Vintage Ceil Chapman Dresses



2015-06-26 10:31:26

Vintage Ceil Chapman Dresses are items of vintage clothing created by the American fashion designer Ceil Chapman.

Brief history and description

Ceil Chapman was a famous American fashion designer who designed numerous influential cocktail and party dresses between the 1940s and 1960s.

Ceil Chapman achieved international fame after designing dresses for countless celebrities and movie stars, such as Marilyn Monroe (who once stated that Chapman was one of her favourite clothing designers), Elizabeth Taylor, Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, Grace Kelly, Aretha Franklin, and many more. Chapman also designed Marie McDonald's wardrobe for the film Promises! Promises! (1963).

The Staten Island Historical Society exhibits many of Ceil Chapman's evening gowns, and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum houses her wedding and cocktail dresses as well.

Guide for collectors

Ceil Chapman's cocktail dresses are considered to be the most valuable among collectors, but not necessarily the most rare. Vintage Ceil Chapman dresses that were once worn by Marilyn Monroe are considered to be the most rare and valuable.

Restoration of a Ceil Chapman dress is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring a vintage Ceil Chapman dress may decrease its value.

For more information regarding vintage Ceil Chapman dresses, visit Antique Dress, the Vintage Fashion Guild, Dressing Vintage, or Blue Velvet Vintage.


Kerry Taylor Auctions in London sold a peacock blue satin Ceil Chapman cocktail dress (circa late 1950s) for £60 in September of 2008.

Julien's Auctions in California sold Marilyn Monroe's Ceil Chapman sleeveless black silk dress with a floral-print black lace for $15,000 in June of 2005.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, Illinois sold a red silk Ceil Chapman cocktail dress (circa 1950s) for $650 in September of 2011, and a black silk Ceil Chapman dress (circa 1950s) for $1,100 in June of 2005.

Doyle New York in New York sold a black clover sequin Ceil Chapman cocktail dress (circa 1950s) for $550 in November of 2006.

Charles A. Whitaker Auction Co. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold an appliqued silk Ceil Chapman cocktail dress (circa 1950s) for $600 in April of 2011.

Kerry Taylor Auctions in London sold three Ceil Chapman dresses (made of white silk with yellow opalescent sequins) as well as various other cocktail/summer dresses from the late 1950s and early 1960s for £640 in September of 2008.

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