Exceptional Spring 2003 Gucci by Tom Ford Rare Runway Pale Yellow Feather Mini Dress

The Vogue review of the Spring 2003 show was done at the height of Ford's vision for Gucci and he could do no wrong in their eyes. The review said 'The Gucci girl’s got legs—long, tan, flawless ones striding along on silver peep-toe sling-back pumps. Follow them all the way up, and around two weeks later, they eventually meet the hem of the minutest piece of clothing that was ever called a skirt or dress. For spring, in a word, Tom Ford says short. Using lustrous fabrics in subtle makeup colors from blush to tawny brown, pearly gray and silver, Ford draped and wrapped his gorgeous girls in clothes that navigated that dangerous Gucci line between innovation and vulgarity. The tousled hair, the jackets and tops poised to fall off shoulders—the whole presentation stirred sensations that fashion hasn’t felt since the last days of the great supermodels. Still, don’t think tacky. Ford’s obsession now is integrating fine workmanship into abbreviated silhouettes." The feather dresses were mentioned specifically; "He brought couture finesse to racer-back feathered dresses with the merest flip of a was a confident statement in the power of glamour. And fashion needs that.' To this day this is one of the most recognizable and desirable of his shows to find and collect pieces from. This is the twin of Look 27 from the runway and it is an exceptional piece of Gucci History. It was also featured in Vogue that season on Natalia Vodianova

When researching this look I came across a few references that declared this dress one of the top ten Gucci Tom Ford pieces. While you often see the other version of this dress in a brown and white feather, this pale yellow version that is the twin of the runway dress shown is a true rarity. One of the things that makes this dress exceptional is that it is true to the runway. The dress is meant to be worn very short and daring. Once on you just see miles of legs topped by this extraordinary piece. The top plunges low at the front and the back curves in to create a sexy racer-back. It skims over the waist and hips and then flares out at the skirt. The skirt is actually two tiers of feather detailed ruffles and this extra little flounce gives it movement when you move. The body of the dress is made from two layers of virtually weightless silk with a silk grosgrain ribbon edging and detailing the lines of the design. It has an almost twenties feel to it and it is fantastic. The feathers are a mix of a dyed soft pale yellow mixed with some soft light taupe natural feathers for depth and interest. I took a photo of the back of the silk of the skirt and you can see that each feather was hand applied and fused into place onto the silk. Hence the couture reference in the Vogue review above. It snaps to close under the ribbon at the side so there is no break anywhere with a zipper. It just looks like it somehow magically formed around you. It is an incredible piece of the Tom Ford history with the brand and is one of the most recognizable pieces from his tenure with the label. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition. 

Fully lined in a pale taupe nude silk chiffon and has hidden set snaps at the  side to close. Tagged a YSL 42. Some of the ends of the feathers have separated a bit on the natural spots it curves but this is just part of aging for a piece like this. I don't consider this a flaw but its mentioned for accuracy.

Bust: approx 16" flat across from side seam to side seam with open sides. each halter is 6" wide at its widest point
Underbust - waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Seam at top of hips: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 30" from neck to hem but can be pulled up as short as you want

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS

Item# DD4001

Reference Photos/Video: (1-8) Spring 2003 Gucci Runway Collection, Look 27. Model: Louise Pedersen.  /  (9) Natalia Vodianova, wearing Gucci, Vogue, February 2003. Photo by Steven Klein.

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