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Michael Vollbracht Black Silk Sequin Print Maxi Dress, 1980s
American fashion designer, artist, and illustrator Michael Vollbracht is remembered for his astounding talent. Hailed as a renaissance man, many of his pieces are held in museums and private collections. Vollbracht designed Bloomingdales iconic ‘face’ shopping bag, was an in-house illustrator at Henri Bendel, and later served as Creative Director at Bill Blass.
A Coty Award winner for his eponymous first line of clothing launched in 1979, Vollbracht favored bold abstract prints screened onto silk, a theme which continued with this 1980’s dress. Done in a fine black silk, this maxi dress features an eye-catching abstract print of beige spirals and red hearts embellished with silver sequins.
The dress begins with a bateau neckline and cap sleeves, providing an elegant canvas for the print which emphasizes the natural lines of the body. The waist is fitted with elastic, creating small gathers through both the bodice and skirt which falls to a maxi length at the ankles. A small side slit at the bottom right of the skirt allows for greater ease of movement while adding an unexpected, revealing element to the dress.
A vertical line of silver sequins down the left side of the dress at the front connects a beige spiral and red heart at the waist with horizontal brush-like strokes of beige at the neckline and below the knee. The line of sequins then continues in a small curve to another spiral at the bottom right of the dress. There are a total of three spirals on the right of dress, mirroring the vertical line of sequins on the left in a satisfying use of negative space.
Bust: 36 inches
Waist: 24-28 inches
Hips: 36-37 inches
Length: 57 inches
The back of the dress reveals a livelier pattern of large and small spirals that are connected by lines and swoops of silver sequins, emphasizing the diagonal line from the left shoulder to the bottom right of the dress. Two red hearts and two small red lines offer a welcome pop of color while horizontal brush-like strokes of beige near the neckline and knee mirror the lines at the front of the dress, framing the print.
The eccentric patterns at the back and front of the dress follow their own logic of asymmetric lines, spirals, and counterpoints, giving the eye something new to appreciate at each angle while the sequins catch the light. The result is satisfying and mesmerizing, elevating this elegant gown to a work of art.
An excellent addition to the discerning fashion lovers’ wardrobe, this maxi dress is the perfect choice for a wedding or special occasion. This 1980’s Michael Vollbracht dress is unlined and slips on over the head for easy wear.
In excellent condition, this silk maxi dress has been professionally eco dry 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.