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1920s flapper dress



#6955 $1,200

Beaded chiffon flapper dress, 1920s

This exquisite dress has been been in the private collection of a titled lady (first photograph below) trained as an opera singer and still active in the arts. She acquired many pieces from well known figures in the 20th century arts. She chose this charming flapper dress to wear in one of her painted portraits.

Beaded dresses from the early 20th century have a luxe beauty not found in contemporary copies. You will never be scratched by sharp jagged edges on antique beads. Made from cream colored silk chiffon, the torso is embellished with a cobweb-style design of white glass beads, some opaque and some clear crystal.

The superior materials in our magnificent dress were obviously of great importance to the designer, just as Michelangelo spent eight months choosing the best blocks of Carrara marble for the monument of Pope Julius II.

The fluid quality of the inspired design accentuates female curves. The neckline is bordered with superb open work. The exemplary Deco design features the primary geometric forms characteristic of the Art Deco, which reached its apogee in the mid 1920s.

The design features beaded trapezoids, irregular quadrilaterals and triangles, pentagons, and rhomboids. However, even these male forms rarely have straight edges—a brilliant concept, a veritable brain wave! It is as if the harsh geometry of Euclid has been trumped by the feminine principle.

The celadon green ribbon cummerbund at the hipline is a charming touch. The hipline medallion glitters with rhinestones and silver-lined crystal beads. The bias-cut skirt, which drapes in soft folds, has a wide beaded hem border in a cobweb pattern with more medallions. The dress closes on the side with snaps.

The condition is almost excellent. I found one tiny pale spot on the hipline medallion. The spot was not picked up by the camera.

It measures: 36" bust, 32" waist, 36" hip, 22" from the shoulder to the top of the cummerbund, and 45" from shoulder to hem.

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