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Basha Gold

Vintage Mary McFadden Lavender Golden Macrame Cut Out Back Gown


An accomplished designer, Mary McFadden studied in New York and Paris, worked at Dior, and served as the editor of Vogue South Africa among other positions and awards. She started her own label in the 1970s, incorporating global inspirations and classic silhouettes in her designs.

She notably created pleated garments that resemble the famous pleated silk dresses by Mariano Fortuny which eventually became her trademark. “The effect I'm searching for is to have the fabric fall like liquid gold against the body” said McFadden of her ‘Marii’ technique, and she seems to have accomplished just that.

Made up of Fortuny style pleats, this dusky lavender gown begins with a flattering boat neckline and long puff sleeves that reach the wrist. The back of the bodice features a deep cut out that is bordered and crisscrossed by a beautiful metallic gold macrame lattice that radiates out from a diamond shaped knot at the center back, giving this dress an ethereal feel. The gold offers a nice contrast to the satin-like material, which both catch the light for an even more sumptuous effect.

Size: 8

Size estimate: Medium

Shoulders: 15 inches

Sleeves: 26 inches

Bust: 30-35 inches

Waist: 28 inches

Hips: 34-38 inches

Length: 58 inches

The skirt falls from the straight, fitted waistline to a maxi length, the ruffled hem reaching just above the ankles. The simple silhouette of the gown allows the color and cut out at the back of the bodice to shine while the vertically pleated fabric creates a pleasing rhythm throughout. Finished at the neck, waistline, and cuffs with lavender piping, this elegant and refined gown is the perfect choice for an evening soiree or special occasion. 

This Mary McFadden gown is unlined and closes with a concealed side zip. It was photographed on Jackie Adams alongside Iman, also in Mary McFadden, for the February 1983 edition of American Vogue. In excellent condition, this gown 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.

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