1950s Jacques Fath Midnight Blue Velvet Cocktail Dress, M
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A wounded but gorgeous and rare example of the work of Jacques Fath during his collaboration with American manufacturer Joseph Halpert. The most notable feature is the stand up portrait collar, but the overall shape and the color are really remarkable. Slim silhouette with short sleeves, side metal zip, midi length skirt, and a bit of a longer bodice. This dress is from the Fall 1953 collection, and would have carried a price tag of about $130 then, roughly $1200 in today's dollar.
Bust 38" Waist 30" Hip 40" There is no waist seam, but the bodice measures roughly 16.5"-17"
Good vintage condition. This has seen a lot of small repairs that are mostly unnoticeable when worn and don't compromise the structural integrity of the dress, but there are hand sewn reinforcements to the zipper area, the underarms, the hem, and the internal structure of the collar, which I initially thought was asymmetrical but it turns out that it was just missing some stitches on one side and I've tried to recreate the original intent was as best I can based on the documentation. It also has some potential damage from a steamer toward the bottom of the skirt, where there are some lightened areas (note to self: always steam velvet inside out). This dress is still gorgeous, very wearable and a beautiful example of Fath's work for the American audience. As a bonus, it comes with a matching (unbranded, possibly homemade) clutch.
About the Label
In 1948, Jacques Fath became one of the first Paris couturiers to agree to produce an American collection; two, in fact, per year for New York manufacturer Joseph Halpert, whose business had been struggling after losing his best designer. When his first collection was released in the spring of 1949, it was a huge success, thanks in no small part to Fath’s charm and that of his wife Genevieve, who toured America together in promotion of the collection. The name recognition helped his couture business back in Paris flourish as well, and he became one of the most celebrated designers of all time. Sadly, Fath died of leukemia in 1954, a life and brilliant career cut short.