Prettiest 1977 Bill Gibb Couture Embroidered Gold Thread Net Dress w Long Jacket
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. He was crowned Designer of the Year in 1970. 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 I love this one especially as it truly shows the range of his work. This set is also a little extra special because its near twin resides in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Theirs is a skirt and similar jacket while this one is an actual dress and jacket. They dated it with a general reference to the 1960s but I feel that it has more the feel of the 1977 collection after finding the reference photo of a piece with similar details on it. Bill Gibb's work is extremely rare to find and knowing that this one is important enough to have been acquired by a museum is just an added bonus for a collector .
My photos cannot convey how beautiful this dress is in person. The dress is amazing in its own right and is a stand out. It is suspended from the shoulders by two tiny straps. The bodice is set high for an empire feel and then the top is shaped and covered with the gold netting. The fabric is beautiful. It is a fine deep ivory netting that has a touch of a taupe gold feel to it. A pattern is then worked through it with a gold metallic thread. The gold is done in a fine floral design and this runs over the entire dress. Behind the netting the dress is lined in a fine silk that gives depth. The gold pattern becomes denser as it nears the hem so that the effect intensifies. The entire dress shimmers and catches the light from every angle and it is incredible to see in person. The skirt falls from under the bodice and it has been meticulously pleated into knife pleats that are the exact size of the one beside it. This helps to add some volume to the skirt while still giving it an ethereal fairy tale feel. The silk lining underneath is the palest taupey gold pink and this gives the netting just a touch of a pink feel to it in certain lights. It is incredibly beautiful. You can then slip on the jacket which is cut to fall over the full length of the dress. It has simple sleeves and is made out of a pale pink silk chiffon. Onto the silk of the jacket is an extensive pattern that has been embroidered by hand. The jacket is made up of four panels of fabric that are split along the seams between each panel from the hem to the waist line of the dress. These sit open along the seams and allow the fabric of the dress to show underneath when you move. The embroidery work in this piece is done in a combination of soft corals, mint and ivory. The tiniest little seed pearls detail parts of the embroidery and all of the edges of the outer jacket are finished with gold lace. It is a beautiful example of his work and 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 big event and you can also wear the pieces seperately. Excellent condition with one tiny note below.
The dress is fully lined in silk and closes with a side metal and nylon zipper. The overlay is unlined and slips on to wear with hook and eye at the very top. It appears to have never been worn, or worn very little. I see one small mark on the front panel of the chiffon jacket near the hem. Please see the photo after the label shot. A small faint darkening to the silk under one arm of the jacket
Bust: to 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist at seam: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips at inner lining: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 13" from top of straps to empire waist seam
Skirt: 44" from waist seam to hem
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist- hips: open
Length: 52" from top of shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photo: Bill Gibb Set from the V&A Online Collection.
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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