1960s Mr. Blackwell Fur Cuff Gold and Purple Brocade Evening Dress

Mr. Blackwell

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Empire waist, maxi length, metallic brocade evening dress by Mr. Blackwell! The dress has a deep square neckline, and long sleeves with soft and sleek zippered fur cuffs in light chestnut brown. The dress has slightly voluminous shoulders and mutton sleeves. The dress is composed of a striking geometric and organic print with gold medallions superimposed over pink bubble stripes and deep purple and gold rose print. This dress is a psychedelic, scintillating mix of brilliant colors and patterns.

Empire waist is 30" Bust 36" Hip 36"
Sleeve Length 24"

Born Richard Sylvan Selzer to a poor second generation Jewish Russian Family in Brooklyn, Richard Blackwell had a very difficult childhood. He saw a way out of poverty and abuse in 1936, after he was cast as Tommy, in the 1936 production of Sidney Kingsley’s “Dead End.” Blackwell moved to the West Coast and studied acting alongside Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, and began working as a messenger at Warner Bros. studio in Burbank, California. Blackwell was signed to RKO Pictures by Howard Hughes, changing his name from “Richard Selzer” to the more widely marketable “Richard Blackwell”. In 1958, after discovering his talent for design while making commissioned costumes for the stage, Blackwell turned to fashion. Upon the launch of his clothing line, Richard Blackwell adopted the Mr. Blackwell name, which corresponded to the luxurious tone set by his “House of Blackwell” label. Blackwell specialized in elegant, formfitting dresses in stylish prints and luxurious fabrics, which often sold for between $800 and $1,000. Blackwell was the first designer to offer a line available to plus-sized women, and was also the first designer to present his work on a television broadcast. Blackwell also claimed he was the first designer to offer designer jeans for women.

Shortly after producing his label, Blackwell’s success skyrocketed, and he quickly became known for his beautiful designs and discerning eye. Blackwell had become an authority on taste, and in 1960 was asked to write an article for the American Weekly Magazine detailing the "10 Best and Worst Dressed" people. Blackwell’s quick wit, sharp tongue, and acerbic comments, found a permanent, loving home in fashion journalism, and Blackwell established himself as America’s number 1, and most beloved fashion critic, establishing the first ever annual “Worst-Dressed List.” The list ran from 1960s up until Blackwell’s death in 2008.
  • Country of Origin
    United States
  • Condition
  • Materials & Techniques
    Fur, Brocade
  • Size
    Current U.S. Size
    36 Inches
    36 Inches
    Total Length
    58 Inches
  • Size Chart

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