This is a beautiful quality 1950s era, possibly early 60s, day dress by Marilyn Monroe’s purported favourite designer - Ceil Chapman. The dress features a scoop neckline with tucking at the right shoulder that forms cascading pleats down the right shoulder and bodice. Similar tucking appears at the left waistline forming a complimentary opposing pleating to the bodice down the skirt of the dress. The dress has an accented waist and the bodice is supported by two stays. The fabric is printed with an abstract leaf pattern in tones of brown, yellow and green. It is lined in a tan acetate or rayon fabric and has a nylon zipper closure down the back. The dress is beautifully finished - super quality
Label: Ceil Chapman label sewn into the interior top back. Ceil Chapman was an American designer, first in partnership with Gloria Vanderbilt, and then on her own, with her husband as a partner, starting in 1940. She was noted as a favourite of both the public and movie stars. Marilyn Monroe owned a number of Chapman dresses, and others, such as Deborah Kerr, Elizabeth Taylor and Mamie Van Doren wore her designs to important events. She specialized in cocktail and formal gowns and was known for her use of draping and fine fabrics.
Retailer’s Label: Simpson’s Salon Vendome. During the 50s and 60s, Canadian department stores would have a boutique within the store that carried higher end fashion, including haute couture, and catered to a wealthy clientele. The Salon Vendome at Simpson’s was such a boutique within a store and its competitors in Montreal would have been the Ensemble Shop at Eaton’s, Le Petit Salon at Dupuis Freres and the Fur Salon at Ogilvy’s and Holt Renfrew.
Fabric: There is no content label, but it appears to be silk.
Sizing: No size is indicated, but this should fit a medium size - please rely on the following exterior measurements for fit, taking the style of the dress into account (compare measurements with a similar dress that you presently own or to your own body measurements, taking the cut of the garment into account):
Shoulders: 15” across from shoulder/sleeve seam to shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeves: 16” from the shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeve inseam: 11”
Bust: 37” around
Waist: 31” around
Hips: 39”-40” around, but meant to fall loosely
Overall Length: 40 1/2”, measured flat
Condition: In very good condition with no wear, tear, stains or or defect. This dress is very clean and looks to have seen little use and was well stored over the years.
This is a lovely 50s era day dress by an iconic designer - beautifully made, with an attractive abstract pattern and colour -