1930s Floral Cotton Polynesian Style Dress

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This is one of the most interesting and unusual antique dresses we have ever had at Circa and of extraordinary construction. It is modelled on an earlier 18th century Polynesian style dress and is made from a very fine cotton in a sweet floral design of pinks and blues representing the flowers of the French nobility. It has a high sweetheart neckline and a princess seamed bodice with an inverted waistband following the lines of what would have been a traditional corset. The sleeve is an elaborate and shortened version of a leg of mutton style whilst the skirt element is a lavish affair of folded and pinned fabric leading to an arrangement of fabric swags on the lower third of the dress. The bottom rear portion is attached to the inverted waistband. The hemline of the dress is asymmetric as a result of the swags.

Unlabelled but made by a professional hand, whoever made it had a fabulous appreciation of historical costume and it's quite possible this dress was made for a Hollywood film - it was purchased in LA. The fabric may be much earlier than when the dress was made - we believe in the 1930s. The zip at the back has been added either at the point the dress was made, or a bit later. We have completely restored and cleaned this dress taking great care to address any cotton breaks and she is now in superb condition with no flaws of any note. She will fit size UK 6-8 or US 2 and could be worn as a statement dress for an event or displayed.

Design Notes: The robe à la polonaise or polonaise became fashionable during the 1770s and had some or all of the following design elements; a cutaway or layer dress; a draped and swagged overskirt which was worn over an underskirt or petticoat and usually there were several layers of each.

BUST - 32 in. (81.3 cm)
WAIST - 27 in. (68.6 cm)
HIP - 54 in. (137.2 cm)
MIN. LENGTH - 41 in. (104.1 cm) MAX. LENGTH - 53 in. (134.6 cm)
SHOULDERS - 16 in. (40.6 cm)