Yes, those are the heads of ancient Romans. Emperors and senators, to be precise.

According to the Associated Press, this “flowing gown in white chiffon printed in terracotta” is the work of La Mendola of Rome. This particular look is from 1971, and it is breathtakingly of its era.

Despite its location, La Mendola was in fact the work of a pair of American transplants, Pennsylvania-born Jack Savage and Illinoian Mike La Mendola. As of 1969 they had a (stunning sounding) boutique next to the Spanish steps, and clients included such impossibly glamorous women as Rita Hayworth.

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Here are some “yacht pajamas” with matching coat they did for their 1973-74 fall/winter collection.

This one, also from 1971, features “large Roman Shells.”

More chiffon, 1974:

Even better, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Unlike the average fashion designer today, Jack and Mike don’t mind doing clothes for the larger woman. They make custom clothes to fit sizes as large as 18 or 20 for the same price as their smaller ready-to-wear styles in the same size.” Oh, to have gotten them to whip up this little number for casual social occasions with friends.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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Photos via AP Images.