stephen burrows

1970s Stephen Burrows Hand Beaded Red Jersey Halter Dress

This is an amazing example of Stephen Burrows work and it feels as relevant today as it would have when it was made. The dress is made of a fine, slinky red jersey that is suspended from two tiny straps at the shoulder and falls from there in a beautiful bias cut that and ends with an angled, asymmetrical hem that leaves one leg more bare. The edges of the dress are finished in his signature lettuce hem seaming. It is the bodice that is truly spectacular - it is fully hand beaded across the bust and down the center front with an explosion of bright tube beads, seed beads and pearls. All of the bead work has been applied by hand. You can clearly see this is the case on the back side of the fabric. Burrows was the first African American fashion designer to really achieve international recognition for his work. He won three Coty awards; in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He was also one of the five American designers to show at Versailles in 1973 when America was pitted against the French couturiers. The dress presents as great condition but does have some flaws. Please review the condition notes below

Recently, the first major examination of Burrows' work was held and was aptly titled; 'When Fashion Danced'. Here is what the museum said of his work: "Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced looks at the period spanning the 1970s when Stephen Burrows’s meteoric rise to fame made him not only the first African-American designer to gain international stature, but a celebrated fashion innovator whose work helped define the look of a generation. With vibrant colors, metallic fabrics, and slinky silhouettes that clung to the body, Burrows’s danceable designs generated a vibrant look that was of a piece with the glamorous, liberated nightlife of the era. Through photographs, drawings, and original garments, the exhibition will trace Burrows’s evolution from creating eclectic looks for his friends in the 1960s to his work with the chic 57th Street retailer Henri Bendel to the floor of Studio 54, as he dressed such 70s style icons as Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Diana Ross."

Unlined and slips over the head with no closures. The fabric does have stretch so will accommodate a range of sizes - the comfortable range of that stretch when laying flat is noted in the measurements. There are a series of repairs - one to the mid back, several running down the seam and along the hem of one side and the back and a couple teeny ones near the front hem - all photoed. There is is a small spot near the beading at the bodice and one at the front hem. Where the repairs are at the back there is light scuffing to the jersey and some small marks. These are normally priced at $1200 so the pricing reflects condition. The dress presents extremely well and once on you would not notice the flaws it does have. 

Bust: 15-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15-17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18-20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from top of shoulder to longest point of hem, 36" to the shortest

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3040

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.