la mendola

1972 La Mendola Silk Jersey Dress w Skirt Chiffon Skirt in the 'Paridiso' Peacock Feather Print

The pair behind the La Mendola label met in Rome in 1960 and started their business making dresses and selling them one by one, piece by piece. In 1967 they opened a shop. They soon had a Hollywood following and mega stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth become regular clients who were buying and even wait-listing for pieces as they were produced. They made all of the pieces in their ateliers and designed their own prints. Clients would be sent swatches of the season's available prints and then they would place their orders. They were beloved and sought after by the jet set travel crowd as their pieces travelled extremely well and the colours used were beautiful. Their atelier closed in 1974 and I am always happy to have their pieces in the shop.

In the past I had one of their dresses come into the shop and the original owner of that dress had kept the fabric swatch options for the 1972 season along with her correspondence with the atelier. They named all of their prints and using that information that I kept a digital copy of, I know that this dress is a version of their Paridiso print. The fabric that they used for their pieces were very high end chiffons and jerseys. This dress uses both to great advantage. The actual dress is made from a beautiful light and fine silk jersey. This exceptional fabric takes colour and print very well and it is as bright and vibrant as when it was first made. Layered over this is a panelled wrap skirt  made from a silk chiffon. This top skirt layer is made of a two panels. Each is a single layer of silk chiffon and they are attached along a waist band with a bit of spacing between the two panels. This leaves a long slit on each side for the dress underneath to show through. You can tie it with the splits towards the side or the front and I have shown both ways here. You can even get clever with the styling and use it as a cape that sits lower across the shoulder. The wrap skirt layer has the same peacock feather print that the dress underneath has. This allows the two prints on each layer to be slightly offset giving the print an extra dimension of depth. The pinks used in the print are gorgeous and it is even better in person then how it photoed. The dress has a high neck and a simple cut through the bodice and sleeves. It skims over the waist and then widens out just a touch as it nears the hem. At the back it closes with a row of tightly spaced silk jersey covered buttons, a finish that was a signature of the house. The jersey has some stretch and is very light in weight so wearing this is a dream. You can wear it on its own or layer the skirt over it for added movement and completely change the look and feel of the dress. It is stunning. Excellent condition

Unlined and closes at the back with that row of tightly spaced silk jersey covered buttons. The over-skirt ties into place. The fabric the dress has stretch and this combined with the easy design of the dress should allow it to work on a variety of sizes. Hand finished throughout. The measurements given are the comfortable stretch when laid out flat. The over-skirt waist is adjustable with the ties. The photo of the swatches is from that previous dress. The actual swatch card is not included. I see one small hole in the chiffon of the skirt that gets lost in the folds once on. Please see the last shot here

Sleeves: 22.5"
Shoulders: 15.5"
Bust: 16.5-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15.5-17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 15.5-20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Dress length: 60" from neck to hem with just under 2" turned up 
Over-skirt: 42" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED

Item# DD3389

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.