Mollie Parnis 1950s Black Dress with Pleated Ribbon Inserts


This exceptional 1950s Mollie Parnis black wool evening dress with pleated ribbon inserts is a superb example of the glamorous lines and exquisite design features synonymous with its designer. An iconic favourite for a number of figurative members of American society during the 50s, 60s and 70s, Parnis famously dressed First Ladies namely Mrs.Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter. This piece clearly communicates the appeal of this designer's classic eye. The dress has a stylish cross over neckline made up of neatly gathered pleats which fold flatteringly over the breast. The high waistline is embellished with a broad, gently rushed silk ribbon which acts as the central feature of the garment, artfully defining the waist and the breasts above the full mid-calf length skirt. The skirt is fully lined, and beautifully weighted as soft pleats gathered from the waistline fall away with the fullness of the fabric. The densely pleated ribbon embellishment running in parallel horizontal bands around the skirt echo the waistband with dramatic effect. The three quarter length sleeves are simple and elegant, and have a large, carefully sewn hem to each cuff. The dress has a single central zip fastening at the reverse. It is in excellent condition with no notable flaws. Would best suit US size 4-6 or UK 8-10.

BUST - 36 in. (91.5 cm)
WAIST - 26 in. (66 cm)
HIP - 50 in. (127 cm)
LENGTH - 47 in. (119.38 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