A Gown from Helen Rose


I lucked into this lovely Helen Rose dress some years ago at a rural antique mall, not exactly what one might expect to find in such a place, but there it was.  I happily brought her home with me, and ever since I’ve been trying to place a bit of a date on the making of it.  Part of the problem is that Miss Rose’s gowns are very hard to pin down, as she tended to recycle ideas, and frankly, near the end of her career she wasn’t exactly fashion-forward.

Rose opened her salon in 1958, and the dress has an original nylon zipper, so I knew it had to be after 1960 or so.  But the hard thing is that she made dresses like this one until she retired in 1976.  I looked in her dishy little bio, Just Make Them Beautiful to see if anything similar was pictured, but the closest I found was this gown from the movie Designing Woman.

I had pretty much given up when I revisited the antique mall this week, and hanging in the booth where I found the dress was this:

That’s my dress, being worn by the original owner in 1962!  Case solved.


Posted by poetryman69:

Audrey always looked great!

Tuesday, March 11th 2008 @ 5:42 PM

Posted by Carol:

WOW! That is amazing to find that painting. Did you buy it?

Wednesday, March 12th 2008 @ 9:56 AM

Posted by Lizzie Bramlett:

Nope, I left it there. The price was not too bad, but the thing is HUGE, and I knew I just didn’t have a good spot for it/

Wednesday, March 12th 2008 @ 6:58 PM

Posted by Jennifer:

I think this story is the best kind of mystery.
To actually find the true owner, with a painted portrait to boot.
wow, how much fun is that!:)

Monday, April 7th 2008 @ 10:28 PM


Filed under Collecting, Designers, Vintage Clothing

5 responses to “A Gown from Helen Rose

  1. Oh this story is totally cool! (I don’t don’t know how you resisted buying the painting.)


  2. Beverly Williams

    I just purchased a Helen Rose gown at goodwill…an orange knee length dress with large orange feathers sewn to the hem. I have looked online for a picture but was unsuccessful. Any ideas when it might have been made? It is AMAZING!


  3. Pingback: The Other Royal Wedding Dress | The Vintage Traveler

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