Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Epitome of the Female Form: The Classic Mermaid Dress

Every year, right around this time, numerous vintage-loving ladies from all around the globe get their wardrobe checklist trimmed down and ready for the annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every year it's the same sought after pieces- who will have the best Vanity Fair leopard print ensemble? Who will have the most eye-catching Shaheen sarong dress? Who's rocking the most killer Ceeb of Miami jumpsuit? Along with throngs and throngs of Lurex in every color, bakelite bangles, Polly of California sky-high mules, and sequin-encrusted hand painted Mexican circle skirts. It really is enough to make one's head spin, the array of fabulous styles and gorgeous silhouettes. The people watching alone is more than reason to go. Well in this entry, we're going to focus on one of our most favorite highly sought-after styles to wear at Viva, the timelessly sexy and ever-so-classic curve hugging mermaid cocktail gown.

Wikipedia defines the "Mermaid Evening Gown" as: "Mermaid, as the name suggests, means that the evening gown is shaped like a mermaid. It is form-fitting at the bodice, and the skirt is designed to resemble a mermaid's tail in silhouette.The skirt may or may not be of the same colour or texture."

The mermaid gown as we know and love it first originated in the mid 1950's. This design of dress really skyrocketed in 1960 when it was made popular to little girls everywhere by the gal that we all know and love- who other than Barbie. This particular Barbie was titled "Solo in the Spotlight." What a fabulous get up, right? Lets face it, Barbie really knew how to do it up in the 1950's!

Here are a few killer examples of authentic 1950's era "mermaid" styles... I know, I know, try not to drool... Many of them had a satin under-base with silk chiffon, lace, or sequins over that. Sheer tulle or netting was very popular for the actual "mermaid hem." If we had our way, we'd go back in time and have one of each in our size, please! ;-)

 Many of these images were obtained from this fabulous page.

Here are a few vintage designs that have been for sale online recently. Many of them were found on Etsy! They usually run anywhere from $150 all the way to $500+ for a true couture design.

And lastly, here are a few fabulous styles that are either available (or were) from Butch Wax Vintage, or part of our own personal collection.

 A fabulous design from our private vintage collection... LOVE the color.

A killer fully sequined number that recently sold to a Butch Wax regular from San Francisco!

A insanely gorgeous hand beaded sea foam silk chiffon over satin mermaid number, currently for sale from Butch Wax Vintage here!


  1. That black sequined mermaid dress is one to die for. Very statuesque and a true classic.

  2. Thank you! Yes, it is indeed stunning. A total classic.