This is a vintage 1950s gold brocade dress by English midcentury couturier Frederick Starke. It has long sleeves, a collar, a skinny belt and sits at the natural waist (in a curved shape). There are fabric manipulation darts/pleats at the left side seam, below the waist. It fastens with a zip at the side and with snap fasteners and hooks at the front.
COLOR: Gold, black.
MATERIAL: Satin. Unlined.
LABEL: Frederick Starke. Made in England.
Freddy, as he was known, was supposedly a real character. He started his label in the 1920s and opened his wholesale couturier in Mayfair, London in 1933. After a WW2 bombing, his premises moved to Bruton Street. He also designed costumes for movies and TV, most famously for Honour Blackman in the British Series 'The Avengers', in the 60s.
He was featured in the 1961 issue of Woman and Beauty. The article, entitled “Presenting Frederick Starke”, revealed Starkes' uncompromising views on what makes a woman well dressed.
'Like most men, he is adamant about the importance of dressing to suit the occasion, has no time for the “woman who is so busy being well dressed that she wears black and pearls to an evening coffee party.”
On being well dressed: It’s an art any woman can learn- if she sticks to the rules.” And those rules? One: buy a simple, inexpensive, basic dress or suit. No one will know whether you paid five or fifty guineas for it. Two: pick it in a cool, unclashing colour which will tone beautifully with everything.Three: add one really gorgeous piece of jewellery. And four: pay a small fortune (or the nearest you can afford) for shoes, bag and gloves. Nothing, but nothing, beats the fashion impact of real leather, expensively handled.” '
There you have it!
CONDITION: Unfortunately, this darling dress has some issues. There is a 3" tear in the back right armhole seam area. We would love to see this piece get the repairing it needs in order to bring it back to full vitality.
An additional pattern piece was added to the underarm gusset on the left side, which makes it more roomy than the other side.
Some other minor notes:
A faint red mark on the edge of the front left side bodice, hidden underneath the other side.
Faint marks on the armpits.
One eye hook is loose (chain stitch loop).
The silk cover of the belt buckle is worn. One other area on the belt, beside the snap fastener, also has damage.
Needs a good steam!
✂--- Allow for some ease.
Bust: 36 in. (91.5 cm)
Waist: 26 in. (66 cm)
Hip: 37 in. (94 cm)
Sleeve Length: 21 in. (53.5 cm)
Length from shoulder to waist: 16 in. (40.5 cm)
Length from waist to hem: 26 in. (66 cm)
Thank you for taking the time to check out this listing. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you require additional photos or if you have any questions or concerns.
Check out the rest of our women's designer dresses in the collection below:
Check out the rest of our 'Last Looks' section, where the beautiful vintage with issues lives.