Ceil Chapman 1950s party dress off-white strapless | XS

1950s Clothing




Known for her amazing draping and pleating of fabric, designer Ceil Chapman outdid herself with this 1950s strapless party dress, made up of a plethora of tiny pleats! The crystal-pleated, sheer off-white nylon fabric forms the boned bodice, tiered peplum, and full skirt. A wide gathered panel in ivory rayon faille accentuates the waist. In back, this waist panels slants diagonally down to the center of the waist seam, above a bustle or mini-train extending over the skirt to the hem. The folds of this “bustle” were lined with stiff mesh to give it shape. Unfortunately, this mesh has yellowed the faille fabric from underneath. The rayon taffeta lining of the dress has also yellowed a bit, most visible near the hem, and most noticeable from the underside. The skirt is full in shape, but not a super-big, full circle style. (I have shown it without any additional crinoline underneath, although it could accommodate a moderately fluffy one.) The dress fastens with a metal zipper at the side seam. Other than the yellowing to the lining and bustle, the dress also has a few tiny spots, somewhat hard to notice in the pleated fabric (see photos). The dress has just been dry-cleaned, but not spot treated. It is in good, quite wearable condition. For a lover of Ceil Chapman’s fabulous 1950s designs, it is a fun find at a reasonable price!

Size: XS
Bust: 32” flat with some extra cup room (approx. 32 B-C)
Ribcage: 26” flat
Waist: 25” flat to fit approx. 24”
Hip: full (56” flat, measured at lining)
Length: 36” from underarm to hem
Underarm to waist length: 8”
Waist to hem (skirt length): 27.5”
Hem sweep: 110” total (55” flat, doubled)
Label: Ceil Chapman