philip hulitar

1950s Philip Hulitar Couture Floral Printed Silk Knife Pleated Dress

This dress is absolutely incredible and the workmanship that has been put into making it is just extraordinary. It really is one of the most phenomenal dresses I have ever had in the shop. Philip Hulitar designed under his own namesake label from 1949 to his retirement in 1964. He was known for his sophisticated cocktail dresses and evening gowns. Shortly after the launch of his label, a journalist wrote; 'The star of a gifted designer has risen recently on the fashion horizon'. Prior to launching his own label, Mr Hulitar was the in-house designer and head of the women's dress division for Bergdorf Goodmans for 18 years.

This dress is really a thing of beauty and shows the high level of meticulous care put into the execution of design during this time period. The fabric is a high end, luxurious silk in a pale dusty blue. Onto this is a hand screened  custom floral design. The print is set onto the silk in a soft washed feel like a watercolor painting. The silk has then been meticulously hand pleated into rows of sharp knife pleats that are stacked one upon each other. They are set so that the pleats are facing upwards rather then facing down as you would typically see. This gives the fabric a slightly surreal edgy feel and as gravity slightly pulls them and opens them the lines of the body are exaggerated. It is really spectacular in person. The bodice is strapless and fitted. Inside it is boned and shaped. The silk is draped into place by hand draping it to closely follow every curve. It cinches in at the waist and then follows the curve of the hips and narrows at the hem The back is spectacular with a large half bow that sits above a tightly gathered ruffle. This begins at the low back and slowly tapers out just above the knees. Everything on this dress is done to create that highly sculptural shape. Overall excellent condition with some notes to review below

Fully lined in a cream silky rayon and closes with a hand set back painted metal zipper. The interior bodice is boned. The back bow snaps into place. I see some extremely minor pinholes along the one part of the top pf the bodice at the fold and some very minor watermarks on the silk near the hem. It has a area of fading on one hip that I have photoed and placed after the label photo for your review. It can be seen in some of the photos before that as well. You could perhaps shorten it to remove this area or just wear it as is and not worry about it. It is marked a lot lower in price then it would be but for this area.

Bust: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam with an A to small B cup
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 39" from top of the bodice to the front hem, 41" to the back hem

Modern Sizing equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3214

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.