christian dior

Documented Spring 1961 Christian Dior by Marc Bohan 'Slim Line' Haute Couture Debut Silk Jacket & Skirt Suit

This is an incredible set that is extra special because it is from the debut Haute Couture collection of Marc Bohan. It has the added province of being documented which is sometimes not easy to find with these very early pieces. The book Dior, Catwalk talks about the reaction to this first collection by Bohan; "Thundering applause, led by the Duchess of Windsor, rolled through the elegant grey and white salons of the House of Dior, the happy ending to the suspense story of the fashion year. At stake was the future dominance of Dior, and the career of designer Mark Bohan. The Chicago Tribune hailed him as being "Mister Dior, the third". The New York Times stated "the shouting, clapping, surging mob at the press show cause chaos in the elegant salon. Bohan was pushed up against the boiserie, kissed, mauled and congratulated. Chairs were toppled. Champagne glasses were broken. People were knocked down. It was a complete triumph for the designer". The book goes on to state that; Bohan called the collection the "Slim Line". It was a streamlined take on the original "New Look". He revisited the day suit with wide cut jackets and low waisted flared skirts fitted at the hips. The Times declared it "a success from the appearance of the first model and worthy in the tradition of the great maestro himself. And Women's Wear Daily wrote three months after the collection was shown that "the Bohan flare is everywhere. Bohan has done the impossible. He is a big commercial success and respected by the fashion intellect." 

The set is exceptional and is an excellent investment piece as well. Dior prices continue to skyrocket and finding couture examples like this from such an important collection and in this condition is getting harder and harder. 

This suit is fantastic. It is actually two pieces. A flared skirt and then a top / jacket that goes over that. The top is fascinating in the way that it is cut and we were very happy to find and see in the reference photo of it that its construction is deliberate. The front only buttons at the bottom and then there is a snap just above that button to hold it closed. It is meant to stay open above that and the button holes that you see continuing up along the edge of the jacket are actually faux. They do not open all the way through. You can see in the photo that the model is wearing it the way that it's meant to be worn. The very bottom is closed and then she has a light top on underneath. This lets the jacket play on its volume that it has. You could certainly open the fabric and finish the buttonholes if you wish to wear it fully closed, but it is meant to be like this. The jacket has a lot of volume and is meant to skim over you and then the skirt is cut in a sleek little flare that skims over the hips and flares out with a series of flat pleats all the way around the skirt. Around the waist the silk lies flat and neat. It is very flattering once on the body. When you stand still the skirt lays flat and smooth but when you move you get an incredible burst of movement and volume. Over that goes the jacket with its wonderful to the elbow wide cut sleeves and oversized MOP buttons down the front. The shoulders are soft and there is no collar. The fabric is a very high end silk twill dyed to that pale tan mixed with white. Both pieces are entirely finished by hand to Haute Couture standards and I've shown some of the detailing inside. It is chic and elegant yet still feels edgy. An amazing find. Excellent condition

The jacket is lined in a fine silk in the same colour as the exterior tan and the skirt is interlined in a white silk organza. The jacket closes with the bottom button only and a hidden snap above that as described above. The skirt closes with hook & eye at the waist and hidden snaps below that.  Completely done by hand to Haute Couture Standards. Proper numbered couture label in place on the jacket. There are some natural, variations and lines in the silk that is inherent to this type of fabric and should not be considered a flaw. It is in remarkable condition.

Slightly dropped shoulders: 16-17"
Bust: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bottom hem: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 24.5" from neck to hem

Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 27" from waist to hem with 2" turned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4484

Reference Photo: Christian Dior Haute Couture Printemps-Ete 1961. Photo Emerick Bronson. Model Nicole de Lamargé.

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