This is a gorgeous 1960s era red silk evening gown made by American designer Helena Barbieri. Barbieri (1907-1997) is a lesser known New York based designer, but her pieces are highly desirable for the discerning collector. She studied at the New York School of Design and started her career as a sketcher with Kallman and Morris. In 1938, she began designing for the label “Young American Deb” and in 1949 established the company “Modern Couture” with her husband, Leo Morse. She designed primarily party dresses and formal wear - her dresses were hugely popular. As far as I know, she continued designing into the early to mid 1960s.
The dress is made in a simple sleeveless sheath style with open back and floral shaped embellishment and bow at the upper left side of the bodice from which hangs matching ribbon. The waistline curves to the left where the skirt fabric is gathered at the front. Either side has a box pleat under the waist seam, so that the dress “fans” out at the sides, allowing for ease of movement.. It does up with a zipper down the back. It is finished in white cotton on the interior. It has flexible stays supporting both the front and back of the bodice. The dress is hand finished - I’m unsure if it is fully hand sewn, but this is beautifully constructed.
Label: Helena Barbieri
Fabric: Silk - beautiful quality.
Sizing: No size is indicated, and although this should fit a small size, please note the following measurements for fit, taking the style of the dress into consideration:
Bust: 33”-34” around
Waist: 26” around
Hips: 34” around
Overall length: 44", measured flat from the top of the bust to the hemline
Condition: It is in very good condition with no pronounced wear, tear, staining or odour. This piece looks to have seen very little use and has been well stored and cared for over the years.
This is a striking evening gown - gorgeous red silk and stunning understated style!