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ARCHIVE: 1950s Couture Deep Red Velvet and Tulle Evening Dress

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Original 1950s velvet burgundy red cocktail dress with balconette bustline. This is a such a feminine and gamine example of evening wear from the period. The striking feature is the sheer opulence and luxury of its colour; a rich, deep red in the most luxurious and thick velvet. The bustier is superbly shaped with three overlapping layers, the first a velvet sweetheart scallop followed by knife pleated tulle trim and the layer closest to the skin is a a straight cut velvet panel. The waist band is wide to accentuate the female form and the skirt falls into a princess length a-line with some neat box pleating to the front. A 1/4 inch of the lining has been folded over the bottom hem and the double spaghetti straps complete the romantic ballet look of the dress.

This is British couture made to the highest construction standards with most elements hand finished and the dress lined in superb quality acetate; the original zip still present. It is an unlabelled piece, but this came from a small collection whereby the previous owner's mother had her clothes made in a number of Mayfair ateliers which included Norman Hartnell, Worth and Lachasse. In impeccable vintage condition, a couple of creases in the velvet towards the back but of no consequence for a dress of this age. Best suited to size extra small on account of the waist - UK 6-8 or US 2.

Bust - 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Waist - 25 in. (63.5 cm)
Hip - 46 in. (116.8 cm)
Length - 43 in. (109.2 cm)
Shoulders - FREE


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