Based on our research, “Golden Gate” produced primarily fine special occasion attire, bridal gowns and cocktail dresses in the 1950s. This particular dress was constructed with an impeccable attention to detail, and it is obvious through its construction that the “Golden Gate” company had a keen eye for top-quality formal wear.
When we first acquired this dress we thought the name “Golden Gate” perhaps pertained to a 1950’s California-based company with the name being a nod to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This dress has a vintage metal “Lightning” brand side zipper. We have found evidence that some vintage 1950’s “Lightning” zippers were produced in Canada and others in Great Britain. We mention the zipper because based on our research “Golden Gate” could perhaps be a Canadian or British 1950’s fashion label.
The 1950’s “Golden Gate” brand name as seen on this dress and a select number of others that we have come across in our vintage sourcing is “Golden Gate” in golden-colored cursive script lettering. A photo of the name is included with the dress pictures. Uniquely, this dress does not have an internal label but the cursive “Golden Gate” name is woven twice in golden thread on each of the two internal side straps for hanging the dress. This exquisite vintage dress could be a one-of-a-kind garment that was custom-made in the 1950s for a specific client.
This 1950’s dress is hands down the prettiest and most outstanding garment that we have seen from this “Golden Gate” company. This dress has a classic “New Look” silhouette with its flattering nipped-in waist and impressive full skirt. This dress is exceptionally constructed. The entire dress is composed of three layers. The bottom layer or lining of the dress is a golden nude acetate. The next middle layer is a golden champagne nude tulle. The final top layer is the same golden champagne nude tulle but with an all-over design of metallic painted golden and copper florals in circular garlands. These resplendent metallic florals lend the dress an opulence and richness and allow it to enchantingly glow and shine in the light when worn. Furthermore, due to the three-layer dress construction and the radiant florals of the top layer, there is a lovely multi-dimensional aspect to this dress, and on occasion the champagne nude tulle takes on an almost subtle rosé hue when under certain lighting. This dress captivates all who see it!
While the voluminous skirt’s three layers are constructed as three-layer skirts are traditionally constructed, one layer on top of the next, the designer of this dress skillfully displayed their creativity when constructing the strapless bodice. The bodice is boned with the golden nude acetate lining resting behind the boning. The golden champagne nude tulle (middle layer) is neatly pleated at the very top of the front bodice, and a luxurious rust colored velvet ribbon frames this pleated tulle therein creating a gathered tulle shelf bust silhouette. The final top layer to the bodice, which is the golden champagne nude tulle with the metallic painted florals, is scalloped on the front bodice so it elegantly accentuates the topmost pleated tulle. This top floral tulle layer with its feminine sweetheart scalloping is a chic final layer for the alluring shelf bust silhouette. This top layer also looks as though it floats atop the middle dress layer due to the way the designer cleverly attached it to the bodice. Two precious rust colored velvet bow embellishments are sewn at measured intervals along the scalloping, and their placement on the bodice connects the top and middle tulle layers. This dress has a lovely thin lip of its fabric around the waist where the bodice and skirt meet. This elegant design touch on behalf of the dress maker eliminates the need for a belt or sash with this garment.
The silhouette, design and overall look of this dress are the epitome of effortless 1950’s Old Hollywood glamour. Inimitable, rare and with a classic stylishness, refined sophistication and star quality reserved for only the most special of garments, this stunning vintage dress is perfect for a modern-day princess seeking a one-of-a-kind garment for a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Waist: 23 inches
Bust: 29.5 – 30 inches
Hips: Free Sweep
Total Length: 44 inches
Desert Belle Vintage General Apparel Chart Size
This vintage 1950’s Golden Gate dress is in excellent condition with no holes, repairs, rips or stains. This dress is in such pristine condition that it may perhaps be deadstock without tags. There is a small mark on the inside back bodice that looks almost like scribbled writing of some kind. It was on the dress when we acquired it years ago. It looks like a mark from the original sewing / manufacturing process. It is not visible when worn as it is on the inside bodice. The dress closes with a beautifully working side metal zipper and two hook and eye closures: one at the top of the zipper and one further down along the zipper. This dress has hand-sewn finishing touches such as hand-sewn whipstitching at the top inner bodice indicating a conscientious attention to garment construction not seen in contemporary mass-produced clothing. As mentioned earlier, this dress has two internal side straps to assist with hanging the dress. The straps bear the woven name “Golden Gate” in a cursive script font and golden thread. This dress was styled with a crinoline that was used for display purposes only and is not included with the dress.
Please note: This dress is slightly too small for our dress form, and we therefore did not zip up the zipper of the dress during the photoshoot. Due to the dress being a bit too small for the dress form, we were unable to get a straight-on picture of the back of the dress while on the dress form. We captured the back of the dress while on the form in a side view. Should you like any additional pictures of the back of the dress, we are happy to provide them with the dress laying flat. Please email us to request additional photos or should you have any other questions about this exquisite garment.
Desert Belle Vintage Size & Condition Guide.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about size, fit, color or condition. We are always happy to help!
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