Late 1970s Oleg Cassini Extensively Beaded & Panelled Skirt Black Silk Chiffon Dress
I think our modern world forgets just how important Oleg Cassini was as a designer in his heyday. From his first film in 1941 he was responsible for many of the best looks on film, dressing stars like Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney (who he married), Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and the list goes on and on. In 1952, he opened his own fashion house on Seventh Avenue. By 1961 he was appointed by Jacqueline Kennedy as her exclusive couturier. Some of his early works especially, were more on par with couture, using the same techniques and high fashion fabrics as the French couture houses. This is a later example of his work and yet it still shows the care and meticulous detailing that he put into his work.
The dress is amazing in person. It is made of a black silk chiffon that has been extensively covered with gunmetal silver glass tube beads. The dress is extremely heavy because of the bead work. It weights about 4 pounds and it is gorgeous. The bodice of the dress is suspended by beaded straps and then scoops down with shaping at the front and a lower set line at the back. It has a wide band of beadwork following the top seam and then is shaped by a series of vertically set rows of beads that go all the way around the bodice and end in little jagged ends. It is fitted to the bodice and then nips it in at the waist. The skirt skims over the hips into a pencil shape and then onto that are curved vertical panels that start just under the waist and go to just above the hem. These give the illusion that the skirt is tiered but that ruffled effect is actually created by the panels dropping and layering over each other. I did a photo of it laid out flat so you can get an idea of how much volume is actually in the skirt. When you move the movement this creates is fantastic. Each is finished along the curved edge with a series of stacked rows of beadwork. More vertical bead circle the hips and these are done to pick up that same jagged finish design as on the bodice. The hem is then finished with a wide band of yet more beading. Excellent condition
Fully lined in a black muslin through the bodice and black silk through the skirt. It closes with a back zipper. Hand work throughout. Light boning in the bodice. It looks to have never been worn. Perhaps the occasional bead missing but no bare areas that I could see.
Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 11.5-12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 42" from shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
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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