1980s Bill Blass Black & White Silk Organza Sequin & Ribbon Dress
Bill Blass launched his label in 1970 when he bought out the Maurice Retner label and re-launched it under his own name. He was arguably one of the most famous of all the American designers. His forte was the ability to mix simple styles with luxurious materials and his evening wear in particular seem to have a way of flattering the wearer even at their most extravagant.
I have had a shorter version of this dress in the past and I swear I have seen this used for an editorial or advert but have not yet been able to track that down. This showcases Bill's more extravagant side and is a heady combination of sequin detailed lace, trimming and silk organza. The bodice is an attached overlay that sits over an inner silk chiffon base. The outer layer of the bodice is made up of a combination of glossy black sequins and white ribbon that have been hand applied onto a black lace backing. The ribbon has been applied under and through the sequins and lace to form little rosebuds that peek through the sequin work. It also is a clever way to give the appearance of being his signature dot pattern from a distance, but have that extra bit of texture and visual interest when looked at closer. This sits over a tiered skirt constructed from a combination of black and white silk organza stripes. Each stripe is edged in a black lace trim. A wide silk satin sash circles the waist and nips it in. The skirt has a nice fullness to it. This is partially due to the cut and the way it is gathered and set into the waist and there is also a full layer of organza underneath to help hold the shape and give it volume. Overall excellent condition with a note to review below.
The bodice is lined in a black silk and sits over a black silk chiffon under-bodice.The skirt has a full second layer of white silk organza. It closes at the back with a hand set zipper. The top overlay buttons to close over that. Padded shoulders. There are a couple of marks on the dress that I have photoed. There are two small areas of yellowing of the ribbon on the front. It would be possible to replace these. There is a small mark on the third white tier down on the skirt and a small touch of fading to the black near the hem. All fairly minor. Please review the photos provided after the shot of the label
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from top of shoulder to bottom seam of band at the waist
Skirt: 36" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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