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Vintage 1940s Egyptian Cocktail Dress Black Wool Crepe and Silk - S


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

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This is a wonderful vintage black crepe cocktail dress made by “Marybelle” of Zamalek, which is the wealthiest district of Cairo, Egypt.  The dress has a narrow V shaped neckline, elbow length sleeves, a defined waistline and is made in a below the knee length.  The bodice, bottom skirt and sleeves are decorated with a flame or branch shape silk appliqué while the skirt has a straight black silk panel down the centre.  The dress has a metal zipper at the side and is unlined.

Age: difficult to date precisely, but most likely 1940s 

Label: Marybelle Zamalek with Arabic script

Material: Crepe that I believe is made of wool 

Sizing: No size is indicated, and although this should fit a small size, please note the following measurements for fit, taking into consideration the  style of the dress:

Shoulders:  14” across from one shoulder/sleeve seam to the other shoulder/sleeve seam

Sleeves:  13” long from the shoulder seam

Sleeve inseam:  9”

Bust:  35” around, taken under the sleeves

Waist:  26”-27” around

Hips:  36” around

Length:  39 1/2”, measured flat

Condition: This dress is in very nice condition - no wear, tear, soiling or odour.  This has been well cared for and stored over the years.

Cairo was quite cosmopolitan during the 1940s and a major tourist destination, known for its “grand hotels”.  It had been under British influence from 1882 until 1922 when it became a kingdom.  Western influence was diminished in 1952 with the establishment of a republic under Gamal Nasser.  Finding Western influenced fashion from this period is rather rare - nice collectible vintage cocktail dress!