stephen burrows

1972 Stephen Burrows Museum Exhibit Dress

"When Fashion Danced" was the title of the first major exhibit of Stephen Burrow's work and it took place at the Museum of The City of New York. The Museum's said this of it: "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."

Included in that exhibit was this dress from 1972. This is the actual dress shown at the exhibit. I have included photos of it at exhibit, one of which has Stephen standing in front of it! Also included is a 1972 photograph of Pat Cleveland and Stephen where Pat is where the same dress in a different colorway! This is one of his best know designs - a fluid jersey dress that draped onto the body and wrapped & tied. The lettuce hem - of which this dress has in abundance - is his signature finish. Two layers of a fluid jersey sit atop each other to make this gorgeous dress and the contrast of the blue and yellow are divine. This layering technique gives the dress more movement and drape then a single layer would have. The halter neck slips over the head and the whole front wraps over itself to form the bust and skirt. It ties with attached ties and all that ruffled edging settles beautifully into place. Very sexy and sophisticated. Lovely to have a piece with such acclaimed providence.

The dress is fully lined in a second layer of the same jersey. It wraps and ties to close. There is discoloration to one panel at the front and I see three pinholes and small minor snagging to the fabric. It can be hidden under the belt and worn as is. I have had a client with a similar issue, have the hole where the belt slips through closed and one created on the other side so that it ties on the opposite side and therefore hies the the panel with discoloration and it worked perfectly. It is too fabulous and collectible especially with the Museum provenance so is presented as is with a greatly adjusted price point.

Bust: variable due to the wrap
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: approx 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam - it wraps to close so adjustable up or down from that an inch or two
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 44" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD1774

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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