zandra rhodes

Ethereal 1974 Zandra Rhodes White Lillies of the Field Dress

This is perhaps one of Zandra's most well documented pieces and examples are held in museums and private collections world wide. I have sold several of these in the past but this is the first all white one I have had and it is wonderful.

This rare and amazing, entirely hand painted, silk caftan gown is just wonderful. This version is a beautiful pale white silk with the hand painting done in a more opaque white. The bodice is cut loose and full and dips dramatically to plunge almost to the waist at the front and is embellished with pearl finished beads that run over the bodice of the dress. The waist is a wide gathered elastic band and below that, the skirt is full and cascades to the floor with a tremendous volume of fabric present. 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' '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. It would be suitabel for a wedding gown or to be worn for an event. Excellent, museum quality condition

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.

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."

Partially lined with a second layer of white silk chiffon through the bodice only and that continues as a second underlying skirt to the floor. The dress has an elastic waist and slips on to wear. Hand finished throughout and entirely hand painted. the loose cut will allow it to fit a variety of sizes. Tagged a vintage UK 10, US 8 but check actual measurements.

Shoulders: no defined seam
Sleeves: approx 35" to longest points
Bust: no trued defined side seams
Waist: 12-17" across
Hips: open
Bodice: 14" from shoulder to top center of elastic at the waist
Skirt: 46" from top center of elastic at the waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED

Item# DD2464

Reference photos: Jane Goddard in Zandra Rhodes by David Bailey, Vogue UK, 1974. / 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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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.