bill blass

Fall 1974 Bill Blass Glossy Black Sequin & Silk Chiffon Dress w Feather Hem

Bill Blass launched his label in 1970 when he bought out the Maurice Rentner label and re-launched it under his own name. This is from those early days and is a tremendously beautiful example of his work from this time period. Blass was arguably one of the most famous of the American designers. His forte was the ability to mix simple styles with luxurious materials and his evening wear was always cut in a way that was flattering.  Even when the dress was as extravagant as this one is it has a sense of ease to it. This is an exceptional piece of his work and with its glamorous fabric, the sequins and that dramatic feather hem, it is some of his very best work ever. This is the second time I have had this dress and I love it as much this time as I did the first.

The dress is made from a light silk chiffon base that has thousands of glossy black sequins applied to it by hand. The sequins are laid out flat beside each other and cover the entire surface of the dress. The bodice is cut to be more fitted and the neckline is cut into a low V that plunges almost to the waist. The shoulders are soft and I love how the upper bodice near the shoulders and the sleeves are not lined. This gives them a touch of transparency. That same transparency is carried around to the back where the lining is set on a low curve and the upper back is covered by a single layer of silk. The waist nips in and is tied by a wide black sash. Below that the skirt falls to the floor and widens out beautifully as it nears the hem. The skirt is attached to the waist in a series of soft gathers which help to give the skirt the fullness and volume that you see. Underneath the top sequin layer of the skirt there are built in, additional layers of netting under a black silk chiffon lining. These help to create fullness and shape. The hem of the skirt is finished with a thick band of glossy black feathers that are mixed with thin, metallic cellophane strips. It is stunning. Excellent condition.

The main part of bodice and the entire skirt are lined in a black silk chiffon. The sleeves and shoulders are unlined. The skirt has an additional two layers of a netting to help support the shape and give it inner structure. It closes with a back painted metal zipper and each cuff has a zipper at the wrist.

Sleeves: 23"
Shoulders: no true defined seam
Bust: 16.5" flat across the back from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across the back from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 15.5 from shoulder to waist seam
Skirt: 40" from waist to bottom of feathered hem

Modern Sizing equivalent: XXS-XS

Item# DD3722

Reference Photo: Fall 1974 Bill Blass Runway.

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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