Incredible 1970s Bob Mackie Heavily Beaded Silk Dress
This stunning and rare gown was designed by Bob Mackie. Mackie was best known for dressing Cher and for his undying love of opulence and bead work, both of which he incorporates heavily into the best of his designs. He worked for both Edith Head and Jean Louis prior to working with designer Ray Aghayan which led to his incredible journey in designing for stars like Cher and Diana Ross for many many years. In some ways he and his creations defined their careers and that era of glamour. I think he secretly always designed for the big screen and the bygone glamor of Hollywood as his work is always over the top and extravagant. This is an amazing ivory white silk gown that is heavily beaded and extremely sexy and flattering once on. The base of the gown is made of a white silk chiffon that has hundreds of vertical bands made of silver and white beads laid out in three distinctive patterns down the gown. This combination of the two colors of glass beads and different beads shapes used, give the gown an extra layer of texture and sparkle as every inch of it catches the light and sparkles. The dress is incredibly heavy off the body because of that extensive bead-work, and yet once on the body it lies and drapes in a way that it is balanced and not at all unwieldy. The bodice is cut loose and easy with sleeves that come out form the waist and narrow to extensively beaded cuffs. The front crosses and plunges and the waist wraps slightly over itself and hooks into place. You can wear it with the heavily beaded belt it comes with or without it. The skirt also wraps over itself at the front partially and snaps to hold it to about mid-top of the thigh and then there is a slit after that. It is dramatic, over the top and quite fabulous. If you even remotely love it in the photos you will squeal when you see it in person as it is so, so, so much better in real life. Extremely well made and from his mainline demi-couture label. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a ivory white silk crepe with the sleeves left unlined to the cuff. There is also an inner waist stay. It closes with a series of snaps and hooks at the waist and then just above and below. Hand finished throughout. Incredibly heavy as it is fully beaded top to bottom with glass beads but feels balanced when on and comfortable. There is perhaps the occasional bead missing but none that I can see. The belt hooks into place and the glue has loosened between the layers at one end of the belt causing the layers to separate slightly.
Sleeves: 25" approx.
Shoulders: no defined seam
The inner silk lining at the bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam (note that if you needed more room you could easily add fabric here without affecting the outer gown at all due to the sleeve cut)
Inner waist stay: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam (note removing the waist stay would give you at least another inch, you could also easily shorten the stay and move the snaps if you needed it made smaller)
Hips: approx to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 17" from neck 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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