c1954-56 Christian Dior London Couture Silk Coat & Dress
This dress and coat set in a rich raspberry print silk is extraordinary. After much research I believe it to be from the mid-fifties while Christian Dior still presided over the house. You can see a striking similarity to the color and print in the examples shown here from the Haute Couture collections between 1954 and 1965. This set is from the Modele Original line which would have been custom made based on the Haute Couture presentation and special ordered through the London store. It is not unusual to see variations and small changes from the runway line in these while still retaining color and line references to the Couture examples.
Both the coat and dress are numbered and entirely hand finished and extremely well made. The inner dress is a voluminous, shift cut and it is a larger size which is very unusual to find. The silk is very fine and it is backed with a silk organza. The coat is a double layer of this same silk with the organza lining only the sleeves. Both pieces are so light that each of the two pieces have weighted hems so that they fall perfectly in place. The seaming is wonderful with the shape deliberately created through the placement of the seams. On the dress there is a small notched neckline anchored by a flat bow at the front and the back has a low slung flat bow at the base of the small of the back. It is cut to be unfitted and has an almost cocoon shape to it. The coat is cut with lots volume as well and perfectly showcases the feel of that era. It is collarless and cut to sit almost off of the shoulders. On a real girl it has an almost slouched feel to it and the back puffs out tremendously with a great swoop of volume and fullness. The seams are cut gracefully on a curve and the sleeves kept short and wide. It is wonderful! Presents as excellent condition. Please read condition notes on some small flaws
Both pieces are lined in hand set silk, the dress in an organza and the coat in the same silk as the exterior and organza in the sleeves. The dress closes at the back with a series of hook & eye and snaps at the back. The coat has no closures. There are a couple of small areas where the fabric has thinned and only the weave in one direction remains, one on the dress, one on the shoulder of the coat and one in the interior inside arm of the coat - all these tiny flaws are pictured. Otherwise in Museum quality and it is really fabulous. The dress is numbered 19013 and the coat 19012.
Note that the measurements indicate a large size but I suspect this would have been worn by a smaller girl as this was the trend of the time. Hence the MED-XL catergorization.
Bust: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 40.5" from neck to hem
Bust: 22.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 41.5" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-XL
Reference Photos: (1) Dovima in Dior, 1956. Photo by Henry Clarke. / (2) Dior Afternoon ensemble, 1954 from the Chicago History Museum Collection.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.