Phenomenal Early 1970s La Mendola Green Silk Jersey Caftan Dress w Silk Chiffon Overlay
The duo behind the La Mendola label met in Rome in 1960 and started their business making dresses and selling them one by one, piece by piece. In 1967 they opened a shop and women like Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth quickly become loyal clients who were buying and even wait listing for pieces as they were produced. This dress is a wonderful example of their work. They are one of my favorite lesser known labels and their work is a joy to see.
This phenomenal dress is made from a gorgeous silk jersey paired with a matching silk chiffon overlay that has that same print. The cut is very loose and easy and it simply flows out from the shoulder to very easy to wear caftan proportions below that. The overlay slips over that and creates a beautiful movement to the dress because this light is as light as air. When you walk and move this top chiffon layer floats and billows around you at the slightest bit of air and it's incredible to see. The print that covers both pieces is a beautiful mix of greens in one of their signature self-created vibrant prints. The main dress has a simple cut with an open waist and a scooped neckline. The sleeves are long and simple. As it nears the hem it opens up to be quite generous in width. To wear it you just slip the inner dress on and then the overlay slips over that. You could easily belt and cinch in the waist on one or both layers for more shape or just wear it loose and easy. The overlays falls from the shoulders and is split down the center and down each side so it can have maximum movement. On one side there is a row of tightly space silk covered buttons that are decorative. Because of the easy shape of the overlay you can wear this to the back or to the front. It was made for a larger woman and she must have been very tall as well as it is exceptionally long. The easy cut should allow it to fit a range of sizes. The length is supermodel long at 65" from shoulder to hem. It is an amazing piece. Excellent condition with a note below
Unlined and closes at the back with a painted metal zipper. The bias cut stretch fabric and forgiving design of the dress will allow it to work on a range of sizes. If you are smaller you could easily take the inner dress in where needed. I have given the measurements at a comfortable stretch lying flat but the fabric does have stretch beyond even those. The dress closes with a back zipper and the overlay slips over the head to wear. I see some watermarks to the print on the overlay but they get lost in the print and really make no impact. The opening under the button side goes off to the side a bit and it has been left as found. Otherwise it is excellent. Unlabeled but came from the same owner who had several of these made.
Bust: 28-32" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 27-29" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 65" from shoulder to hem
Overlay: follows the line so the inner drees and is a bit wider then the measurements above
Modern Sizing Equivalent: OSFA
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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