1950s Ceil Chapman Black Taffeta and Ruched Silk Jersey Dress

This early 1950s Ceil Chapman taffeta and silk dress is a timeless and elegant party dress. It has a fitted ruched bodice, cut from soft black silk jersey, which hugs the body beautifully to create a feminine shape. The ruching is sewn in two vertical lines down the front of the dress and is also shaped around the bust. The skirt flares out from the bodice at around the low hip point and is made up of black taffeta which is pleated to create volume and movement. The material has a lovely thick, quality feel to it. The dress fastens down the back with the original metal zipper which is finished with a hook and eye closure to the top.

Ceil Chapman was famously the favourite designer of Marilyn Monroe, and was renowned all over the world for creating glamorous cocktail dresses and party gowns. Some of her other famous clients included Aretha Franklin, Grace Kelly, and even Elizabeth Taylor - the biggest stars of the era. Many of her designs are now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, coveted for their craftsmanship and classic 1950s tailoring.

The dress is in fabulous condition with no observable marks or faults. It would comfortably fit a UK 10-12, or US 6-8, as there is a little stretch in the material used for the bodice.

Bust - 36 in. (91.4 cm)
Waist - 30 in. (76.2 cm)
Hip - 37 in. (94 cm)
Length - 47.5 in. (120.7 cm)
Shoulders - 15 in. (38.1 cm)

Pickup available at CIRCA VINTAGE

Usually ready in 24 hours


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