Pedro Rodriguez beaded mini dress, c.1960
This superb satin dress was designed by talented Spanish designer Pedro Rodriguez, admired for his elaborately beaded evening wear. Like his friend Cristobal Balenciaga, Rodriguez favored luxurious textiles and sculptural cuts. His designs sometimes turn up in the wardrobes of wealthy Americans who traveled in Spain from 1950 to 1970.
Made from substantial ivory silk satin and lined with matching silk, the stylish dress closes on the side with a metal zipper. The iridescent beading in the densely packed clusters of pastel flowers have a lifelike three-dimensional quality.
The flowers are rendered with seed beads in shades of pink, pale blue, yellow, and silver/gray. The abstract floral motif in delicate, feminine hues entwines itself around the wearer's body—subtle, yet alluring! The label reads "Pedro Rodriguez/Madrid/Barcelona-S. Sebastian."
The complementary pastel hues here play the same role as the strings on the violin of a virtuoso:
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
resembling sire and child and happy mother
who all in one, one pleasing note do sing.
Rodríguez' long life (1895-1990) spanned most of 20th century couture. He opened his first haute couture house in Barcelona in 1917 and retired in 1978 at age 83. He started out during the heyday of Doucet and Poiret and was still going strong in the 1970s. As Yogi Berra put it, "You can learn a lot just by sticking around."
The condition is almost excellent. The dress just shows gentle wear.
It measures: 38" bust, 32" waist, 38" hip, and 36 1/2" from shoulder to hem.