patrick kelly

c.1988 Patrick Kelly Purple Brocade One Shoulder Feather Trim Dress

I believe that like the other Patrick Kelly I just listed, that this one is also from the Fall 1988 collection but could not find an exact reference. I say that because that particular collection featured a lot of feathered neckline pieces. If it is not in that season it would certainly have been around that time period.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently hosted an exhibit of the work of Patrick Kelly. The show notes state: "“I want my clothes to make you smile”—that was the goal of late African American designer Patrick Kelly in creating his bold, bright, and joyful creations. Kelly achieved this on the streets, nightclubs, and runways of New York, Paris, and beyond in the heady, inventive, and often-subversive urban milieu of the 1980s....Kelly’s work pushed racial and cultural boundaries with golliwog logos, Aunt Jemima bandana dresses, and his ubiquitous black baby-doll brooches. His playful looks were inspired by his muse, Josephine Baker, and admiration for couturiers Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Yves Saint Laurent, among others."

The dress is as exuberant and  over-the-top as you would expect from a piece of Patrick Kelly's work. It is made from a black & purple brocade that has a quilted detailing that runs over the fabric. This gives it an almost padded feel to the fabric and is very unusual. It is cut to hug the body and show every curve. The waist is nipped in through vertical seaming and the skirt is cut to follow the hips and sits slim cut below that. Kelly has squared off the single shoulder on the one side and and kept that sleeve long and lean. The sleeve ends in a point which is a small detail that I love for its unexpectedness. The other shoulder is left bare for a flash of skin. I love the fluffy explosion of black feathers that sits all the way around the neckline - this is what gives us the clue to the collection date and makes the dress so wonderful. As you get closer you also notice that the purple bits on the fabric are not just any design - they are each and elaborately done, long feather design, perfectly tying everything together. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a black silky rayon and dress closes at the side with a hidden set zipper. Light boning through the bodice. Appears to have never been worn. Tagged a 42

Sleeve: 25"
Bust: 18-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15 " flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 39" from shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3105

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.