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About three weeks ago, I received a vintage, hand beaded, silk
shantung dress from a
San Francisco-based dealer in fine vintage garments.
According to the dealer, she acquired a number of garments,
including this dress, from a lady who only wore clothing that was
custom made from the very finest fabrics.
She added another interesting detail that I found to be quite
fascinating and a commentary on how the internet has shrunken our
Apparently, she had offered another dress online that had been
acquired from this same individual. A few days after offering the
dress, she received an email. According to the dealer, "someone
wrote and said did you know X? I said no, why? She said my mother
made those dresses for a shop in Beverly Hills."
From a restoration point of view, this dress presented numerous
key to this restoration was to remove the smell,
remove the staining, while simultaneously protecting the delicate
The restoration results - after 3 weeks of intermittent work -
were spectacular: zero odor; all stains removed (with the exception
of some light blood stain residue on the silk lining near the
vent); beautiful drape, buttery soft hand (or texture) and all
The before and after photos below reflect the transformation
(please note that any variation in color is the result of my
BEFORE -- DRESS FRONT & BACK
BEFORE -- DRESS BEADING DETAIL
BEFORE -- DRESS STAINING
BEFORE -- LINING FRONT & BACK
BEFORE -- LINING STAINING
AFTER -- DRESS & LINING FRONT &
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