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Documented 1950s Yma Sumac's Sophie Gimbel Silk Evening Coat Robe


During the 1950s, Yma Sumac was a singing superstar. She was known for her extreme vocal range, which was said to be 'well over five octaves'. She had tremendous style and combined the look of traditional Incan clothing with the high 1950's glamour of Hollywood for a look that was uniquely her own. When she passed away in 2008 most of her clothing ended up in the hands of her long time assistant Damon, and he eventually released most out for sale. Those were immediately snatched up by collectors and fans worldwide and her pieces have become harder and harder to find as time passes because they are squirreled away in private collections around the world. I am very pleased to have this beautiful and extremely well-documented robe for you in the shop. This is a stunning robe or evening coat that is extremely well documented. It is from Saks Fifth Avenue and would have most likely been a design collaboration between Yma and Sophie Gimbel who was in charge of, and designed for, the couture salon during this time period. Yma was photoed in this robe and she also sat for a portrait in the robe. It was obviously a favored piece of hers to have been worn for two occasions like that. The robe is made of a pale green silk of a good weight, with a matching silk lining on the interior. The sleeves are finished with wide cut, black velvet cuffs, that I have rolled down so you can see just how wide the are. In the reference photo and the photo of her portrait, Yma has worn them folded up and you could wear them either depending on how long you want the sleeves to hang. The front edges of the robe are finished with the same black velvet. I love the way it widens dramatically as it nears the hem as this gives the robe tremendous movement and a sense of drama as you walk. It is truly extraordinary and it is a privilege to have a piece in the shop from a woman that in in 2010 'V' fashion magazine voted as one of the 'Top 5 World Muses'. Excellent condition Fully lined in a matching heavy silk. It has no closures. Perhaps a touch of grubbiness to the edge of the hem and there is a scuff on the inner silk near a seam. All extremely minor and do not detract. The open cut allows this to fit a large variety of sizes Sleeves: 20" Shoulders: 19.5" Bust: 23.5" flat across from side seam to side seam Waist: open Hips: open Length: 59" from neck to hem Modern Sizing Equivalent: OSFA This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.


  • Designer
    Sophie Gimbel
  • Brand
    Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Period
  • Condition
    Excellent. Perhaps a touch of grubbiness to the edge of the hem and there is a scuff on the inner silk near a seam. All extremely minor and do not detract..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller location
    Toronto, CA
  • Seller reference number
    Item# DD2648
  • Reference number

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1stdibs seller since 2010
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Located in Toronto, CA
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