This is a fabulous late 50s bombshell dress or beaded gown that was sold at the Town and Travelwear boutique. Town and Travelwear had two locations - the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and the Statler Hilton hotel in Dallas, Texas. The Town and Travelwear boutique operated during the 1940s and 50s at the Waldorf Astoria, but was established at the Statler-Hilton in 1955 only, closing there in 1974. The dress is fully hand beaded on what appears to be a heavy silk faille fabric - this just smacks of quality. This beaded gown is made in a sheath style and is sleeveless although the shoulder straps form a capped sleeve that covers the shoulder cap. It has a sweetheart neckline both at the front and back. The dress does up the back with a metal zipper and is lined in silk organza around the upper bodice and bottom of the dress only. It is quite heavy, weighing 3 lbs and 15 oz, another sign of quality!
Label: Town and Travelwear Waldorf Astoria New York Statler-Hilton Dallas.
Sizing: No size is indicated on this 50s bombshell dress but this should fit a medium size - please note the following measurements for fit, taking the style of the garment into consideration:
Bust: 39” around
Waist: 29” around
Hips: 38” around, meant to fall loosely supported by a crinoline
Overall length: 41", measured flat from the top of the shoulder straps to the hemline
Condition: This 50s bombshell dress is in very good condition but its silk organza lining is deteriorating (see last two close-up photos). The lining is only across the upper bodice and at the bottom of the dress, so you could fairly easily replace it if desired, although the dress still could be used as is. I noticed an edge spot with a bit of fray and I would expect that with use, some beads may drop, but this is a quality dress, so should hold up well with common sense use and care.
You know that a dress bought at the Waldorf Astoria is going to be of high quality. I have seen a similar dress to this that was bought at the Town and Travelwear at the Statler-Hilton by famous 50s country and western singer Patsy Cline, but hers was sequinned rather than beaded - she is pictured wearing it in 1961. This is a striking 50s bombshell dress - wonderful sparkle under the lights!
Vintage 50s Bombshell Dress Black Beaded Gown Town and Travelwear Waldorf Astoria