An early Duro (paleo-Duro?)

by Erin on June 30, 2009

John Bates 1972

Hana sent this great link from the Bath Fashion Museum. Doesn't this look like an early Duro? It's by a guy named John Bates, and was for Jean Varon for the Spring/Summer 1972 collection.

I love the fabric(s), but, of course, since this was the early 1970s, they're synthetic. I also love the length and the drama of this particular Duro. I wish we had a styled picture of it — what were the shoes like? The hair? The jewelry? Or, better yet, a video — how does it move? That bell shape is very appealing in theory, but how is it in Real Life, or as close to Real Life as fashion ever gets? Inquiring minds want to know.

Two other things — tonight is the 2nd Chicago Fabric Swap, at the Rogers Park Library at 6 p.m.! More details here.

Also, it's too heavy to bring to the swap, but I am selling a Rigby cloth stripping machine on ebay — I got this years ago and have never used it. (It actually looks as if nobody's ever used it; I have the original instructions and the box it was mailed in.) They're used, I believe, for making rag rugs, a craft that is on my "maybe someday, but not now" list. If making rugs is on your "yes now" list, go nuts.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal June 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

I agree. Itd be so fun to see how this piece was styled and worn.


Gail June 30, 2009 at 9:07 am

A cloth stripping machine? In my childhood, in the dark ages, we used to make rag rugs, but we had to tear or cut the fabric by hand.I like the dress,in particular, the two fabrics used together.


Nancy (nanflan) June 30, 2009 at 10:04 am

Love that dress! I graduated from high school in 1976, so I could definitely see myself wearing it back then! I had a pair of black patent stack heeled shoes that would have looked great with it. And of course, Farrah hair. The shape is so much more flattering than the ones with all the excess fabric.


Rebecca Z. June 30, 2009 at 10:27 am

I used to have a muslin kaftan, made by my stepsister, that was very similar. It wasnt comfortable to wear, as the band that was supposed to be beneath the breast had nothing to hold it in place. I solved the problem by attaching ties to the inside of the side seams, but it was nearly impossible to tie them comfortably, and it removed the easyness of the garment. But that had a wide, kaftan-style back, perhaps this would stay in place properly, without, as Nancy says, all the excess fabric.


Ann V. June 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm

My friend Patty had a Duro-style top in the early 70s that her mother had made out of different colors of calico. I really coveted that top – I still think of it every time Im in the calico section at the fabric store.


Cookie June 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm

The 1970s had a lot of really smooth, synthetic, swinging hostesswear (lounging pyjamas, caftans, etc.), which is what this looks like to me. Theres something sort of Mafia Mistress about it all.

Reply Eliza June 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm

This is so cool–I wish I could find something like this! Not exactly sure where Id wear it, but I love it nonetheless.


Sue June 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Gorgeous! I agree though, how exactly does the bell shape translate in Real Life???


Anonymous June 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I had one very similar style, yes, it was very slenderizing and I wore it with stack heel Mary Janes!


Melissa June 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Its got a sort of Korean han bok look.


Hana July 1, 2009 at 2:28 am

Synthetics? I somehow missed that fact. What a pity, I dont like synthetics…I should find myself some similar cotton fabrics and make something like that. :-) I also love the shape without all the excess.Oh, Melissa, and youre quite right about the hanbok! I thought of it myself. They claim on the site that its kimono like or something like that, but its only the sleeves. The overall lines are definitely hanbok.


Elaine July 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm

So fun! But I dont know how I would start styling it though…


Cookie July 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm

On second look, doesnt that mannequin resemble Courteney Cox?


saidee July 2, 2009 at 1:44 am

I love what a black and white check does for florals. Wonderful dress!


Ann July 2, 2009 at 2:16 am

love this ! its beautiful


Eirlys July 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I have a John Bates mini-dress (given me by one of my mothers colleagues in the late 1970s) which I had no idea was made by anybody of renown so tragically proceeded to ALTER [pregnant pause, strangled scream] from an A-line to something more contemporaneously figure-hugging. Still have it, and if I can manage to pick myself up from the welter of tears in which I am almost drowning, Ill be selling that on eBay too, so keep your eyes peeled, folks!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: