mollie parnis

1970s Mollie Parnis Balloon Sleeve Confetti Print Silk Twill & Silk Chiffon Dress w Ruffled Collar

Mollie Parnis is one of my favorite American designers. She was known for having dressed numerous first ladies and her dresses regularly appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. She started a label with her husband in 1933 called Parnis Livingston Inc and she quickly became know for her quality, fit, and use of very good fabrics. She had a particular talent in dressing woman of every age and designed pieces that suited her older clients in a time when this was not a focus. Her husband died in 1962 forcing the label to shutter but she re-grouped and re-opened three months later under her own Mollie Parnis label. The boutique label launched in 1970 and the fabrics used for that line were targeted to a younger audience and utilized brighter colours and and bolder cuts. 

I absolutely love the bright and happy feel of this dress. I also love that it mixes two different types of silk but keeps the same pattern running over both. The top is made out of a silk chiffon and then the skirt is a silk twill. Even though the same print runs over both of the two silks the result has a different feel because of the change in transparency. On the bodice the silk chiffon give the print a soft washed feel. The silk twill of the skirt holds the true bright colours and gives them more vibrance. The print combines a range of colours and I love how they pop off of the white base. The colours run over the dress in a series of horizontal rows and as you get closer you start to see the confetti inspired design and all of the amazing hues that were used. The bodice is cut to skim over you and each sleeve balloons out with lots of volume above their cuffs. The sleeves are unlined so that you see your arms through them. The neckline is high and is finished with a elaborate collar. The collar is made of several layers of the printed silk chiffon and this creates that amazing 'ruffle' effect that you see circling the neck. The skirt falls to the floor and widens out gently as it nears the hem. The pretty tie belt circles the waist to add shape and it is made out of three pieces of velvet ribbon in colours that pick up on the print the dress. You simply wrap it and tie. The dress has the fantastic whimsical and romantic feel to it that I love. Excellent condition.

The bodice is lined in a white silk and the sleeves are unlined. The skirt is lined in a muslin with ribbon edge finishes at the hem. It closes at the back with a metal and nylon zipper. Each cuff snaps to close and the snaps could easily be moved if more or less room is needed. The belt is original to the dress.

Sleeves: 24"
Shoulders: 14.5"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem with 2.5" turned under

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3419

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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