Spectacular 1960s William Travilla Plunging Sequin Covered Couture Silk Dress
I had this dress in the shop once before and was very happy to have it again. It is spectacular and one of my favourite pieces ever. William Travilla best known for dressing Marylin Monroe in eleven of her films and was an amazing designer. His career began in 1941 as a costume designer and he worked in theatre, film and TV up to 1969. During that time period he designed two of the most iconic dresses that Marylin ever wore. The famous white pleated dress from the "The Seven Year Itch" and the red sequin number in the 1953 film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". His success led him to launch his own label in 1957. He closed his label in 1970 and then re-opened it in Spain where he designed from 1977 to 1990 when he passed away. This dress is a gorgeous example of his work during the 1960s.
This dress is extraordinary. The workmanship in it is to a demi-couture level and the fabric is beautiful. It is a light weight silk chiffon with a print that mixes hues of pinks and corals. Then that silk has been covered in clear sequins. The sequins are laid out flat across the surface of the dress so that they catch the light and give it a liquid feel. The are clear so that you still get the impact of the colours underneath. Every inch of the dress is covered and there are yards of fabric in this dress. The top of the dress is made from triangle of fabric that sweep up and over the shoulders. The dress is so well made that you can actually get away with wearing it either way around. It is meant to be worn with the bow at the front. This option gives you slightly more coverage. But it will work the other way around as well. On both side the dress plunges right to the velvet ribbon at the empire waist. On what would traditionally be the back that plunge extends down and past the ribbon under the bust to leave an open triangle of skin showing below the waist. The triangles are slightly less wide on the back so if you wear it to the front it has a more bare feel. I have photoed the dress both ways for you to see. Each side also plunges right to the velvet ribbon so you get an open expanse of skin there as well. It is sensational. The interior is lined in a silk that has the same print as the exterior layer even though you would never see this once the dress is on. The lining is entirely hand set. Under the plunging halter the skirt falls to the floor widening out to be very full by the time it reaches the hem. The skirt feels even fuller in person and I think that as great as these photos are the dress is even better in person. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a printed crepe silk chiffon that is the same print as the exterior chiffon under the sequins. It closes at the front with a low zipper below the velvet banding and a series of hook & eye and snaps hidden under the front flat bow. Hand written inner tags marking the front and back. Hand finished through out. If you needed more room around the ribbon band you could extend it and create an open keyhole underneath lime how it is on the other side.
Bust: has no fixed side seams. Each halter at the front covers to approx 7": and the ones at the back cover to approx 4.5"
Band under the bust: 14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 11" from top of bodice to bottom seam of velvet band
Skirt: 43,5" from bottom seam of velvet band to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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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