Museum Held 1970s Bill Gibb Black Liquid Jersey Dress w MOP Buttons & Extensive Beading
Bill Gibb was one of the most influential designers in 1970s Britain and his clothes were worn by the rich, the famous and the beautiful. Much of his work verged on couture and he was unrelenting in striving for perfection. His work has a high fantasy element to it. Every piece I bring into the shop is very special and the range he had was incredible. I recently had a deep brown version of this dress in the shop only a couple of weeks ago and I'm very pleased to have another one so soon. This dress is also a little extra special because its twin in ivory was part of the 'Great Names in Fashion' exhibit at the Fashion Museum Bath.
The body of the dress is made of a fluid black jersey fabric that is light in weight and drapes amazingly on the body. It cascades and flows to the floor from the densely beaded panel that sits across the upper bust. A second matching panel is also set at the back. Both panels have been completely hand covered with a design that is made out of hundreds of ivory and gold glass tube beads. Along the one side of the front panel there is a row of hand carved mother or pearl buttons that runs from the top of the shoulder to just past the waist. The buttons are functional and hold a decorative overlay in place that tops the inner dress. This overlay loops under the opposite arm and wraps around you to the back where it attaches to the panel there. The overly adds this incredible draped Grecian feel to the dress and it also gives it added movement when you move. The dress underneath is a long sheath that falls from the shoulders and widens out slightly as it nears the hem. The sleeves are long and each one ends with more of the MOP buttons. The entire dress is detailed with these strips of tiny little raised beads on a silver strip. These follow all of the edges of the dress and he even use them for all of the long interior seams of the inner dress even though you don't easily see them. I just love that he did that and it just shows you the attention that was paid to dresses during this time period as opposed to modern pieces where they probably wouldn't have bothered to put extra detailing where no one would ever see it. The strips add a touch of weight and help the dress to fall perfectly around you and they also catch the light for added glamour. During this time period these jerseys would have been cutting edge fabrics and an unusual choice for a designer to use and considered very avant garde. It is stunning and a beautiful example of Bill Gibb's work and its never a bad thing when it is a proven museum worthy piece. Excellent condition with a tiny note below
The dress is unlined and slips over the head top wear. The attached panel buttons into place over the interior dress. Each cuff has loop and buttons to close. It appears have been worn very little if at all. The loose and easy cut should allow it to fit a range of sizes. I have given the comfortable range of measurements while laying flat. On a smaller frame it will just drape more. The striped applique at the top of one shoulder has a couple of beads missing on one part. Please see the photo after the label shot
Slightly dropped shoulders: 15"
Bust: 15-18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 16-22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from top of shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Reference Photos: Bill Gibb Dress on display at the "Great Names of Fashion Display" Exhibit at Fashion Museum Bath.
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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