Runway F/W 1988-89 Patrick Kelly Multi Color Bow Dress

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently hosted an exhibit of the work of Patrick Kelly. The show notes state: "“I want my clothes to make you smile”—that was the goal of late African American designer Patrick Kelly in creating his bold, bright, and joyful creations. Kelly achieved this on the streets, nightclubs, and runways of New York, Paris, and beyond in the heady, inventive, and often-subversive urban milieu of the 1980s....Kelly’s work pushed racial and cultural boundaries with golliwog logos, Aunt Jemima bandana dresses, and his ubiquitous black baby-doll brooches. His playful looks were inspired by his muse, Josephine Baker, and admiration for couturiers Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Yves Saint Laurent, among others." I have included the video form the exhibit where you see a flash of a similar dress on the runway and also photos that have the twin on this same dress in a group with Patrick himself

This dress is from the Fall/Winter 1988 Collection and for this collection he spoofed on the work of Coco Chanel, something he was known for and di often with a variety of designers. The collection was call "Miss CouCou" and the dress also showcases another of his signatures - the use f the bow. Each bow you see is hand sewn into place and the dress is literally covered in bows in all of the colors of the rainbow. It is an exceptional example of Kelly's work and has the added provenance of being featured in photos with Patrick himself. Kelly's pieces are synonymous with sex appeal and his pieces have a sense of chicness combined with high street. With this dress he skillfully mixes a sexy and short silhouette with girlish bows. It is cut to follow your every curve and highlight the body. This is a superb and rare piece by a great American designer. Excellent condition

Unlined and closes with a back metal and nylon zipper. The dress has slight stretch. You can clearly see the hand work to apply the ribbons on the interior side of the fabric. The stretch fabric will allow it to fit a variety of sizes. It appears it have never been worn

Sleeves: 23.5"
Slightly dropped shoulders: 16"
Bust: 17-20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14-17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17-21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 37" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Reference Photo: Patrick Kelly and models displaying the Fall/Winter 1988 Collection, photographed by Oliviero Toscani.

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
Patrick Kelly
Patrick Kelly
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Toronto, Canada
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1stdibs seller since 2010
Located in Toronto, ON