thea porter

Documented Rare 1969 Thea Porter Black & Red Print Silk Chiffon Dress

When researching this dress I found the same print used on dress from one of Thea's very first fashion shows, held at the Greek street shop in London. The label on this dress is unusual and I reached out to fashion historian and author Laura McClaws Helms Who wrote the book on Thea Porter and curated the museum exhibit on her work.She told me that in the very early days Thea would sometimes meet with boutique owners and agree to sell select pieces to them. We agreed that this must have been a very early collaboration resulting in this extremely rare label. She ended up finding a photo of a model in the twin of this dress in her photo archives that firmly dated it in 1969.

The dress is stunning. It feels a bit like her 'Faye' dress in design, but with huge voluminous sleeves that are brought in at the wrists, and that fantastic panel of print that runs down the full front and back. The dress has been made from a fine black silk chiffon for the sleeves and outer panels of the skirt. The printed panels are also a silk chiffon and they are completely covered in a graphic, swirling pattern that utilizes a bright red, white and black. The fabric has a touch of transparency to it where it is a single layer like the sleeves. And because of how the sleeves are set, it leaves the entire upper sides of the bodice transparent as well. Which is just insanely sexy. The rest of it is lined for a more opaque feel. The sleeves are cut extremely full and each comes out from the sides of the dress right from the shoulder down to the waist. This fullness is then caught up at each wrist with a tie edging made from the same printed chiffon. The high set waist is highlighted with a banding of the printed silk and this extends into long ties that you can cinch to add more shape if you wish or wear it loose and easy. The neckline is cut high and that gorgeous panel of print runs down the front of the  entire dress. It then circles the hem in a very wide band of fabric and another panels runs down the full back. The dress is absolutely stunning and an outstanding and rare example of Thea's collaborative work. It is also important for being such a fine and early example of her work. Excellent condition with one small note below

Fully lined in a black silk chiffon except for the sleeves which are unlined. The dress zips to close at the back. The band at the waist extend to ties that you can cinch in the waist as desired. Hand finishes throughout. One of the ties at the wrist has damage. When it is tied it is completely hidden within the tie. Please see the photo after the shot of the label.

Sleeves: approx 28"
Inset shoulders: 12"
Bust: no true side seams
Empire waist under the bust: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 12" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 45" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML, Maybe a medium if the under-bust measurement will work

Item# DD3491

Reference Photo: (1) Model in Thea Porter, 1969. Photo courtesy of Laura McLaws Helms.

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.