1984-85 Valentino Backless Red Silk Taffeta & Printed Silk Dress
This Valentino is from 1984-85 season and is particularly lovely with its intricate construction and mix of fabric and print. I have had a one shoulder version of this dress in the shop in the past, but I think I love this backless version a little more if only for the pure drama created in that moment when you first turn around. I have included several reference photos of other similar gowns from that season as well.
The skirt is made from a red silk taffeta in his signature shade of red, and the cut is full. The fabric choice allows for this fullness and shape and it has additional underskirts built in to add to its volume. The uppermost underskirt is made of a silk net and is finished with a full 13" hem of the same printed silk that the bodice is constructed from. This peeks out from under the top red silk layer anytime you lift the outer skirt up, or when you sit and brings a perfect, unexpected harmony between the skirt and top. The bodice itself is wonderful in both its construction and shape. A printed silk chiffon is hand draped into tiny soft pleats so the entire bodice is gathered and ruched. These mold and curve over the body in a way that feels sculptural and shape the waist and hips. The upper shoulders are capped straight across and have structural, buy light, padding underneath to hold their intended shape. The back is magnificent with a deep curving scoop that leave the back bare. I love how he has extended and curved that scoop right to the outer sides so that you have as much skin showing as possible but without compromising the structural quality of the bodice and its ability to shape the body. Overall excellent condition with a note to review below.
The top is lined in a black silk and the skirt has a net and silk trimmed underskirt as described above. It closes with a hidden set side zipper. Structural padding in the shoulders. The exterior skirt layers of the skirt has some slight discoloration here and there. It is fairly faint and with all the fabric and volume you do not notice it when on but it is apparent if you lay it flat and look for it.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 16-17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 24" from neck to dropped waist
Skirt: 37" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) Evening dress with draped bodice in pink silk jersey and matching silk skirt from Valentino haute couture Fall/Winter 1984-85 collection. Photo by Mark Arbeit captured in Rome's via Condotti. / (2) Valentino 1984 evening gown, illustration by Tony Viramontes. / (3) Model wearing Valentino, Vogue US, October 1984. Photo by Richard Avedon.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.