bill blass

c.1972 Bill Blass Backless Ruffle Taffeta Dress w Organza Skirt Overlay

Lauren Hutton was photograhed in a shorter version of this dress for Vogue in 1972.  I by far prefer the longer version with its stunning organza skirt overlay. It does not have a flower inset at the back but it would be easy to add a pin if you just became obsessed by that look and wanted to recreate it

This is an early Bill Blass piece. By 1972 he was only two years into running his own company after buying Maurice Rentner Ltd in 1970 and renaming it to bear his own name. It is made form a combination of a black silk taffeta and and a silk organza. These fabric choices give it lightness but still enable it to hold the shape he desired and give it a sense of structure. The front is high with long sleeves that end in a riffled finish. A ruffle sits at the neck to frame the face. This same ruffles extends down the back into a low curve and frames the bare back there. A wonderful and dramatic way to balance the fill coverage everywhere else. The skirt is full and falls longer at the back then at the front. To give it extra fullness, Blass has constructed a silk organza piece that snaps into place around the waist and floats over the inner silk taffeta skirt of the dress. I have included photos of how it closes at the front so you can see that it does fully close and slightly overlaps. It was too small to sit proper on the mannequin and it will sit far better on the proper sized girl for it. More ruffled edges finish both the skirt of the dress and the organza overlay. It is utterly amazing. Excellent condition

The bodice is lined in the same fabric and the skirt and overlay are unlined. It closes with a low set zipper at the back. Zippers at each cuff. The overlay snaps into place around the waist. Hand finished. Exceptional, if you love it in the photos you will be thrilled to see it on person.

Sleeves: 25" including the 3" ruffle
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 15.5" from top of shoulder to waist
Skirt: 30" from waist to shortest point of front dress, 42" to the longest point of the back of the dress. The overlay is longer - it is 43.5" at the front and 46" to the back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD2990

Reference Photo: Lauren Hutton in Bill Blass, by Irving Penn. Vogue US, January 1972.

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.