Spectacular Fall 1972 Stavropoulos 'Leaf' Applique Embroidered Silk Organza Ivory Couture Dress

This is an interesting dress because a version of it was shown on the runway for Fall 1972 but this one seems to be even more elaborate than the runway one. And it is usually the opposite of that in many cases. I like to think that the woman that bought this saw the one on the runway and then worked with George to make this one even more dramatic and spectacular. George Stavropoulos was known for his evening wear. He launched his label in 1960 and soon was dressing women like Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Barbra Streisand and Maria Callas. His dresses were made by hand and to couture standards. By the early 1980s a gown by him started at around $8500 and they went up in cost from there and that starting price point equals to around $26,000US in today's dollars. A vintage Stavropoulos dress is an incredible thing to own and this is one of the best ones I have ever seen.

This dress is drop dead gorgeous and I think it's even better in person. The dress is made out of a ivory coloured silk organza that is heavily embroidered with a leaf pattern. Those silk 'leafs' have been embroidered over the entire dress to highlight the cut. Part of the design are actually individual embroidered leafs that have been appliqued and embroidered into place. It is stunning to see in person. The silk is feather light and I love the airy feeling that this creates. This light feeling is highlighted even more all of those little embroidered pieces. On the skirt they are set so they are scattered lightly over the upper skirt and become denser as they reach the hem. Along the hem are these curving inset panels. They are attached to the dress but the design is finished to follow the jagged edge of the embroidered leafs. I love this double layer of texture this gives around the actual hem and then above it on parts of the dress. The skirt is very full. I have photoed it with nothing underneath but there is enough room that you could add a crinoline underneath  and get a very full look if you wanted. The lightness and fullness mean that when you move the dress will move with you and the effect is gorgeous. The neckline is beautiful. It is squared off on both sides and the applique work is set to go inwards around the neck and slightly up the sides of your neck. It also frames the opening at the front and the back. The bodice is layered over an inner dress that the skirt is attached to. This gives it the look and feel of two pieces but it is actually one dress. It also exaggerates that gradual widening that you see happening from the bust all the way down to the hem. At the same time it also allowed him to do another spectacular edging where that jagged edge is picked up and tied into how it's done at the hem. The last perfect touch are those magnificent sleeves. Each one falls from a rounded soft shoulder and is cut with tremendous volume. They have a huge and elaborate pouf to them. Each of them ends in an elaborate cuff with the same detailing applique that the other edges have. They are the perfect finish to this high fantasy gown. The workmanship is incredible and it is absolutely beautiful. This is a fabric that is notoriously difficult to work with and it shows just what a genius he was by the way that he was able to make it sit so beautifully. The majority of work is all done by hand and it would have taken many hours of work to create this dress in this way. This is a dress that must be on a body to really come to life. As good as it looks here it is nothing compared to it on and moving. This would make an extraordinary wedding gown for the bride looking for something unique. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in an ivory silk that has a stiffened inner hem to help hold the volume. It closes with a zipper on the inner dress and then the outer dress snaps into place over that with hidden set silk covered snaps. The inner seams are finished by hand to couture standards. The colour in person is softer and even prettier then how it photoed. The camera gives it more shadow than it has in person on the embroidered parts. It is a touch creamier in real life. This is cut generously underneath the top added bodice but the skimming design will work on a smaller frame as well and could easily be altered if needed

Sleeves: approx 21"
Shoulders: no defined seam
Inner bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from top of shoulder to inner waist
Skirt: 44" from inner waist to longest points of hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD4200

Reference Photo: Fall 1972 Stavropoulos Runway.

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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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.