Rosemarie Muller cream and turquoise chiffon dress, 1970s

This Rosemarie Muller dress hails from the mid-late 1970s, indicated primarily by the printed polyester chiffon with a delicate but contrasting print of turquoise roses on a buttercream coloured ground and framed by autumnal leaves in shades of beige and light brown. The silhouette harks back slightly to an earlier time, with a full circular skirt and a fitted waist, however this also is a precursor to a silhouette that would become popular again in the early 1980s. 


The use of embellishment is subtle but effective, with small bows accentuating the sides of the sleeves and the centre back, where they hide the closures of the outer delicate chiffon fabric. The lining is cut in a more fitted A-line shape to allow the diaphanous outer layers float over the form.


A touch of the high quality and attention to detail that Rosemarie Muller dedicated to her work can be seen in the hand finished zip insertion. 


Rosemarie Muller's earliest business model after moving to NZ with her husband in 1952, was to maintain a rack of finished garments, all designed and sewn by her. As demand for her garments increased she recruited her first employee - another Dutch immigrant - a woman who, while not a trained machinist, was very good at sewing. Eventually Rosemarie would employ more machinists and two cutters to free her up for designing and dealing with clients. By 1993 she employed five people in her workroom.



Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Stephanie King, Painted Bird Vintage
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Designer: Rosemarie Muller
Garment type: Formal day dress
Material: Polyester chiffon, acetate lining
Features: Full circle skirt, blouson bodice with open seams attached by self fabric bows. Dolman sleeves with elasticated cuffs which create ruffle effect. Stitch detail on waistband for structure to create belt effect.
Colour: Cream, beige, light brown, turquoise, light blue
Last published: Nov 2023
Date: 1970s