ceil chapman

Incredible 1950s Ceil Chapman Ivory Silk Satin Dress w Gold Metal Ribbon Detailing

Ceil Chapman was an American designer of classic cocktail and party dresses who successfully took the revered Christian Dior 'New Look' haute couture designs that most woman could not even hope to afford and reworked them into designs that American woman could attain. She won the Coty American Fashion Critic's Award in 1945, the John Wanamaker Award, Foley's 'Golden Year' Award, and the Strawbridge and Clothier seal of confidence, for creative contribution in the area of American fashion. In 1955, she won the Mademoiselle Merit Award, after a poll asking college girls to cite the country's most popular designer for the young. She won by a landslide. Her self-named label was launched in the mid-1940s and continued to the to the mid-sixties.

I think this might be one of the most incredible Ceil Chapman that I have not only had but that I have ever seen. It is cut into a classic cocktail dress silhouette, with a fitted bodice, nipped in waist and a very full skirt. The bust has wide straps that curve up and over each shoulder to sit wide and expose the collarbones. A panel of fabric extends out from the tip if each shoulder and then curves across the bust in a soft drape to create a shelf bust feel. This is a very flattering look once on and it really highlights the bust and creates a lovely shape. At the back the fabric is gathered in soft folds to edge the V that dips down from the neck. I have styled the dress over a light crinoline so that you can see just how full the skirt is. It could go even fuller and if you really wanted to exaggerate the fullness you could easily use a a very very full crinoline underneath. The fabric is a lovely creamy ivory silk satin that helps to give the dress the structure it needs to hold its sculpted shape. The dress is covered with this incredible detailing made up of a cotton thread lace edged in gold, gold metallic thread, prong set rhinestones and faux pearls that have all been hand stitched into place. The main part of the design is created by the thread lace edged in gold. The edging is an actual metal and is set on its side so that it sits out from the dress to give it the 3D feel that it has. Parts of the design have been cross thatched with a metallic gold thread and other parts have the rhinestones and pearls hand set into place. In person the effect is a touch softer overall feel then how it photoed. The camera creates a bit more of a shadow and in real life the dress has a more ivory and soft gold feel. It is just incredible. The entire dress catches the light and the jewels sparkle and shimmer with your slightest movement. It is like being dressed in a jewel box. I especially love how they have used the detailing across the waist to create a belted effect. It gives the dress a lovely polished finish. These early Chapman pieces are very hard to come by and this one is in wonderful condition too. I also love the level of craftsmanship put into the dress. Truly an incredible find. Besides being a very wearable cocktail dress this would make a stunning wedding choice for the bride looking for something not as traditional or as an option for an event over a wedding weekend. Excellent condition with a couple of minor notes below

Fully lined in a combination of a cream silky rayon through the bodice and dressmakers paper through the skirt. The interior bodice is lightly boned and shaped. It closes with a back painted metal zipper. The crinoline it is photoed over is not included. There is the barest hint of a mark under one arm and i am being extremely picky on that. A water mark in the skirt that gets lost in the design and perhaps a scoff or two on the fabric. I see one missing rhinestone. It is really in wonderful condition. Please see the shots after the label shot

Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 15" from shoulder to waist 
Skirt: 28" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3731

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.