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1970s Thea Porter Couture Red Silk Velvet Dress
Thea Porter, born in Jerusalem and raised in Damascus, spent the late 1960s and early 1970s transporting the flowing beauty of Middle East fashion to women who were eager to move on from the crisp lines of mod dress. While lesser known than many of her contemporaries, Porter was key in bringing the kaftan and other boho-chic styles to the 1970s western fashion scene. As recounted in The Guardian, “Her loose, draped shapes and fabrics helped create the style of stars such as Faye Dunaway and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1970s, and they have since become forever entangled with the idea of rock-star self-indulgence”.
The deep red leafy floral on this gorgeous gown has a semi-transparent ground, with revealing sleeves and a bodice lined in sheer red silk. A rounded neckline closes at center front with two hook and eyes before plunging down to waistline free of closures. Soft gathers radiate out from the neckline at both center front and back. Sleeve caps are generously rounded with gathers, extending with full cut sleeves down to the wrist cuff that closes with handset metal snaps.
The waistline blouses before extending down with a peplum to hip level. The skirt, which is attached to the bodice, is fitted with a 7” metal zipper at the center front waistline. It swoops down over the hips to full length, swinging with elegant drape over a deep red rayon lining. Although Porter was known for designing with international influence, this dress exemplifies her clear admiration of early 1940s Hollywood fashion. Fabulous with a pair of strappy heels.
Size estimate: XS/S
Shoulders: 14 inches
Sleeves: 22 inches
Bust: 34 inches
Waist: 28 inches
Hips: 36 inches
Length: 58 inches
This vintage dress by Thea Porter is in excellent condition and has been professionally cleaned and pressed. Made from devoré, the floral pattern appears as a solid velvet against a semi-transparent silk ground. A rounded neckline closes at center front with 2 hook and eyes before plunging down to the waistline free of closures. Gathers radiate out from the center neckline at both front and back, providing fullness that is gathered into a softly bloused waistline. A peplum extends down to hip level.
Long sleeves are full cut, gathering elegantly into shoulder caps and wrist cuffs, which are secured with handset metal snaps. The skirt is attached to the bodice, and is fitted with a center front 7” metal zipper. The bodice is lined in red silk, and skirt in deep red rayon. Professionally cleaned and pressed. High-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.