1968 Bill Blass Metallic Vogue Documented Metallic Gold & Taupe Brown Coat or Dress
Bill Blass became the head designer at Maurice Rentner in 1959 and soon after that his name started to appear on the labels. In 1970 he bought out the Maurice Rentner label and re-launched it under his own name. These Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner pieces, are some of his earliest and you will find many of them, like the twin of this coat, in museum collections throughout the world. Blass was arguably one of the most famous of all the American designers. His forte was the ability to mix simple styles with luxurious materials and his evening wear in particular seem to have a way of flattering the wearer even at their most extravagant. This piece has the additional bonus of being able to be worn as either a coat or a dress
This early Bill Blass coat is particularly gorgeous with its metallic gold and light taupe brown silk brocade fabric. I just sold a blue and gold one and it is a pleasure to have a brown one version now as well. The base of the coat is done in the brown and then onto this, in horizontal rows that run over the entire coat, is an incredible and intricate design that has been created out of gold lame and gold thread. The gold pops off the brown base and has a lovely way of catching the light. The coat has a bit of a military feel to it and I love how the pattern is laid out to highlight the high collar and cuffs. Flap pockets are placed on the front of the coat. One on each hip and then two more on each breast. They are perfectly set to follow the pattern and each has a large bead covered dome button to secure its flap closure. The same big bead covered buttons run down the front giving the coat a neat and polished feel. The shoulders are structured but are not padded. There is a subtle fabric epaulette across the top of each shoulder. The sleeves are long and he took the time to make sure that the fabric on them lines up with the striping on the body of the coat. The fairly simple design of the coat allows that beautiful fabric to take center stage. An interesting thing about this one, it closes all the way to the bottom hem so it could be worn as a dress as well. Excellent condition
Fully lined in a brown silk and closes with silk covered snaps hidden behind each hand beaded dome button down the front. All four pockets are functional. Hand finished throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.
Bust: 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 40" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG
Reference Photo: Samantha Jones in Bill Blass, photographed by Richard Avedon, Vogue October 1968.
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