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Vintage Maxi Dresses

It is just over 100 years since hems started to scandalously stray above the ankle bone.  The full length dress (or close to it) was once the fashion uniform for western women.  Now, designer maxi dresses are a choice we make from our wardrobes of plenty, and a great one at that. Though they remained de rigour for evening wear and did appear in the decades of the first half of the century for day wear too, it seemed to take the progression up the leg to the mini dress or skirt in the 1960’s which finally brought about a subversive effect, bringing skirts back to earth in the bohemian age with maxi length dresses.

The 1960’s was a decade where many styles and aesthetics rubbed shoulders and while some aspired to geometric shapes and bold colours of the ‘London look’ others harked back to earlier eras to source their clothing and the concept of ‘Vintage’ fashion was born.  Contemporary designers such as Thea Porter and Gina Fratini took inspiration from antique Edwardian sources to create romantic dresses and kaftans.  Other designers such as Emilio Pucci and Ossie Clark with his wife Celia Birtwell were experimenting with psychedelic print and colour and nowhere could these have more impact than the full skirt of a maxi dress.

However, if there is a decade of the 20th century to which the maxi skirt belongs, it is surely the 1970’s.  Carrying forward the riotous colour of the late 1960’s, designers such as Bill Gibb, Louis Féraud, Zandra Rhodes, Yuki London and Yves Saint Laurent (often with ensemble pieces) took up the mantel and played with shape and form.  A long line was in with trouser suits and dinner suits becoming a very popular choice for many women.  The elegance of this form matched a similar aesthetic shift in maxi dresses.  With his silky, plunging and fluid creations, American designer Halston brought the full length dress to a wider, sleeker, more urban audience with dresses designed to wear from day to night.  In his simple and minimalist designs, women could feel like goddesses and certainly his greatest fans such as Pat Cleveland and Bianca Jagger looked like minor deities in them.  Today vintage maxi dresses or, what some might call retro maxi dresses, prove to be great style hits not just for the beach.  A perfect choice for summer, worn with a great platform heel, a neat pair of trainers, a biker jacket and a belt, these dresses can take on a new life.

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Chloe 1980s Ivory Silk Maxi Dress with Jacket

Vintage 80's Chloé sleeveless maxi button front maxi dress with jacket in ivory silk
¥95,983

Missoni Grey Cashmere and Silver Lurex Gown

Missoni grey cashmere and lurex knitted long dress from the 2000's
¥133,930

Gianfranco Ferre 1980s Long Red Tunic Dress

Gianfranco Ferré 1980s tunic dress with long embroidered buttoned sleeves
¥16,369

Shaheen 1970s Pleated White Maxi Dress

Shaheen 1970s maxi dress with a print of lines of pattern on the long sleeved top and pleated skirt
¥25,241

James Purcell 1990s Velvet and Silk Jersey Purple Strapless Gown

James Purcell strapless gown with a purple velvet bodice and a floral silk jersey skirt falling from a high waist
¥168,323

Malcolm Starr 1970s Cutout Illusion Mesh Orange Maxi Dress

Malcolm Starr 1970s long sleeved maxi dress in an orange fabric with mesh illusion diamond pattern
¥100,433

Vintage 1960s Stripe Purple Silk Column Dress

1960s purple with green and blue stripes maxi column dress with a sleeveless bodice with a faux button front and lapels
¥16,832

Linda Carter for Young Edwardian 1970s 30s Style Ivory Maxi Dress

linda Carter for Young Edwardian sleeveless ivory gown with a front lace panel and low tie back.
¥33,103

Linda Carter for Young Edwardian 1970s 30s Style Brown Maxi Dress

Linda Carter for Young Edwardian brown silky sleeveless brown gown with a white embroidered and lace embellished bodice and a tie back
¥33,103

I Magnin 1960s Striped Wool Brown Maxi Dress

I. Magnin & Co sleeveless maxi dress in trellis pattern brown and balck stripes
¥33,103

Treacy Lowe 1970s Silk Chiffon Paisley Print Red Vintage Maxi Dress

Sleeveless Treacy Lowe silk chiffon maxi dress with a waist tie belt
¥77,989

Gianni Versace Couture 1990s Chiffon Black Vintage Evening Dress

Gianni Versace sleeveless dress with a shaped bodice and handkerchief hem and narrow shoulder straps
¥201,932

Carmen Marc Valvo 1990s Beaded Lace Ivory Bolero and Evening Dress Set

Carmen Marc Valvo full length sleeveless low back evening dress and matching bolero
¥89,211

Roberta di Camerino 1970s Trompe l'Oeil Grey Vintage Maxi Dress

A fabulous Roberta di Camerino maxi dress from the 1970s with a typical and instantly recognisable trompe l'oeil print in a brownish dark grey, black and white.
¥103,424

Emilio Pucci circa 1980 Swarovski Crystals Embellished Evening Dress

A spectacular Emilio Pucci couture evening dress, made from a printed silk organza and most opulently embroidered with sparkling Swarovski crystals and sequins.
¥794,651

Jean Paul Gaultier Bejewelled Backless Bodycon Brown Vintage Evening Dress

A spectacular Jean Paul Gaultier evening dress. It is made from a heavy jersey fabric in copper brown and has a a spectacular low cut back that is heavily bejewelled with countless sparkling crystal beads and sequins.
¥124,257

Roberta di Camerino 1970s Trompe l'Oeil Brown Vintage Maxi Dress

A fabulous Roberta di Camerino maxi dress from the 1970s with a typical and instantly recognisable trompe l'oeil print in three shades of brown and black.
¥131,698

Vintage 1960s Watercolour Print Silk Pastel Column Dress

1960's column dress with a draped waist in a large floral watercolour style print
¥66,769

Roberta di Camerino 1970s Trompe l'Oeil Red and Brown Maxi Dress

A fabulous Roberta di Camerino maxi dress from the 1970s with a typical and instantly recognizable trompe l'oeil print in beige, light brown, dark red and black.
¥131,698

Vintage 1970s Pin Tuck and Lace Pale Pink Dress

1970's boho sleeveless dress with a wrap v neck bodice and sheer lace inserts
¥25,241

Vintage 1940s Strapless Black Chiffon White Bird Evening Gown

Strapless gown with a scalloped folded over neckline and a white applique of birds in flight on the skirt
¥157,101

Leonard c. 1973 Documented Brown Silk Evening Dress

An amazing documented Leonard evening dress from c. 1973, made from a fine printed silk chiffon and a dark brown first-class quality jersey with substantial weight and perfect drape.
¥104,168

Givenchy 1960s Couture Belted Apple Green Evening

A truly amazing Givenchy couture evening dress from the 1960s - entirely done by hand and constructed exquisitely.
¥159,972

Heinz Riva 1970s Geometric Floral Print Black Maxi Dress

Heinz Riva short sleeved black silk maxi dress with a graphic floral print in red, blue, green and blue
¥119,049

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