bill blass

Gorgeous Spring 1989 Bill Blass Runway Black Silk Halter Chiffon w Trailing Shoulder Panels

Bill Blass launched his label in 1970 when he bought out the Maurice Rentner label and re-launched it under his own name. Blass was arguably one of the most famous of  the American designers. His forte was the ability to mix simple styles with luxurious materials and his evening wear in particular seemed to have a way of flattering the wearer. He knew how to walk that line perfectly. This is a very chic little example of his work from this time period and is a little extra special because we have found its more colourful counterpart on the runway that season. The dress has a dated tag inside from Bergdorf's which was usually a special order. It is easy to imagine the client seeing the orange and yellow version and then ordering it in this very chic all black.

This dress is gorgeous. It is made out of a black silk chiffon that is a very fine scarf weight silk that is very difficult to work with especially given the draping that has been done on this dress. The dress is cut to flow beautifully around the body. The neckline is set high in a halter that comes up in a peek and the extends out into tiny straps that have panels draped over them that curve over the shoulders. The panels continue down to gather over the bodice. They drape down and around to the back in a series of soft gathers and then this top layer buttons over the back zipper. The structure that holds the dress in place is all hidden inside so that there is minimal seaming showing on the exterior. Instead your eye just follows down to the skirt that flows to the floor in yards and yards of silk chiffon. The halter front leaves your upper back bare. The panels that curve over your shoulder from the front extend down to drape dramatically towards the floor and billow out behind you as you move. There is a built in structure through the bodice and then three layers of chiffon float over you to the floor to create the skirt. This gives it the slightest bit of transparency that is fantastic. All of the silk and layers are cut on the bias so the dress really has the most spectacular movement when you move. It is simple and classic but has a high impact feel at the same time. It appears to have never been worn or worn very little. Excellent condition

The bodice and skirt are lined in black silk chiffon and that part is lightly boned. The dress closes with a back zipper and then the skirt snaps to close over that and the bodice buttons over the zipper above that. The panels drape over the shoulders.

Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Length: 57" from top of shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD4469

Reference Photos: Spring 1989 Bill Blass Runway.

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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.