1950s French Couture Floral Silk Dress with Purple Bow


This exceptional 1950s to early 1960s dress was couture crafted from boldly printed, floral silk in France. Strongly reminiscent of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work during this era, the tulip silhouette was his innovation and a signature of the fashion house he founded. A close study of the dress reveals the masterful tailoring; a carefully crafted combination of hand and machine sewing. Any labelling the dress had has been lost to the passage of time.

The sumptuous teal and purple tonal silk of the dress is pleated at the front and pulled up to reveal an underskirt of the same fabric. Two purple grosgrain ribbon bands which match the bow give the appearance of an adjustable, ruched hemline. The wide boat neckline gives way to a V shape at the back and is secured with a tonal purple hidden zip. Lined in black silk and mesh; additionally, the underskirt of floral silk and viscose or acetate to provide structure.

Dresses of this workmanship are increasingly rare to market and this is fresh from a collector wearer who is downsizing. A real statement look for any event with the added advantage of being both a day dress and an evening wear piece. In superb vintage condition with no faults of any note; very fresh looking. Suggested size is a UK 8-10 or US 4-6. This dress was quite roomy on our model, size UK 6-8 and 5ft 4in / 163 cm. 

Bust - 35 in. (88.9 cm)
Waist - 25 in. (63.5 cm)
Hip - 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Length - 40.5 in. (102.87 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