When it comes to searching for vintage clothing you most likely have your favourite eras. Whether it’s the swinging sixties, the flamboyant eighties or the prohibition era – there’s something out there that makes everyones heart flutter. For me it’s the prairie dress. Obviously you know this already because I’m always swanning around in them but there are a few different houses and designers who were particularly fantastic at creating the perfect prairie dress. Roberta and Gunne Sax were two of them who set the bar for the likes of Batsheva and The Vampire’s Wife in 2018 and 19.
Recently I asked a vintage seller I know to help me find an original Gunne Sax dress, a pre-McClintock Gunne Sax with a billowing, layered skirt and a high neck. Thinking this was an impossible task – she came up trumps with the most beautiful dusky pink dress from the archives. Ever. How she managed to track it down I’ll never know.
Gunne Sax is expensive. For vintage. It’s not as expensive as regular old high street and it’s still a sustainable option. They’re very hard to come by and the sizing is tricky to get the hang of as it works from 1-11 rather than 0-whatever and it’s loosely based on the US sizing system. Gunne Sax sizes are real small but once you find your groove with them they’re absolute keepers.
This one is better than anything I ever could have imagined from a commission, when you ask someone to find something for you you never know what might turn up but this is like something that got up and waltzed off the set of a period drama straight into my wardrobe.
The high street might have jumped on the prairie dress trend, but damn, they really don’t make ’em like this any more!