Spring 1981 Halston Couture Runway Hand Beaded Pastel Color Dress
In 1981 Haslton was still in full control of his brand. He had not yet signed the international licensing agreements (that was to happen in 1983) that would be the beginning of his downfall. In fact, at this point in the Halston history, he was at the top of his game and anyone who was anybody was wearing the Halston label. His prices were sky high and the work put into the pieces was impeccable.
The fabric for his beaded and sequin pieces were being made in India. Halston personally chose the fabrics and materials that were used for each piece of his main line collections. The 1981 collection was especially intricate and the majority of the runway garments were heavily beaded and/or sequinned. In the book Halston, An American Original, the twin of this dress is shown as it appeared on the runway for that season. It is interesting that he chose to show it belts belted with a sash so that the length is shorter. The dress is extraordinary and all of the bead work on it is completely done by hand. The beads are tightly spaced and all have been hand applied onto the fabric which you can clearly see on the back of the fabric. I love the pale mix of pastels colored beads that were used as it gives the dress a soft and pretty feel. The fabric that the beads have been applied to has just the slightest touch of transparently to it which I love. The silhouette is very simple with a scooped front and back and then it just gently widens out as it reached the hem. This makes it very easy to wear and very flattering on the body. Really a wonderful and rare example of his work during this time period. Excellent condition.
Unlined and has no closures. It slips over the head to wear so you have to be small enough to get it on without a opening. You could probably add a side zipper along the seam if needed. The bead work is completely hand done.
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 41.5" from top of shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Spring 1981 Halston runway collection from the book 'HALSTON: An American Original' by Elaine Gross & Fred Rottman. / (2) Models in Halston, Vogue, February 1981.
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