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Basha Gold

Zandra Rhodes Ivory Silk Linen Shell Embellished Suede Necklace Dress, 1980s


Dame Zandra Rhodes is an iconic British designer who has been designing for the last 50 years. Rhodes considers herself “an artist working in the field of textiles and fashion,” evident in her process which always starts with drawing and finishes with the final product and how it drapes on the body. The international world of fashion is indelibly embedded with her dramatic, theatrical designs.

Her background as a printed textile artist is an underlining passion that makes her work "pop" with dynamic exuberance. She has designed and clothed the Who's Who of the Glitterati: from Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor to Bianaca Jagger and Princess Diana.

This exquisite mid-length dress, created for the 'Elizabethan Collection' is a rare acquisition, clothing you in a breath of light and air. Though the fabric content is not listed it is handcrafted from raw silk linen blend and suede. The top portion of the dress is unlined and the skirt portion is lined in an ivory silky fabric. With an elastic waist, this lovely dress in shades of light ivory with a light earthy contrasting hue, slips over the head and can be worn blouse-on style, or pulled down low on the hips.

The collar: a choker like necklace; both primitive and sophisticated at the same time, is a sampling of Zandra Rhodes playfully executed design expertise! The collar is attached to the dress, fastening in the back of the neck with a Velcro closure.

The bodice feels inspired by earth and sea: suspended from the shoulders in a feminine vee shape formed from strands of deckle edged suede in a whimsical embellishment of shells. The bodice underarms are open to the waist and are free fall into handkerchief edges. Opening to a 21 inch slit on the left leg of the dress. (please note the fraying on one side of the opening of the slit, I believe this is intentional and not a defect.) A repetition of the treatment of the bodice edging. 

Size estimate: XS/S


Bust: up to 38 inches

Waist: unstretched 24 inches, stretches to 36 inches

Hips: up to 38 inches

Length: 56 inches

Haunting and romantic, earthy and bold this lovely dress evokes a raw energy with romantic royalty. This dress is in excellent condition, 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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