the vertical seams. These open just above the hem and below the waistline to give the skirt even more volume when you move. The neckline is phenomenal with flat strips of silk set to sweep up from the neckline and the one strap on one side. These then meet up at the top of the other shoulder where they are caught up in a flat bow. This is a once in a lifetime fifties find and it is wonderful. Excellent condition with one minor note below

Fully lined in a hand set interlining of black silk with a built in hip pannier that is attached around the inner waist so the volume of the skirt is achieved. This closes with hook and eye. The dress itself closes with a painted metal back zipper. Hand work throughout. Boning on each side of the bodice. It looks to have never been worn. The only tiny thing I see is a scattering of pin-size white dots on one part of the skirt. Please review the photo after the label photo. They are very very minor and tiny.

Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam. Note if you did not hook the inner pannier the waist could go to 13.5"
Hips: open
Length: 48" from shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3203

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.