zandra rhodes

1974 Zandra Rhodes 'Ayers Rock' Australian Collection Hand Painted Coral Silk Chiffon Dress

There is a video that is a part of the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection where Zandra talks about designing this collection. She had first gone to Australia in 1971 and returned in 1973. In the video she talks about how 'the 'Ayers Rock' print was based on the idea of creating a new version of the eighteenth-century French Toile de Jouy technique of fine engravings. She translated the sketches from her trip into fine line drawings, which she then cut up and moved around to try them out in different combinations.' In the book 'The Art of Zandra Rhodes' a green dress is shown in the section that talks about this collection. That green dress has an almost identical pattern on the bodice, a version of this same print on the skirt, and the cut through the sleeve is identical. Additionally, other pieces from this same collection used the same satin piping to detail the neckline. 

I love the bold coral colour of this dress. It just pops. That, combined with the historical significance of her work during this time period, make it a strong collection piece. It is made entirely of a hand painted silk chiffon and incredibly, you can actually feel the paint on top of the fabric. The bodice is cut loose and full with those wonderfully curved and wide sleeves that come right out of the waist. This leaves the sides completely open to the waist on each side under the caped sleeve. The sleeves of the dress are the exact same shape as the green reference photo I have added when you lay them out flat. The neckline is embellished with a piped satin done in a purple and then laid out in loops along the edge of the neckline. It ties at the centre front. The waist has another pipping piece running through the fabric and you can use that to cinch the dress in and gather it in at the waist as much as you need to. Or you can wear the dress very loose and full with no defined waist. Under that is a little peplum of fabric that runs around the waist and this has an edging of hand sewn, tiny beads, that run all along the edge. The skirt is beautiful and cascades to the floor, gently widening out as it nears the hem. It is made of the same hand painted silk chiffon as the bodice and it floats over an inner layer of coral coloured silk. The print that runs over the entire dress is entirely done by hand and painted directly onto the silk. It is a true work of art. Excellent condition

Lined with a coral silk through the bodice and skirt with the sleeves left unlined. The dress has piping through the waist so that you can wear it cinched in or very full and loose. It slips on to wear and the loose cut should allow it work on a range of sizes. It comes with two extra pipings that you can use as styling pieces if you wish. It looks to have been worn very little if at all. Hand finished throughout and entirely hand painted.

Sleeves: 18" approx.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: variable as there are no side seams 
Waist: will expand to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam and you can cinch it in to about 13" flat across 
Hips on inner lining: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15.5" from shoulder to waist
Skirt: 40" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3632

Reference Photo: From the book 'The Art of Zandra Rhodes'.

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.