1960s William Travilla Green and Blue Sequin Dress

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This is a late 1960s or early 1970s couture sequinned maxi gown by William Travilla whose name is synonymous with Marilyn Monroe for whom he worked as her costume designer from 1952. He designed, arguably, the most famous cinematic dress in history, the white pleated halterneck dress for 'The Seven Year Itch' and was Oscar nominated 5 times winning for 'The Adventures of Don Juan' where he designed costumes for Errol Flynn. He designed for his own label from 1957 and was widely acclaimed for his work on the television series The Thorn Birds and Dallas during the 1980s.

The silk fabric in this gown is just beautiful and has an abstract almost painterly foliage print design; the vibrant greens and blues invoke a tropical vibe. Overlaying the silk from head to toe are tightly spaced clear sequins that have been joined together with a a silver thread giving an iridescence to the top layer of organza. The dress has a deep V-neck crossover empire line bodice with hidden covered popper buttons for modesty along the V-line. The gathered skirt is very full and is separately lined underneath in a fine quality silk crepe. A green velvet band with a neat bow completes the look.

There's lots of hand finishing details on this dress and it is so well made that you could wear it either way around depending on whether you wanted slightly more coverage. The label inside the dress reads 'Haute Couture by Sally's and then the address is Palisades Park, New Jersey. Whilst not strictly, haute couture, this dress is as close to American designer royalty that you can get. A fellow vintage dealer I very much admire, Shrimpton Couture, has sold this dress in a coral/red combination with the Travilla label intact. I am assuming, in the same way that Martha's of Palm Beach did, that they took out the designer labels to retail under the boutique label. This also happened across the high end department stores; we've sold several Diors over the years that only had the US retail label in.

The gown is in beautiful vintage condition; virtually all the sequins remain intact. The only thing of note is a small amount of colour variation on the green lining; however, this is completely unseen when worn. A best fit for around a size UK 12 or US 8.

Bust - 39 in. (99.1 cm)
Waist - 32 in. (81.3 cm)
Hip - 39 in. (99.1 cm)
Length - 57 in. (144.8 cm)
Shoulders - 14 in. (35.6 cm)