1950s Lace Illusion Cocktail Party Dress

  • £399.00
    Unit price per 
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This illusion dress from the heart of the 1950s is an incredibly rare and stunning example of its time. Bearing no commercial or fashion house labels, its construction incorporating high-end couture techniques suggests it was custom-made by an independent dressmaker or tailor for a client. Its exquisite full circle skirt is suitable for any fullness of petticoat, including hooped. (As we have used here in some of the photos)

The scalloped detailing on the end of the sleeves and back and front neckline is remarkable; hand-bound with expert precision in thin folded bias cuts of the same lace. On the inside neckline, behind the scallops, is an additional structural facing, hand stitched with a couture technique. Further still, two small insets of elastic adorn the back scallop, helping it to remain flat and prevent sagging when worn. Shoulders are completed with internal press stud lingerie straps. The bodice was interlined in pale illusion acetate, while the skirt lining is unattached for more drape and movement.

A black horsehair crin is delicately sewn around the internal lace edging to create contour and structure with a couturier's touch. This dress is exceptional and in superb condition, in a rare size. Truly a collector's once-in-a-lifetime treasure.


Excellent condition, no issues or flaws of note.

Measurements and details
All vintage clothing is measured with the garment flat and measurements doubled for width. Please compare these measurements to a garment that fits you well as often there is very little or no give in vintage fabrics.

Bust: 44 inches
Waist: 37 inches
Hips:  free
Sleeve length: 18 inches
cuff circumference: 13 inches 
Length from shoulder to waist: 16 inches
Length from waist to hem: 32 inches

Fabric: Lace with acetate interlining

Alterations: There is approximately 1/2" useable allowance in the seams and no useable hem allowance.