Rare 1942 "It's Not True" Adrian Silk & Lace Gown
Voguepedia says of Gilbert Adrian: "In the hands of the legendary Hollywood designer Gilbert Adrian, clothes could do and say magical things. From the flower-festooned munchkin costumes in The Wizard of Oz to the elegance-defining “Gowns by Adrian” worn by screen stars like Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford—and copied by the hundreds of thousands for the humbler masses—Adrian was the definition of cinematic invention for more than a decade.....Adrian’s signature custom-retail label, founded in 1942, was wildly popular. His gowns bore distinctive names like “Dinner with a Dash of Gold” and “Shades of Picasso,” and he catered to an elite set of style mavens in Hollywood."
After extensive research on what information is out there I believe this to be the "It's not True" gown from the second collection that Gilbert Adrian produced in his atelier in 1942 after opening it earlier that year. The gown is absolutely outstanding and in a world where Adrian Gilbert pieces are already rare, this particular gown is even more special even if you simply based it on how utterly beautiful it is. It is made of a combination of silk taffeta and hand made lace that I believe is hand made French silk needle lace. The bodice is entirely crafted out of black lace with an inner nude colored silk chiffon inset. From a distance this gives the illusion that the wearer is utterly bare from the waist up except for the covering of fine netted lace. The waist is defined with a black silk band. From there, a magnificent ball gown skirt cascades to the floor in a sweep of silk. This skirt is made of two layers. The inner solid black silk layer is edged along its inside hem with a wide band of stiffened net to give it weight and shape. The exterior layer is also silk but has huge curving panels of lace inset into it. These cover the skirt in great swooping curves on both the front and back. Each lace inset is edged with a lace ruffle that goes the skirt more dimension. The perfect finishing touch is the tightly spaced row of lace covered buttons that run up the back of the bodice. A beautifully feminine touch on an already perfectly romantic and fine gown. Excellent museum quality with some notes below.
The bodice has a nude silk chiffon inner piece as seen. The skirt is made of two layers of silk. It closes with a low back painted metal zipper and tightly spaced lace covered buttons and loops up the back. Hand finished throughout. There is a stitch here and there where breaks to the lace happened and some sections where there are multiple vertical splits to the lace. I see one repair on the skirt that gets lost in the excess of fabric. The stiffening net that is used in the inner most hem has broken strands and is torn in places but it is only the netting and not the fabric it is attached to. It is original to the dress and cannot be seen when on so is left as found as are the other small flaws. The gown is strong and wearable with care. Note that due to the rarity and expense of this gown it is final sale.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice:14 " from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
First reference photo from the book "Adrian" / Photoshoot Reference Photos: Photographed for creative purposes by Nikki Ormerod, Styling: Nadia Pizzimenti, Hair & Makeup: Ashley Readings, Model: Constance from Plutino Models.
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