donald brooks

Sophisticated 1960s Donald Brooks Fine Black Wool Crepe Dress w Elaborate Rhinestone Detailing

Donald Brooks launched his label in late 1963 with a collection for the Spring 1964 season after an already successful start as a costumier for Hollywood. He quickly became one of the most sought after of the American designers and his clients included Jaqueline Kennedy, Claudette Colbert and Faye Dunaway. The New York Times said that he was one of 'the three B's of fashion' alongside Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. He helped to launch the American Council of Fashion Designers and won three Cody Awards over the course of his career. He launched a secondary boutique line in 1971 all while also designing costumes for Movie and Television. He eventually closed his label to concentrate on costume work and only designed for the occasional private client. This is a gorgeous example of his work from his main made to order label. 

I love this dress. The dress is made from a black wool crepe that is cut loose and easy through the body. It has an inner built in bodice that holds it perfectly in place and then the crepe just falls over that. This gives you that fantastic floating sensation all around you with your slightest move. The dress is suspended from straps that curve up and over the shoulder. Everything about the dress is done as simply as possible and this is all deliberate so that the bodice can shine. The bodice has a heavy embellishment of little steel beads mixed with a variety of prong set crystal rhinestones in different shapes and sizes. These catch the light beautifully. The rhinestones form flowers within the designs and I love how he used bigger stones so it has this fantastic 3D effect. The embellishments go across the entire back to create a wide panel and then wrap to the front where they curve up to leave a space between them at the centre. The top of the bust is cut straight across all the way around and then under that the dress cascades to the floor. It widens out as it nears the hem and has an easy-to-wear feel to it. It is very flattering on the body and it creates a fantastically dramatic effect as the dress floats around you. It is amazing and it has pockets on each hip. This is a truly stunning dress. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a black silk and closes with a back zipper. There is an inner boned structure that hooks to close with a series of lingerie hooks up the back. Pockets along the seam of each hip. Tagged a vintage 8. I see a couple of tiny areas of thinning near the hem but am being pretty picky. Please see the photo after the label shot. You could add to the inner waist to get more room if needed 

Bust: 15-16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 12-13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23 " flat across from side seam to side seam
Total length: 57" from top of shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD4591

All items are thoroughly checked over before shipping. Unless noted everything in our shop has been professionally cleaned. All sales are final. Overseas clients will be emailed to obtain agreement to our final sales policy before the order is shipped as per our return policy.

Setting up a layaway is super easy and we are happy to provide this service!

Here's how deposits work on a standard layaway:

  • We require three equal payments of the layaway total. You will be invoiced for the first amount upon request
  • payment two of the remaining balance will be billed two weeks from the date of the initial deposit.
  • The final payment is due two weeks after the second payment and shipping will be billed on this invoice as well.
  • items less then $500, or that are on sale, require a 50% deposit with the final payment due in two weeks from the date of deposit 

Read More

We offer flat rate Standard UPS shipping worldwide. All shipping options are displayed at checkout in the pull down menus provided.

Want it faster?

We offer flat rates for expedited and express shipping options - these will also display at check out and can be selected with the drop down menu during the checkout process.

Read More


Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.