#2801 $500Bill Blass chiffon dress, 1970s
Bill Blass was an Indiana boy who made it big in New York fashion and society. He designed for New York debutantes and grande dames, and he dressed movie stars and Presidents' wives. When he started in the 1950s, his designs were always wearable at a time when "wearable" was more an epithet than a compliment.
Whether glamorous eveningwear or casual sportswear, the Blass design is always stylish and sophisticated. In this classic little black dress, Blass pays homage to Madeleine Vionnet, inventor of the bias cut. Finely constructed with bias-cut panels of black chiffon over a black silk crepe lining, the dress flutters when you move. I love the contrast of the high neckline with the sexy, open, faux sleeves.
The stand up-collar, ruched at the center-back, drapes in graceful folds in front. The dress is sleeveless. The faux sleeves are bias-cut panels not attached under the arm. The dress closes in back with a nylon coil zipper.
There is nothing quite so enduringly stylish as an LBD; nothing else can make you look richer, thinner, and more chic—a powerful and intoxicating combination. A good LBD is arguably the most valuable dress you can own.
Our LBD shows Bill Blass at the top of his game. Reviewing his lasting achievement in American fashion, I recall the words of poet Jean Cocteau. This was a time when "fashion thrilled us briefly with its insolent, enigmatic bouquet."
Bill Blass pioneered the American casual style of fashion. His high-quality, expensive pieces were offhandedly sophisticated; and his stunning eveningwear was glamorous and tasteful, a "polished classic."
I well remember a photo spread that epitomized Blass' design gift. He was standing under the Brooklyn Bridge with two machine-gun-toting hit women wearing fedoras, kitten heels, and "little nothing" dresses: "Next time you want something knockout that won't be knocked off . . . invest in Bill Blass."
The condition is excellent and wearable.
The size is marked 12.
It measures: 36" bust, 32" waist, 38" hip, and 30" from the shoulder to the hem of the lining.