Vintage mid-1980s silk jersey dress and bolero ensemble from Emanuel Ungaro features a stunning print of large, stylized peonies with white foliage, in purple, lavender, blue and brown on a canary yellow ground. The silk is tonally jacquarded with a polka dot pattern that subtly enriches the print.
Beautifully made, the sleeveless dress has cutaway shoulders and a mock neck that extends into scarf-like panels in the back to tie or leave loose to flutter in the breeze, while tucks under the mock neck create a draped, halter-like effect to the front of the bodice.
Nine pearly yellow buttons run from the top to the low hip in the back, and the skirt has on-seam pockets and a slightly pegged shape that tapers to below the knee from gentle gathers which ease the waist.
The open-front bolero has a curved hem, banded short sleeves, and (large) integral shoulder pads. It is lined in matching polka dot jacquarded silk; while the dress is faced in sheer yellow silk gauze.
Both dress and bolero are labelled “Emanuel Ungaro Parallele Paris”. Ungaro launched the Parallele label in 1968, and if his sculptured early designs reflected his training with Balenciaga, by the mid-1970s he had developed his signature look—ultra-femme and splashed with lush floral prints. As he told the New York Times several years before his retirement in 1996, he took a sharp turn towards “flowers, romance, and baroque decoration”.
Additional tags are present, for high end retailer Amen Wardy (who had Newport Beach and Rodeo Drive boutiques through the early 1990s, carrying designers such as Ungaro, Valentino and Chanel). I am a bit puzzled by these labels, which read “Amen Wardy, Made in Italy” and appear “correct” except for the fact that Ungaro was a Parisian designer!
No size tags, but exact measurements are as follows: Dress bust 36”, waist 29”, hips 38”, bodice length (top center back to waist) 15.5” and overall length (top center back to hem) 42”. Jacket bust (with front edges closed) 36”, shoulders 18” and length (center back to hem) 15.5”.
Excellent, professionally cleaned condition.
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