1950s Harvey Nichols Silk Floral Strapless Ruched Dress

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A purveyor of luxury goods since the 19th century, Harvey Nichols’ reputation as a luxury department store has stood the test of time. This dress was designed in the 1950s and is crafted from crisp taffeta silk printed with hazy florals in taupe, khaki and mauve. It has a bustier top with corset boning sewn into the white acetate lining. The single, asymmetric shoulder strap is pleated to match the wide waistband and the two meet at the back like a sash detail. This manipulation of the fabric continues along the side of the body; the cloth appears to swirl around the wearer’s body, gathering at the left hip and falling in pleats to below the knee. Fastens at the centre of the back with a zipper hidden beneath a placket.

A very well made dress approaching 70 years old and presented in very good to excellent vintage condition - a testament to Harvey Nichols’ eye for quality. The silk retains its luster and the fabric is clean; we spotted a few areas of silk strand separation on a few edges but this is a minor, age-related condition which looks stable. We normally tuck these under with a few stiches but will leave that to the new owner; they are hardly noticeable unless inspecting the dress very closely and certainly not when worn. One pin-head hole on placket noted near bottom of zip. The measurements suggest a best fit for modern sizes around a UK 12 or US 8.


BUST - 36 in. (91 cm)

WAIST - 31 in. (79 cm)

HIP - 42 in. (107 cm)

LENGTH - 46 in. (117 cm)