Vintage early 1980s silk blouse from Emanuel Ungaro features a Persian-inspired paisley floral which reflects both his mastery of unexpected color harmonies and his penchant for riotous floral patterns.
In this one, vertical paisley designs in rich hues of saffron, ochre, copper, pomegranate, celadon and Persian blue contain flame-like floral sprays within them, creating a kind of oversized foulard as they float amidst a tapestry-dense vine, done in yellow, blue and green on a black ground.
In contrast to the opulent print, the long-sleeved blouse has a simple straight cut with narrow shawl collar. It closes with 6 golden pearl buttons set in goldtone, with a matching pair of pearl buttons at the cuffs.
I believe this blouse dates from around the time of Ungaro’s celebrated fall 1981 collection—which was attended by Estee Lauder, Marisa Berenson and Ann Getty, and was the recipient of a Golden Thimble award. Noted for its sumptuousness, with an “Oriental” look for evening and a folkloric one for day, the collection used paisley motifs extensively, in everything from exquisitely handworked tasseled shawls to printed silk skirts and sheer lame blouses; many of the fabrics in the collection were produced by Jimmy Etro. Ungaro often “borrowed” from his couture designs for his Parallele (high end RTW) garments, especially for “after 5” looks, and I’ve seen the print on this blouse, in a different colorway, on a tasseled Parallele silk shawl which reversed to velvet and seems to have derived from the couture versions of 1981.
Blouse is labelled “Ungaro Parallele Paris”, “Made in Italy/Fabrique en Italie” and tagged a vintage size 6; dry cleaning instructions are provided as well. Ungaro, who worked for Balenciaga and Courreges before opening his own house in 1965, launched Parallele in 1968; it remained his top pret-a-porter line throughout his career.
Exact measurements are: Bust 40”, shoulders 19”, sleeves 21” (from shoulder seam), width across bottom 39”, and length shoulder to hem 21”.
Excellent condition, with two tiny nicks to the top blouse button and the left cuff button (photo #8).
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild