1950s Early Ceil Chapman Bustle Gown

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Extremely early, unusual gown in rustling silk taffeta from Ceil Chapman. This is a stunning and unusual piece and if you collect or are looking to make a dramatic statement - this is the dress! The fabric has a moire pattern running through it an it is actually astonishing how much yardage s in that skirt! The skirt is an unusual shape - it scoops up at the front so you get a flash of leg and then curves down and back. Yards and yards of silk are in that skirt! Where it attaches at the waist it is gathered up and hand draped. It comes with a separate silk and starched net hip bustle that you hook into place around the waist and it sits under the front daping to push and exaggerate this detailing. The bodice is fitted and made more so by that tightly spaced row of buttons and loops down the back. The bodice is fitted and boned. The sleeves sit off shoulder and actually attach under each arm - almost giving them the effect of being gloves. Stunning, exceptionally original and early. A wonderful piece!

Sleeves: 23" from top of their edges to their cuffs

Bust: 18.5" flat across the back from side seam to side seam

Waist: 13" flat across back from side seam to side seam

Hips: open

Bodice: 14.5" from top of the bodice to waist seam

Skirt: 28" from waist seam to shortest point of the skirt at the front, 42" to the longest at the back

The gown is unlined. The bodice is boned and it closes with a series of tightly spaced buttons up the back. Each sleeve closes with 3 hidden snaps. There is a separate netted waist bustle that acts to fill in the hip panel details at the front and sides. There are a few small flaws and the gown has been priced accordingly - the fabric that covers the boning inside the bodice is wearing thin or gone in spots. It does not show on the front but will have to be covered or addressed at some point I am sure. It is currently stable and wearable. There is a color change here and there along the bottom hem - it has faded to a purplish black in spots. There is so much fabric in the skirt this only really is an issue when the gown is laid out flat and inspected. You would never notice this when it is on. I have not added any crinolines to the skirt though you could to make it even more exaggerated a shape. It should be dry cleaned when cleaned again in the future.

Approx Modern Sizing equivalent: XS-SML (2-6)
Ceil Chapman
Marked Size
XS-SML (2-6)
Dealer Location
Toronto, Canada
Number of Items
Reference Number
Shrimpton Couture
Toronto ON M5V 2M9
(647) 559-2223
1stdibs Dealer since 2010 Located in Toronto, ON
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