Dreamy late 1960's / early 1970's vintage gown in the most vibrant and stunning turquoise blue by Mike Benet Formals. The bodice has a modest V-neck and an inverted V empire waist - the combined design creates a very flattering, glamorous fit. The front of the bodice is embellished with perfectly aligned AB rhinestones that take on a pinkish tone in certain light. The ruched waistband overlay has 7 larger rhinestones at the center. The dress is comprised of three layers: the bottom layer is a periwinkle blue synthetic that definitely creates that lovely swish sound that a gown of this sort should make. The middle layer is the turquoise chiffon overlay and the third is the dramatic cape that descends from the shoulders in the same chiffon. The cape is about knee length and gradually gets longer until it meets full length at the center back. It has a 24" slit from the neck to the base of the spine. The gown has a 24" center back plastic zipper. This dress is all about the sheer cape overlay - just the motion of walking or a slight breeze will cause it to float around the gown and cause an ethereal, dreamy vision of feminine mystery and drama.
This is an early creation by the US designer label Mike Benet Formals, who hailed out of the famous Dallas Apparel Mart for over 40 years...they were one of the first designers to claim a space in what would come to be the fashion hub in the USA. You can read all about their proud family business history here. The label was extremely popular in it's day; the gowns & dresses were featured regularly on The Lawrence Welk Show and at the 1974 Miss America Pageant, 7 of the 10 finalists were wearing Mike Benet gowns. They didn't come cheap, either...at the time this dress was made, it retailed for about $260.00 (see photo) which would be over $2,000.00 today!
The dress is in mint condition - a rare statement with vintage clothing, but it truly is in spectacular condition. Made in the U.S.A. Dry Clean Only.
Back: 15 1/5"
Length: 57 1/2"
Cape Length: 46" to 56"
(Reference photos: 1) Original Price Tag of similar dress via Etsy 2) Photo of January Jones as Betty Draper in Mad Men/S2/Ep. 4 in a similar period gown.)