1970s Bill Blass Black Knot Front Cocktail Dress


Elegant and unusual cocktail dress by Bill Blass. The dress is knee length, with a fitted silhouette, and sleeveless. The dress has an empire - like shape, with a figure - eight sweetheart bust line that attaches to the remarkable reverse - V - neckline. The neckline shoots upwards, resting on the shoulders with a jewel neckline. The neckline mirrors the pleats of the skirt that emerge from the center of the bust-line. Wear with a pair of brilliant statement earrings!

Bill Blass grew up in Depression - era Indiana, where he sought refuge from the bitterness of life in cinemas. Blass looked up to the silver screen and found inspiration in the leading ladies and their fantastical costumes.

Blass studied at Parsons School of Art and Design in New York, funded by his winnings from a Chicago Tribune dress design contest, and later by his commissioned sketches for Seventh Avenue garment houses. Blass’ career and education were interrupted by WWII, where he was assigned to US 603rd Camouflage Battalion, a part of the famous “Ghost Army” Allied collaboration known for their creative deception techniques.

After the war, Blass remained in New York, working under Anne Klein, Anna Miller, and Maurice Rentner. In 1970, Blass purchased and renamed Renter’s firm.

Blass achieved internationally recognition when he joined the American team of designers -consisting of Stephen Burrows, Oscar de la Renta, Halston, and Anne Klein with Donna Karan- that was to face off against the French team of designers -Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy- in the infamous “Battle of Versailles” fashion show.

Blass was well known for his couture take on sportswear. He would make traditional cuts in luxurious fabrics, with incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. His opulent sportswear was unparalleled, and in pairing a cashmere cardigan with a silk gown, he found new innovative ways to mix it into his formalwear. Blass was also known to be very hands on with his business, lending his pieces for benefits, and touring and making appearances in department stores that were putting out his new lines.


36 in. (91.44 cm)
27 in. (68.58 cm)
36 in. (91.44 cm)
36 in. (91.44 cm)

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