This rare and amazing hand painted silk caftan gown by the great Zandra Rhodes in not only rare and of museum level quality but its near twin is actually a permanent part of the Manchester Museum! (click here to view it on their site
). It is constructed of a fine silk chiffon that is entirely hand painted. The top is cut loose and full and dips dramatically low in the front and hand applied floral flat beads adorn the front. The waist is a wide gathered elastic band and that flows to the floor over a separate inner skirting. The print is entirely done by hand with beautiful lilies painted on it and the field of lilies text she is infamous for is scrolled across it top to bottom. 'I love beautiful flower' 'Beautiful flower' 'A lily flower, a lily, a lily' 'A field of lilies' 'Lilies lots and lots of beautiful lilies a field of yet more lilies' 'Zandra Rhodes, Zandra Rhodes' 'Grass' 'Leaves more leaves, leaves green' 'Zandra's beautiful lilies' is written on various parts.
The V&A Museum notes about this print: "Zandra Rhodes considers the Lily prints to be the best of her work, and particularly significant. It was while developing the Lily textiles that she developed the method of reversing the silkscreen to produce a mirror image of the print and create symmetrical patterns. This went on to influence many of her future significant prints, such as 'Lace Mountain', 'Cactus Volcano' and 'Scribble Turnaround'. The Lily prints also represent the introduction of handwriting and calligraphy into her textile designs. Another point of significance for Zandra is that the Lily dresses were the first dresses that she started applying beading to, which would become a future trademark." It also comes with its original silk satin pink sash that has the Zandra Rhodes Sample label hand sewn to its back. Making this perhaps one of the first of these dresses to have been produced!
It is a true work of art, exceedingly rare and very special - it is remarkably close to the Field of Lilies piece pictured in Life Magazine shown being fitted by Zandra herself. A true piece of fashion history!
Shoulders: 13.5" across
Sleeves: 22" long
Bust: 17.5" flat across the back from seam to seam
Waist: 12.5" across
Hips: 19" flat across the back from seam to seam of the skirt's lining
Bodice: 14" from shoulder to waist
Skirt: 40" from waist to hem
Unlined with a separate underskirt that is original to the dress. The dress has an elastic waist and slips on to wear. The underskirt closes with hook & eye at the waist. The sash is also original to the dress. There are several well done repairs to one area of the skirt near the back hem and some very small areas of breakage to the silk where it has weakened. Do to the fact that this is an early and rare sample piece it is sold as found. It is still wearable with care and when on these actually cannot be seen but are apparent when the skirt is spread out flat. I have priced it several hundred dollars lower then what I would have otherwise so its an incredible deal and perfect otherwise. The underskirt has a defined waist while the dress does not. If you are larger you could wear a different inner piece and gain a lot of room!
Modern Sizing equivalent: XS-SML (2-8)
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival