ARCHIVE: 1970s Jean Varon psychedelic Autumn Tone Maxi Dress

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An exceptional original vintage Jean Varon maxi dress dating to 1972. These designs by John Bates for Jean Varon boast an exceptional shape and this example showcases an incredibly dramatic satin print by Sally McLoughlan in satin 'Tricel Surah' fabric in muted colours of green, grey, orange, ochre, brown and ivory. This dress features a huge full length skirt, double-row frilled cuffs and a neat ruffle collar. The dress is front fastening with the original metal zipper and has poppers on the cuffs and a hook and eye fastening for modesty above the top of the zip.

In many a fashion museum's collection, this design featured in the 2006 John Bates retrospective at Bath's Fashion Museum. A different version of this dress featured in Vogue magazine as per the image. John Bates, along with Ossie Clark, Gina Fratini and Bill Gibb, pioneered a romantic and dramatic mood in fashion in the early 1970s.

This piece is of archive quality and in in superb original condition with no faults of any note. With all the labels preent, including a Harrods retail label, the dress will best fit a US size 4-6 or UK size 8-10. Although labelled a vintage size 12, it runs smaller for modern sizing.

BUST - 36 in. ( 92 cm)
WAIST - 27 in. ( 68.5 cm)
HIP - Free
LENGTH - 58 in. ( 148 cm)
SHOULDERS - 14 in. ( 35.5 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