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Basha Gold

Malcolm Starr Rizkallah Sequined Gold Beaded Red Maxi Dress 1970s


American designer Malcolm Starr made a name for himself in the late 1960s and 1970s, creating elegant dresses that were a heady blend of demure femininity and commanding fashion. Egyptian-born designer Youssef Rizkallah studied in Paris, apprenticed under Balmain, and opened a couture salon in Cairo before being invited to design in Los Angeles. He joined Malcolm Starr as head designer in 1969, bringing a glamorous dimension to the line with his love of vivid color and preference for bold silhouettes.

Done in a beautifully draped chiffon woven with polka dots made from metallic gold thread, this maxi dress is dramatic and alluring at once. The dress features an abstract print of blue and taupe spirals with sections of taupe and beige leaves on a red ground for an incredible contrast of color. Glittering spirals of hand-appliqued gold sequins punctuated with blue rhinestones emphasize and mirror the curves of the print while providing another layer of glamor and richness.

The fitted bodice begins with a beautiful high neck bordered by gold sequins for a formal, regal feel. Long sheer sleeves fall from unstructured shoulders and taper as they reach the wrist with snap closures at the back of each cuff. The dress is unlined at the sleeves and the back of the bodice, providing a subtle risqué element while button closures at the back of the neck and along the center back placket emphasize the natural lines of the body.

Size estimate: Small


Shoulders: no defined seams

Sleeves: 23 inches

Bust: open, no defined seams

Waist: 26 inches

Hips: lining 36 inches, outer layer up to 50 inches, so lots of fabric for nice drape and movement

Length: 58 inches

The skirt has lots of fabric and falls from the fitted waist in small gathers to a maxi length at the ankles, bringing a fullness to the otherwise columnar silhouette of this dress. Finished at the waist gold-threaded red piping, this red-carpet-worthy dress catches the light while offering the eye something new to appreciate at each angle.

In very good vintage condition, this Malcolm Starr Rizkallah dress is almost 50 years old. There are small spots on the interior of the lining that are not visible when worn. The dress has button closures at the back of the bodice, a concealed zipper at the skirt, and snap closures at the wrists.

There are signs of mild wear, minor sequin loss, and a few tiny stress holes on the lower portion of fabric at the back of the dress which are hard to find or see. This vintage dress is a beauty meant for the spotlight with lots of life left to enjoy. 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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