bill blass

Incredible Fall 1970 Bill Blass Runway Pink Patterned Gold Metallic Thread Dress w Wide Sleeves

This is the second dress from this collection that I have in the shop at the moment and for this one we have full documentation on it including the spectacular runway reference photos so you can see just how good it is on. Bill Blass worked for the Maurice Retner label for 10 years as the chief designer. In 1968 the Bill Blass Inc label became a subsidiary of the Retner label. Then in 1970 he fully bought out his partners at the Maurice Retner label and re-launched it under his own name as Bill Blass Ltd. 1970 was the same year that he won his third Coty American Fashion Critics' Award and with it, his lifetime membership in the Coty Hall of Fame. By 1980 the company was doing 20 million dollars in revenue. He was arguably one of the most famous of all the American designers. By the eighties his work was even more ornate and luxurious than what he had done in the past. Prices for dresses could be as high as $5000 (which would be about $15,000 today). He was once asked why his clothes were so expensive and he replied, 'I'm an avid believer that we have to have clothes made in this country. Therefore we pay more money. ... The cost of labor and fabrication is what makes the clothing expensive.'

This is an exceptional dress. These metallic pieces are among my favorites by him and I love that this one is so well documented. The fabric is beautiful as it mixes soft pinks, tones of silver and grey with ivory and gold. These are set over the entire dress in rows that run down the full length of the dress. Some of the pattern has a slight raised feel to it and it has been all been embroidered directly into the fabric. Silver, copper and gold thread have been used over the entire dress and this is what gives the fabric its metallic glitz and makes it gleam and glitter in the light. It covers the dress from head to toe. The neckline is a cut into a high V with a wide border of the same fabric in a solid pink. The bodice crosses over itself and skims over you. This is then is balanced beautifully by those spectacular sleeves. Each sleeve is cut to just past the elbow and is wide and straight. They curve out from a slightly dropped shoulder and this emphasizes the way it sits on the body a touch. It hooks into place at the side and the waist is seamed but left on the more generous side. You can see on the reference photos that they put a wide band of fabric around the waist and you could easily re-create this if you wished. That border from the neckline continues all the way down the front of the skirt for some added detail. The skirt falls to the floor from there and widens out as it nears the hem. I absolutely love it. It is beautiful. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a pink silk. You step into it and then it closes with a hidden part zipper at one side of the inner torso and then it has a series of hidden snaps and hooks. Hand finishes throughout and ribbon finished inner hem.

Sleeves: 19" from the dropped shoulder seam
Dropped shoulders: so no true defined seam
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15.5" from neck to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4394

Reference Photos: Fall 1970 Bill Blass Ready to Wear Advance.

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.