Incredible 1960s Sybil Connolly Couture Pale Lavender Ruffled Silk Gauze Dress
Sybil Connolly was based in Dublin and she was known for creating fashion from Irish textiles especially linens that she used both with and without pleats. Her first major US fashion show was in 1953. She quickly became a darling of the American market and was dubbed by the media as 'Dublin's Dior'. Jacqueline Kennedy wore Connolly for her official White House portrait and Connolly was a particular favorite of Carmen Snow, the editor of Harper's Bazaar. All of her pieces were made in her atelier in Ireland, even the ready-to-wear pieces. This was the opposite to all the other European designers who had the American market pieces made in America due to the stringent and high costs of customs. But Sybil wanted to keep employment in her own Irish workrooms. Sybil Connolly pieces are rare things to find and I love this one so much.
The dress is a dream. It is made out of a fine silk gauze chiffon that is very light and airy. This is a dress that you have to see in person to fully appreciate its beauty. The fabric has such lightness that is is just magical once on. The colour is a soft pale lavender with a darker large shade of the same colour screened onto the silk in the pattern that you see. The bust is cut to skim over you and it has an inset the at the front that contrasts with the rest of the print. This is just a pretty little extra detail. The waist is seamed but it is set slightly low and it is generous in cut. You could change the look of the dress by adding a belt or ribbon around the waist for more shape. Or wear it more loose and easy as you see it in these photos. The skirt billows out underneath that with a tiny bit of gathering around the waist seam. It opens out to the floor from there and has quite a bit of fabric by the time it reaches the hem. Circling the hem is a deep ruffle with a smaller ruffle set just above it at the joining seam. The same ruffle technique is also done at the ends of each sleeve. This gorgeous ruffle technique adds to the feeling of lightness the dress has. Above those pretty ruffle the sleeves are very full and billow out and around the arm. The sleeves are not lined so you get a pretty glimpse of the arm through the sleeve. It is wonderful and rare example of her work. Excellent condition with a small note below
Fully lined in a white silk organza with the sleeves left and lined. It closes with a back zipper. The bodice is lined with a pale lavender silk. All of the interior seam edges are finished to Haute Couture standards and are completely done by hand. I see what looks like a tiny bit of a repair near the base of the zipper amd near the seam under one arm but both are extremely minor.
Bust: 16-18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to 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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