thea porter

Rare 1971 Thea Porter Actual Book Piece Silk Cotton Gauze Dress w Sheila Hudson Horseman Print

This is the actual dress that is in the book on Thea Porter's work and appears on page 111. The book notes that this dress has "Two prints based on Persian paintings, designed by Sheila Hudson, combined on the dress. One on the bodice with polo players, while on the sleeves and skirt is a single horseman with Persian style calligraphy at the hem of the skirt." We've also included photos of a jumpsuit with the same print that appeared at the July 1971 press view and several other versions of the dress from editorials from that time period. A Version of the dress was also part of the Thea Porter exhibit. This print was very well documented and Thea made a small series of pieces from this fabric. Each piece was made specifically so that it was cut to follow the print perfectly. This is the only one I've ever seen made in this length and in this style. Given her extremely limited run on certain pieces, it may in fact be the only one that exists. It is truly a very special piece.

The cut of this dress is exceptional. It has a small neat collar and the collar hooks at the front. It is then slit to the waist with one single hook just under the halfway point to hold it in place. This leaves a large slice of skin showing when it is on the body. The bodice is unlined and has a single layer of the printed silk cotton gauze which gives it a touch of transparency. Horsemen romp over the bodice with dogs following in pursuit through flowers and trees. The sleeves are phenomenal. Each is gathered into the top of the shoulder and then are a huge balloon sleeves under that. More horseman sit at the top of each sleeve and then you have the calligraphy mentioned above wrapping around the gathered cuffs. The waist is elastic and this make the dress extremely easy-to-wear and comfortable on the body. Under that, the skirt has an incredible amount of fabric and here again we see horsemen wrapping all the way around the dress and then the bottom displays more calligraphy, flowers all in those beautiful colours of blue. There is an incredible amount of fabric in the skirt so it moves beautifully once on the body. This is an exceptional and extremely rare example of her work. Excellent condition with a small note below

Unlined and slips onto wear. There are hook and eye at the top of the neck and then another just under the halfway point of the slit down the front. The waist is elastic. I see some darkening to the inside of the collar and slight darkening on the exterior collar near where it hooks to close at the neck. Please see the photo after the label shot.

Sleeves: 24.5"
Shoulders are really inset so no true seams
Bust: 15-17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Elastic waist: 10-16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 14" from top of shoulder to waist
Total length: 42" from top of shoulder to hem with 1.5" turned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-SML

Item# DD4657

Reference Photos: (1) Model in Thea Porter, Flair Magazine, 1971.  /  (2) Marina Schiano in Thea Porter's Persian miniature inspired print dress. Photo by Bill King for Harper's Bazaar, March 1972.  /  (3)  Model in Thea Porter, Vogue UK, 1971.  /  (4) Thea Porter Press Viewing, July 1971.  /  (5) 1971 Thea Porter Cotton dress, Textile by Sheila Hudson, Collection of Susanne Deeken. Shown on display at the Thea Porter 70s Bohemian Chic Exhibit at the Fashion and Textile Museum.  /  (6-8) This dress shown in the book "Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic" by Laura McLaws Helms and Venetia Porter.

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