1976 Bill Gibb Couture Pleated Silk Chiffon Skirt w Metallic Thread Embroidered Silk Net Coat
Bill Gibb was crowned Designer of the Year in 1970. He was one of the most influential designers in 1970s Britain and his clothes were worn by the rich and famous. His work has a high fantasy element to it that I love. Much of his work verged on couture and he was unrelenting in striving for perfection. This dress is from his 1976 collection and version from that same collection with similar elements use for it was photoed on Tina Chow for Vogue that season. His pieces were never produced in large quantities and this one is exceptional. It is wonderful to have such a gorgeous example of his work in the shop.
This amazing set is actually two separate pieces which is lovely as you can mix and match them with pieces you already own to extend their wear. The top piece is this fantastic evening coat that is pure drama. It is made out of a pale pink silk netting with a built in inner bodice piece that is made out of pale pink silk. This sits over a full length skirt that is made out of a fine silk chiffon with a soft pink silk lining. The top layer of silk on the skirt is knife pleated all the way around. This gives is some volume and movement when you walk. Around the hem are three stripes of silk satin ribbon in a pale blue, a pink and a mint green. This same ribbon detail is also used to edge the inner silk of the jacket. The effect of seeing the stripes on the skirt and the top through the netting of the jacket is stunning. The inner top also has the same knife pleat finish so that it feels like one ling piece under the netting once on the body. The very top layer that floats over everything is a silk netting that has been hand embroidered with a flowers and vines design. The design has done with a soft pastel thread that has a metallic silver running through it. This covers the entire outer later and gets denser as it reaches the hem. The thread itself is the same colour combination as the ribbons on the skirt and under the top but with that metallic finish. The final effect is incredibly beautiful and romantic. The edges of the jacket are finished with silver cording and there is a long tie of silver cording at the neck. The sleeves are incredible. They are cut extra long and each has an inner knife pleated inset made out of a pale pink silk chiffon. They pouf out from the shoulder and are caught up just below the elbow. On an actual arm they are meant to sit up on the arm where they are brought in so that they netting above is very full. Below that the lower sleeve is cut to flare out and widen as it reaches the end of the sleeve. Each sleeve has the same hand embroidery detailing as the body of the jacket. Long silver cords hang down from the seam at the elbow.
No matter how much you might love the photos this one is even better in person. The workmanship in it has to be seen in real life to be fully appreciated. It is a beautiful and glamorous dress that is red carpet worthy and would make an amazing wedding dress for the bride looking for a non-traditional choice or as an alternative dress in a more extended wedding celebration. And of course it could also be worn to any big event. Excellent condition
Both piece are fully lined in a pale pink silk as described above. The skirt closes with a metal and nylon zipper. The top slips on to wear with snaps and hook and eye at the very top of the neck. The colours in person are softer and bit more pink feeling in person. There is some light fading to one side of the skirt near the closure but its very minor.
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips at inner lining: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 44" from waist seam to hem
Sleeves: approx 31"
Shoulder opening: approx 17"
Bust: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist- hips: open
Length: 25" from top of shoulder to hem of inner top, 58" from shoulder to the full length hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) Tina Chow in an ensemble by Bill Gibb. Photographed by David Bailey for British Vogue, April 1976. / (3-4) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon.
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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