zandra rhodes

c.1973 Zandra Rhodes "Lilies of the Field" Handpainted Caftan Dress

This rare and amazing, entirely hand painted, silk caftan gown is just wonderful. This version is a beautiful and extremely rare combination of a peach, a deep goldenrod yellow and pinks, with a pale pink blush belt. I have never actually seen this combination before and suspect it was specially done for Creeds which would make it even more rare and desirable. It is made entirely of hand painted silk chiffon with a satin sash and this one has a lined skirt - also a rarity. The bodice is cut loose and full and dips dramatically to plunge almost to the waist at the front and is embellished with pearlized, shell shaped beads that run around and behind the neck and are scattered on each long and wide 'butterfly' sleeves. The waist is a wide gathered elastic band and the skirt below that flows full and soft to the floor. A pink silk satin belt cinches in the waist and adds the perfect finish. The print is entirely done by hand with beautiful lilies painted on it and the field of lilies text she is infamous for is scrolled across it top to bottom. 'I love beautiful flower' 'Beautiful flower' 'A lily flower, a lily, a lily' 'A field of lilies' 'Lilies lots and lots of beautiful lilies a field of yet more lilies' 'Zandra Rhodes, Zandra Rhodes' 'Grass' 'Leaves more leaves, leaves green' 'Zandra's beautiful lilies' is written on various parts. It is a true work of art, exceedingly rare and very special. A true piece of fashion history. Excellent, museum quality condition.

This is perhaps one of Zandra's most well documented pieces and examples are held in museums and private collections world wide. On the Zandra Rhodes website the text describing this dress reads:

"Certain dresses in particular have become known as Zandra Rhodes classics that are revisited every season and reworked, such as her best-selling dress known simply by its style number '73/44'. This feminine silk chiffon dress first came out in 1973 with a 'Field of Lilies' print, and has a deep v-neckline, long wide sleeves, and a full length skirt. It is finished with a satin sash in a contrasting or complementary colour, which is another Zandra Rhodes trademark

Her site further references versions of this gown that can be found in these books: The Art of Zandra Rhodes (Rhodes and Knight 1984) this dress is shown in a different colourway as butterfly no. 66 and is shown photographed flat (p.102); the style number 73/44 is described as a 'CLASSIC' (p. 238). Zandra Rhodes a lifelong love affair with textiles (Monsef et al 2005) this dress is shown in a photograph by David Bailey taken for British Vogue 1974 (p.90). This style number is described as Zandra Rhodes' 'best-selling garment' that has 'graced celebrities, royalty, models and women around the world' (p.91). Fifty Dresses that changed the world (Design Museum 2009) the style number 73/44 is included with the title 'Painted Chiffon Dresses' (pp.62-3)."

The V&A Museum notes about this print: "Zandra Rhodes considers the Lily prints to be the best of her work, and particularly significant. It was while developing the Lily textiles that she developed the method of reversing the silkscreen to produce a mirror image of the print and create symmetrical patterns. This went on to influence many of her future significant prints, such as 'Lace Mountain', 'Cactus Volcano' and 'Scribble Turnaround'. The Lily prints also represent the introduction of handwriting and calligraphy into her textile designs. Another point of significance for Zandra is that the Lily dresses were the first dresses that she started applying beading to, which would become a future trademark." It also comes with its original silk satin pink sash that has the Zandra Rhodes Sample label hand sewn to its back. Making this perhaps one of the first of these dresses to have been produced!

Partially lined with a second layer of peach silk chiffon through the bodice only. The dress has an elastic waist and slips on to wear. The skirt is fully lined in a yellow silk and the pink silk satin sash is original to the dress. Hand finished throughout and entirely hand painted.

Shoulders: no defined seam
Sleeves: approx 37" to longest points
Bust: no trued defined side seams
Waist: 15-17" across
Hips: 23" flat across from side seam to side seam of the inner lining
Length: 56" from shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD2597

Reference photos: (1-2) Lorde wearing this dress in her "Perfect Places" music video, styled by Karla Welch. Click here to see the video on Cherie's instagram >  /  (3) Jane Goddard in Zandra Rhodes by David Bailey, Vogue UK, 1974.  /  (4) Bianca Jagger wearing a Zandra Rhodes dress for Cosmopolitan, 1974.

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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