donald brooks

Exceptional 1960s Donald Brooks Demi Couture Sequin & Chenille Black Metallic Lace Dress

This is the second time I have had a version of this dress in the shop and I think this one is in even nicer condition then the first was. I love finding Donald Brooks pieces, they are extremely well made and his main label pieces, like this one border on couture in their construction. His main line was basically made to order pieces. Brooks launched his main line label in 1963 with a collection for the Spring 1964 season. He quickly became one of the most sought after of the American designers and his client roster included Mrs. Kennedy, Claudette Colbert and Faye Dunaway. The New York Times said that he was one of 'the three B's of fashion' alongside Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. He helped to launch the American Council of Fashion Designers, won three Cody Awards and he designed the costumes for numerous Broadway plays. He launched a secondary boutique line 1971 but by 1973 both of his self named labels shuttered as he chose to focus on his costume and stage work which was really his first love.

This remarkable dress is one of the best pieces I have had in by Donald Brooks. The workmanship and fabrication of this dress is an absolute dream. The fabric is very special and one of those fabrics that you will only ever find in a really great vintage piece. It is a rich and intricate combination of a chenille cording that is coiled and hand stitched into place over a metallic black lace base. The chenille cording gives it this beautiful soft feel and adds dimension and texture to the dress. The netted and embroidered lace that it sits on has a metallic finish at its edges and an open weave so that you get this very subtle sense of seeing little glimpses of skin through the pattern. For the final detail the fabric has glossy black sequins that have been hand sewn and stitched into place to follow parts of the curving design of the chenille. The lines of the dress are kept fairly simple so that the fabric can take center stage. The bodice dips into a V at the front and is more fitted to the body. Inside there is a little weighted piece that sits at the base of the V inside the lining so that it sits perfectly when on. The bodice then narrows into the waist that is set just upwards of the natural waistline. A satin finished sash is attached to add detail and then the skirt flows out from there widening out as it nears the hem. The sleeves are gorgeous. Each sleeve widens to be very full by its end and I love how the ends are finished with a scalloping. That same scalloped detailing finishes the neckline and hem as well and that little bit of a metallic detailing on the underlying lace that peeks out around the edges is just fantastic. It is truly really a work of art. Excellent condition

The bodice is lined in a nude lingerie weight netting and the skirt is lined in an inner nude silk. The sleeves are unlined. The inner skirt closes with a zipper and the the outer skirt snaps over that. The back buttons to close with hand covered silk buttons and loops.

Sleeves: 21"
Shoulders: no true defined seam
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14.5" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 37.5" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3724

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.