1971 Halston Couture Royal Blue Liquid Silk Bias Cut Caftan Maxi Dress

This amazing blue silk Halston dress is a beautiful example of his earlier work. Halston was a master at combining function and ease but without sacrificing glamour. He did this with the very minimum of seaming. His pieces that were bias cut, like this one, seem to almost be shapeless and not very exciting when you see them on the hanger. But, once you slip them on, they drape and settle into place the way they were intended and the transformation is remarkable. There is true genius on their simple cuts and they are addictive. A similar dress in cut was photoed for Vogue in 1974 and that reference photo is included here.

This dress is entirely cut on the bias with that minimal seaming signature of his best work. The color is a beautiful royal blue that is flattering on most skin tones. It is feather light and you are barely conscious of wearing anything once it is on. The cut through the body is extremely loose and easy, running in one long bias cut sheath to the floor. It is very long and I love the slits that run up each side of the dress. The bias cut gives the dress the slightest of shape as it drapes around your body. The neckline is cut into a V for some skin to show. The neckline, the sleeve edges and those slits on the skirt are all hand rolled and stitched. The work to get this as perfect as it is would have been astounding - there is no trickier fabric to hand stitch then this. Each sleeve is soft and full, the dress laid out flat is a T-shape and the sleeves when laid out are blocked out. Once on these fall in soft and flattering folds. I am pleased to have found a runway reference photo from the show that same year and also a photo of a similar version that was worn by Lauren Hutton. Excellent condition

The dress is constructed from one single layer of a liquid bias cut silk. It is entirely bias cut and just slips over the head to wear. Hand rolled and finished edges. The easy cut will allow it to fit a full range of sizes.

Sleeves: 18" from dropped shoulder seam
Slightly dropped shoulders: 18"
Bust: to 19-21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from top of bodice to dropped waist
Slits: 20" from hem up

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD3271

Reference Photos: (1) Model Naomi Sims for Halston Runway Show, 68th St Salon, December 7, 1971. Photo: James Hamilton.  /  (2) Karen Graham, Halston Silk Caftan, Vogue, November 1971. Photo: Irving Penn.  /  (3-6) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.

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.