ARCHIVE - 1980s John Charles Pink Taffeta Ballgown Dress

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This is a great example of 1980s evening wear by well-known occasion wear designer John Charles who was most active throughout the 70s and 80s. This is a substantial manmade taffeta evening gown which could pass for silk with its subtle sheen and quality feel. The dress has some great design details like the two floral rosettes on the wide ruched waistband, the inverted gathered bust line and a full gathered skirt. The dress fastens to the rear with a concealed zip. The fabric colour is in between cerise and bubblegum pink. There is a deep flounce on the bottom hem and the skirt has three layers to create volume; the first layer and closest to the skin, is a straight cut acetate lining; the second is a stiffened tulle that mirrors the design of the top layer of the skirt with its attached deep flounce; the top layer then sits neatly over all giving the dress a very full and pleasing look. Perfect for events, parties or even as an alternative wedding dress.

Condition wise, this is excellent with very gentle signs of wear and no notable faults. Paired with the quality you'd expect from John Charles this dress is a knock-out and looks very fresh and modern. It is labelled a vintage UK size 14 which now equates to a modern size UK size 12 or US 8. Our model is a UK 8-10 and she liked the fit even if it was a bit roomy.


Bust - 35 in (88.9 cm)
Waist - 29 in (73.7 cm)
Hip - 38 in (96.5 cm)
Length - 57.5 in (146 cm)
Shoulders - FREE

Pickup currently unavailable at CIRCA VINTAGE


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