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Basha Gold

1980s Vicky Tiel Vintage Bordeaux Velvet Tulle Sequins Cocktail Dress


Catherine Hill, often referred to as the doyenne of fashion, was owner of the Toronto based boutique Chez Catherine from 1972-2002. She was said to be “…a high rolling, risk-taking pioneer who made a home in Canada for Italian ready-to-wear” (D. Livingston, The Star, 26 March 2009). Her fashion savvy is plain to see in this beautiful dress by American designer Vicky Tiel, which was purchased at Chez Catherine near the early 1980s.

Constructed from soft bordeaux velvet, its color and style recall cocktail dresses of the 1940s. A bateau neckline skims across the top of the collar bones, extending just beyond the shoulders’ edge to form cap sleeves with a split top seam. The neckline drops to a seductive “v” at center back, with hand painted metal zip at its base. A frothy bordeaux overskirt splits at center front and sweeps to the back, adding eclectic delight to the slim sheath silhouette. Made with a dark red tulle base, the overskirt features alternating bands of metallic threads and rows of spiraled sequins.

The hem of the overskirt is cleverly finished like a bubble skirt, with edges softy turned and encased by a black satin backing. Tiel, who boldly charted out on her own line in Paris shortly after completing a degree at Parsons, is known for designing romantic fashions, which appealed to classic celebrities like Liz Taylor. This amorous dress is a deftly manipulated collision of textures, with dazzle and shine playing against a hazy glaze of velvet.

Size estimate: M

Size: 40


Bust: 36 inches

Waist: 28 inches

Hips: 37.5 inches

Length: 39 inches

This 1980s era vintage dress by Vicky Tiel is in excellent condition. The dress is, in essence, a sheath silhouette made from bordeaux colored velvet. A bateau neckline frames the face beautifully, dipping down to a deep “v” at center back. Cap sleeves are integrated into the main bodice pattern, coasting off the design line of the bateau neckline. The sleeves are slit at the center top. The overskirt, which is attached at natural waist level, is constructed from dark red tulle that is layered with alternating rows of metallic thread and bands of swirling sequins.

While the sheath is unlined, the overskirt is crafted much like a bubble skirt, with a deep hem gently turned and sewn into a black satin lining. The overskirt splits at center front, running at full length around to back. A painted metal zip is expertly handset at center back. This garment has been 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.

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