Vintage 1971 chiffon evening gown and matching scarf attributed to Geoffrey Beene features a gorgeous print—exotic, oversized flowers in violet, teal blue, red, pink and olive on a maroon ground—embroidered all over with metallic silver thread. It nods to the psychedelic prints of the 60s, but in a subdued yet vibrant colorway perfectly suited to autumn.
Long-sleeved and in a straight cut with just a hint of A-line to ease the silhouette, the gown has a jewel neckline and hand-set back zip closure. It has two layers: The sheer chiffon outer layer, and a lustrous, solid wine-colored layer, made of what I believe to be Alaskine (a heavier-weight silk/wool blend fabric) lined in sheer black organza.
The exuberantly free-form, looping and scrolling pattern of the silver embroidery is "shadowed" by colored thread tonally matched to the flowers underneath—ie violet and silver thread over the violet sections of the print, olive and silver thread over the olive, etc. The effect is truly stunning!
The proportions of the matching rectangular scarf--75" x 16"—enable it to be worn as a stole as well.
A deaccession from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, the gown is unlabelled but the matching scarf retains its museum inventory tag (which attributes the gown to Beene). Measurements are: Bust 34", shoulders 14", waist 34", hips 38", sleeves 22.5", and length 53".
Excellent condition, with an occasional pulled thread in the metallic embroidery but no other flaws.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild