1971-73 Donald Brooks Brass and Silver Stud & Bead Black Crepe Dress
I love finding Donald Brooks pieces. He launched his label in 1964 and he only designed for a very short time, closing his business in 1973. Within that time period he launched his boutique line that first debuted in 1971 and then also closed in 1973 when he shit everything down. This dress is from that boutique line so dates to that 1971-1973 time frame. It was most likely a revisiting of the dress he had done earlier in 1967 that I have added here as a reference photo.
All of Donald Brooks pieces have a certain ease about them - partly due to his fabric choices and also in part because of his cutting and draping techniques. They can be intricately detailed like this one is but at their core, they are easy to wear silhouettes. This dress is made from an easy to wear black crepe that has been finished with hundreds of little beads and studs that for that pattern that you see over its surface. As you look closer you see that has he has made a play on the gold and silver that he used and literally one half of the dress is finished in the gold and the other in silver. On the right side are large silver studs that peter out to smaller ones on both the neck and sleeve. And then that entire side of the dress is finished with tiny silver toned metal beads. On the left the exact same pattern is repeated but this time in brass. Each bead and stud is hand placed to cover the entire surface of the dress. It's an ingenious way to give the dress a little extra glitz without ruining the simplicity of the crepe. The dress itself skims over the bust, nips in at the waist with a matching studded belt that is also done with the same half and half design and has capped sleeves. An unusual and striking dress. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a black silk and closes with a metal zipper at the back. Original belt that closes with snaps. There may be the occasional bead missing. The belt has some fold marks on the back but looks fine once on.
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 54" from neck to hem with approx 3.5" turned up under the hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: Penelope Tree in a Donald Brooks Dress. Photo by Richard Avedon, Vogue, October 1967.
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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