Rare 1974 "The Lily" Collection Zandra Rhodes Dress Set

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This rare and amazing hand painted silk gown set by Zandra Rhodes in a very rare piece from one of her most coveted of all her collections - The Lily collection from 1974. It is constructed of a fine, pale pink, silk chiffon that is entirely hand painted. The top is cut to fit through the body with her wide signature flutter sleeves. The sleeves are left unlined giving a lovely glimpse of bare skin through the silk and a sense of lightness and airiness. It buttons down the back and the ruffled detailed neckline has hand applied beads along the edge and floral flat beads and shells adorn the front. The skirt is remarkable and the way the two pieces fit together is equally so. The skirt is made of yards and yards of that same hand painted silk chiffon and finishes with a ruffled detail which, like the top, has a beaded edge detailing. The waist is elastic and it has a wide ruffle there as well - but the ruffle is very cleverly set. If left hanging over the elastic it serves as pretty detailing on its own but when worm with the top this ruffle actually flips over and snaps into place forming a curved over the top and it is edged in darling little pink bows. The original tie belt is present and you can tie and bow it around the waist for an extra bit of feminine detail. It is really extraordinary and when snapped into place fully completes the illusion of a true gown rather then tow pieces. I have included a reference photos from the book "The Art of Zandra Rhodes" of a dress from this same collection with a similar finish so you can see the effect when laid out flat. It is a true work of art, exceedingly rare and very special, A true piece of fashion history and a work of wearable art. Excellent condition

The V&A Museum notes about this print: "Zandra Rhodes considers the Lily prints to be the best of her work, and particularly significant. It was while developing the Lily textiles that she developed the method of reversing the silkscreen to produce a mirror image of the print and create symmetrical patterns. This went on to influence many of her future significant prints, such as 'Lace Mountain', 'Cactus Volcano' and 'Scribble Turnaround'. The Lily prints also represent the introduction of handwriting and calligraphy into her textile designs. Another point of significance for Zandra is that the Lily dresses were the first dresses that she started applying beading to, which would become a future trademark."

Lined with a soft pink silk chiffon through the bodice ad skirt with the sleeves left unlined. The skirt has an elastic waist and slips on to wear. The top buttons at the back with silk covered buttons. A teeny couple of areas along the ruffle have had a stitch added where the fabric was weakinging but it is still extremely strong and wearable. Hand finished throughout and entirely hand painted. It is a touch deeper pink in some areas of the print than how it photoed.

Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 21.5" from shoulder to hem

Waist: 13-15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20-23.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 41" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Reference photo: The Art of Zandra Rhodes (Rhodes and Knight 1984) pg.103

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
Zandra Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes
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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