March 20, 2012

Vintage Resurrection: 1950s Silk Satin Ball Gown


This beautiful Charles James-inspired ball gown arrived at Vintage Vixen a flattened, wrinkled, unwearable mess. Because it was in such rough condition, it has literally hung around for awhile. Once off the rack, we found knots in the shoulder straps, random snaps added to the waist (with nothing to snap onto it), and some spots throughout the skirt.

To add to its troubles, the back bodice had been altered with the addition of a green satin panel. This was a welcome alteration as it made the dress larger, though its existence looked odd and out of place in its current position.

So we Vixens got to work! First, we sourced some gorgeous spinach green silk chiffon panels from another dress that was unfortunately not salvageable. We dug through our trims for a matching pink bloom in similar satin. And we began adapting the dress with criss-crossed layers...

...and by draping the green chiffon around the back & waist...

We did this with hand-applied snaps placed by draping on a dress form. Then we carefully positioned the corsage for a beautiful back detail, and wrapped the waist with the chiffon to obscure its obvious flaws. And voila!

This beautiful gown is now available on our website. Thanks for following along as we resurrect another exquisite vintage design!

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