thea porter

Exceptional Early 1970s Thea Porter Book Documented Faye Dress in Ikat SIlk Chiffon & Brocade

This is the actual dress that is in the book on Thea Porter's work that accompanied the exhibit n her work. The photo appears on page 88. The caption in the book notes that this dress is a "Faye dress in ikat silk chiffon, designed by Sandra Munro, with a bodice of Damascus brocade". The Faye dress was named after Faye Dunaway and she made these in various fabrications starting in 1968. It also has a Giorgio Beverly Hills tag where she sold her designs starting in 1969. It was said that when word got out that Thea had new things in the Girorgio boutique, women ran to be able to get a piece for themselves. This print was very well documented and Thea made a small series of pieces from this fabric. Each piece was made specifically so that it was cut to follow the print perfectly. This is the only one I've ever seen made in this length and in this style. Given her extremely limited run on certain pieces it may in fact be the only one that exists. It is truly a very special piece.

The cut of this dress is exceptional and this is a highly recognizable design from Thea. The neckline is scooped and edged in a gold cord that wraps around the neck and then runs down the front. It buttons to close at the front in three groups of buttons. I love how each of the buttons are covered in the same silk as the skirt and sleeves. As noted in the book the fabric of the bodice is a Damascus brocade in a muted gold with pops of turquoise and orange. Thea was known for picking up antique fabrics in her journeys and this is undoubtedly a piece or sample of fabric she sourced on her travels. I love that you feel fully covered but there is a tiny gap between the two sides of the front bodice so depending on how you move you get the tiniest glimpse of bare skin. The sleeves are phenomenal. Each is gathered into the top of the shoulder and then they are a huge balloon sleeve under that. They are made from a single layer of the Ikat printed silk chiffon and the pattern is set horizontally on the sleeves. This makes it feels like it wraps around the arm right down to the elastic cuffs. The waist is finished with a wide horizontal band of that same silk and it is cut with a more generous feel. These Faye dresses were not a true caftan but they did have that easy to wear feel to them that her caftan pieces also have. The skirt has an incredible amount of fabric. Here the Ikat print was set vertically which perfectly contrasts all the other elements of the dress and adds visual length. There is a good amount of fabric in the skirt so it moves beautifully once on the body. This is an exceptional and extremely rare example of her work. Excellent condition with a small note below

Fully lined in a green silk and zips to close at the back. The buttons at the front are functional but meant to be decorative. Each sleeve ends with an elastic. I see a tiny bit of colour change to the lining near one arm and a slight darkening to the brocade on that side as well but it is very minor and to the hem lining. The tiniest bit of a run in the fabric near the base of the zipper. Please see the photos after the label shot. The easy cut should fit a range of sizes

Sleeves: 24.5" and they are very full
Slightly inset shoulders: 14"
Bust: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 12.5" from top of shoulder to top of the band at the waist
Total length: 42" from top of shoulder to hem with 1.5" turned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD4690

Reference Photo: From the book 'Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic' by Laura McLaws Helms and Venetia Porter.

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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.