bill blass

Fall 1986 Bill Blass Silk Velvet Lame Beaded Evening Strapless Dress & Jacket

I am very pleased to begin presenting a collection of Bill Blass pieces from a woman who was a close personal friend of Mr. Blass for many years. Many of these pieces were custom made or tweaked 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 is a lovely example of Bill's work that has the added provenance of being featured in the September issue of Vogue that in 1986. It's twin was photographed on Paulina Porizkova and I have included that reference photo here. Both the dress and jacket are made out of the most extraordinary fabric. He has used a fine silk velvet that has gold thread lame running through it in the manner of a men's suiting. This gives both pieces an incredible sheen when combined with the velvet. As it catches the light it almost has the feel of a liquid running over you. The dress is strapless with a built in inner bodice that gives it structure internally but from the outside you only see the fabric falling in one smooth line. The bodice has carefully placed hand done gathers that give just the hint of detailing. Under that the skirt falls to the floor in one long lean line. There is no slit on this one, rather the fabric is cleverly laid out so there is hidden volume as it nears the hem. Over this is the remarkable jacket that has a more structured feel to it. The cut is pure Blass with the waist just a suggestion and the shoulders boxed and padded. The sleeves are long and each is finished at the cuff with a wide band of hand done bead and sequin work. This same incredible detailing runs around the collar, down the front and circles all around the hem of the jacket. It is incredible and very chic. Excellent condition

Both pieces are fully lined in silk. The dress closes with a double zipper at the back, with the inner one closing the inner corset. The inner corset is boned and shaped. The jacket closes with hidden snaps at the front and hook & eye at the neck and waist. The bead work is hand done and elaborate.

Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 40" from waist to hem

Sleeves: 23"
Shoulders: 15.5"
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 24" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3260

Reference Photos: (1) Paulina Porizkova in Bill Blass, Vogue UK, September 1986. Photo by Bill King.  /  (2) Fall 1986 Bill Blass Runway.

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.