Fall 1972 Christian Dior Haute Couture Black Chiffon Cocktail Dress
The notes for the 1972 collection in the book 'Dior, The Catwalk' state that The New York Times declared Bohan's collection for Dior as 'the best of the season in Paris' that year. The same notes on to say that the full records for Bohan's collection did not survive the passages of time. Having a dress from this collection that is so very well documented is that much more special as a result. The dress is exceptional.
The caption on the photo of Vogue editorial that I have included here says it best: "Pretty. That's really the word for it - the softness of everything at Dior. So feminine at night especially...The flirt of the sleeves on a short dress for evening...black mousseline, covered at the neck and yet...revealing lots of skin beneath and lots of leg below". Of course on this version, the dress has a crossed over V neck that I prefer to the higher tied neckline. A Haute Couture client would have ordered the dress in a variation that suited them best and often a change like this would not be allowed to be repeated. This design also allows the unusual sleeves to really be showcased and become the highlight of the dress. Each sleeve is semi-sheer to the elbow and is full and poufed underneath until the cuff cinched it in at the wrist. Lying over the lower portion of the sleeve is a circle of silk that that circles around each sleeve and lies over the lower half of the sleeve. It is a very unusual treatment to the sleeves and instantly catches the eye. You can see why it would have been pulled to be used for editorials that season. The skirt is full and has two soft and floating layers of black silk chiffon over a slimmer inner skirt. The shape this creates mimics the detailing on the sleeve perfectly. The back is left entirely transparent for an unexpected touch of sensuality. Dated and numbered with it Dior Haute Couture label. This is a rare piece of fashion history. Excellent condition
Fully lined in a nude silk chiffon except for the sleeves and upper back above the waist. The back closes with a low set, fine metal zipper and then the dress snaps to close with a series of tiny snaps up the back of the dress that run over the zipper, past the waist to the neck. Each cuff buttons to close. Entirely made by hand. The Haute Couture label is present and the dress is numbered 01340
Sleeves: 27" (poufs up when on)
Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 24" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) Karen Graham in a chiffon dress by Marc Bohan for Dior, Autumn/Winter Collection 1972, photo by Richard Avedon, July 1972. / (2) Dior dress in Vogue, September 1972.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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