bill blass

1968 Bill Blass Museum Documented Brown Velvet & Silver Thread Coat

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 early Bill Blass coat is particularly gorgeous with its bead and silver threaded fabric. The base of the coat is a deep dark brown velvet that has a rich feel. The brown and silver combination gives it more interest then if it had been a more basic black. Onto the velvet is an incredible and intricate design that has been created out of hand placed and sewn silver thread. The thread pops off the velvet base and has a lovely way of catching the light. The collar, ends of each cuff, down the front of the coat and the hem are padded and piped and this helps the coat to maintain its design and shape. It also gives the coat a neat and polished finish. The shoulders are structured but without any padding. The sleeves are slightly cropped and each one is cut to widen out as they hear their padded ends. It closes down the front with a series of silk covered, hidden snaps so that when it is closes there are no buttons showing to break the lines of the coat. This simple design allows that beautiful fabric to take center stage. Panels of silver tube beads set in a 'braid' pattern follow alongside all of the padded, piped parts of the coat for the perfect final detailing. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a matching brown cotton and closes at the front with silk covered hand set hidden snaps. Pockets along the seam on each hip. Hand finished throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. 

Sleeves: 20.5"
Shoulders: 14.5"
Bust: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 40" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# C541

Reference Photo: (1) 1968 Bill Blass coat from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Collection.  /  (2) Veruschka in Bill Blass, Vogue, September 1968.

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.