See Documentary: Vonnie - Ireland’s Forgotten Fashion Icon - Fashion, Family and Fate. An intimate family portrait is woven as three sisters recollect the legacy of their mother Vonnie Reynolds; an Irish forgotten fashion icon forced to retire after a tragic accident.
This fabulous velvet skirt and matching vest from Bunratty Cottage – The International Fashion Shop – Bunratty Co. Clare IRELAND is one of my latest purchases added to my fashion collection.
The ensemble is extremely well constructed with couture details and much hand sewing throughout.
It is a couture garment made of grey rayon velvet consisting of a floor length evening skirt & matching vest with embroidered roses & medallions and elaborate decorative stitching. The fabric is a weighty rayon velvet with lavender acetate lining. Both pieces are fully lined. The skirt fastens in the back with a metal zipper and hooks, 4 eyes close the top of the waistband. Pocket in R side seam! Vest is meant to be worn open, hanging from the shoulders and “floating” above the waist. The fronts do not come together all the way - leaving a 3'' open space in the center front.
The hem of the skirt features beautiful deep scallop shapes around the bottom and above the scallops are embroidered oval medallions filled with decorative gold stitch work that is then encircled with embroidered wreathes of pink roses. Above and below the wreathes and medallions and scallops the hemline is further embellished with heavy and deep sculptural embroidery in black thread that further echoes the curves in the scalloped hemline and the ovals in the wreathes of pink roses. Underneath the embroidery tulle fabric has been used to create a backing to support the embroidery stitches on the velvet. This is covered by satin like lavender acetate lining.
This embroidery design and the scallops also decorate the vest.
It is a gorgeous and unique creation fit for a princess.
Her clothes have been considered collectors’ pieces and have always been valued for their timeless quality.
Vonnie Reynolds began her designing career at her popular Bunratty International Fashion Shop opposite Bunratty Castle.
A Sunday drive had Vonnie deciding to purchase a former Georgian post office cottage. Following restoration, Bunratty Cottage became the hub of her couture workshop.
She expanded Bunratty Cottage to the United States, opening a mail order business in Annapolis, Maryland in 1982.
Vonnie was given the Key to the City of Houston and is an honorary citizen of Houston, Texas and was a house guest of the Mayor of Dallas.
I purchased it from a seller who purchased it from an estate in Baltimore, Maryland. It had only belonged to the lady whose estate was being sold. Her husband worked in the Irish Embassy. Supposedly, the original owner wore it to an event at the White House and has only been worn once.
I can’t wait for the opportunity to view the documentary; directed by Renata Lim and produced by Melissa Collins.
“Every time I sell a ball gown, a little piece of me goes.”
…. Vonnie Reynolds, Irish Couturiere
Skirt: Waist band measures 27” fastened
Length from waistband to hem is 42.5”
Pit to Pit across the back is 18”
Pit to Pit across the front is 18” leaving a 3” slit open in the center. Measured pit to pit with the space at the cleavage.