c1959 Gustave Tassel Couture Fine Silk Taffeta and Lace Dress
This is a very rare, museum quality example of Gustave Tassell, who was one of the great American Couturiers. Example of his work are extremely hard to come by and most are only found in museum collections! For those not familiar with his work, Tassell won a Coty Award in 1962, was worn by Jacqueline Kennedy and designed for the house of Norell when Normal Norell died. This piece predates his work for Norell and is from the period between 1959-1972 when he was running his own couture house. Based on the lines and fabrication of this dress I suspect it is from one of his very first collections.
The dress itself is extraordinary. It has that wonderful "New Look" feel to it with its full skirts and beautiful fabric combination. He combines a fine silk taffeta with a French Chantilly lace that lies over a nude color on the bodice and a more gold tones silk for the skirts. This allows the fabric to become a design element in itself and showcases that beautiful lace. Once on the body the volume of the skirts is showcased and the lines become magical. I have styled it over a light crinoline so you can see just how full those skirts are. The skirt is just a masterpiece of construction with its mix of silk and lace panels. It is set into the waist with a series of soft pleats that really allow for fullness - you will get almost the same fullness that you see here even without a crinoline because of the way the fabric is set. The bodice sits above a cinched in waist and is cut to skim over the body. The neckline is set quite wide and is finished with a panel of lace that is folded and stitched to create its curves shape. It is a rare dress that is very beautiful and even beyond that, is a stunning example of a great American Couturier. Excellent condition
Fully lined through the bodice in a fine, high grade, hand set, nude silk chiffon and has an underskirt made of a gold silk taffeta. It closes with a back painted, hand set, metal zipper. Hand finished. Note that the waist looks to have been altered at some point and has a ribbon finish as photoed. I see small stitch marks above the ribbon in the fabric. You can easily wear it as is or use a belt. Priced accordingly
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from natural neck to waist
Skirt: 29.5" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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