bill blass

Spring 1981 Bill Blass Pastel Green Silk Chiffon Dress w Elaborate Vertically Set Ruffled Skirt

This dress comes from a collection of Bill Blass pieces from a woman who was a close personal friend of Mr. Blass for many years. Many of these pieces were custom made for her and all of them are in excellent condition. These are rare and hard to find examples of his work from the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Some may be the only version of its kind that were made. The family would also like it to be known that their portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to charity. This dress is especially interesting as it definitely inspired some of the dress from Valentino in 2020. He used the same long ruffled technique that details the skirt on this one. It is also a dress that we found two references of similar pieces held in museum collections. 

This dress is stunning. It is from the Spring 1981 collection and I have included two reference photos of variations on it that are held in Museum collections. One is a dress in this same colour and the second with the same ruffle treatment. This particular shade of pastel green was used throughout his collection that year and was the colour of the season for Blass' clients. The dress is beautifully made and the closer you start to look at it the more you start to see the fine detailing that was put into its construction. The work that would have gone into piecing this together using that fine silk chiffon is astonishing. The silk is completely cut on the bias but also has defined seams so that you get the ease and movement of the bias cut through the skirt but with a defined shape over the body. The neckline is a high and scooped. The bodice is made from two distinct layers. There is an inner silk tank with tiny silk straps and then the sleeved chiffon bodice sits over that. Each sleeve is cut long and ends with two silk covered buttons at the wrist. The back hooks at the top of the neck and leaving an open slit that runs from the neck to the first button. The waist is seamed for a touch of shape and you could easily add a belt if you wanted a more cinched in feel. The skirt falls to the floor below that in a beautiful cascade of ruffles. The ruffles are set vertically in rows that run all the way around the skirt. This combined with the bias cut of the skirt creates incredible movement when you move snd there is more fabric in there then you first think. It is beautiful. Excellent condition with one small note below

Fully lined in an interior layer of a slightly deeper color green silk. It closes with a back zipper and then the silk chiffon layer close over that with snaps below the waist and hook & eye above. Each cuff has two silk covered buttons. Hand finishes. The color is absolutely fantastic and even better in person. It is a a touch paler green in person then how it photoed. The fabric does have some give due to the bias cut but the waist seam is set. There is one tiny mark on the front bodice. Please review the photo after the label shot. 

Sleeves: 22"
Shoulders: 15"
Inner lining bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3280

Reference Photos: (1) Evening dress, 1981 by Bill Blass. Gift of Mrs. Ronald Reagan from the Classic Chicago Magazine.  /  (2) 1981 Bill Blass Dress from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Collection.

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.