This gorgeous 1970's Gunne Sax by Jessica dress borrows heavily from the Victorian era with it's fine mesh tulle high neck, embellished with lace and ribbon and a voluminous lace bertha collar. The back of the bodice mirrors the front and closes at the nape with seven pearl buttons set in lace panels. The sheer mesh sleeves have a hint of gigot / leg o mutton design to them; fuller with some puff at the top and then thinning out to very fitted at the forearm, which is made of lace & ribbon. The dress has two layers; the balance is an ivory/ champagne taffeta with a fine mesh/lace matching overlay that falls about four inches longer than the lining and finishes at the hem with six inches of lace ruffle. The skirt of the dress falls in an a-line and is quite full, measuring about 78" circumference at the hemline. The dress has the slightest two-tone color effect; the lace has a slightly warmer hue to it than the mesh tulle throughout. I believe it originally came with a ribbon belt as there are thin string belt loops on each side.
The dress would best fit a wearer that is smaller through the shoulders (see back measurement below) - it's a pull-over-the-head dress with no zipper or buttons other than at the neckline. The waist of the dress has a bit of elasticized stretch to it, which helps with putting it on/taking it off. The overall condition of this beautiful dress is excellent with a few minor issue to note: There is a tiny hole in the mesh under the right arm near the back seam but the bertha collar covers it (click HERE to see a photo). There are a few tiny holes in the mesh on the skirt but they get lost in the folds of the dress and are only obvious upon close inspection (click HERE to see a photo). There is a slight discoloration on the front collar, about 2" down on the center vertical lace stripe; again it is not obvious to the naked eye and could easily be covered with a beautiful vintage cameo or brooch of some sort (click HERE to see a photo). This dress is a beauty and the fact that it measures more like a modern medium is a rarity with this line.
On why you should grab a vintage Gunne Sax, take it from a few ladies who know their stuff:
"Still affordable, these vintage frocks are increasingly collectible
and have moved beyond cliché into the realm of cool."
Laird Borrelli-Persson, Archive Editor, Vogue.com
“Who doesn’t love a little lace-up bodice, a little flounced hem?
There’s just something about it!”
Allessandra Codinha, Culture Editor, Vogue.com
"In recent years, I've become addicted. . . Some of my favorite shops. . .
for Gunne Sax and prairie dresses."
Jasmine Contomichalos, Experiences Editor, Vogue.com
Measurements: (Dress is pinned on mannequin for better fit)Size on Tag: 9
Hips: up to 42" (a-line)
Back: 14" across
Shoulder to Waist: 16"
Sleeves: 22" long / 4" at cuff (very slim through forearm)
Hemline circumference: @78"
Fabric/Care Tag: Acetate, polyester, nylon / Dry Clean Only / Made in USA
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