1950s Ceil Chapman Black Taffeta and Ruched Silk Jersey Dress

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This early 1950s Ceil Chapman taffeta and silk dress is a timeless and elegant party dress. It has a fitted ruched bodice, cut from soft black silk jersey, which hugs the body beautifully to create a feminine shape. The ruching is sewn in two vertical lines down the front of the dress and is also shaped around the bust. The skirt flares out from the bodice at around the low hip point and is made up of black taffeta which is pleated to create volume and movement. The material has a lovely thick, quality feel to it. The dress fastens down the back with the original metal zipper which is finished with a hook and eye closure to the top.

Ceil Chapman was famously the favourite designer of Marilyn Monroe, and was renowned all over the world for creating glamorous cocktail dresses and party gowns. Some of her other famous clients included Aretha Franklin, Grace Kelly, and even Elizabeth Taylor - the biggest stars of the era. Many of her designs are now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, coveted for their craftsmanship and classic 1950s tailoring.

The dress is in fabulous condition with no observable marks or faults. It would comfortably fit a UK 10-12, or US 6-8, as there is a little stretch in the material used for the bodice.

Bust - 36 in. (91.4 cm)
Waist - 30 in. (76.2 cm)
Hip - 37 in. (94 cm)
Length - 47.5 in. (120.7 cm)
Shoulders - 15 in. (38.1 cm)