From Valentino’s celebrated fall/winter 1970-71 collection, this caftan or hostess gown in mulberry silk jacquard features a Persian-inspired paisley print enriched by a gloriously vibrant gold, vermilion, and cream border.
With long, sheer sleeves and a plum satin lining, the caftan zips up the front from just below the knees to the high, snap-closure collar, and has 2 hip pockets with diagonal, tassel-pulled zippers set into them. Zip-fronts adorned Valentino’s capes, coats and even boots that season, and were so typically accented, as here, by large silk tassels that one reporter described them as his “trademark” for the collection.
Noted for its luxe designs and materials, Valentino’s 1970/1 collection was considered his most sumptuous yet, and was estimated to have cost the designer $400,000 ($2.5 million in today’s currency) to produce. One fashion review of it bore the tongue-in-cheek title "Inflation Begone!"
The silk tassels that swished and swayed down the runway that year appeared on Valentino's ready-to-wear boutique garments as well: Two couture designs in the Metropolitan Museum’s costume collection--a coat and a dress-and-coat ensemble--sport them, but so does the zip-pocketed coat pictured in an October, 1970 article on his Madison Avenue boutique opening (the Paris boutique had opened in 1968).
A deaccessioned museum piece (from NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology), this striking garment has a cloth museum tag as well as its designer label, which reads “Boutique Valentino, New York/Rome”, with a small “Made in Italy” tag attached undeneath.
Measurements are: Bust 34”, shoulders 14”, waist 34”, hips 37”, sleeves 23” and length 54”.
Very good, near-excellent condition, with the only flaw a 1/3" abraded area on the hem's bottom edge, with a tiny nick in the lining above it (see photo #8).
PLEASE NOTE: Despite my camera’s refusal to reflect it, the main color in the border print is not orange but a deeper, true red; see the closeup of the pockets (photo # 2) for a better approximation.
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Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry