Fall 1977 Bill Blass Couture Gold Top, Tassle Vest & Ivory Silk Skirt Dress Set
This is the last from a collection of Bill Blass pieces from a woman who was a close personal friend of Mr. Blass for many years. Many of the pieces that I have shared were custom made or tweaked in design specifically for her and all of them are in exquisite condition, having been stored and cared for properly over the years. These are rare and hard to find example of his work from the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Some may be the only version of its kind that were made. The family would also like it to be known that their portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to charity.
This might be my favorite look from all of the pieces and is an exemplary example of the work that Bill Blass was doing in this time period. We were able to date it exactly with a family photo that my client shared with me. Additionally, a version of the skirt with a different top appeared in the September issue of Vogue that year on none other then Jerry Hall. The skirt is made out of a beautiful ivory colored silk satin that is edged in a wide silk ribbon at the hem that is done in a pale pinky nude blush color. The color of the ribbon at the hem exactly matches the detachable wide silk satin sash that has a large bow at the front and ties that trail almost to the hem of the skirt. The skirt is very full and for these shots on the dress form I did not use any additional crinolines under the skirt. The fullness that you see is all done through the way it is cut. The choice of the silk satin helps it to hold the shape while still keeping it fairly light in weight. The top that goes with it is amazing. It is made out of a semi-transparent, ivory colored silk chiffon that has a gold lame thread running through it on a diagonal. This really gives it a bit of glitz and sparkle. It is made with elastic through the waist which makes it insanely comfortable to wear. I love that you can wear it tucked in or with the hip peplum out and than add the belt for more shape to it regardless of which way you decide on. Each sleeve is very full and voluminous. The cuffs end in a deep ruffle of the same fabric for a wonderful effect. The neckline is finished with a high ruffle and at the back it buttons into place above a long slit opening that runs from the neck to about midway down the back. You could probably even wear the top the other way around if you preferred. Over this is a hand knit vert that is made out of a gold and ivory yarn in a beautiful woven finish. Onto this are hundreds of tassels. Each hand made and hand attached in precise little rows. These move when you do and add the perfect balance to the skirt. The volume and drama of all the pieces worn all together is amazing. Having the separate pieces like this also makes it extremely versatile as you can wear them all together for the full Blass look, or mix and match with other modern pieces from your wardrobe. Each component of the set is exquisitely made and wonderfully extravagant. This would even make an amazing wedding piece for a bride not wanting to go the traditional route. Excellent condition
All three pieces of the set are unlined and beautifully finished inside. The skirt closes with a metal and nylon zipper and a hook & eye at the waist. There are silk covered snaps that circle the waist band that you attach the ribbon belt to and the hem is finished with a wide inner band of stiffened netting. The top slips on with elastic through the waist. It has a covered button at the back neck and each cuff buttons to close with a fabric covered button and loop. The sash snaps into place and closes with hook and eye. The vest has no closures. All pieces have hand finishes. The color in person is even better then how it photoed with a slightly more ivory feel to it and the gold has more impact in real life.
Sleeves: approx 28" with no defined shoulder seam
Bust: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Elastic waist: 12-20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: approx 26" from neck to hem and the elastic waist falls at approx 17"
Bust-hem: 16-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 16.5" from neck to hem
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 47" from waist to hem
Matching ribbon belt: 29.5" from end to end and the hooks could be moved up or down as needed
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: (1) Bill Blass Ad, 1977. / (2) Jerry Hall in Bill Blass, Vogue US, September 1977. Photo by Chris Von Wagenheim. / (3) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.
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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