Vintage 1970s Black Silk Chiffon Gown by William Travilla


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

This is a wonderful late 70s era gown by William Travilla, a renowned Hollywood designer who dressed Marilyn Monroe for eight of her films. Travilla is most known for the famous “upwind” pleated halter dress that Monroe wore in the film “The Seven Year Itch”. He was primarily a costume designer for movies and later for television, winning an Emmy for “Knots Landing” and nominated three times for an Academy Award. Travilla started his own label in 1952 and maintained it until 1970 when he moved to Spain. In 1977, he resurrected his label and maintained it until, I believe, 1985. This dress would date in that age range, but looks to me to be late 70s, although it is possible that it is slightly later.

This dress is made of black chiffon over a black base. The chiffon is gathered from the sides towards the front of the dress, which is covered with ruffles down the center. The bottom has a cutaway panel that falls in pleats. The dress is made in a sleeveless style with only a halter style double strap that is covered in rhinestones to hold it in place.

Label: Travilla

Color: Black

Material: Silk Chiffon - the underdress appears to be a viscose or some sort of synthetic blend.

Sizing: The size label states “12”,and although this should fit a large size, please rely on the following measurements for fit:

Bust: 35” around

Waist: 30”-31” around

Hips: 37” around

Overall length: 53”, measured flat at the side from the top edge - the straps add roughly another 8”


It is in very good condition with no wear, tear, stains or odors except for a bit of soiling to the chiffon at the bottom where it would have contacted the floor. I have not had the dress dry cleaned, but a professional dry cleaning would make this dress as good as new.

This is a wonderful evening gown - very classy, with a beautiful line......sure to be noticed!