bill blass

Spectacular 1968 Bill Blass Bright Striped Silk Organza Dress w Original Bow Belt & Bell Sleeves

Bill Blass worked for the Maurice Retner label for 10 years as the chief designer. In 1968 the Bill Blass label became a subsidiary of the Retner label. Then in 1970 he fully bought out his partners at the Maurice Retner label and re-launched it under his own name as Bill Blass Ltd. This makes this is a very early example of his work under his own label before he fully bought out the Retner label. We also found a dress from this same collection that used the same fabric in a different colour way in the Ohio state archives that confirms the date of this one. I think this one might even be the better of the two with its joyful and bright colour palette.

This dress is truly fabulous. It is very bright and beautiful and I would hazard to say that it is one of the stand out Blass pieces that I have had in the shop to date. The neckline is cut high and the collar is finished in the same silk organza as the rest of the dress. The bodice skims over you to the waist. The waist is seamed and has a more generous cut. The dress comes with its original matching belt that is made out of the same fabric and has a big flat bow at the front that I love. It adds that extra special little detail that you will only find in vintage pieces like this. The skirt flows from under there in a pretty soft expanse of silk. There is a great deal of fabric in the skirt and it widens out as it nears the hem. This lets that fabulous striped print in all those bright primary colours that covers the dress to take centre stage and really be showcased. The sleeves are spectacular. Each is cut wide through the upper arm and then explodes out into a full bell shape that is fantastic. The added glamour the sleeves adds is wonderful and they are my favourite detail. The silk organza the dress is made out of is a beautiful quality and light as a feather. Great condition with a note below.

The dress is fully lined in a silk and silk organza with only the bell sleeve part being unlined. It zips to closes at the back. The belt snaps to close. There is a slight softening to the organza consistent with the age of this piece. I see some faint marks on the fabric here and thee. Please see the photos after the label shot.

Sleeves: 22"
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: to 20.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 24" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from neck to waist
Total length: 58" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4617

Reference Photo: 1968 Bill Blass dress from The Ohio State University Archives.

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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.