Rare & Beautiful 1920s E. L. Mayer Pale Gold Silk Flapper Dress w Lame & Rhinestone Detailing
It is rare to find labeled dresses from this time period and this one is especially beautiful. The label is from E. L. Mayer and that stood for Edward L. Mayer who had a high end shop in New York around the turn of the century. Main Bocher, who of course later had his own Mainbocher label, actually did some of the design sketches for Mayer before launching his own label in 1929. Designer Clare Potter, who is credited with helping to invent women's sportswear, also worked there for a time period. It is fascinating to think that this dress could have the influence of either of them or even be from one of their designs. It is a stunningly beautiful piece and it would perhaps 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 event.
The dress is in absolutely remarkable condition given its age. The fabric is a silk that is a pale ivory gold in colour and is quite beautiful. This then has a pattern woven through it of flowers and that fabric is done with a muted metallic lame thread. This gives the dress this fabulous bit of a metallic glint from shoulder to hem. The dress slips over the head and is caught up at one side with a rhinestone encrusted clasp. Once closed, this gives it just a suggestion of shape through the body. I think the deeper V plunging side may have originally been intended to be worn at the back but since there is a modesty panel inset at the base of the V the dress can really work worn either way. I photoed it both ways for you to see. On the V side the dress falls from straps made of the same silk as the rest of the dress and the triangles of silk are sent slightly asymmetrically from each other so that one goes over to one side more. A loose belt is attached around the low waist and there is an attached rhinestone clasp. Once this is closed it brings the fabric in a bit on that side. The skirt falls from under there and widens out to the hem. There is an added panel of silk that begins just under that stunning clasp and this is cut so that it falls past the hem for a beautiful trailing effect. If you decide to wear the dress turned the other way around this panel becomes a detail at the back and creates a train like feel on that side. The bodice is more square off on the opposite side and I love the hand applied detailing just of the side of the neckline. More of those hand applied cuts outs sit near the rhinestone at the hip as well. It is truly an exceptional dress from this time period. Excellent condition with a couple of small notes below
The dress has an attached inner silk dress and slips over the head. Part of the upper bodice is lined in a silk. The belt at the Iow waist is attached and closes with a rhinestone clasp buckle. There is perhaps the slightest of darkening to the fabric on the sides. The photos here are darker then how it is in person. I see one small spot on the more squared off side and there is just the start of shattering to some of the lining of the bodice. I see a water mark on the very end of the side panel. Please see the shots after the label shot. For a dress this age I would say the condition is still exceptional and it is highly wearable and strong. The dress is cut on the bias so is meant to drape in place. On a smaller frame it will just drape more. These are meant to skim over the body
Bust: 18-21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20-22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from top of shoulders to hem and the panel extends past the hem to 63"
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
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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