1986 Murray Arbeid Silver Glitter Stars & Bows Ballgown Dress

Murray Arbeid was a British fashion designer who specialized in floor-sweeping, show-stopping evening gowns. He was best known for dressing Princess Diana and Shirley Bassey. He once joked that "if there were a Nobel Prize for creations in taffeta, he would have won it." in 1987 he told the Chicago Tribune "I specialise in occasion ready-to-wear couture - that means the clothes are off-the-rack but of couture quality - for cocktails and evening". This dress is from 1986 and is a variation on the dress he designed for Princess Diana. Her dress was made for a private dinner given by former King Constantine of Hellenes at Claridges in 1986.  It was then worn by the Princess at the Royal Opera House. Covent Garden in December 1987, and again in Paris in 1988.The Princess Diana dress sold at auction for $48,300. A version in this same black and silver was also worn by Shirley Bassey at the 1987 Royal Variety Performance and she wore that dress for a 1986 publicity card as well.

The dress is gorgeous and made from a black silk organza that has a scattering of silver stars in various sizes covering it from top to bottom. The stars catch the light beautifully and I love that they range from tiny little ones to larger. It really gives the feel of the night sky. The bodice is fitted and shaped with low cups and it is fitted slim through the waist. It dips down at both the front and back. Each shoulder is finished with two wonderful, tremendous bows that are set to butt up against each other so they lift up and out beautifully. They sit slightly off shoulder and the final effect is wonderful. The skirt is equally as wonderful and is cut very full with multiple layers of tulle and silk built in underneath so that the shape is perfectly retained.It is gorgeous and very well made. Excellent condition with a small note regarding the interior to review in the condition notes below.

Fully lined with multiple skirts and tulle in the skirt. Boning through the bodice and it closes with a back metal and nylon zipper. There is some fading to burgundy of the fabric on the interior only but is perfectly sound and stable.

Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips at lining: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from top of shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD2938

Reference photos: (1-2) Princess Diana, 1986.  /  (3) Shirley Bassey Publicity photo.  /  (4-5) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon. Cherie is wearing a Magnetic Midnight X Shrimpton Couture 'Star Light' Headpiece - available on the site here >


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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