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This is a great piece from a quantity of glamourous clothing I found at an estate sale for a woman who had been both an avid collector and entrepreneur with shops in the southwest. Most of the clothing had been stored for some time; just about everything survived well.
Most often the name Travilla is associated with Marilyn Monroe since he designed so many memorable outfits for her. I was surprised to see his label in this dress; it's a departure from the style we tend to think of from him. But oh! what a dress this is!!
The only labels are Travilla and a size 8 tag, no notes from the collector to pin this one down. My guess is the 60's for the semi-fitted style...the sleeves are the timeless show-stopper here! Either borrowed from the fabulous styles of the Renaissance or fast forward to the mid-1850's, these are fabulous. Not only that, but the color combination of the silver and mocha is so unique, it makes a great package!
The dress is made of a very heavy silver silk overlaid with a very heavy mocha cotton lace. It measures 18" through the bustline lying flat, 15" waist, 18" hips and is 39" in length. The small foldover collar hooks securely in back; the back seam has a long zipper for stepping into easily. It is totally lined, even the sleeves. There are bustline and fitted darts on the lining inside to make the slight fit; the seams are so well done that it's hard to tell where the lace has been fitted on the exterior, especially where there is a scalloped edge.
The sleeves are cut dolman style and literally blossom toward the bottom of the sleeves. The cuffs hook for tidiness. The lace covers the cuffs and moves upwards about 9", ending in the scalloped edge. The scalloped edge appears again as front detailing at the dolman edge. The whole dress is beautifully designed and executed.
There are a couple of tiny spots on the dress about the size of a grain of rice, but otherwise the dress is in excellent vintage condition. It would probably benefit from a trip to the cleaners since it has been stored for a very long time.
If you love the styles of a definite master in the field, this Travilla is a dress to cherish for years!
A special thank you to the Tulsa Historical Society for letting us use their beautiful settings for our pictures!!
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