One of the most popular styles of the 1950's is the draped bodice known as the "shelf bust". It is nearly daring, a bit outrageous, and always eye-catching.
Many styles are draped, pleated or gathered. Some have shoulder straps, others have halter necklines. This creates the "sweetheart" neckline too.
This dress is from my California collection. The dress itself is a heavy, crisp black faille, with the same fabric used for the shelf bust. Its late 1940's or early 1950's, the flange hip pockets help to balance out this imposing shelf bust and collar in white. The belt is mine, the original belt was probably self covered in the same black fabric.
The label says it is "A Filmland Creation" by "Miss Hollywood". I"m guessing if you wear it, you will get discovered, or in the very least mistaken for Jane Russell or Marilyn's cousin, new in town and ready to be cast in a leading roll.