This vintage Jean Varon silk evening dress is a piece of fashion history, mint in colour and condition!! It dates to the late 1960s and is from the celebrated English designer, ‘Jean Varon’ (read further below about the history of this designer). This piece dates to the latter half of the 1960s and is a feminine departure away from Jean Varon’s earlier modernistic and space-age designs. The gown is sleeveless and strapless with a classic empire-line cut that falls elegantly to the floor. The dress bodice is embellished with white embroidered ribbon that creates a textured ruffle effect. This feature continues in a singular vertical panel down both the side of the front and and around the hemline in a thick panel of detail. Beneath the bust line, a silk bow is sewn into the gown and connects at the rear with two hook-and-eye clasps. The dress is in excellent condition. Noted flaws: a tiny, pale pink stain on the back you can barely see; a slight fraying of the hem in one position (1cm in length). The dress fabric appears to have a slight puckering towards the base. It is marked a vintage size 10 but will suit a modern Australian size 6 or extra small. Read below for measurements and model’s measurements.
About the designer: Jean Varon
The designer behind the famed ‘Jean Varon’ label was John Bates, born in 1938. The ‘Jean Varon’ label was part of the boutique fashion scene that thrived in London in the 1960s. Between 1951 to 1952 Bates worked as a trainee journalist and office assistant in London. He apprenticed under Gerard Pipart at Herbert Sidon. From 1959 he began designing under the name Jean Varon. His early work in the 1960s under his Jean Varon label was modernistic and futuristic – from 1962 he was designing high fashion in plastic. In 1965, one of his dresses with a mesh midriff was chosen as the Dress of the Year in 1965 and donated to the Fashion Museum, Bath. He is also sometimes credited with the ‘invention’ of the mini-skirt and popularising trousers for women. Bates designed a wardrobe of outfits for the The Avengers series in 1965-66, worn by actress Diana Rigg in her role as Emma Peel. In the latter half of the 1960s and into the 1970s, his designs under ‘Jean Varon’ adopted a softer, more feminine look.
Material: raw silk
Dress front width measurements when garment is laid flat (for the entire measurement, double the dimensions):
Under the bust, laid flat: 35cm (13 inches)
Total length from the top of the back zipper running along the back dress seam to the base of hem: 106cm (41.7 inches)
Model is a size 6 to 8 with the following measurements – please note, this garment fitted her perfectly.
Bust: 82cm (32.5 inches)
Waist: 66cm (26 inches)
Hips: 91cm (36 inches)
Height: 165cm (5’4”)
This garment has been professionally dry cleaned, pressed and is odour free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.