la mendola

c.1972 La Mendola Blue Print Jersey Dress w Feather Trim Cape

The duo behind the La Mendola label met in Rome in 1960 and started their business making dresses and selling them one by one, piece by piece. In 1967 they opened a shop and women like Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth become steadfast clients who were buying, and even wait listing for pieces as they were produced. This dress is a wonderful piece by them that is made from a fluid synthetic jersey and remarkably, still has its matching silk chiffon, feather trimmed capelet. The cut is very loose and easy and it simply flows out from the shoulder to almost caftan proportions below that. The print that covers both pieces is a beautiful mix of blue tones. It has a simple cut with an undefined waist, a V cut neckline and long sleeves. I love how it covers the body completely and how the fabric drapes and skims over your curves so it is still sexy. You could easily  belt and cinch in the waist for more shape or wear it loose and easy. The cape drapes over the shoulders and the feathers give it a sense of high glamour as well as lots of movement. It was made for a larger woman and she must have been very tall as well as it is exceptionally long. I have it on for the photos but it really was very large on me so please be sure to go by the measurements if you shop based on what I am wearing. The length is supermodel long at 65" from shoulder to hem. It is an amazing piece. Note that it presents very well but is not perfect so please check the condition notes below.

Unlined and closes at the back with a painted metal zipper. The bias cut stretch fabric and forgiving design of the dress will allow it to work on a range of sizes. I have given the measurements at a comfortable stretch lying flat but the fabric does have stretch beyond them a touch even. The cape closes with a button at the front. Note that there is staining down the front of the dress, it is faint but is there. There is so much fabric that a smaller girl could probably have this cut down to fit and eliminate all the marks altogether. It is wearable as is if you don't mind a little imperfection and I have priced it far less then what it would be otherwise. There is the slightest of yellowing to the inside collar of the dress and around the neck of the capelet. Very minor. Otherwise it is excellent

Sleeves: 27"
Shoulders: 19"
Bust: 28-32" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 27-29" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Length: 65" from shoulder to hem
Cape: approx 30" from neck to end of feathers

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XL+

Item# DD2972

Reference Photos: Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon.

I have a small collection of historically important, key designer labelled vintage furs, fur trimmed & feather pieces stored away in my archives that I will be slowly posting on the site over the next couple of years until I have none left. I will no longer be buying furs for the shop moving forward and have not purchased anything for several years now. I feel like times have changed and while there still is a place for vintage furs for some, including collectors and historians, many modern girls are choosing other options. Many of the pieces in my collection are representative of the designer during a set time period in history that was different then our modern outlook. I have decided that the best course to handle this controversial issue is to let the pieces I have go rather then sit in a cold storage unit. All fur coats, fur trimmed & feather pieces are final sale

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.