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Suzy Perette 1950s

#7028 $750

Suzy Perette evening dress, late 1950s

In the 1950s, those who could not afford couture but wanted the Paris look loved Suzy Perette's dresses—affordable and with fine finishing.

The signature black velvet and taffeta theme has the sexy yet demure style so popular in the 1950s. The plain black velvet apron-front style opens in back to expose the elaborately draped taffeta skirt.

A large red silk rose at the center-back accents the skirt. The bodice is interlined with synthetic faille; the skirt is interlined with stiff pellum (thin lining). The dress closes in back with a metal zipper.

Velvet, the most sensual of all fabrics, has long had a special resonance for me. The word comes from the Latin vellus (fleece). But it is black velvet that rules the imagination, evoking half-conscious images of Renaissance royalty garbed in "the aristocrat of stuffs" (Fortuny).

What a delight to discover that Marcel Proust shared my passion for velvet! In Remembrance of Things Past (1913-1927), the night that Odette and Swann became lovers "she was wearing, under her cloak, a gown of black velvet...whose velvety surface had a sensation of softness like skin. The velvet was a reflection and manifestation of desire."

The dress has two labels: Lord & Taylor and Suzy Perette.

The condition is excellent and wearable.

It measures: 36" bust, 28" waist, 40" hip, and 55" from shoulder to hem.

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