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Vintage 1960s Black Velvet Evening Dress Gown Bards Toronto Claire Haddad Size L


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

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This is a wonderful 1960s era long dress / evening gown made by Bard’s Toronto.  Bard’s was founded by Joseph Henry Bardwell in 1938 after he procured the Canadian license for exclusive use of Viyella, which was a British fabric.  Bard’s specialized in housecoats/dressing gowns, so this evening dress is not their typical production.  His daughter was Claire Bardwell, who took on the name Claire Haddad when she married in 1944 at the age of 20.  Claire Haddad went on to become a famous Canadian fashion designer, specializing in nightgown sets, the first Canadian to win a Coty Award, and becoming known for designing for Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett.  Claire Haddad continued to design for Bard’s until she established her own business in 1964, so she may or may not have had a hand in designing this dress. 

The dress is made in a simple sleeveless sheath style with beaded embellishment at the upper bodice.  It has a quasi-Asian collar and neckline with a button at the bottom of the notch.  It does up with a zipper down the back and is fully lined in black acetate.

Label: Bard’s Toronto

Fabric:  Velvet.  Very soft, nice quality, unsure is it is cotton, rayon or even silk, but very nice to the touch and excellent appearance.

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

Shoulders: 16” across

Bust:  39” around, taken under the arm openings 

Waist:  35” around, but meant to be cinched with the belt

Hips:  40” around, but meant to fall loosely

Overall length: 55", measured flat

Condition: It is in very good condition with no pronounced wear, tear, staining or odour.  This piece has been well stored and cared for over the years.

This is a wonderful evening gown….interesting piece for the Canadian collector, especially being from Bard’s!