Jean Allen 1970s Amerindian Print Camisole Maxi Dress
Style advocate from a young age, Jean Parry-Billings is best known as a prolific British dress designer whose work spanned well over two decades, and was worn widely across London and the greater UK by young up-and-coming teens and vivacious twenty-somethings.
Having learnt her craft from older cousin Peggy Allen, Jean established her fashion label ‘Jean Allen’ as an homage to her tutor, who remained involved with its inception until her own retirement shortly afterwards, leaving Jean to drive the design side alone.
With her husband looking after the financial side of the label, Jean Allen clothing was soon enjoying demands in excess of 1500 garments per week, and could always be found in high-end stores such as Peter Jones, House of Fraser and Harrods, while her affordable cocktail dresses were a brand leader throughout the period.
With particular emphasis on fabric quality, Jean frequented numerous Paris and Rome fashion shows, so as to marry the latest designs with her choice of materials, thereby striking a delicate balance of style and substance, a rarity in many quarters of the British fashion scene at the time.
Releasing up to eight collections a year, Jean Allen also enjoyed overseas success, consistently exporting to Europe and North America as demand continued to soar, and as a fan of Italian fashion house Balenciaga, Jean’s opulence was showcased in her personal life, as she enjoyed fast cars and large sprawling estates across the British countryside.
Sadly after her husband and business partner Kenneth died in the mid 1980s, Jean reluctantly chose to wind down the label, before spending the rest of her years in relative seclusion until her passing in the spring of 2016 at age 88.
This 1970s dress provides a melody of plum, pink, maroon and byzantium hues, intricately weaved into a spectacular design featuring a plunging neckline and deep fitted waistband, producing a polished cut using splendid fabric. The main body of the dress has an Aztec or Amerindian print in bold, lavish colours, trimmed at the internal strap with the smoothest, most opulent burgundy velvet, resulting in a head-turning gown designed to make you feel unashamedly glamorous.
Designer Jean Allen
Fabric No label present however looks and feels like cotton viscose blend
Size Label reads UK 12 but will fit UK 10-12
Alterations Straps have been altered internally but can always be stitched to desired length
Excellent (see condition chart)
Imperfections Internal lining has some marks to the bust area but not at all visible when worn
Measured flat without stretching (please double for complete size)
Bust (at widest point) 16″
Under Bust 13″
Length (underarm v-bust to hem) 49″
Mannequin is UK 8-10 | Bust 31.5″ | Waist 24″ | Hips 34.5″
The dress was not pinned for photography purposes