1972 Ferdinando Sarmi Strapless Silk Organza Ruffle Dress

Ferdinando Sarmi was an actual Italian Count and started his design career working for Elizabeth Arden couture salon during the 1950s. In 1959 he ventured off on his own and launched his label "Sarmi". He designed for just over a decade and then closed up shop. During those ten or so years he was known for his evening wear especially and the fabric he chose were often opulent or very difficult to work with. The results were often quite beautiful. The last year of his business, in 1972, his labels bore his full name on them which neatly gives us the exact year for this dress. 

I love this dress with its expansive volume and use of ruffles on the skirt. The fabric choice is wonderful and give it a feeling of lightness and fantasy as it floats around you once on. The gown is constructed from a fine silk organza in the perfect red. The silk has a touch of a wavy ribbed texture and a hint of transparency to it that gives it an interesting visual effect. The bodice is cut strapless and fitted. The waist is accented with silk piping made of the same fabric and this is attached, warps around and then hooks under the bow at the front. From there the skirt gently widens to a beautiful fullness in a cascade of silk and ruffles. It is very light and airy feeling when on but inside the construction is immaculate with a boned foundation through the corset to keep it perfectly in place. I love the cascade of ruffles down the front that runs down the front and then around the hem. The large matching silk half cape is also finished with ruffles and is the perfect topper to the gown. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a red tissue silk through the skirt and the bodice is finished in silk with an inner lining of cotton net. It closes with a back, hand set painted metal zipper. The tie at the waist hooks under the front bow. Hand finished. Fully boned inner bodice. Made to demi-couture standards.

Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 8" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 22" from waist to front hem, 40" to back

78" x 25" at the widest part

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD2079

Photographed for creative purposes by Ted Belton, Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs, Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather.

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

Setting up a layaway is super easy and we are happy to provide this service!

Here's how deposits work on a standard layaway:

  • We require three equal payments of the layaway total. You will be invoiced for the first amount upon request
  • payment two of the remaining balance will be billed two weeks from the date of the initial deposit.
  • The final payment is due two weeks after the second payment and shipping will be billed on this invoice as well.
  • items less then $500, or that are on sale, require a 50% deposit with the final payment due in two weeks from the date of deposit 

Read More

We offer flat rate Standard UPS shipping worldwide. All shipping options are displayed at checkout in the pull down menus provided.

Want it faster?

We offer flat rates for expedited and express shipping options - these will also display at check out and can be selected with the drop down menu during the checkout process.

Read More


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.