mollie parnis

Incredible 1970s Mollie Parnis Ivory Silk Moire Halter Dress w Matching Feather Trim Jacket

Mollie Parnis is one of my favorite American designers. She was known for having dressed numerous first ladies and her dresses regularly appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. She started a label with her husband in 1933 called Parnis Livingston Inc. and she quickly became know for her quality, fit and use of very good fabrics. She had a particular talent in dressing woman of every age and designed pieces that suited her older clients in a time when this was not a focus. Her husband died in 1962 forcing the label to shutter but she re-grouped and re-opened three months later under her own Mollie Parnis label. In 1970s she launched a ready to wear line and hired designer Morty Sussman to do the initial designs and then approved everything he did before it went into production. After the first year his named appeared on the labels like it does on this one. This is a gorgeous example of the work he did.

The dress is made out of a ivory silk moire that holds the intended shape and volume beautifully. It is a set that is made up of a dress and a jacket that slips on over the dress. They are beautiful worn together or separately. I love that having the two pieces gives you more styling opportunities and extends the life of this in your wardrobe. The dress is suspended by two tiny straps that curve up and over each shoulder. The bodice scoops wide at the front and does the same across the back. It skims over you to the waist and the skirt has an incredible amount of volume to it that shows best when you move. The fabric choice keeps it light enough to be comfortable when on yet it still has enough weight that it holds that full feeling when you stand still. And it has pockets. Over this pops the jacket and it is gorgeous. It drops from a soft shoulder and curves around and up from the hem to the neckline. It is slightly cropped and the sleeves are simple and long. The entire front is finished with a feather trim dyed to the palest possible nude ballet pink. The feathers frame your face and create this incredible statement. I love that they continue all the way around to the back. It is absolutely beautiful. A long matching sash in the same fabric is the perfect finish. It lets you add a  little extra bit of detail at the waist and you can cinch the waist in more with it if you need to. This would make an amazing wedding dress for the bride looking for a non-traditional choice or as an alternative dress in a more extended wedding celebration. And of course it could also be worn to any event. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in an ivory silky rayon. The dress closes with a side zipper and the jacket has no closures. Pockets along each hip seam. It looks to have been worn very little if at all but there is a very minor bit of grubbiness along the edge of the hem here and there.

Bust: to 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 14.5" from top of shoulder to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem

Shoulders: 14.5"
Sleeves: 23" long and 13.25" around the top part of the arm
Bust: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 17" from neck to actual hem and 23.5" incliding the feathers

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4065

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.