Over the last few months we have posted many items from the collection of a Park Avenue former fashion illustrator who bought amazing things at Lord & Taylor when it was, well, amazing. L&T really celebrated American designers and in Madame X's collection were Claire McDardell, Bonnie Cashin, Norman Norell, James Galanos, Bill Blass, Mollie Parnis and this hibiscus colored silk taffeta gown which may by Larry Aldrich. I am crazy for the color which looks like a slice of perfect and crisp watermelon and is very reminiscent of what Giambattista Valli showed for his debut Haute Couture collection. The dress may look like a WASP fantasy with its ruffle collar and hem, but I see the subversive in the design. I see the sex appeal, too. I would love to see this worn with very naughty underwear.
As for Larry Aldrich, he was one smart cookie. Along with designing dresses for forty years, he was a voracious art collector who amassed a collection including Manet, Monet, Gauguin, and opened a museum in the late 1960s to house contemporary art.
A fashionable philanthropist indeed.
Silk taffeta hibiscus ruffle dress with self sash, c. 1960s. Marked size 8, modern size 4
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