Incredible 1930s Black Moss Silk Crepe Dress Densely Covered w Rare Gelatin Sequins & Seed Beads
This is one of the most incredible dresses from this time period that I have had in the shop. The fabric is an early and original version of the moss crepes that you see so frequently during the 1970s with designers like Ossie Clark. It is also special in that all of that sequin work that covers the entire dress are gelatine sequins which are a rarity in themselves. In the 1920s when the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen tomb was opened, many garments where found inside the tomb that were embellished with tiny gold disks with a hole punched out of the middle. They were made from pure gold and sparked a craze for flapper dresses to all be covered in little metal discs. By the 1930s, manufacturers developed a process to create lightweight sequins using gelatin coloured with paint. That is what these are and while these sequins looked great they did have the unwanted side effect of potentially melting at temperatures with applied heat and dissolving in water. As a result the industry soon switched to acetate sequins and then eventually our modern day Mylar or plastics. It is extremely rare to find pieces with these earliest kinds of sequins and even rarer to find one in this extraordinary condition given the potential to melt if cared for improperly.
The dress is even more gorgeous in person then how it photoed. This is one of the best pieces from this time period that I have seen in a very long time. It is now so rare and hard to find these in such amazing condition. It is also surprisingly long for a piece from this time period. The dress has been finished beautifully and it obviously is a high end piece. It was a hard dress to photo since it is meant to be on an actual body and my dress form is not doing it anywhere near the justice it deserves. The dress falls in a stepped V at the front with the sides of the front V extending out to become the wide straps that curve up and over each shoulder. The bodice is cut in that loose and easy way over the bust that pieces from this time period were done in. It gathers in at the front a touch and then falls over the waist for a bit of a column feel. The skirt falls to the floor under that in a smooth column that widens out gradually as you hear the floor. At the back it dips scandalously low to reveal a wide expanse of bare skin. It does up with a side zipper so that all of the lines stay long and smooth. It was then densely detailed with the most amazing pattern of flowers and vines that cover the entire dress except for the stark band across the middle that was left as just the black crepe. This anchors the design above and below and visually draws the eye in. The design is made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny hand set gold sequins and the vines that trail between them are done in the tiniest possible seed beads. They are so densely done that the pattern sits up and off of the crepe underneath for the most beautiful 3D feel. You can clearly see the hand work on the back and I cannot even imagine how many hours it would have taken to accomplish this type of meticulous and detailed work. The design completely covers the front and back of the bodice and runs all the way around the long skirt. The embellishments catch the light and add a fabulous glitter to the dress. It is truly incredible and if you are a fan of these pieces from the late twenties and into the thirties you know just how exceptional and rare it is. It is truly a once in a lifetime find. Excellent condition
Unlined and closes with a side set metal zipper. Ribbon edged finished hem. It is in wonderful condition and appears to have been worn very little. For a garment almost 100 years old it is truly amazing.
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from neck to the front hem, 60" to the back hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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