ARCHIVE - 1930s Silk Chiffon Brown Novelty Print Dress

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Original 1930s tea dress in a classic bias cut silhouette, famously pioneered by Parisian designer Madeleine Vionnet, who was the inspiration for many of John Galliano's masterpieces for Christian Dior. It is crafted from a silk chiffon, with floaty cap sleeves and a high rounded neckline. It is unusual to see a central back zip fastening and this was possibly added a little later; it is still a very old zip that is functioning well. The print is particularly unique, distinctly Art Deco in style, featuring a floral, almost fruit-like design in shades of earthy brown tones, olive green and taupe. The waistband is constructed in a flattering inverted V which skims over the body to create a feminine silhouette. The skirt section has a gorgeous, flowy feel to it which creates movement as you walk - a really special piece for day or night and would look great paired with a nude slip or even dare to bare!

The dress is in flawless antique condition, with no notable stains or flaws - increasingly rare for an item of its age. It looks like it might never have been worn! Unlabelled but cut and sewn by an expert hand and almost certainly made in the USA circa 1936. It would best fit up to a size 10 UK or US 6.


BUST: 34 in. ( 86.36 cm )
WAIST: 30 in. ( 76.2 cm )
SHOULDER: 15 in. ( 38.1 cm )
HIP: 42 in. ( 106.68 cm )
LENGTH: 54 in. ( 137.16 cm )


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal