A Perris from Paris

Housing Works Perris dress

I don't usually start out by showing you the back of a dress, but the back of this dress is the whole point. Look at that–I don't even know what to call it! Tail? Peplum? Bustle? Whatever it is, it's 100% pure drama, and not the bad online-journal kind.

Even better, this dress is up for auction by HousingWorks (thanks, Margaret, for the link!) the NYC charity that works to provide housing and services for homeless people living with HIV and AIDS. They have several thrift stores in NY, and run the Housing Works Used Bookstore and Cafe (where, incidentally, I will be June 11th for the Literary Magazine Festival–show up to browse the hundreds of literary magazines on sale for $2, all proceeds go to Housing Works! Wear a dress and I'll give you a free pen.)

Back to the dress. The label is "Bernard Perris, Paris" and its measurements are given as "28 waist, 32 shoulders, 32 bust, 38 hips, 35 length" which seems suspiciously small in the bust for a dolman-sleeved dress, especially compared to the hip measurement (you'd expect at least at 34 or 36 inch bust) but stranger things have happened. Bidding right now is at $116.50, not at all bad for a dress this interesting! Go click on the image to see the front of the dress and views of the cuffs and underside of the peplum.

I have to say I'm fascinated by this design element, and I am not even a big fan of the sheath-and-overskirt look. It just seems so fun to wear! I can see someone in this dress at a crowded party, laughing, drink in hand, and every time she moves that peplum flares out and flashes white. Can't you? Is it going to BE you?

0 thoughts on “A Perris from Paris

  1. I love this dress, not just for the back detail, but I love the white pointed collar and white cuffs. It’s all Olive Oyl-esque but cuter. I’d love to wear it, but I’d have to lose half my body. So sad.


  2. Oh my. Where on God’s green earth do you find this stuff? I don’t see a “design element” to it (but love your cute effort to use industry jargon!) – it just looks very period costume (emphasis “costume”) and not in a good way. I love a good cause, but I think there’s little to this item in terms of design – it was a standard style from a specific era, probably something everybody wore as a standard basic, and even in its form today – with age going for it – it misses the mark. Just not seeing it.But I’ll try to envision your sweet little scenario. Maybe it’s YOU in that dress. *winks*.


  3. To me, the black and white contrast really makes this dress rise above the ordinary. But, I am partial to black and white together.


  4. I actually could see me wearing that dress tonight, but for obvious reasons that’s not going to happen. Tonight I will be “hostessing” at a children’s theatre production which is set in the fifties.Sadly, I have no suitable vintage dress and I’m too cheap to spend the $30 to buy the one I really like at the antique store. Oh well.


  5. I AM going to a party tonight–for the Chris Ware show at the MCA, I can’t wait to see it–but I am planning to wear my “I Escaped from Clown College” polka-dot skirt, which always makes me happy.


  6. Goodness. It’s a good thing there are 31 flavours and more of ice cream in this world, isn’t it? I love this dress, with its little peplum. I’d love it even more if it was a separate jacket-with-peplum and skirt, but I love it anyway, unlike Anonymous. Not only do I love it, but I’d wear it today in the office – for me, it’s not even “evening-specific”, it’s just a pretty, useful dress, happy to go many places.Of course, today in the office I’m wearing a black stretch velvet tank top with an ankle-length 3-tiered circle skirt in a black and white gingham bird’seye microcheck, a highly fitted and flared black wool crepe jacket with black satin lapels, satin buttons down the front, a satin band around the hem, and tiny satin buttons up the sleeves and both sides of the deep pleated vent in the back. This is accompanied by sturdy flat black leather boots, onyx jewelry, and when I’m outside, a broad-brimmed black cotton hat with a big rose hatpin. It’s possible my idea of “office wear” is not everyone’s idea of “office wear”.Rebecca, if that dress at the antique store actually fits you and you like the way it looks and you can spare the $30 (some years one can, some years one cannot), you might think about snatching that dress up. You may find you have many more occasions to wear it than just hostessing for a stage production. (And feel free to describe it – that way, lots of people can offer advice, pro and con, about buying it!)


  7. LOVE it! Alas, no 32 bust here. I haven’t yet purchased anything with such a dramatic (yes, better than the bad online-journal type (or even bitter online journalist type)) peplum, but I do love the 40s dresses I have with smaller ones.I agree that I would like it better if this was a jacket over the dress, but still lovely and totally fun.


  8. labelladonna, will you and Erin come to work with me so that I’m not the most “dramatically” dressed person in the office? your outfit sounds like such fun


  9. I love this dress I like the pointed collars and white cuffs too. I would have to loose the boobige before I could wear it.I came home from work today and threw on a dress. I cant wear dresses at work I have a dirty job. There are no dresses there. I wear black pants or tan ones with a top nothing nice or it would get wrecked. My dress is from 1995 but I love it, it has like greeting cards all over it and it buttons all the way up the front goes down to your ankles. It has spaghetti straps. It has pretty vibrant red colors in it. It says Birthday wishes on it and sweetheart on it. Its quite hard to describe. It came with a T-shirt to wear underneath it. I never wore the T-shirt with the dress. The poor little dress is 11 yrs old and I still get complements every time I wear it. I have always drycleaned it.Its a whopping 92 degrees here today. I had to put on a cool dress.


  10. I find everybody’s reference to their bustling social lives entertaining. Love the idea of a polka dot clown skirt at any party. *Coughs*.


  11. That’s so cute coming from someone who won’t even say who she is. Prolly she’s so famous she can’t reveal her identity. And yet she trolls on blogs she disdains, because apparently she has nothing better to do. *Yawns*


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