Dreamiest 1972 Halston Runway Floor Length Baby Blue 100% Scottish Cashmere Dress
This is a very rare and beautiful example of Halston's work using cashmere during this time period. He was a master at combining function and ease but without sacrificing glamour. He did this with the absolute minimum of seaming that a garment required. His bias cut knit pieces sometimes feel and look somewhat shapeless on the hanger or dress form and it is only when they are slipped on that they drape and settle into place the way they were intended. They seem so very simple but they are not. Halston used 4-8 ply cashmere for these pieces and that high quality shows. I have included a reference photo of Pat Cleveland on the 1972 runway in the twin of this piece. Recently, variations of his work in cashmere were featured in the Museum at FIT exhibit 'Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s'. In their exhibit notes they mention these cashmere pieces specifically: 'Halston’s use of historical elements to create new collections was sparing. Rather than re-interpret the designs of those who came before him, he made subtle allusions to those designers whose work he most admired. He was inspired by body-revealing activewear and the sinuous, bias-cut gowns of Madeleine Vionnet from the 1930s, while primary influences from the 1940s included the cashmere sweater sets of Mainbocher and the ingenious ties and closures employed by Claire McCardell'
The dress is exceptional. It is in its original to the floor length and falls from the shoulders in a column of some of the finest cashmere that was ever made. It is sleeveless which makes it easy to wear. I love the ribbing detail that circles the opening for the arms and also finishes the neck. In the book 'Halston; An American Original' they talk about Halston's cashmere pieces and quote Polly Mellen as saying: "His cashmere pieces to the floor... weren't just tubes: they had armholes, were neat on top, yet very cozy and at the same time elegant". It is said that they were inspired by a close associate that was a dance instructor and were intended to give the body complete freedom because of their ease of movement they have when you wear one. The colour on this one is so dreamy. It is a pale baby ice blue that is even better in person than how it photoed. These softer pastel examples of his work are very rare and it is a wonderful piece of Halston's history. Excellent condition with a minor note below.
Unlined and slips on to wear. It is made from 100% cashmere made in Scotland. The dress has some stretch and I have given the comfortable range of measurements while it is lying flat. I see two tiny areas on the back inside back near the label where it looks like the fabric was professionally rewoven. Please see the label shot.
Bust: 15-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5-16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 16-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: approx 61" from neck to hem with 3" turned under the hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Reference Photos: Resort 1972 Halston Runway. Model Pat Celeveland.
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