This vintage McMullen dress a blue shirtwaist with horse hunt scene dates from the late 40s to 50s was made in the USA and is a spectacular example of mid century fashion from one of the pioneers of that classic silhouette. The dress is a rich, jewel tone, a deep turquoise teal color with a horse and rider jumping a post and rail fence in a field depicting foxhunting in black. The color was impossible to photograph accurately, it is less blue and a bit more green that it looks in the pictures. The black equestrian embellishment is dimensional, it can be felt, and can be seen on the both sides of the fabric as pictured; it looks like embroidery but it may be printed. The dress is beautifully made, the top is constructed like an oxford shirt, with a back yoke and center pleat and set in collar and cuffed sleeves . The bust is darted and the front buttons are self covered with button holes that look tailor made. The full skirt has hidden side pockets and is as well made and the dress details, finished seems, pinked edges, taped hem and flawless stitching reflect the quality that McMullen was famous for, and that top tier department stores like Sak's Fifth Avenue demanded for their customers. The fabric has a silk satin hand but there is no fabric tag and it may be a high quality rayon. Rayon became popular beginning in the mid 20s since it could be made to simulate the look and feel of silk and cotton. The dress does have the four leaf clover McMullen tag and a size 10 tag, and the fabric covered belt is also stamped with the company name and size in gold. This is a vintage size 10, much smaller than a contemporary size 10 so please use the measurements as a guide, and compare them to a dress that fits you comfortably. The dress measures 14 3/4 to 15 inches across the shoulders, the bust measures 34 to 36 inches, the darts are accommodating, the sleeves measure 12 inches from the shoulder to the end of the cuff, the waist measures 26 inches, the hips are open, and the length, from the center back base of the collar to the bottom of the hem is 44 inches. The hem measures 2 1/2 inches not counting the tape binding. There is front placket opening on the skirt with a hook and eye, and a snap, to make it easy to put on. The dress is in wonderful vintage condition, with no stains or tears and is in ready to wear condition. It looks fabulous with or without a crinoline. I have had this dress for decades, I love it, the horse theme, and the color, make it extra special.
According to published company history, and I quote In 1936 J.R. McMullen, with help from his head designer, Dorthy Cox, seized on a new fashion trend and the McMullen-Leavens Company entered into the dressmaking business. Dorthy Cox skillfully guided them to select superior fabric and give attention to little details in this new line that would further the company’s reputation for high quality fashionable garments. It was not long before their dresses graced the pages of fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, not to mention some of the biggest stars of the time. A few years ago the Post Star published an interview with a elderly woman who worked at the factory, fondly recounting the custom clothing they made for celebrities. Today one of the McMullen dresses is in the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. end quote.
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Vintage McMullen Dress Blue Shirtwaist Horse Hunt