Rare Gilbert Adrian Custom Label Black Vintage Evening Gown with Silk Fringe
Very, rare vintage dress from Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian with the custom label. This absolutely phenomenal vintage 1940's dress is an example of Gilbert Adrian’s creative ability to use silk fringe to transform a relatively simple black rayon crepe dress into a masterpiece. Signature Adrian 1940s shoulder pads (ala Joan Crawford) and exquisite fringe! There are a few snags and some very minor underarm discoloration, but it is all-in-all in remarkably good condition!
The custom label was used for his one of a kind and couture pieces, so you can have the privilege of owning a piece of fashion and Hollywood history! We acquired this dress from an auction years ago, but we were recently fortunate to find 3 additional original Gilbert Adrian 1940s dresses from the estate of a high end department store owner.
|Shoulders from seam to seam across the back||22"|
|Length from front center to waist||22"|
|Length from waist||42"|
|Length from center back to waist||18"|
Joan Crawford in Gilbert Adrian Dresses
Greta Garbo in Gilbert Adrian for the Film Mata Hari, 1931
He was born Adrian Adolph Greenburg, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, on March 3, 1903. Adrian trained at the Parsons School of Fine Arts. It is rumored that songwriter Irving Berlin hired the then 18 year old designer for a Broadway presentation of "The Music Box Revue" after seeing his creations in Paris. It was Natacha Rambova, the wife of Rudolph Valentino and movie art director, who gave Gilbert Adrian access to Hollywood royalty in the 1920’s. He designed for two of Rudy’s films and the rest is history.
His design emphasis was on simplicity but he had the ability to drape fabrics that is unrivaled to this day. He was a 1944 Coty award winner but unfortunately never won an Oscar because the category of costume design wasn’t created until after he left MGM. He was the head designer for over 250 movies and had an illustrious career dressing some of the world’s most famous women. One of my favorite of his accomplishments is that he designed costumes, including the ruby slippers, for The Wizard of Oz. He married the actress Janet Gaynor and they lived in Brazil in the last years of his life. Sadly, he died at the young age of 56 of a heart attack. Gilbert Adrian left a lasting impression that will forever define the most glamorous era of Hollywood's history.
"I love a dress on your site, but since you don't give an actual size, how do I know it will fit me?"
When buying vintage (especially online), BEWARE OF SIZE NUMBERS! It can be difficult to find clothing that will fit by using one number to determine your size because sizing varies greatly across different manufacturers and eras.
The best way to know if a vintage item will fit you is to take a garment that fits you well, similar to the one you are interested in purchasing, and measure it the way we measure ours.
We lay all garments flat and measure as follows*:
BUST - under arm to under arm across the front and then double that measurement.
Measure the WAISTBAND, widest part of the HIPS, widest part of the THIGH on one leg and width of the CUFF, then double those measurements
WAIST - find the smallest part of the garment if there isn't an obvious seam for the waist and measure across and then double that measurement.
|LENGTH - Measure from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the cuff along the side seam.|
|HIPS - Find the largest part of the hip area and measure flat, then double that measurement.||RISE - Measure from the crotch to the top of the waistband.|
|LENGTH - from the nape of the neck or the top of the shoulders, depending on the style of garment. We will measure to the waist when applicable, so that you can determine if it will fit your torso, and then a waist down measurement.||INSEAM - Measure from the crotch to the bottom of the cuff along the inside seam.|
SLEEVES - measure from the top of the shoulder seam to the end of the sleeve. When we think that the arm opening is particularly small, we will provide that measurement as well.**
*Keep in mind that fabrics with stretch will have some give and if that give is substantial, we will try to mention the range of measurements that will fit comfortably.
**Remember that with dolman sleeves, the measuring can be trickier because there is no shoulder seam - it can also be more difficult to measure the bust because of the way it seamlessly joins the sleeve.
Feel free to email us with specific questions about specific measurements that we may not have included that you need to know in order to feel confident about your purchase. If you have a particularly long torso, short legs, long arms, etc.. we can help you determine whether or not a garment will work for your body.
Dressing Vintage offers free domestic US shipping and International orders are shipped free over $300. Our preferred shipping carrier is the US Postal Service.
If you have a special shipping requirement or time issue, please contact us in advance of purchase and let us know. Please be familiar with your own customs policies and charges.
Because of the unique nature of vintage clothing, we have a limited return policy. We only accept returns if the item you receive from us has a major flaw that detracts from its wearability or value that was not mentioned in the description. Though we also try to mention them, this does not include minor issues such as loose threads, slight seam stress, loose buttons, etc. We only accept returns based on size or fit issues on an individual basis at our discretion. All returns must be pre-approved via email. Here is our policy:
1. We must be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of the item.
2. Written notification of intent to return item must be made by email before the item is shipped back to us to:
Or by fax to:
3. The item must be shipped back to us within 48 hours of receipt insured for the full purchase price. Item must be returned to:
4. The item must arrive in the condition it was when shipped to the buyer. Customer will be refunded unless the item returned shows any sign of wear and it is then up to the discretion of Dressing Vintage to determine a fair refund amount.
5. If the item you purchased had a *major flaw that we failed to mention,we will issue a refund of the full purchase price usually within 48 hours of receipt of the item in satisfactory condition. If you are returning an item because of size issues, personal preferences, etc., we will gladly issue store credit and the buyer is responsible for return shipping costs.
6. No refunds are given on items damaged or lost by carrier in shipping. We ship all items insured and the purchaser is to pursue any shipping claims with the carrier - usually the US Postal Service.
At Dressing Vintage, we pride ourselves in selling vintage garments that are in excellent condition and ready to wear. Everything in our inventory has been professionally dry cleaned and/or professionally cold treated and stored in a climate controlled and pest-free environment.
All of our items are pre-owned, and as such we do our best to mention any flaw in detail, including photographs when appropriate. Slight imperfections are part of the history of vintage garments, but it is our goal to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting when you shop with us!
Here is a guide to condition for our site:
MINT - In "as new" condition. May include original tags or may appear unworn.
EXCELLENT - No visible flaws found. May have been washed and worn, but was well taken care of and stored properly.
VERY GOOD - Mostly in excellent condition but may have a few missing sequins, an inconspicuous pinhole or spot etc. We will mention any of those issues found in the item's description.
NOTE: Most of our items are included in the above categories unless stated otherwise. We only list items in the categories below if they are extremely rare, unique, or have an important label.
GOOD - Definitely wearable but might have a small hole, a spot we were unable to remove, or a tear that is not in the seam but in an inconspicuous spot. It might just be that the item doesn't appear as "crisp" as it would have been originally but is still a wonderful piece.
FAIR - When we sell garments in this category, it is mainly because they are from an important designer or rare pieces from the late 1800s or early part of the 20th century. They are generally fragile textiles, and are meant to be used for study or display purposes.
We have been selling vintage clothing for over a decade, and have many wonderful customers that have bought with us since the beginning. To build and maintain that kind of trust and relationship, we pride ourselves on cleanliness, proper storage techniques, and sharp eyes for flaws.