This dress was made by one of James's numerous business enterprises, Charles James Manufacturers Company, which lasted from 1955 to 1958. Lord and Taylor used the garment in advertisements in the New York Times in 1956, and Harper's Bazaar featured an orange version said to have been designed for the American Rayon Institute. Visible alterations on the hem of the skirt indicate that the original length was shortened.
Although James created numerous designs for the ready-to-wear market, a closer inspection of this dress presents some clues as to why his contracts often failed. The pattern pieces are cut in a way that creates a lot of extra, unusable material. Typically, patterns for mass-produced garments are tweaked to create the least amount of waste, but James was often unwilling to alter his designs to meet others' budget.